March Athlete of the Month || Jamie Williams!

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 March Athlete of the Month is Jamie Williams! Jamie has been a part of the CFA family since September of 2015.  She very quickly found her place in the community and has been a solid role model for many athletes who’ve followed her! You’ll usually find Jamie in the afternoons, but every once in a while she brightens our mornings 🙂 Jamie is one of those folks that is just a solid, honest person all around. She comes in, works hard, encourages others, and always does it with a smile. Jamie exemplifies so many of the qualities we look for in an AOM and has truly become a pillar in our community. Jamie, the CFA Team is proud to honor you as our March Athlete of the Month and as an awesome part of this community. 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:
Most people call me Jamie. Sometimes I get called Jdub.
 
Words to live by?
It’s not what happens to you, it’s how you react. Choose to see the positive in any situation.
What is your fitness background?
I started softball when I was seven years old and continued through college. I also played a little basketball in middle and high school.
 
How long have you been CrossFitting?
6.5 years

Take us back to your first day of CrossFit… How did you feel? How do you compare it to workouts today?
I hated CrossFit when I first started. I was terrible at it, and I hate being bad at things. Fortunately, when I’m bad at something, it makes me want to work hard until I improve. Fast forward to today…I’m a super ok Crossfitter, and I’m A-ok with that!
What’s your favorite part of CrossFit Austin?
The people. I left my previous gym because I wasn’t a fan of the culture that was happening there. CrossFit Austin is a breath of fresh air. It’s super welcoming and the coaches really care about the health and well-being of their athletes.
 
Current Training Goals/PRs?
My goals have changed from a PR focus to a longevity focus. My body has been telling me to stop certain movements and focus on staying healthy. It’s been hard to check my ego, but I’m in this for the long haul, and need my body to work not only for my job, but for all the activities I like to do outside the gym.

What advice do you have for folks just starting out in CrossFit?
Two words. Movement. Quality. Don’t do something if it’s sketchy. Just work on progressions. It’s not worth hurting your body just to RX.

What is your cheat meal go to? Literally everything.
I try to live a 70/30 “healthy/treat yoself” kind of lifestyle.
How do you use your fitness outside of the gym?
Most importantly, it helps a ton in my job as a firefighter. For fun, I play a lot of slowpitch softball. I also play kickball and flag football. I take a backpacking trip to California once a year to hike in the Sierras. I try to take a snowboarding trip every year.
 
Tell us about a moment you felt most proud of yourself during a workout.
It’s a tie between my first muscle up, and the first time I snatched 95 lbs.
 
If you could create a WOD and name it for yourself, what would it be?
100 reps each of alternating db snatch, burpees over bar, step-ups, wall balls, and double unders (I like long workouts)

What keeps you going on the days you don’t feel like it?
Training partners. I love working out next to other people. It makes everything better.
 
What are your hobbies, interests and/or talents outside of CrossFit?
I love playing sports. It keeps me sane and social.
 
Tell us something we don’t know about you…
A couple people may know, but I had open heart surgery when I was 14 years old. I had an atrial septal defect. I won’t go into too much detail, but it was a miracle that it was found, and I’m grateful for my ability to live an extremely active lifestyle! Feel free to ask me about it.
 
Leave the fine folks of CrossFit Austin with some parting words…
Be positive, encouraging, welcoming, and kind. It takes all of us to make this community awesome!

Kitchen Adventures || Brussels Sprouts Salad

Warmer weather is in sight, my friends! I don’t know about you, but I’m so happy to see the sun out. Even if it’s still on the chillier side, the sunshine is making all the difference in my mood and my motivation!

I’ve definitely been making those cozy, cold weather meals lately (soups, chili, etc..) but I’m going to try and will us into the warmer weather with a bright and crisp side dish today. I’ve made this twice the past two weeks because Tim and I like it so much! The first time I served it along side steak and this week it made an appearance as a side dish with some shredded Buffalo chicken. It was delicious both ways!

This salad is so fast to whip together, full of flavor, and something different than your ordinary garden side salad. The recipe below will make enough for a weeknight meal, but I’ve doubled it both times and was glad I did 🙂 Hope you guys enjoy!

 

Brussels Sprouts Salad
INGREDIENTS

3 cups shredded brussels sprouts
1/3 c chopped pecans
1/4 c goat cheese crumbles
1/4 c dried cranberries
2 tsp dijon mustard
1.5 tsp honey
1 TBSP apple cider vinegar
3 TBSP olive oil
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/8 tsp sea salt

In a small bowl, whisk together the mustard, honey, vinegar, oil, salt, and pepper. Set aside while you assemble the rest of the salad.

In a larger bowl, mix brussels, pecans, cranberries, and goat cheese until combined. Pour dressing over salad and mix gently to combine. Serve immediately or store in the refrigerator in a closed container.

Easy as that guys! Clean up is a breeze too because there won’t be anything left to clean up! 😉

Kitchen Adventures || Greens & Grains Salad

Hey hey! Hope you all are having a great week. I’m going to keep it short this week because I am short on time and have SO MUCH to do before we head out of town this weekend!

 

So, on to the recipe! I am always looking for different ways to get veggies into my meals. I love roasting them, but I do get tired of that sometimes. This recipe combines a few different elements for a salad that is a little different than what you normally think of when you hear that word. I served it cold, but if you want to eat it warm as soon as it’s ready, it’s great that way too!

