Fun Fact! Coach Dylan used to work at a smoothie shop called “Fresh Factory” (where all their factors are fresh 😉 ) And this recipe comes from his days slingin’ smoothies! Give it a go if you’re looking for something a little different!
Date Smoothie Recipe
1 Banana ½ Apple ¼ Normal Size Avocado 2 Dates (Remove Pit) ½ Cup Almond Milk (I used almond milk, you can use whatever dairy or non-dairy milk you prefer, or even water) Handful of Spinach (Or more, I put a good amount in, you really can’t taste it in the smoothie) ¼ tsp Cinnamon Ice (I used five or six ice cubes that come from an ice trey, these are bulkier and thicker, you will have to use your best judgement to get consistency right)
**Optional** 1 Raw Egg ½ Cup Oats
½ Tbsp Turbinado (I used Turbinado, but you can use stevia, monkfruit, and or whatever you prefer)
Directions – Peel and chop the banana, apple, and avocado to make it easier to blend. Add all ingredients to a blender and blend well! Add more ice to make it thicker or more milk to make it thinner. Enjoy!
Hey Friends! It’s Wednesday again! Isn’t it crazy how getting out of our normal routine can make us lose track so quickly? Speaking of routines, I think one of the things I’m struggling with the most during these mandates is grocery shopping and cooking.
If you’re like us, we are trying to minimize our shopping trips as much as possible. Not only to minimize our own potential exposure, but to make it easier for others to minimize theirs as well. I have so many comments I could make on how many people I see that have no regard for others and make no attempt to distance, but I’ll save that for another rant post.
ANYWAY, I used to do 1 big weekly trip and then make several small trips throughout the week for additional items, but lately I’ve been trying to cut it to once every other week. Two weeks of groceries is a LOT of food and for a household like ours where our basket is generally about 70% fresh produce (Yes, really. No, we aren’t vegetarian… we just eat a ton of veggies) it’s been tough to figure out how to make that work.
My first attempt at buying two weeks of produce resulting in me having to toss some of it out. Tossing out food hurts my heart. Tossing out produce I didn’t even get to hurts my SOUL. We’ve been so slammed I just wasn’t able to cook what I had intended. I always try to use what I can, even if it’s not at it’s best and that’s why the ingredients in this recipe came together, but the outcome was so good I’ll definitely make this again!
I planned a little better on this last trip. I didn’t cut back at all on my produce list, but I lined out several freezer meals that used a lot of it before it will even have the chance to go bad. Stay tuned for some of those recipes coming up!
1 Large Spaghetti Squash – cooked well and mashed
1 Red Bell pepper – diced
1 Small Yellow Onion – Diced
3 Carrots – peeled and thinly sliced
3-4 Handfuls of kale – ribs removed and torn into chunks
3 Cloves of garlic – minced
1 package Force of Nature Wild Boar (or ground turkey sausage, ground chicken, or ground pork)
Oil for cooking
1 TBSP Italian Seasoning (or the equivalent combined of basil, oregano, and thyme)
Salt & Pepper to taste
Choose your cooking method for the spaghetti squash. Cook time is kind ofup to you. I wanted more of a mashed texture vs the “noodle” texture you can get from spaghetti squash so I cooked a little longer. I used my instant pot – cut the squash in half and scoop out the seeds. Coat lightly with olive oil. Place on the trivet with a cup of water in the pot. Close and seal the valve on the lid. 5 minutes on high pressure and 10 minute natural release. For more of a “noodle” texture, vent the valve and remove after the 5 minutes.
If using the oven – preheat to 400. Cut the squash in half and remove the seeds. Poke a few holes in the skin side with a fork and coat the flesh side lightly with olive oil. Place face down on a baking sheet and bake until desired texture. About 30 minutes for the “noodles” and up to 50 for a mashed texture.
Heat a little oil in a pan over medium high heat. Add the meat you are using. Season with salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning and cook, breaking it up into small pieces until browned. Removed from pan and set aside.
