Kitchen Adventures || Sweet Potato Salad & ShipmateSewing

Hi hi! I hope you are all staying healthy and well. Things are getting pretty crazy here in Texas with Covid numbers spiking, but we’re healthy (thank God *knock on wood*) and glad we can still be helping others to keep themselves healthy as well. It’s wild that masks have become a part of our daily ensembles, but here we are!

This week, I’m sharing my sweet sister in law’s Etsy shop as my feature! She started making masks right at the start of all of this for the family and for her elderly neighbors. Now, she’s expanded her production to include all kinds of prints and patterns and she has different sizes for adults and kiddos. I’ve always seen April as a superhero. She’s an excellent mommy to my niece and nephew, great wife to my brother, Navy veteran, talented in many many ways and mask making is now one of her superpowers!

She’s local in the Austin area so if you need masks, hit her up. For those at the gym, I’d even be happy to pick up from her and you can grab them at the gym if you like. Just communicate that in your etsy order and I’ll make it happen.

 

 

Ok, this week’s recipe is a tasty alternative to the summer favorite, potato salad. I had some help from my sous chef (aka Tim) on this one! He’s been jumping in and working on things with me the last few weeks and it’s be awesome. He’s always up to chop things for me, but our kitchen is so small we can really only have one of us in the kitchen at a time. We’ve been finding more of a groove though and it’s really fun to be able to cook WITH him. Anyhoo, he put this one together for us and did an excellent job.

I wanted to keep similar textures and flavors with this potato salad, but amp it up a bit and I think it turned out quite well! You could boil your potatoes if you want, but I roasted them as a way to mix it up a bit.

 

SWEET POTATO SALAD

INGREDIENTS

For the sweet potato salad:
3 large sweet potatoes – peeled and diced into chunks (size is up to your preference)
4-5 sliced of thick cut bacon – cooked crips and chopped into chunks
4 Stalks of celery – sliced thin (If possible, use the center stalks as they are a bit more tender)
1/2 cup thinly sliced green onions
*optional – thinly sliced red cabbage – I didn’t do it in mine, but thinking about it now, I think it would taste awesome, add some great color, and give a little more texture

For the dressing:
1
jalapeno – seeded & minced
2 TBSP whole-grain brown mustard
3 garlic cloves – minced
3 TBSP rice vinegar
3 TBSP olive oil
Salt & Pepper to taste
*Optional a dash of smoked paprika

 

DIRECTIONS

So simple… if boiling, boil potatoes in salted water until fork tender. If roasting, coat in oil and roast at 400 until fork tender.

Cook your bacon… I like mine baked in the oven, but your choice.

In a large bowl, mix the cooked potatoes, bacon, celery, green onions, and cabbage if using.

In a small bowl, mix the ingredients for the dressing. Taste and adjust to your liking. Then pour it over the potatoes and toss until everything is well coated.

Store in an airtight container in the fridge! Enjoy!

 

Kitchen Adventures || Rainbow Wraps & Operation Turkey

Hi hi friends!

I feel a little like I blinked and now it’s Wednesday again! It’s been another full week, but this past Sunday I actually got back on my meal prep game a little bit and we’ve had a lot more control of our meals which has been great.

As I mentioned last week, I really want to elevate my friends and the good things they are doing in the world, so in addition to my recipe each week, I’m going to share the businesses, art, charities, projects, etc… that my friends are involved in. If you’re doing or making something, let me know so I can spread the word!

This week, I want to share Operation Turkey San Marcos!

Our friend Jesse Ruiz has run Operation Turkey San Marcos for several years now! This is a volunteer based organization that packages and delivers thousands of Thanksgiving meals to those in need every year! It’s really incredible how everyone comes together and gets the work done! Jesse has actually coached at CFA in the past and many of you probably already know him, but this is just an extra special thing he leads every year. They are always looking for help and there are several ways to do so. While we may not know what Thanksgiving is going to look like this year with everything going on, you can still make giving a priority. Check out the site and if it’s something you’d like to help with in November, shoot Jesse a message and put it on your calendar!

 

Okedoke, for this week’s recipe – I’ve been craving some color! I’m sure you’ve heard that you should eat a variety of colors on your plate. Well, this recipe crams a bunch of them all together in a delicious roll! These are so simple to put together and are such a great summer lunch option when it’s super hot out and you just want something cool and light.

As always, you can customize to your liking, but I love this combo of color and texture. DO NOT SKIP THE SAUCE. It is simple and so delicious. It really pulls it all together.

