October Athlete of the Month || Brian Stacey!!

Each month we spotlight a different CFA athlete who stands out and shows just how awesome they are. What is it that makes up an Athlete of the Month? It may not be the person that finishes the fastest, Rx’s every WOD, or gets a PR every time they walk in the gym. Although we love and celebrate when those things happen, the Athlete of the Month is made up of much more than physical ability. This person shows up, gives their best every time, and then gives a little more. They are hungry to learn and always ready to do the work. They support their fellow classmates and encourage them to reach their goals. This athlete embodies what we believe the CrossFit Austin Community should be about.

Our October Athlete of the Month is Brian Stacey! Brian has been part of the CFA family for about a year and a half now and has recently kicked his training into high gear! That is not to say he hasn’t worked hard up to this point though. Brian has been a part of the trusty noon crew for some time now and many of the coaches have had the pleasure of working with him. He is focused and extremely coachable in class and it shows as he gets closer and closer to his goals. Brian, we are honored to have you as our October Athlete of the Month and as an awesome part of this team. Thanks for your all your hard work and we look forward to seeing all you accomplish in the years to come! Congratulations!

 

State your Name and/or Nickname please:
Brian

 

Words to live by?
No better time than now to go for it.

 

What is your fitness background?
I swam competitively for 13 years, then started competing in triathlon and endurance sports in 2007. I’m a 3-time Ironman finisher (Canada, Florida, Louisville).

 

How long have you been CrossFitting?
I’ve been at CFA since May 2019.

 

Take us back to your first day of CrossFit… How did you feel? How do you compare it to workouts today?
I was very intimidated on my first day and just wanted to get through the class without embarrassing myself. Now I can actually set goals and really push myself.

 

What’s your favorite part of CrossFit Austin?
Hands down, the community.

 

Current Training Goals/PRs?
I’m currently training for Ironman Mont-Tremblant, so my main goal is to build strength and improve fitness to prepare for the race. That said, I’d also like to eventually be doing all my workouts at least at the athletic level, so I’m working toward that as my main crossfit-specific goal.

 

What advice do you have for folks just starting out in CrossFit?
Set a variety of goals: small goals, long-term goals, and a seemingly impossible goal. Having lots of small goals helps me stay focused and motivated day-to-day. Having long-term goals helps me stay disciplined enough to string together small goals. Having an impossible goal helps me track my progress over time. And nothing beats resetting goals because you just accomplished something you once thought impossible!

 

Things look a little different right now, how are you staying focused in your training and in your life during this time?
I constantly reevaluate goals vs the current situation. My training in April (lockdown) vs August (heat) vs today  is completely different, but I have to look at what kind of progress is feasible and set my goals accordingly.

 

What is your cheat meal go to?
Tex-mex for sure.

 

How do you use your fitness outside of the gym?
Swimming, biking, running, tennis, hiking.

 

Tell us about a moment you felt most proud of yourself during a workout.
I’m pretty sure I PR’d on my front squat last week. If it wasn’t a PR, it was just a really solid rep. Either way, it was a proud moment.

 

What are the biggest challenges you’ve faced in your fitness journey?
I was diagnosed with epilepsy in mid-2017 and was put on medications that had some severe effects. By the time I got meds and dosage figured out in late-2019, I had lost most of the progress I had made from 4 years of IM training. Being patient, forgiving, and persistent in finding my prior level wasn’t – and isn’t – easy.

 

If you could create a WOD and name it for yourself, what would it be?
12 Deadlifts then three rounds: 500m row, 2mi on the bike, 400m run.

 

What keeps you going on the days you don’t feel like it?
I know I’ll feel better for at least giving it a shot. Even if it’s not my best workout, it’ll be better than nothing.

 

What are your hobbies, interests and/or talents outside of CrossFit?
Camping, hiking, traveling, going to see live music, watching or playing tennis.

 

Tell us something we don’t know about you…
I coached swimming for many years. I coached kids, adults, and Special Olympics teams in Dallas and Austin.