Add the onion, carrots, and peppers along with a little oil if needed. Saute until they begin to soften. Add the garlic and the kale and cook, stirring frequently until the kale reaches the desired texture and has a bright green flavor. Add the meat back to the pan and mix well. Taste and adjust seasoning as desired.
Once the squash has finished, remove and let it cool until you can handle it. Then, scrape out the “noodles” or scoop into a bowl and use a fork to lightly mash. Divide it into your serving or storage bowls and top with the meat and veggie mixture.
That’s it! I was able to rescue some of my veggies and create a delicious, healthy dish!
*A note on registration – If you go directly through our team link it should add you to our team automatically. If you use the registration + donation or the “pay what you can” option, you’ll have to go into your profile and search for CrossFit Austin to join our team. Regardless of the option you choose, make sure you join our team to receive all of the communications and accountability!
As we prepare to start “The Journey” this weekend, I just wanted to shed a little more light on what to expect! Some of you have done the Whole Life Challenge with us in the past, for some this is all brand new, but for everyone, The Journey has a lot of new things to offer!
The Whole Life Challenge is comprised of 7 Daily Habits – Nutrition, Exercise, Mobility, Sleep, Hydration, Well being, and reflection.
It is an opportunity for us to turn our focus to ourselves, create some guidelines, and use this time we have to become better versions of ourselves.
In the past, this has been run in 6-8 week “challenges” with pre & post tests and measurements and daily scores. The goal has been to be as close to “compliant” as possible. While we are still focused on establishing and engraining healthy habits, we have a little more growth and exploration with The Journey
The Journey is an adaptation of the 6 week WLC that gives us an open platform for a full 12 weeks. Now, I know what you’re thinking (especially those who’ve done the challenge with us in the past)…12 weeks is a long time.
It is, however, this format is structured very differently. We’ve broken up the 12 weeks as follows:
Weeks 1 & 2 – Take inventory of your current routine and habits. What is going well? In what areas would you like to improve? Don’t worry too much about making major changes just yet. This is a time to look inward, develop a plan, and prepare to make changes.
Weeks 3 – 8 – This portion is broken down into a 6 week cycle. We will have an overarching focus on all 7 habits, with the daily reflection piece throughout the whole cycle however, we will deep dive into one of the habits each week with discussion groups, extra content and tips to succeed in each area.
Weeks 9 – 12 – This is a four week period where we will re-evaluate and look back on the changes we’ve made from week one. This reflection time will allow us to determine what made the biggest impact on us. Some of these habits we may let go of or revisit later, and some of them we may hang on to for the rest of our lives.
The beauty of this longer format is that it allows us the time to process and adapt and since many folks aren’t sure where to focus their energy in this time, this is a great opportunity to be a little selfish and focus it on yourself!
Some other things we plan on doing with our team are weekly meal plans… these won’t be completely individualized, but they will include shopping lists, recipes, and more and you can always reach out to your coaches for more help here. We plan to do discussion groups where we’ll schedule a zoom meeting to check in, chat about things, share tips that we’ve discovered, etc…
Lastly, I know many are in a position where even spending $39 for the 12 weeks seems tough and I really want to emphasize how valuable this 12 weeks is going to be for many of us. If you’re in that position where $39 is not doable for you OR on the flip side, maybe you feel like you can help someone else, check out the link in the comments. WLC has created a registration format where those who are in a position to help can register and add a donation and those who need a little help can go through the “pay what you can”option.
This challenge is open to anyone so if you have friends or family that you think would benefit, feel free to send them the registration link and tell them to join our team!
Registration will be open for 6 weeks, but I really encourage you to jump on as early as possible so you don’t miss out on all the things we’ll be offering the team.
Please feel free to reach out with any questions. I’ll be starting our team communication tomorrow morning!