RAINBOW WRAPS

INGREDIENTS

For the dressing:

1/4 cup creamy nut or seed butter (I used Sunbutter, but go with peanut, almond, or whatever you like)
2 tsp coconut aminos or gluten free soy sauce
1 TBSP rice wine vinegar
1.5 -2 tsp freshly grated ginger
1 tsp honey
2-3 tablespoons warm water, to thin as needed

Optional, but HIGHLY recommended: A dash of Sriracha or red chili sauce

For the wraps: These are appx. amounts. It fully depends on how big you want to make these! You should be able to get 4-6 wraps from this.

Full sized spinach tortillas
1 cup matchstick carrots (or shredded carrots)
1/2 cup sliced radishes
Julienned red, orange, or yellow bell pepper – 1-2 depending on size (I used strips of all 3 colors!)
1 cup rough chopped red cabbage
2 cups baby spinach
¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
¼ cup diced green onion
2 tbsp chopped roasted peanuts
1.5 lb cooked chicken breast – sliced or shredded – I seasoned mine lightly with garlic powder, salt & pepper

 

INSTRUCTIONS

Cook your chicken – grill, bake, instant pot, whatever you prefer and either cut into slices or shred.

While that’s working, make your sauce. In a small bowl mix together nut/seed butter, aminos, rice wine vinegar, ginger, honey and warm water until well combined and the consistency of your choice. If you want it to be a little spicy, add in the hot sauce. Taste and adjust as needed. Set this aside for serving.

Assembly! This is the fun part. It’s best to go ahead and have all your ingredients out and available to you so you can just toss them in the tortilla and roll it up. It’s easiest to try and get everything sort of lying in the same direction so it’s easy to roll, but it’s your masterpiece 😉 Before rolling, drizzle a little of the sauce on it.

Roll them up tight and store. I just wrapped mine in foil and put them in the fridge for a quick grab. Serve with some extra sauce or sriracha if you like it spicy!

Smoothie Saturday || The Breakfast Dream

Who doesn’t love Honey Nut Cheerios? (No, this is not a paid sponsorship)  Well, here is a new way to enjoy this classic breakfast item! Coach Dylan has whipped up another smoothie recipe featuring a few of our childhood breakfast favorites! You could easily throw in a scoop of your favorite protein powder and start your day strong!

The Breakfast Dream (Recipe is for one 20oz. smoothie)

3 Good Size Strawberries
1/4 Cup Blueberries
1 Banana
1/4 Cup Oatmeal
1 Heaping Tablespoon Honey Nut Cheerios
1/4 Cup Almond Milk
Ice
Optional:
1/2 Tablespoon Turbinado
1 Raw Egg

Kitchen Adventures || Ranch Turkey Burgers & Zeal

Hi Crew,

It’s been a minute since I’ve done a Kitchen Adventures post. Honestly… it just hasn’t been important. There are so many bigger things happening both for me personally and in the world that have needed the attention and a voice in this time and recipes from a novice home chef took a back seat.

Posting this week does not mean that those things are any less important, but I’ve decided to try to re-establish some regularity with my weekly schedule for my own mental health and I also think this is a good opportunity to start using these posts to spread a little more love. I’m going to start sharing the art, small businesses, passions, etc of my friends each week in addition to the recipes in hopes that I can support people in a bigger way. I tend to overstretch myself which means I don’t always have the time or energy to commit myself to everything, but I can definitely share and spread the word…

Cooking used to stress me the heck out. I burned everything. Nothing was edible… Now, I’m actually pretty good… That didn’t happen overnight though. Time, practice, attention, and dedication were just a few of the things it took for me to get to where I could not only make things that were safe to eat (you think I’m joking) but also be able to prep and feed both myself and Tim through the week.

Now, I find some peace in cooking. Meal prepping and cooking are two different things to me. Meal prepping is making sure we have healthy options to sustain us through the week. Cooking.. truly focusing on the meal I’m making is therapeutic. I can let go of everything else for just a little bit and there is just something about sharing food with the people I care about that is really special to me.

So, before we get to the recipe – I want to share my friend Zakiya’s new business. She’s a beautiful, strong, sassy, and FAITHFUL woman at my church and she makes faith based apparel and accessories. Zakiya has battled MS and 10% of the proceeds of her sales go to assistance for MS patients. I love the name she chose for her company so much. It fits her, her BEAUTIFUL family, and her passion for God perfectly. Check out her site HERE and her FB page HERE.

 

 

 

 

Ok, so this week’s recipe is super simple and you can whip it up in no time, so make a quick HEB order and grab these ingredients for dinner tonight!