 

Leave the fine folks of CrossFit Austin with some parting words…
Sign up for a triathlon! Crossfit is such a great supplement and you’re already closer to the finish line than you might think. I’m happy to share some tips for anyone interested.

Kitchen Adventures || Souper Greens Soup & Patrick Deutschmann

Happy Wednesday! Back with more Kitchen Adventures and another featured friend! This week’s recipe truly was an adventure for me. I have never made a blended soup and there is one special ingredient I’ve never worked with before so I’m excited to share this recipe with you!

BUT FIRST! Let me introduce this week’s feature. Many of you already know him, or at least know the extensions of him, Hannan and little Ziva! You may not know, however, that Patrick is QUITE the craftsman! He owns his own carpentry business, Edelcor, down in Buda, but does work all around the Austin area!

 

Basically, if you can dream it up, Patrick can get it done. We’ve seen him build everything from wooden toys to a full on house and it’s all done with such care and precision, you won’t be disappointed. If you need an example of some of his work, just look around the gym. Patrick custom built the pegboard you see on the back wall and not only made a plyo box for us, but has actually made several for other members’ home gyms. That doesn’t even begin to scratch the surface of what he can do though. Check out the Portfolio on his website to see some more of his work, but don’t let those categories stop you from dreaming up whatever you want made! He’s up to the task!

Ok, now that you’re dreaming up the new dining table Patrick is going to make for you, let’s talk about the recipe you can make to eat on it 😉

 

I am always trying to find new ways to boost my veggie intake and to keep things interesting, I try to find ways to use vegetables I’ve never cooked with before. In this case, it’s fennel bulb! Now, I’m no stranger to fennel as a spice, but I’ve never actually picked up a fresh fennel bulb in the store until this recipe. Fresh fennel smells amazing and has a nice sweet tasting crunch. I was excited to work it in with this soup and I have to say, it gave it great flavor!

Although this whole year has been “sick season” I usually start around this time amping up the cold/flu fighting foods. This is an immune boosting powerhouse of a soup and it’s tasty to boot! I served it with some simple baked chicken breast and roasted asparagus and mushrooms, but it would be great on it’s own. Give it a go!

SOUPer Greens Soup – *Tools – you will need an immersion blender or be ready to transfer to a blender and back to the pot

INGREDIENTS
2 TBSP Avocado oil
1 medium yellow onion – diced
1 large parsnip – roughly chopped
5-6 garlic cloves minced
1 bunch flat-leaf parsley – chopped – stems and all
1 zucchini – sliced thin – keep the skin on
1 fennel bulb – roughly chopped (Just the white part, the tops won’t be used for this recipe)
3 celery stalks – chopped
1 small head broccoli – chopped into small florets
1 bay leaf
8 cups vegetable stock
1 can chickpeas, drained
10 oz baby spinach leaves
Juice of 1 lemon
Salt & cracked black pepper

Optional for topping, but HIGHLY recommended:
Dollop of plain Greek Yogurt
Drizzles of Truffle Oil – adds a whole new dimension of flavor

INSTRUCTIONS

Heat avocado oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the onion, parsnips, garlic, parsley, zucchini, fennel, celery, and bay leaf. Cook for 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until they veggies have softened.

Add the broth, broccoli, and chickpeas and bring the pot to a boil. Cook for 4-5 minutes and then lower the heat to a simmer. Remove the bay leaf, add the spinach and season lightly with salt and pepper. Using an immersion blender if you have one (highly recommended), carefully blend the soup until smooth.  If you’re using a blender, carefully transfer the soup to a blender and pulse until smooth, transfer back to the pot.

Once smooth, stir in the lemon juice and taste. Adjust with salt and pepper if needed. Dish it out, drop a dollop of Greek yogurt in the middle, and drizzle a bit of truffle oil. Enjoy!

