Is Dairy Causing Your Eczema?


The Connection Between Eczema and Eating Dairy

A few weeks ago I was talking to a friend of mine about her recent case of eczema. I immediately said it’s probably dairy. She said that’s what her doctor said too  Fast forward to this morning, before our 6A boxing session, she said she stopped the dairy and almost immediately – her eczema cleared up! Well what do you know!! It’s amazing how many people don’t realize that a sensitivity to dairy can cause skin issues and congestion.

Before understanding how dairy affected me, I had hard, crusty hands all the time. To help alleviate the burning and itching, my doctor gave me a steroid cream. He never once discussed its possible cause.  Once I quit dairy – it was gone. Just like that!  Recently, I was reminded once again that dairy and I don’t mix. I started drinking a whey protein shake in the AM. Whey protein is a by-product of the cheese making process and after a few days, my eczema started to flare up on my hands again. I switched to a veggie based shake and the eczema issues cleared up.

Eczema and Dairy Connection

As a general practice, I don’t eat dairy but maybe once a week. When I do have some, within hours, I feel congested and the next morning, my hands start to itch. If i eat it more than once a week, eczema on my hands starts to appear.  One of my favorite treats – ice cream – is almost not worth eating because my congestion gets so bad that getting a good night’s sleep becomes a challenge. Everything in life is a trade off and now, before eating anything with dairy or gluten for that matter, I ask myself if it’s worth it. Sometimes the answer is yes, but most often, it’s no.

Here’s a bit more info on dairy and food allergies:

How can you figure out if dairy is causing you issues?

It’s simple really. Try eliminating it for a week or so to see if any skin issues clear up, including acne. Then, add it back in. If you notice a reaction, then you know that dairy is causing you some inflammation issues. Keep in mind that a week may not be enough time to really eliminate it. As with most things, It depends on the person. The thing is, if you find you are sensitive to dairy, you are armed with the knowledge and can be more aware of how your body feels and reacts to your food choices.

Hurray! It’s National Kale Day!


Today we celebrate National Kale DayA few of the benefits mentioned in Top 10 Health Benefits of Eating Kale include:

  1. Kale is low in calorie, high in fiber and has zero fat.
  2. Kale is high in iron.
  3. Kale is a great anti-inflammatory food.

Kale Day 2014

Read This

Be Inspired

you pray for rain, you gotta deal with the mud too


Boxing heart rate data

Boxing: Getting In The Ring To Work On Technique


Back to School It was only me and another guy for boxing this morning which meant that Coach Mike had us work in the ring instead of on the heavy bag. It is so much harder to spar with your instructor – so much harder! Not only do you have to be quick on your feet at all times, you also have to be quick thinking too. In the ring, Mike works with us on our form and technique which is where I need to work. I am strong but once I learn how to use all the momentum and power possible to hit -watch out.

Here is a good site for some boxing info and tips:

Yesterday was the first day of school for kids in Loudoun County, Virginia which includes my two kiddos! And, although I love summer because we don’t have to rush around in the morning to get them off, I appreciate the routine of the school year too. I think kids are happier when they are in a learning environment and challenged.

Back to School School Photo

Here are some great resources to help start the school year right:

Read This

Be Inspired

Fitness Habit


Boxing Heart Rate Data

Enter the Giveaway

Don’t forget to enter the One Direction Looks Collection Giveaway that I highlighted on my blog this weekend.

Win One Direction Looks Makeup Collection Autographed by the Band


Whole 30: Resources and Information


Whole 30 RulesFall is around the corner and the change of season is a good time to make healthy changes in your life, like taking on the Whole 30 challenge. If you want to look into the Whole 30 approach, Melissa over at The Clothes Make the Girl compiled some great resources: Whole 30 Resources RoundupI also found a Pinterest Board to help get you set up doing Whole 30: Whole30 Approved – Food.  

And of course you can always visit my Paleo & CrossFit Resources page for even more information and inspiration!

Read This

Watch This

I’m loving this guy’s voice: Sam Smith – I’m Not The Only One


Boxing – I was not really feeling it today, so my calorie burn was a bit down but at the end I did some stretching, so my calorie burn was around 800 total.

hr data 8.1.14

Did You know? Certain Foods Create Mucus


Although losing an hour in the spring is tough, I feel more energized and in the mood to organize. I have committed to going through closets in the next month and getting them situated. Let’s hope this energy is a sign that my winter blues are drifting away.

I am still having asthma fits during my workouts and it’s frustrating the heck out of me! Imagine being fit and having your lungs seize up every time you do something cardio based — so much that you have coughing fits and you can’t catch your breath but yet still have more to do. We did shuttle runs today and sure enough I was frustrated –I did complete them but it’s really frustrating to know I am working out as hard as I can but am still limited.

