Kitchen Adventures || Sheet Pan Breakfast Hash & DJ Kay Cali

Hello Friends!

I hope everyone is well. Anymore, when folks ask me how things are going I feel like the most honest response I can give is “Eh, it’s just another day in 2020!” Something new pops up for us just about every day and I’m definitely still struggling to find balance in meal prepping, but we are healthy, we are fed, and I’m grateful for that.

This week for my spotlight, I want to share an AMAZING woman with you! Kay has been in our lives for many years now through the gym. She is an incredible DJ (check her out HERE)! She has DJ’d several events over the years for us and we are just humbled to have her in our community. Her talent is just one of her awesome qualities. This woman is a force with a heart of gold! If you ever get the chance to talk with her, you’ll see exactly what I mean. Go check out her insta and some of the other cool things she does (Groove Theory, Remedy Brunch, and most recently Feel Good Fridays, etc…) Give her a follow & fill your cup with some of the goodness that is DJ Kay Cali!

 

 

Ok, so next to her, this breakfast recipe is going to seem so boring lol! But, I promise you, it’s super tasty and so insanely easy. I went way overboard and this made like 8 meal prep containers worth so if you’re the only one eating it, you may want to half the recipe.

 

INGREDIENTS

2lb Brussels Sprouts – cut into halves or quarters
2 10 oz bags diced butternut squash (or 1 large squash if you’re cutting it yourself)
1 pint cherry tomatoes
8 oz mushrooms of your choice – sliced
2 bell peppers (any color) – sliced into strips
1 red onion – rough chopped
Minced garlic – I used the “cheater garlic” (pre-minced in a jar) and ended up with about 2 tbsp between both pans
1 lb bacon – cut into 1-2 inch pieces
8-12 eggs – up to you and how much you make!
Oil – I used avocado oil
Salt & pepper to taste
****EVERYTHING BAGEL SEASONING – do not skip this. THIS is the one I found at HEB.

 

INSTRUCTIONS

Ok, you ready for how easy this is? Preheat the oven to 425. Line a sheet pan (or two) with foil. Evenly spread all your veggies (with the exception of the garlic) across both pans. Drizzle with oil and mix lightly. Roast for 10-12 minutes.

Remove from the oven, stir gently, and add the bacon and garlic. Roast another 10 minutes (or until bacon is cooked).

Carefully (don’t burn yourself!) hollow out a few spots for your eggs. You’ll crack the eggs directly on top of the veggies. Be careful not to break the yolk, but it’s find if that happens. Sprinkle the bagel seasoning and some salt & pepper over everything. Return to the oven for another 5-7 minutes (or until eggs are done to your liking)

Ta-Da! That’s it! Let it cool and divide it into your containers (or chow down). We topped this (like we do basically everything) with Cholula and Avocado. SO. GOOD. Enjoy guys!

July Athlete of the Month || Melissa Blue!

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 July Athlete of the Month is Melissa Blue! Melissa joined the CFA Family back in November of last year! She is bright and bubbly in all the best ways! One of the first things we usually see from Melissa is a big smile! She’s not one to shy away from a challenge and is very likely the one to challenge you (to be better of course!) As soon as we were able to get back to moving in the gym, Melissa was there and her consistency and drive is awesome. Melissa, we are honored to have you as our July 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! (Oh, and congrats on the engagement!!!)

 

Words to live by?

“Songs always end, so enjoy the music while it last”  Most of my life I have found myself worrying about when the next things are going to end instead of embracing the bliss in the moment. So ever since I heard this quote in an episode of One Tree Hill, long ago, and I catch myself doing it I try to remind myself to just stop and enjoy what I have right in front of my at that moment no matter what it may be.

What is your fitness background?

I have always been fairly active, I played softball since I was 3 years old through high school and some college. But I never really had flair for “fitness” I was significantly overweight until I decided life needed to change in 2015. For about 3.5 years I did strict dieting and pure cardio and lost about 130lbs. In November of 2018, a close friend and boss of mine convinced me to try out his conditioning class which consisted of weightlifting, boxing, and cardio training. I’ve been hooked on that style of training ever since then.

How long have you been CrossFitting?

CFA is my first official “CrossFit” gym. I started here November 2019. So officially almost 9 months. 1 year and 9 months doing CrossFit style workouts.

Take us back to your first day of CrossFit… How did you feel? How do you compare it to workouts today?

My first day at CFA… I felt super nervous that I wasn’t ready to be at a real “CrossFit” gym despite knowing that my coach at my other said I’d be fine and to go for it. I really didn’t know what to expect. I knew I needed to go into CFA with the idea that no matter what happens I’m just going to try my hardest and do what I can do. After meeting with Tim and getting to know a few people a few people right away my nerves settled and CFA quickly became a safe haven for me and my mind. The workouts healed my mind, body and soul at a point in my life when I needed it most. Don’t get me wrong they still do but when I first joined CFA I think all the coaches and probably the people in classes saw the tension leave me as finished a WoD.