Kitchen Adventures || Lemon Orzo Chicken Soup & David Barrientos

Heyoooo! Y’all! I cannot tell you how excited I am that it is starting to feel like fall. Don’t get me wrong, I am a full on summer supporter, but I love fall for so many reasons…. one of which is that it’s SOUP WEATHER. I for one, will actually make and eat soup year round, but obviously it’s more comforting and satisfying when the weather calls for it. So… as soon as there was a hint of fall in the air, I made a giant pot of soup. I was craving something that was still bright and fresh, but warm and comforting as well so that’s where this Lemon Orzo Chicken soup came into play.

 

Before we get to the recipe though… I’m excited to introduce you to this week’s feature – David Barrientos! Many of you (if you’re a CFA member) have likely met him, but may not know that he owns and operates Buda Bike Company! David’s been a member with us a for a few months now, but he’s no stranger to the bicycle game. I know MANY of you at CFA are cyclists whether it be a casual ride, a road race, or hitting the trails so if you’re in need of any maintenance or maybe even a new set up, check out David’s shop! When it comes to bikes, they pretty much do it all. He’s also just a pretty great guys to know, so you might just make a new friend in the process! 🙂

 

 

 

Ok, without further ado, here’s your next Kitchen Adventures recipe!

LEMON ORZO CHICKEN SOUP

INGREDIENTS

2 (ish) lbs cooked, shredded chicken – pro tip – I bought a rotisserie chicken and shredded the meat to save time
3 large celery sticks – sliced
3 large carrots – peeled and sliced
1 medium onion – diced
1 5 oz container of fresh spinach
4-5 cloves garlic – minced
6 cups chicken broth – preferably bone broth
1 TBSP Italian seasoning
1 cup uncooked orzo
2 TBSP lemon juice or to taste – I actually probably used more like 3-4 because I LOVE lemon. Make this yours
Oil for cooking – I used avocado
Salt & pepper to taste
*Optional – red chili flake for a little kick

INSTRUCTIONS

Because I use my dutch oven for everything.. that’s what I used, but you can also just do this in a large soup pot.

If you are not using a rotisserie chicken, you’ll need to cook and shred your chicken. Use whatever method you prefer, but I recommend seasoning lightly with salt, pepper, garlic and lemon juice. This will be added later so you can actually cook it while your soup is working.

Heat your pot and about a TBSP of oil over medium high heat. Saute the celery, onions, and carrots for about 5 minutes or until they begin to soften. Add the garlic and saute for 30 seconds or so, being careful not to burn it.

Add the broth and bring to a light boil. Add the Italian seasoning & some salt and pepper. Add the orzo, give it all a stir and reduce the heat to a simmer. Let the orzo cook for 10-12 minutes or until done. You will want to stir it occasionally because orzo likes to sink to the bottom and stick.

Next, add your cooked, shredded chicken breast, the lemon juice, and the spinach. Give it all a good stir and let the spinach wilt just a bit before serving. Adjust the salt/pepper/Italian/lemon juice to your desired taste and if adding red chili, do this last.

I like this soup with a few croutons and some shaved pecorino (parmesan would work too)!

Enjoy, friends!

 

September Athlete of the Month || Meg Livingston!!

Each month we spotlight a different CFA athlete who stands out and shows just how awesome they are. What is it that makes up an Athlete of the Month? It may not be the person that finishes the fastest, Rx’s every WOD, or gets a PR every time they walk in the gym. Although we love and celebrate when those things happen, the Athlete of the Month is made up of much more than physical ability. This person shows up, gives their best every time, and then gives a little more. They are hungry to learn and always ready to do the work. They support their fellow classmates and encourage them to reach their goals. This athlete embodies what we believe the CrossFit Austin Community should be about.

Our September Athlete of the Month is Meg Livingston! Meg joined the CFA Family in the spring of 2019 and fell right into place with us. Meg is one of those people that you immediately know has a good heart! Meg’s smile and friendly greetings definitely make everyone feel welcome and happy to be here. The coaches also appreciate coachable Meg is and just the pure dedication to working hard in class. Meg, we are proud to introduce you as the September Athlete of the Month and as an awesome part of this team. Thanks for your all your hard work and we look forward to seeing all you accomplish in the years to come! Congratulations!

