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Baked Sweet Potato Wedges with Spicy Avocado Dip

Growing up, I was always part of a team. I played slow-pitch softball as a little girl. I was on a jump rope team in elementary school (Stop it. You shouldn’t laugh at little kids.) I played field hockey, ran track, played fast-pitch softball and danced competitively in high school. whole foods I took a break from all of that and turned straight nerd in college. I missed being on a team and would frequently whine to Jon about how much I missed team sports. Until now. At the beginning of the month I joined CrossFit. I have fallen madly in love and have had no problem showing it. I tweet about it. Check-in on Facebook. You guys, I even have a magnet on my car. Who am I? I’ve already gotten quite a few questions and comments regarding CrossFit, so I thought I’d lay it all out here. Let’s go. the goods 1. Terminology Just like like any sport, there’s a basic lingo that you’ll learn as you go. For example “the box” is any CrossFit facility. There are several local boxes but I go to CrossFit PR Star. Another daily acronym is WOD (workout of the day). I could go on and on as it seems most things are abbreviated. There are a ton of acronyms and I’m still learning, so I just ask when I don’t know one. This is very similar to my job (the sometimes feeling clueless part), which I’ve been doing for 7 years. So yeah…this will probably never end. 2. So you joined the cult? Not really. I like to think of it more as a family or a team. “Cult,” to me, has a negative connotation. There is nothing negative about CrossFit. It’s actually, quite possibly, the most positive place I could spend my day. If by “cult” you mean a group of like-minded, highly enthusiastic, fun, kind, encouraging people with an adoration for a healthy lifestyle. Then yes, I joined the “cult.” wedged 3. OMG it’s so expensive! Yes. Yes it is. But I choose to spend my money on this and make cuts elsewhere if necessary. It is worth it to me. I have gotten more out of PR Star in the past 17 days than I have from any other gym I’ve ever joined. It is worth every penny and you won’t believe me until you try it for yourself…because I didn’t. The cost was the number one reason keeping me from joining. I thought “There’s no way I’m paying that for a 7 minute workout. I can do it on my own.” But I was wrong. Sure, I might be able to make myself sweat in 7 minutes but I can’t create the camaraderie, the encouragement, the coaching, or the friendly competition on my own. My coaches are wonderful. They push me just enough to make me surprise myself but know when I need to rest. It really is like having a personal trainer. And I’ve paid much more for a personal trainer. Also, not all workouts are 7 minutes. It varies each day. creamy goodness 4. You pay that much for a gym and there’s no elliptical machine? Nope. There’s no elliptical. Or treadmill!!! If you know me at all, you know I’m a “gotta run for an hour or I didn’t workout” type of girl. Well I’ve run only four times in over two weeks and that’s only because I’m training for a half marathon. I know! For those of you who have known me for any length of time, pick up your jaws! 5. It’s a fad. People said this about cupcakes and we see how that turned out. There’s a cute boutique-y cupcake shop on every corner and you’ve probably paid five dollars for a fancy cupcake. It’s cool. I have too. I don’t really get how CrossFit is a fad. It’s just another option for a different kind of working out. Zumba, yoga, running, spinning. No one says those are fads… ready for baking 6. Do you wear those tall socks? Yes, I will wear tall socks if we are doing box jumps. My shins are scarred from a box jump mishap two years ago that still makes me queazy when thinking about it. If tall socks give me another layer of protection against skinning my shin, I’m all about it. But they don’t make you wear tall socks. If you hate them, don’t wear them. Don’t wear any socks if you hate socks. No one cares what you wear. 7. You’re going to get bulky. Blah blah blah. No I’m not. I may lose fat and get toned but getting ‘bulky” like wearing-a-bikini-on-a-stage-covered-in-bronzer-and-oil-and-flexing-my-muscles-for-judges bulky can not happen without some sort of serious heavy weightlifting regimen and supplement intake. CrossFit includes neither of those. If my sleeves are tight because my triceps are a little bigger and less jiggly…I’m ok with that. dippin 8. Do I have to be in shape to start? NO! There are so many options to scale down each exercise. That’s one of the things I like best. There are a lot exercises I can’t do. My squats are terrible. Ring dips are impossible and I can’t do a single pull-up but that hasn’t stopped me from doing any of the workouts. The coaches work with you personally to make sure you’re pushing yourself but not hurting yourself. You don’t need to be at any certain level of fitness to start. Just start. 9. Don’t you just do the same movements over and over? No. Not