Happy Hump Day! I hope everyone is doing well. I hope everyone’s friends and families are safe and well in this time. I also hope that many of you will join us on “The Journey” starting this weekend! If you have never done it, you’ve likely seen us post about the Whole Life Challenge. We’ve been running the 6 and 8 week cycles for a few years and it brings something new to light for me every time. I won’t spend a ton of time telling you about it here because I’ve already done a video and a blog post ((CHECK THIS OUT))but I’m really excited about the next cycle. It’s going to be different in a lot of ways that I think all of us could really use right now.
In honor of the upcoming challenge, I’ve actually chosen to share a recipe I’ve already posted before. I’ve been writing this blog weekly for about 2 years now (WOW) and this is the first time I’ve ever repeated! This is not only compliant for the nutrition portion of Whole Life, but it’s just so dang easy and delicious.
One last note on “The Journey” Whole Life Challenge – this is a tough time for a lot of people and there is SO MUCH GOOD that comes from this challenge. If you’re interested, but concerned about paying the registration fee, please email me firstname.lastname@example.org
The CEOs of WLC have opened a registration option to make this more accessible to people in this time.
Easy Breakfast Hash:
2 TBSP Coconut oil (add as needed when adding kale)
1 large butternut squash – peeled and cubed (you can also buy pre-cut at HEB to keep it easy)
1 large bunch of kale or appx: 3/4 of a 4 oz. bag chopped with thick stems removed
1/2 medium sized red onion
1/4 cup pine nuts
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
Salt & Pepper to taste
*Optional – red chili flakes
Heat 2 TBSP oil in a large skillet (the bigger the better for when you’re adding the kale). Saute’ the onion and butternut squash until the onions begin to turn translucent and the squash begins to soften. It will turn a bright, beautiful orange!
Add the paprika (more if you like) & pine nuts and stir for about a minute (also add red chili flakes if using)
Begin folding in your kale. You may have to do it in chunks. It will shrink as it cooks. Don’t let the kale get too dry. This is where you’ll start adding in a little more coconut oil as needed. Don’t go crazy though, it shouldn’t be “wet.”
Cook until kale is a rich green color and has softened some.
Serve with your choice of sausage, bacon, hard boiled or fried eggs and some fresh avocado! This week I packed the meals with 2 hard boiled eggs along with both bacon & sausage. This meal keeps well and reheats well for a filling breakfast. Enjoy!
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 April Athlete of the Month is Julia McAdams! Julia found her place in our family very quickly! She’s always up for a good time and you can bet she’ll be the first to say hello at any of our social events! Julia is hungry for growth and the coaches certainly notice how hard she works in class! She is incredibly coachable and we’ve seen so much progress in her short time with us! Even in these uncertain times, she’s been consistently jumping in on our live classes and zoom socials! She has so many of the qualities that we look for in an athlete of the month! Julia, the CFA Team is proud to honor you as our April 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:
Julia- Juls- Julia Gulia- JMAC
Words to live by? Don’t tell me I can’t (it’s even tattooed on me)
What is your fitness background? I grew up swimming competitively starting at age 6. I swam as a US National level swimmer though high school and went on to swim Division 3 in college. During my sophomore year I was doing terribly in classes and knew something had to give so at the end of the season I gave it up to focus on my degree. I didn’t do much working out for years, which put on some weight, until I went through a terrible breakup and my father suggested I get a personal trainer. That got me back into lifting and I ran my first 5k. I was hooked and that slowly became longer and longer races eventually I made the transition to triathlon relying on my swimming background. I had to stop for a little while to have hip arthroscopy, torn labrum and top of my femur shaved. When I recovered I started doing half ironmans- I have done 13. And somewhere in there did 2 marathons- and no I don’t intend to do any more marathons!
How long have you been CrossFitting? I started Crossfitting when I moved to Austin in May last year.
Take us back to your first day of CrossFit… How did you feel? How do you compare it to workouts today? Luckily I had been doing bootcamp workouts in Massachusetts for a few years. So it wasn’t totally foreign. I didn’t realize how much I would enjoy the strength workouts and learning new skills.