SOUTHWEST RANCH TURKEY BURGERS

INGREDIENTS – this should make about 6 burgers

2 lbs ground turkey (93% – trust me!)
1 package ranch seasoning mix (you can find this in the aisle with the ranch dressing usually)
1/3 cup grated cheddar
1 red bell pepper – petit diced
4 green onions – sliced thin
*Optional – pinch of cayenne

Olive oil to cook

To top – fresh tomato, lettuce, pickle, avocado, crisp bacon, red onion, wheat bun, cheese, etc…. Whatever you usually like!

DIRECTIONS

Mix the ground turkey, ranch, bell pepper, green onions, cheese & cayenne if you’re using it. Form into patties and chill in the refrigerator for about 10-15 minutes. To cook, either light up the grill and cook to desired temp or heat a skillet with about a tablespoon of oil over medium-high heat. Cook patties for 4-5 minutes on each side or until desired doneness.

That’s it! Load up your burger with all your favorite toppings and enjoy!

Prehab/Rehab for The Hip || Coach Mark

Our hips play a huge role in our ability to move effectively and efficiently, especially with bigger/gross movements. If you think about it, most of our power and drive from the movements we perform stem from the hips. Therefore, if we’re dealing with any restrictions, they should be dealt with asap! To break it down into 4 steps, we should address: 

 

1) Mobility – moving the joint through its range of motion

2) Foam roll – glutes, quads, IT band, adductors (inside part of the legs)

3) Stretch – into end range positions

4) Posterior-chain activation – to lock in and secure our new found range of motion

 

Below, I’ve listed and described a few movements for mobility and stretching that may help with stiffness and/or restrictions. Again, after performing these movements it’s always best to lock in your new range of motion with posterior chain activation exercises like squats or deadlifts. As always, stay swole and flexy!

 

 

  • 10 hip rotations (CARs – controlled articular rotations)

 

    • Slower is better here
    • Begin on your hands and knees. Place your hands directly under your shoulders and your knees directly under your hips
    • Raise your knee out to the side, reaching as far as you can, while not allowing too much rotation to occur at the pelvis (pause there for a second or two)
    • Slowly begin to kick behind you, ending with a leg outstretched behind you
    • Repeat

 

  • 30 sec per side pigeon stretch

 

    • With the right leg in front and the left behind you, rest your front/right leg in a 90 degree position on the floor
    • Slide your left leg back and point your toes, your heel is pointing up to the ceiling
    • Scissor your hips together, by drawing your legs in towards each other
    • Focus on erecting the spine by opening your chest
    • If you are able, walk your hands forward and lean forward for a deeper stretch
    • Hold for 30-45 seconds or as tolerated

 

 

  • 10 per side half kneeling hip flexor stretch

 

    • Starting in a lunge position, rotate/scoop the hips in an upward motion (posterior pelvic tilt)
    • A stretch should be felt on the front side of the hips (hip flexors)
    • Hold the end range position for 30-45 seconds, shooting for at least 3 sets

 

May Athlete of The Month || Graham Hamilton!!

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 May Athlete of the Month is Graham Hamilton! Graham is one of our newest Austin Weightlifting family members! From day 1, Graham has been a dedicated student! He is hungry for growth and the coaches certainly notice how hard he works in class! Not only was he killing it before the mandates, but he’s been majorly consistent getting on zoom sessions to continue that growth. He got creative and set himself up with a home platform that fits him perfectly! Even in less than ideal conditions, he’s continued to build. Graham, we are honored to have you as our May 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:
Graham Hamilton or “Grahamilton”.

Words to live by?
Do the job nobody wants to do, when nobody’s looking.
What is your fitness background?
My fitness background is minimal. I was active in skateboarding and sports when I was younger but around the time my daughter was born (2014) I fell into a slump where I wasn’t really doing anything active. Around summer of 2017 I decided I needed to do something about it and got back in the gym. Since then I’ve tried a myriad of things from CrossFit to hot yoga to spin classes to jiu jitsu. I’ve trained at big box gyms and the Y and even fancy places like Onnit and I can honestly say CFA is the best environment i’ve encountered thus far.
How long have you been Weightlifting?
This time at CFA has been my first foray into weightlifting so I guess it’s been just around 4 months.
Take us back to your first day of training with us… How did you feel? How do you compare it to workouts today?
Coach Dylan made me feel so welcome on my first day and honestly that’s stayed consistent. I’d say the biggest difference between then and now is I already know a million times more about weightlifting than I did on that day. It was huge mystery to me when I first walked through the door.