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at all. I’ve just been going a few weeks now, but each week I’m learning new movements that I’ve never done before. I absolutely LOVE this. I was printing workouts from and doing them on my own for about the past year. It got boring. Running got boring. CrossFit is anything but that. I’ve been going each morning and I wake up before my alarm, excited to get there. It’s been over two weeks and that hasn’t worn off yet. I sort of hope it does. I like sleep. spicy dip 10. Why do you love it so much? I actually didn’t like it the first time I tried it. I went to a local box and didn’t feel like it was a good fit. I know myself and knew I should love this type of workout so I tried PR Star and fell instantly in love. The people, the energy, the workout. It was all different than what I had tried before, and for the better. So my advice would be to try a few boxes in your area and see which is the best fit for you. But here’s what I love about PR Star:

sweet potatos 11. Are you doing that Paleo diet thing they do? This is one of the reasons I loved PR Star. The first box I went to seemed a lot more strict. Within minutes of arriving I got the “We all eat Paleo talk. No grains, legumes, dairy or sugar.” I didn’t join that one. I like ice cream. At PR Star it seems everyone eats what works for them. If you like yogurt, have a yogurt. If you want a beer, have two. But I will say that it’s nice to be around health-conscious people who are interested in what’s in my green juice every morning. My eating has been extremely clean since I started CrossFit. I want to get better with each workout and I know fueling my body with whole foods is helping. plate full of good Whole foods like these baked sweet potato wedges with spicy avocado dip. If you know someone who says healthy food is gross, give them a plate of these and you’ll certainly prove them wrong. The sweet potatoes are perfectly seasoned and slightly crisp on the outside. The dip is light with a bit of a kick from added cayenne pepper. You’ll have extra dip. You’re welcome. It’s perfect for spreading on a sandwich or eggs, or eating with a spoon. There’s really nothing too fancy going on here. It’s healthy finger food and who doesn’t love that? This recipe is perfect for taking to a party or making ahead to have for the week. It’s a perfect side, a great snack and the best fuel for that jump rope team I know you want to join now.   Baked Sweet Potato Wedges with Spicy Avocado Dip (adapted from the Sprouted Kitchen Cookbook) For the potatoes: Ingredients: 3lbs sweet potatoes 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil 2 teaspoons paprika 1 teaspoon garlic powder 1/2 teaspoon chili powder 1/4 rosemary powder (or 2 teaspoons chopped fresh) Kosher salt and pepper, to taste Directions:

  1. Wash and cut potatoes into wedges. Place in a bowl and fill with water. Let soak for about 15 minutes. Drain and pat dry. Preheat oven to 425*F
  2. In a large freezer sized zip-lock bag, combine the potatoes and all other ingredients. Shake and massage the potatoes until all look evenly coated.
  3. Place a baking rack on top of a jelly roll pan or other rimmed baking sheet. And place the wedges in a single layer. Make sure they don’t touch each other as they’ll steam and get mushy instead of crisping up. Bake for 30-35 minutes until tender in the center. If you don’t have a baking rack, just place the wedges on the sheet directly but be sure to flip them about half way through cooking.

For the dip: Ingredients: 3 ripe avocados 2 cloves garlic 1/2 cup loosely packed parsley Juice of 2 lemons 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional, but highly recommended) Directions: 1. Cut avocados in half and scoop the meat out into a food processor or blender. 2. Place all other ingredients in the processor or blender and process until smooth, scraping down the sides when necessary. grab and dip Notes:

  1. This recipe is adapted from the Sprouted Kitchen Cookbook. You can tell from this, I want to make everything in it. I highly recommend this cookbook and if you don’t read the Forte’s blog, you really should start right now.
  2. Let’s talk about crispiness. I soaked the potatoes for about 15 minutes before baking them. I read that this is supposed to help them crisp up when baked, and it did. They’re not super crunchy but they do have a crisp edge and a soft middle. I liked them just like that. I’ve baked them without soaking and they were much more soggy. So, don’t skip the soaking, unless you want limp potato wedges.
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Posted on April 14, 2013

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