 

State your Name and/or Nickname please: Meg Livingston
 
Words to live by? Speak your mind – even if your voice shakes
 
What is your fitness background? I (poorly) played sports high school but that was pretty much the extent of my fitness background prior to getting involved with CrossFit.
 
How long have you been CrossFitting? Roughly 3 years
 
Take us back to your first day of CrossFit… How did you feel? How do you compare it to workouts today? I felt like death! I jumped into a free session to try it out and I think I was sore for at least a week after. I found a different gym for an intro class and it was really encouraging to learn the basics and not feel so far behind everyone else. I haven’t thought about it much until now but I’ve improved a hell of a lot from day one and am now at the point where I really enjoy the workouts as opposed to suffering through them.
What’s your favorite part of CrossFit Austin? It’s hard to pick a favorite. The programming of the workouts is phenomenal and so are the coaches. And the community. Yes, impossible to pick just one!
 
Current Training Goals/PRs? My goal since starting and learning about this workout has been to complete Murph. I’ve lost sight of that goal over time but am now focusing on it again.

What advice do you have for folks just starting out in CrossFit? If you keep working at it, it can literally only get easier. Eventually you’ll be challenging yourself to do things you never thought your body could do.
 
Things look a little different right now, how are you staying focused in your training and in your life during this time? Staying focused has always been a struggle for me and is even more so now with the serious weirdness of the world. I’m learning to take things one step at a time and to understand that having a bad day or even week doesn’t mean I’ve derailed myself. Tomorrow always brings a new day and new possibilities for success.

What is your cheat meal go to? Stupid, delicious pizza.
 
How do you use your fitness outside of the gym? Prior to working at a cat only vet clinic, I used my fitness daily at work by lifting/carrying/holding/restraining various animals, primarily dogs. Deadlifting an anesthetized (aka floppy) 65+ pound dog became significantly easier once I learned how to properly “lift with my legs, not my back!”
 
Tell us about a moment you felt most proud of yourself during a workout. Anytime I hit a PR after learning proper technique. I think I was only able to front squat 65# or so when I first started. Squatting was probably the hardest movement for me so far but now that I’m more efficient I’m up to 135#. Still a ways to go but having moments of massive improvement is really encouraging.
What are the biggest challenges you’ve faced in your fitness journey? Nutrition. That has always been my main challenge and historically has been my excuse for giving up on fitness goals.
 
If you could create a WOD and name it for yourself, what would it be? This is tough because I’m not very creative. I’d probably choose a 5000m row because I haven’t done that since my first month in CrossFit and I’d like to compare. I can for sure tell you what would NOT be in that WOD – burpees and thrusters. They’re both very terrible.
What keeps you going on the days you don’t feel like it? Understanding that time is going to pass regardless of whether I’m personally moving forward or backward so I might as well keep moving forward.
What are your hobbies, interests and/or talents outside of CrossFit? This is the third time I’ve been asked this question in the past week and every time my answer is the same – I spend most of my time outside of work watching/playing/annoying with my dogs and cats. I really need some new hobbies!
 
Tell us something we don’t know about you… I lived and worked at a primate sanctuary in South Africa for a year and a half.
 
Leave the fine folks of CrossFit Austin with some parting words… Early voting starts October 13th-30th. The deadline for voter registration ends October 5th. Election Day is November 3rd. Get out there and vote!
 

Kitchen Adventures || Tropical Chicken & Sarah Annie Navarrete

Image may contain: 1 person, indoor

Happy Wednesday, friends! Another week, another recipe, and even more exciting, another feature! I have been thinking about past performances lately and REALLY missing my dance community. This year has definitely put a damper on that part of my life and as memories pop up on Facebook and Instagram of past shows, it’s really given me the bug.