I did pretty well refocusing my nutrition yesterday and feel better already. I feel sorry for people who don’t realize how food affects them and just think it’s environmental allergies. A friend of mine told me yesterday that his wife has always had a runny nose and gave up dairy and guess what? No more runny nose! And funny timing to tell me that because I ran across this post from Holistic Dad:

Constant runny nose and sinus infection sufferers should find relief reducing these foods to elimination while adding more of the raw, nutrient packed foods that cut inflammation and mucus. 

And it included this graphic: If you are constantly stuffy or congested, try eliminating the foods listed below that create mucus for 7-12 days and I bet you will notice a marked improvement. Although I do realize that the foods on the “no” list are the foods that are ‘yummy’. Ice cream is one of my all time favorite things in the world — As my daughter says “I wish the bad foods were good for us, and the good foods were bad for us”, but that ain’t so…

Mucus Causing foods

Read This!


Get Inspired

There is something really special about this short video that brought 20 people in and paired them up and asked that they kiss each other. Watch it and try not to smile…

First Kiss



  • Mobility
  • Ring Rows – My hands hurt with my calluses so I opted to do ring rows instead of pull ups.
  • Push ups
  • Shuttle Runs
  • Rowing

Baby, It’s Cold Outside in the DMV Area


Polar Vortex - It's 2' in Northern VA areaI know there are a ton of people out there that live in cold weather and it’s just another day to them. However, in the Northern VA/DC metro area –this is not normal weather. It’s minus degrees with the wind today and holy crap – it’s cold.

And for the third day in a row, the kids have off from school. While I absolutely appreciate the school erring on the side of safety, I do think we are creating wussy kids. It’s cold out there –so what? Get your butt to school. I get that some rural areas have bad conditions, but my kids need to be in school. You know I am getting old when I tell you that when I was a kid – we walked to school in snow and cold and it was a cold day in hell before they cancelled school in Northern NJ. It just didn’t happen.

Yesterday was day two of my meditation experiment and I felt better again – it’s a guided program that lasts about thirty minutes. I admit it’s a bit on the odd side to sit quietly, with headphones on and hear this soft spoken lady speak to me with all of these echos but if it helps me feel better and get more focused, I’m willing to stick with it. And I think it really is good to take some time each and every day to just be still, without all the noise.

Have you noticed lately that if you aren’t on your guard, you can drown in all the information being thrown at you.  As much time as I spend on social media, there are so many times during the day that I get overwhelmed with all the posts, articles etc that come across my feed. I am sure I miss a ton too — and I have been trying very hard to just let it go. If it’s good enough info, it will come into focus for me eventually.  It’s important to remember that your time is valuable – and you have to be conscious of what you are spending it doing. And I have also noticed there is a ton of bad content out there –the title sounds interesting– but the payoff isn’t there and then I am annoyed. And lately – there have been a ton of articles out there that just annoy me.

I’m about to start a wellness challenge for Highbar CrossFit on Saturday. I am going to go all in myself this time — I need to refocus and start practicing what I preach again. My ego took a blow with getting laid off – but I can’t let it take up any more time or space in my head. That company doesn’t deserve it, the people I worked with don’t deserve my time, and I deserve better. Enough said-time to put in the work!


Mobility work
2k Row
4 rounds
pull ups
double unders

sit ups

Recommended Reading

Kindness Matters

Rekindle Your Spirit

Learning How to Eat Paleo


Busy day but I wanted to share a few things I think everyone should read and also just mention something that happened to me yesterday. I stopped in to Wegmans to pick up a few things and while I was heading towards the Gluten Free/Natural foods area – I noticed this woman who was furiously leafing through a gluten free cookbook, trying to make sense of what to buy and what was what.  I found out later her name – Marie and she is from South Africa.

She looked up at me and said – this stuff is so confusing and explained that her tween daughter is allergic to wheat, dairy and soy. Have you tried to find any sort of non-fresh food without one of those ingredients? Holy cow! And if you do, some of it tastes like crap! We got to talking about some stuff that I have used and I ended up walking with her through the natural foods section pointing out Larabars and a few other things that met her criteria. I also talked to her about looking into getting a dehydrator  – so she can make her own beef jerky and dried fruit and gave her some ideas for snacks. She was so thankful that I took the time and offered up my own experience – as I was saying goodbye, I gave her my blog info and my email and introduced myself.

Once she finds things that work for her and her family, it will definitely be an easy transition but I remember how daunting and hard it all felt at first. I was glad I could lend a hand!

If you are looking for Paleo resources, I created an entire section with links to popular Paleo authors, books and websites to help make it easy to find and easier for you to get started!


Recommended Reading

Kindness Matters

Read about all of these kiddos doing kind things – small ripples make big waves!!