What’s your favorite part of CrossFit Austin? I love the community. The biggest thing I have missed in this whole COVID thing is not being face to face with everyone from the gym! It is really nice to have a group of people to hang out with and talk to that are not from work.
Current Training Goals/PRs? I am considering a possible return to triathlon and maybe half ironmans. Simple answer is I just really want to be able to do a DAYEM pull up and double unders!
What advice do you have for folks just starting out in CrossFit? Enjoy it. Push yourself when you can. Listen to your body and know when to back off.
Things look a little different right now, how are you staying focused in your training and in your life during this time? I am working hard to make sure I train almost as much as I would if everything was normal anywhere from 5-7 days a week. I had hoped to be a bit better about yoga daily but I’m trying. Its interesting to be doing these workouts on my balcony and in my living room. I have now mastered the wall kick up to handstand while being home!
What is your cheat meal go to? Chic-FIl-A, Gummy Candy, and lately Oreos
How do you use your fitness outside of the gym? I still run most weekends or ride by bike. Hikes with friends.
Tell us about a moment you felt most proud of yourself during a workout. If I am able to put that Rx next to it- they are still not all the time so its nice.
What are the biggest challenges you’ve faced in your fitness journey? Learning the lifts… and I am still learning
If you could create a WOD and name it for yourself, what would it be? DoubleD- 20 min AMRAP Partner Workout-
While one partner 400m run
Other partner completes rounds of
12 air squats
6 push ups (pick up where your partner left off)
What keeps you going on the days you don’t feel like it? I go at 530 not too much time to think about it. And the 530 coaches and crew keeps me coming!
What are your hobbies, interests and/or talents outside of CrossFit? Yoga, meditation, swimming, biking, running, hiking, movies, good meals, cooking, wine
Tell us something we don’t know about you… I’m a certified Yoga Instructor and a Chemical Engineer for the Army (well I think a few of you know this)
Leave the fine folks of CrossFit Austin with some parting words… Thank you all for being such a welcoming community for me when I moved here all by my self from Massachusetts! As they would say back home- WICKED PISSAH!
For those of you who’ve participated in the Whole Life Challenge with us before, things are going to look a bit different this time.
For starters, this challenge is 12 weeks long vs the regular 6 weeks. Hence, the name “The Journey.”
While the 7 daily habits are still in place (nutrition, sleep, exercise, mobility, hydration, reflection, and well-being) the focus is not so much on the points and trying to be perfect every day.
Rather, we are focusing on finding some regularity in our lives, connecting on a different level and supporting each other in creating and maintaining healthy habits without beating ourselves up when our days don’t go as planned.
Even the daily habits are adapting a bit based on our current situation. Our grocery shopping trips and for some, even the availability of certain things has changed so the nutrition portion of the challenge is gaining a bit of flexibility to accommodate. You’ll also see some of the well being practices tailored to suit our current lives.
While this is scheduled for 12 weeks, you have some freedom within that. You can go all in, choose to use this as a check in for yourself where you’re on for 2 and off for 2? Maybe you choose 1 of the 7 habits to put your energy into for each week and just cycle through. It’s really up to you. Registration will remain open for the first 6 weeks so you can join at any time up to that half way point.
We’re aiming to take the pressure off by also incorporating a weekly meal plan for anyone interested. We plan to alternate each week between a Nutrivore diet and a Plant Based diet so there is something for everyone!
The point is, this 12 week journey is meant to help us dial into ourselves, create some structure where we are lacking, but also allow the grace we need to make progress in a time like this. And we can’t forget about the accountability and connection that so many of us need! We hope you’ll consider joining us. We’ve run several of the 6 week cycles over the years and I take something new from it each time. We’re really excited to see how “The Journey” plays out.
Lastly, this challenge isn’t JUST for our members. We’re hosting a team, but if there’s someone else in your house hold, or even across the country that you would like to invite to join us, please do! Just use the link that connects directly to our team.