Anyway, I’m really excited to introduce you to my sweet friend Sarah. I met her through the dance community here in Austin, but she is a powerhouse woman of many talents. One of her many talents is photography and let me tell you… she’s brilliant. She’s shot several shows I’ve been a part of and I have even done some individual work with her. She produces some beautiful, etherial images and just has a stunning aesthetic. Take a look at some of her work and if you’re looking for some new pieces for your wall, she has prints for sale! You may even recognize a familiar face in a few of these shots 😉

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s recipe – Tropical Chicken Bowls

INGREDIENTS

For the chicken & veggies

1 TBSO oil – I used avocado
2 lbs chicken breast cut into 1 inch chunks
2 bell peppers any color – julienned
3 handfuls fresh spinach
S&P to taste

For the sauce

1 can organic coconut milk – full fat
1 cup salsa verde – mild/medium your choice
1 large mango – pitted, peeled, and rough chopped
1 jalapeno – seeded & deveined
3 TBSP coconut sugar
2 TBSP lime juice
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp chili powder – more to taste
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1/2 tsp Himalayan pink salt
Dash of Sriracha to taste

INSTRUCTIONS

In a blender or food processor, add all of the sauce ingredients and blend until smooth. Taste and adjust to your liking. Set this aside to add to the chicken soon. 
In a large skillet, heat oil over med-high heat. Once the skillet is hot add your chicken and begin to brown. Before the chicken is cooked through, add the bell peppers and cook until they begin to soften. 
Stir in the sauce and add the spinach to the skillet and cook until the chicken is cooked through and spinach is wilted. Serve with rice.

Kitchen Adventures || Southwest Breakfast Bowl & Force of Nature

Hey Crew,

How’s everyone doing? Life’s been a bit wacko lately and I seem to be falling into an “every other week” cycle with my Kitchen Adventures posts, but honestly.. I’m ok with that right now. That’s what I can make happen and that’s a lot like meal prep. Sometimes you just keep it super simple and make what you can happen!

The recipe I’m sharing below is one of those…. Before I get into that, I want to introduce this week’s spotlight.

Robby Sansom and Force of Nature! If you keep up with me at all, I’ve actually mentioned FON in past posts, but Robby and FON are totally worth a full spotlight. Force of Nature has become my go to source for clean meats. Not only does Force of Nature provide incredible, clean products that taste amazing, what they do is actually good for the environment! I know, you’re thinking “but what about all the big plants, blah blah blah…” The farms where the meat is sourced are all operating on the foundations of regenerative agriculture.

With many of the “meatless meat” options shouting about the lower carbon effects their processes produce, they can’t be matched by the CARBON NEGATIVE process of regenerative agriculture. Yes, you read that right. The way that these animals are raised is good for the earth, the soil, the animals, and your bodies. I’m not the person to explain it all in depth to you, but Robby and his team are doing amazing things here.

For those of you who may not know, Robby is the husband of our own community member, Kristy Marsillo. He’s also just an excellent human being and someone we are honored to have in our lives. We were so excited to be involved in this venture and we were one of the first gyms to begin carrying the products. If you haven’t been in the front office for a while, go check it out. There’s a cooler with all the info and you can buy directly from us. Spend some time on the website too. There is a ton of excellent information about the process, products, etc and so many good articles on the blog.

 

Ok, on to the recipe. Like I mentioned, I needed a “make it happen” recipe for breakfast this week. I know, I’ve been on a kick with the breakfast recipes lately. I’ll do something else soon, but I figured this was a perfect one to share with the Force of Nature spotlight since I used one of their products!

That said, I bring you… Something that I promise tastes better than it looks in this picture haha!

Southwest Breakfast Bowls

INGREDIENTS

1 package FON Wild Boar (honestly, any of the products would work in this)
1 can organic black beans – drained and rinsed
1 can organic fire roasted tomatoes
1 cup frozen corn – thawed
2-3 cloves garlic – minced
1 small onion – sliced
2 bell peppers – any color – sliced
1 large bunch of kale – stems removed and torn into pieces
1 package taco seasoning if you’re being lazy – HERE is a good recipe for your own if you want to make it
8-10 eggs – scrambled (+milk if you prefer for fluffier eggs)
Salt & pepper
Oil for cooking – I used avocado oil
*Optional – 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese

To top –
Avocado and hot sauce of your choice – I like the yellowbird serrano for this!