I’m going to make this casserole for an upcoming CrossFit potluck:




Jimmy Fallon, CrossFit and Paleo


How cute is this?  Jimmy Fallon is just getting better and better & seems to really enjoy what he’s doing. Watching his stuff makes me happy.

Are you the type of person that cares too much – whether it be in your friendships/relationships, personal life, professional life? Read this post below — It once again drives home myI need to focus on working with people who have a real passion for what they are doing — who genuinely believe they can make a difference in people’s lives. I have been settling for less than that for far too long…

How to Overcome the Perils of Caring Deeply

Organizations move toward mediocrity when they silence those who care deeply.

Pursue your passion or accept irrelevance.

Every initiative, project, department, and product needs a champion who obsessively cares. CEO’s become champions of average when they don’t freakishly care for their organizations.

Excellence is a function of caring deeply.

Deep breaths and move onward….

Switching gears, here’s an interesting post I read yesterday:

This post summarizes a lot of what I have talked about before and what needs addressing in the world of CrossFit. Inexperienced coaching, bad programming, safe movements performed dangerously — another reminder of the saturation of the CrossFit market and lack of oversight. You really can open a CrossFit facility after paying 1K for a two day course, taking a multiple choice test, and then paying CrossFit HQ 3K for your affiliation. That’s it — and many have opened with just that. My Level one class had a few people who had not even done CrossFit before?!! WTF!!

How do you deal with that? Ask questions!!  10 questions to ask when starting CrossFit  Look at the coach bio’s before even trying out the place. Is it all ‘fluff’? Remember, taking CrossFit weekend courses is great and all but it certainly doesn’t qualify you to get out there and coach new athletes! Knowing what I know now that I am training with some experienced coaches–the difference in coaching is night and day.

This morning for example, I was working on my strength lift and doing the Push Press. I have always thought I was pretty good at this lift but Coach Randy pointed out that I was going way too fast down into the lift, which made the bar bounce off my ‘shelf’ and then I was under it, pushing it up. It works – don’t get me wrong but it’s not efficient and I lose power. We worked on rejiggering my lift –slow and controlled on the way down, and transmitting the power explosively on the way up! It felt awkward and made me stop for a few to think about it –but then it came and sure enough — it made the lift easier. I am going to have to work on it though, because I am so used to doing it the other way.  But, seriously – I have been doing it that same way for years!!! That got me fired up and excited to work on it for sure! So a big Thank You to Coach Randy and Highbar CrossFit. 

“Why are you even attempting “moderation” of bread, cheese, or diet sodas if these foods make you significantly and tangibly less healthy?”



5×3 Push Press 98#

5 DB Snatch 25#
12 Wall Balls
80m bear crawls
–1m rest every 2rounds

time: 16:11 


Fear and Moving Forward


swimmingI have talked about Fear before — how it holds us back, how we get stuck in a Fear Loop and can’t seem to get out. This weekend I read something by Richard Branson – you know the guy who founded Virgin and all the sub-companies underneath brand.  He writes a lot of good stuff –stuff that challenges you to think differently.

This particular article was about fear –Richard Branson on Facing Your Fears. Success and moving forward has a lot to do with how you approach fear – do you take the plunge, head first? Do you jump back, assess the situation and then act? Or do you back away and continue in the fear loop? The people we tend to call leaders or those who succeed, are the ones that do a combo of taking the plunge and assessing then acting depending on the situation – but they don’t get stuck in the fear loop.

That’s the key! You have to keep moving forward – even if it’s inch by inch! We all get knocked down, but you get up and move forward! Envision the fighter, that gets knocked to the ground but won’t stay down. They just keep getting up – eventually the bell will ring and the round is over.

Do you ever feel like you are meant for something bigger than where you are right now? I just know that there is something out there that I am supposed to be doing – bigger than what I am doing now. I know I have seen pieces of it come together, but the full picture isn’t developed yet and it’s frustrating and takes a ton of patience as I experience stuff that all seems to help me discover more pieces of the picture. Does that even make sense?

Back squat 160# 5×5
in between sets 5 negative ring dips


  • Run, 200 m
  • 10 Burpees
  • 20 Box Jump (20 In.)s
  • 30 Air Squats
  • 40 Double Unders
  • 50 AbMat Sit-ups
  • 40 Double Unders
  • 30 Air Squats
  • 20 Box Jump (20 In.)s
  • 10 Burpees
  • Run, 200 m

Time: 14:41 Rx

Here are some good articles that I have read this week:

We all don’t aspire to be pro athletes, but it’s good to know what they do, so if necessary, we can adapt our own training. Paleo Diet For Athletes – 20 Pros Who Use It For Success

Good before and after pics to get motivated and inspired to go or continue to eat PALEO style! Share Your Paleo Before and After!

Amanda Allen: Skinny or Strong? The Right Balance?

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