 

What’s your favorite part of CrossFit Austin/Austin Weightlifting?My favorite part about CFA is the down to earth/family vibes. It feels like a real tight knit, no bs, neighborhood gym but with a LOT of knowledgable people which I love. The community aspect I guess.

 

Current Training Goals/PRs?
I’m still such a newbie at weightlifting my main goals are to keep perfecting my technique, increasing my mobility, and adding weight of course. I’d love to be able to snatch my bodyweight by the end of the year but I might have delusions of grandeur haha.

 

What advice do you have for folks just starting out?
Even though I’m new to weightlifting this isn’t my first time being new at something. My advice to anyone starting anything new would be to listen to the folks who’ve been in your shoes. If someone who’s walked the path you’re trying to walk gives you advice, trust that they know what they’re talking about and remember you’re here to learn.

Things look a little different right now, how are you staying focused in your training and in your life during this time?
I wish I was able to workout more, but I have been proud at my level of focus during this weird time. I stay focused by treating training like medicine. Even if it’s only 2 days a week when I wish it could be 4 or 5, I need it to feel my best/keep my body and mind functioning at the level I’ve come to prefer.

What is your cheat meal go to?
Go to cheat meals/guilty pleasures would be anything involving queso, fried calamari, or Dominos thin crust pepperoni pizza haha.
How do you use your fitness outside of the gym?
I use my fitness outside of the gym for keeping up with my 5 year old daughter, Pearl (they get SO fast so quick!) I also enjoy mountain biking and I have a side-gig painting murals which takes it out of you as well!
Tell us about a moment you felt most proud of yourself during a workout.
Recently during an at home workout I found I was able to snatch my previous PR very easily just kind of testing the waters after finishing the day’s workout. Even though that previous PR was low since I was so new when I set it, I still felt proud that I was definitely progressing.
What are the biggest challenges you’ve faced in your fitness journey?
By far the biggest challenge I’ve faced in my fitness journey thus far  has been a reoccurring back issue that got especially aggravated from jiu jitsu. So much sothat I had to give it up for now. Waiting to recover and having to find ways to work around it was difficult. Part of the reason I got into weightlifting was to strengthen my back and core and so far I think it’s helping!
If you could create a workout and name it for yourself, what would it be?
If I could create and name a workout it’d be called “The Painter” and would involve lots of climbing up and down ladders, hauling paint cans around, and overhead mobility haha. Oh and don’t forget squatting!
What keeps you going on the days you don’t feel like it?
What keeps me going on the days I don’t feel like is that “fitness as medicine” principle I mentioned before. I know what it’s like to take extended breaks and it’s so much harder to get in the groove compared to when you stay consistent. The more I do it, the easier it is, and I like when things that are good for me feel easy haha! So that makes me wanna keep it up. Plus, I always feel better after.What are your hobbies, interests and/or talents outside of training?

Hobbies outside of training are painting and biking as I mentioned before. I also love traveling, camping and anything outdoors, hiking and swimming with my girlfriend and our Goldendoodle Patsy. I also enjoy cooking and I still skateboard sometimes too!

Tell us something we don’t know about you…Something you may not know about me are I’m a native Austinite raised in South Austin and I’ve been sober for over 7 years.
Leave the fine folks of CrossFit Austin/Austin Weightlifting with some parting words…
Thanks so much to everyone at CFA for being so welcoming and friendly. The atmosphere in the gym really has made all the difference for me. I feel very humbled to be AOM and feel like I have some big shoes to fill, but I promise to continue showing up. I truly believe taking accountability for ourselves and attempting to create changes individually is the best way to encourage positive change in the world at large. Thanks y’all!

Smoothie Saturday || Chocolate Sunbutter Dream

Who likes Reese’s?? Well… this isn’t exactly the same, but if you’re a fan of that flavor profile, you’ll like this! Don’t let the spinach fool you guys. You won’t even taste it, but you WILL get all the goodies in it. You can use any chocolate protein you have. If you don’t have chocolate protein, use something like vanilla or coconut and throw in a 1-2 teaspoons of cocoa powder. This one is almost dessert! Enjoy!

 

INGREDIENTS

2 Scoops chocolate protein of your choice
2 TBSP Sun butter (almond, peanut, etc… whatever you like)
1 Banana
1 TBSP Coconut Oil
1 Cup fresh spinach
1 Cup fresh oats
1 TBSP Chia Seeds
Milk of choice – I like coconut milk
Handful of ice cubes for texture
*1/2 cup of coffee

 

INSTRUCTIONS

As a rule, it’s good to get a little liquid in first so the protein powder doesn’t stick, but otherwise drop all that good stuff in and blend it up!

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