INSTRUCTIONS

In a large skillet over medium high heat, brown the meat and season lightly with salt and pepper. Remove and set aside. If there is not at least a TBSP of grease left from the meat, add a dash of oil. Add the onions and peppers and saute until they begin to soften. Add the garlic, taco seasoning, & kale and cook for another 3-4 minutes. Add the beans, corn, and tomatoes and cook until heated throughout and kale reaches desired consistency.

In a separate skillet, cook your scrambled eggs to desired consistency. If using, add cheese and season with S&P to taste. Add the eggs and meat back into the skillet with the veggies and mix well. To serve, top with fresh avocado and hot sauce!

August Athlete of the Month || Ivan Ayala

Each month we spotlight a different CFA athlete who stands out and shows just how awesome they are. What is it that makes up an Athlete of the Month? It may not be the person that finishes the fastest, Rx’s every WOD, or gets a PR every time they walk in the gym. Although we love and celebrate when those things happen, the Athlete of the Month is made up of much more than physical ability. This person shows up, gives their best every time, and then gives a little more. They are hungry to learn and always ready to do the work. They support their fellow classmates and encourage them to reach their goals. This athlete embodies what we believe the CrossFit Austin Community should be about.

Our August Athlete of the Month is Ivan Ayala! He has been a part of the crew for years and what we really appreciate about Ivan is how much time he spends on the extra stuff. He’s consistently in the gym 30 minutes to an hour prior to class just to do the work to improve his individual needs. It takes a lot of focus and drive to put in the time for the “not so sexy” stuff, but he has no problem doing it! Ivan is also a friendly face and one of the first to say hello and welcome any newbies that walk in the door! He makes everyone feel welcome! Ivan, we are proud to introduce you as the August Athlete of the Month and as an awesome part of this team. Thanks for your all your hard work and we look forward to seeing all you accomplish in the years to come! Congratulations!

State your Name and/or Nickname please:
Ivan (AKA ian)
 
Words to live by?
“Whether you think you can or think you can’t you’re right.” Henry Ford
 
What is your fitness background?
Marital arts and Military physical training
 
How long have you been CrossFitting?
4 years
 
Take us back to your first day of CrossFit… How did you feel?
My first day I thought I could do 135 strict press in a WOD. I ended up hurting myself bad enough I had to stop training for the next 3 days.
 
How do you compare it to workouts today?
While I push hard I am much more tempered with how I approach a WOD to avoid serious injury.
What’s your favorite part of CrossFit Austin?
There is so much to love about CFA.
My favorite is the friends I made and the amazing coaching staff.
 
Current Training Goals/PRs?
Improve my squat snatch to a solid 135lbs and not die during a WOD on a hot day.

What advice do you have for folks just starting out in CrossFit?
Keep in mind everyone started off at different fitness levels.
Pick a small goal then once you reach that goal set another and another.
You will surprise yourself by how far you can go.

What is your cheat meal go to?
Indian food or thin crust pizza
 
How do you use your fitness outside of the gym?
I typically use my fitness when I have to do a labor intensive blacksmithing project or construction related project.
Tell us about a moment you felt most proud of yourself during a workout.
Carrying the flag during the first lap of MURPH and finishing it in 34:30 with the weighted vest.
 
What are the biggest challenges you’ve faced in your fitness journey?
Changing that voice in my head that tells me I won’t, to I will
 
If you could create a WOD and name it for yourself, what would it be?
5 rds
25ft overhead barbell lunge
20 burpees
400m run
20 Russian KBS
1 min rest
What keeps you going on the days you don’t feel like it?
(LUCK) Laboring Under Correct Knowledge
No matter if I take 1 step or 10 as long as I am moving, I am progressing.
 
What are your hobbies, interests and/or talents outside of CrossFit?
Fiction writing, poetry, blacksmithing, traveling
 
Tell us something we don’t know about you…
For 2 years I performed poetry several times a month while I was stationed in the middle east.
 
Leave the fine folks of CrossFit Austin with some parting words…
Always have a goal in some part of your life the satisfaction never comes from the destination
Its always from the journey it took to get there.
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