What’s your favorite part of CrossFit Austin?

My favorite part of CFA is the heart that is in this place and love and encouragement that I have received from so many….Group fitness was never something I ever wanted to be a part of. Until the last few years. When I started my conditioning class I found out it was the only way I would push myself to put in the work and get the result I wanted and craved. So joining CFA and becoming part of this group/family was a wonderful feeling.

Current Training Goals/PRs?

Current goals: unassisted pull ups and to be able to lift my body weight overhead (currently at 95lbs need to get to 145lbs, ugh)

My most recent PR: 215lbs deadlift, woot woot!

What advice do you have for folks just starting out in CrossFit?

It’s definitely one of the hardest things you’ll do daily and I’m always in a constant state of soreness but it’s worth it. It makes you feel alive. The hero WoDs have meaning and make you feel good about doing them and give you something to push towards. It’s intense but if it were easy it wouldn’t be as much fun.

Things look a little different right now, how are you staying focused in your training and in your life during this time?

Honestly, my training and physical activity is playing a huge part in keeping me grounded during this craziness. The first month or so when I didn’t set aside as much time to my fitness needs I almost lost it. I gained weight I got lost in my thoughts way too often and found myself getting slightly discouraged. Luckily, with some help from my now fiancé I was able to pull myself together and get into a routine focus back on proper eating and a healthy amount of exercise and attempt to get a good work life balance back in order. The coaches have played an integral part in keeping a smile on my face during the workouts for me especially since I’ve been have to go at 5:30am a lot more.

What is your cheat meal go to?

Ice Cream…yes. Ice cream for dinner! Moo Bars!! Thank you Blue Bell for making something so delicious

How do you use your fitness outside of the gym?

I recently started learning to mountain bike. I’ve never been one for extreme sports but this has been really fun and exciting. I’m looking forward to learning how to do more things now that I feel capable and strong enough to do them. Next on the list is rock climbing since my fiancé has decided that is on our next trip itinerary.

Tell us about a moment you felt most proud of yourself during a workout.

When I first started doing CrossFit I completely understood that I was going to struggle for a very long time. But the hero workouts always had a special meaning to me and I wanted to be able to do them regardless of what they were and no matter how much I had to push myself. Honestly, doing MURPH this year was one of the hardest things I ever had to do. I have a pretty bad elbow injury at the moment but I don’t think anyone could have stopped me from trying unless my body just gave out on me. Which is pretty much what happened anyways but I did what I set out to do and it made me smile and feel fulfilled.

What are the biggest challenges you’ve faced in your fitness journey?

I tend to push myself until I have nothing left and I’ve recently become aware of my line that is is just too much and I leave myself in a state that makes it easy for me to get physically hurt. Finding that happy balance between weight training, cardio and rest for me is difficult because fitness is my therapy. And not becoming too obsessed with training while also not let myself get too lazy is very important. Also, box jumps…

If you could create a WOD and name it for yourself, what would it be?

I’m a huge fan of leg days!

Breathe when it’s Over

5 Rounds

10 Back Squats

10 Box Jumps

10 Front Squats

10 Wall Balls

10 OH Squats

10 Lunges

What keeps you going on the days you don’t feel like it?

Music

Sweet Wine

My Kids (Dopey & TinkerBell)

The Love of my Life, Ken

And if I can have all of these after a good hard WoD even better. Let’s just hope whoever the coach was for that class isn’t fed up with my attitude before or during the class. But after I’m usually a more pleasant person.

What are your hobbies, interests and/or talents outside of CrossFit?

I really enjoy crafting although I don’t find much time to do it right now. I love cooking and trying new foods or new ways of making healthy delicious foods. I’m a live music junkie but that too is a little difficult these days. Before COVID, almost every weekend you would find me somewhere with live music. Traveling is a passion of mine. I absolutely love road trips. My dogs travel really well which makes it even better.

Tell us something we don’t know about you…

I absolutely love themed parties. I’m all about vintage clothes and eclectic jewelry. I love dressing up and making a splash. Who doesn’t love a great 80s party!?

Leave the fine folks of CrossFit Austin with some parting words…

Hey y’all! Things are super crazy right now. Just want to say thank you everyone for doing their part in staying as safe as possible and cleaning up after ourselves. I hope we can get through this with a little exposure in our safe haven, CFA. From your friendly neighborhood molecular biologist, Wash Your Hands! Thanks guys! Oh yeah and keep up the hard work it’s great seeing y’all back at the gym!!

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

 

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