As always, feel free to reach out to me with question and we look forward to this adventure with you!
Starting on April 11, we’ll be opening up our first 12-week Journey. This will be different from our traditional Challenges. We’ll be approaching community, accountability and growth from an entirely new perspective.
A MORE RELEVANT EXPERIENCE
The conditions around us aren’t always ideal. We’ve updated some of the 7 Daily Habits to help you make the best decisions you can in a dynamic environment. No matter what is happening around us, we are always on the Journey and it’s important to stay engaged with what is important, regardless of the circumstances.
A STRONG COMMUNITY
Growing an ongoing community of people who are committed to long-term growth, supporting each other, and being prepared in body and mind for what the world places at our doorstep.
As a daily opportunity to continuously shape ourselves into the people we’re committed to being.
The 12-week Journey allows you more time to experiment with the 7 Daily Habits and the best way to incorporate them effectively into your life.
COME AND GO
The extended timeframe gives you the flexibility to take the Journey at your own pace. A couple of days missed or to focus on one or two important things doesn’t eat up a large chunk of your time in it. Maybe you work 2 weeks on, 2 weeks off? Or focus on 1 habit for all 12 while cycling your focus on the other 6 habits through the duration. There are so many ways you can play this.
A NEW WAY OF THINKING
Rather than a “Challenge” where you aim for the best score possible or you’re “on” or “off” the wagon, the Journey invites you to take this time to connect, be committed in a new way, settle in, experiment, drill down on individual habits, learn, and grown on your own personal journey
Happy Wednesday! I think everyone is on the same page with the fact that it’s tough to keep track on the days. Hopefully, everyone caught last week’s post. If not, the first point was to establish a schedule. Our days look very different now and you don’t have to have a super strict schedule, but setting up some timelines for yourself and a few healthy boundaries is always a good idea!
Another thing that’s helped me tremendously is hopping in on the live classes all the coaches are running! Not only do I get to move my body, but I get to check in with all the coaches and our community members that are logging in too. It helps to bring me into a normal cycle and keeps me sane!
Luckily for us, our eating habits haven’t changed a whole lot. Like I mentioned last week, it took us a little bit to get the hang of our “new normal” and we were not eating much because we were so busy, but we’ve really been making a better effort to sit down and eat together.
When the grocery stores were hit hard, we bought a bunch of the Force of Nature meat at the gym. Honestly, other than chicken and fish, that’s what we use anyway! We are always stocked up on sweet potatoes and the rest of it is pretty normal fair for us too so this recipe came together very quickly and easily!
I understand your access to certain things may be limited in this time, but this recipe would be great with ground beef or venison too. Use what you can get your hands on and feel free to message me with any questions about substitutions!
ELK STUFFED SWEET POTATOES
1 lb Elk (or ground meat of your liking)
1 large shallot – sliced thin and roughly chopped
2 medium sweet potatoes – baked (I used the instant pot)
1/4 cup golden raisins
2-3 handfuls fresh baby spinach
1/2 tsp Cinnamon
1 TBSP Tarragon
Crumbled goat cheese to top
Salt & Pepper to taste
Oil for cooking – I used grapeseed
Cook your potatoes with whatever method you prefer. While they are cooking, slice and rough chop a large shallot.
Heat a skillet over medium high heat and add a dash of oil. Add the meat. Season lightly with salt and pepper and cook until browned. Drain any excess liquid from the skillet and then add the shallot, raisins, tarragon, and cinnamon and cook until the meat is cooked through and shallots are softened. In the last minute or so, add the spinach and mix in until lightly wilted and bright green. Taste and adjust seasoning to preference.
When your potatoes are finished, let them cool until you can handle them. Slice open and use a fork to gently fluff the flesh. Spoon the elk mixture into the potato and top with some crumbled goat cheese!
I served this with Brussels sprouts roasted with sliced garlic and topped with sea salt and a drizzle of honey.