 

Greens & Grains Salad 

INGREDIENTS

  • 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 3/4 teaspoon fine salt, divided
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup grain of your choice – I used THIS, but you could use rice, couscous, quinoa, whatever you like!
  • 8 ounces green beans, trimmed and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 (15-ounce) can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 cups fresh spinach
  • 2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh dill leaves
  • 2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Whisk 3 tablespoons of the oil, onion, vinegar, Dijon, 1/4 teaspoon of the salt, and pepper in a large bowl until combined; set aside while you cook the grains. Cook according to package.
  2. Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon oil in a skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Add the green beans and saute until fork tender and bright green.
  3. Transfer the green beans and grains to the bowl of dressing, add the kidney beans and fresh spinach and stir to combine. Let sit 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, to cool and let the flavors combine. Stir in the dill and parsley. If you choose to serve cold you can put it in the fridge once it’s cooled a bit!

Kitchen Adventures || Chocolate Peanut-Butter Power Bites

Hey lovebirds! It is Valentine’s Eve and there is heart shaped chocolate literally EVERYWHERE I look. I am notImage result for chocolate heart afraid to admit that I have a major sweet tooth. I love desserts. I love candy, cookies, ICE CREAM, all things sweet. I am a bit of an anomaly with my sweet tooth, however, in that usually 1 or 2 bites will crush the craving. I WILL eat a whole bowl of Blue Bell cookies and creme ice cream because it’s delicious and I love it, but I can also be satisfied with a couple of bites.

This week I’ve been getting hungry between meals more often than usual. Not sure what’s up with that, but I’ve been wanting to snack like a maniac and it’s mostly been cravings for sweet. I can’t imagine why when all I see wherever I go is big red and pink boxes full of delicious treats 😉

Anyway, I wanted to give you guys something a little different today. I did make some good meal prep stuff this weekend, but we’ll save that because I wanted to give you a good snack option that is EASY and super tasty and will help you crush those cravings while also giving a little energy boost!

Check it out. This recipe is all raw, customizable, quick and easy, and great as a take along. You can adjust the amounts of most of the ingredients to fit your taste preference. Even leave some ingredients out or choose another ingredient if there’s something you don’t like! The base is the same no matter what so make it what you want!

Chocolate-Peanut Butter BitesImage result for no bake chocolate oat energy bars

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup raw almonds
  • 1/2 cup raw pecans
  • 1/2 cup old fashioned oats (uncooked) – more if needed for texture
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • 2-3 TBSP peanut/almond/sunbutter – your choice – amount depends on taste preference
  • 1-2 tsp unsweetened cocoa powder – also depends on taste preference
  • 1 scoop of protein powder *optional
  • 8-10 large pitted Medjool dates, (very soft)
  • ½ tsp. vanilla extract
  • 4 teaspoons coconut oil – in liquid state
  • I also love to add things like chia seeds, flax seeds, cinnamon, etc… whatever you want!

INSTRUCTIONS

Place nuts, oats, salt, cocoa powder, and protein powder if using in the bowl of a food processor; pulse briefly until the nuts are chopped and the ingredients have begun to combine (don’t over blend as you’ll be adding more ingredients)

Add dates, vanilla, peanut-butter, and coconut oil. Pulse until all ingredients are just combined and mixture starts to clump. You want the mixture to stick together, but not be too sticky to the touch. You can adjust by adding more coconut oil or peanut butter if it’s too dry or add more oats if it’s too wet.

Line a 9×5 loaf pan with parchment paper. Transfer mixture to pan, and use the back of a spoon to press mixture into a rectangle. Cover and chill in the fridge or freezer until firm (usually about 20:00 or so).

Unwrap block, lift out paper and cut into bars or bites. You can rewrap each bar in paper or just place them in a ziplock and store in an airtight container in the fridge or freezer.

*NOTE: These do hold together better if they’re kept cold. When warm the mixture starts to fall apart. It’s still edible.. just more of a blob than a bar or bite 😉

Kitchen Adventure || Honey Lime Tuna Steaks and Veggies!

Hey guys! Man… the struggle is real this week! Anyone else feel like you’re kind of having to pull yourself through the week? Seems like there’s something in the air.. Oh, wait. It’s this 81% humidity!

Nah, I’m just feeling a bit sluggish this week, but it will pass. One thing that helps me when I’m feeling this way is to make sure I’m fueling myself with solid, clean nutrients. Since Tim and I did our blood panels (shameless plug – don’t forget about blood panels this Saturday!) – One thing that was recommended to BOTH of us was to consume more fish.

I’ll be honest. I’ve kind of avoided cooking fish for a long time because it scares me. It’s stupid because cooking ANYTHING EVER used to terrify me and I’ve pretty much gotten over that as I’ve forced myself to experiment and meal prep, but for some reason seafood and baking still freak me out a bit.

Anyway, I’ve done several fish recipes over the last few weeks to try an accommodate the recommendations that were made for our HEALTH and also just get myself out of my comfort zone. I’ve done a couple of salmon recipes, shrimp, turbot, and most recently yellowfin tuna steak. I imagine as I get more comfortable with it, I’ll begin to share more recipes, but this tuna steak one is the first that I’ve felt really great about so that’s what you get! I know I usually post things that you can do for meal prep. I don’t feel like fish holds up well for days so this is more of a weeknight option, but fish is so fast that you can easily sneak it in on a weeknight. You do have to plan ahead a little bit to let the tuna marinate, but it’s still a quick one.

Y’all please let me know if you make this, what your thoughts are! *I’m also a huge advocate for getting the new veggie stocked on the shelf and doing something with it which is why you see purple carrots. Our HEB NEVER has purple carrots, but I had to get them. You can just as easily use regular carrots 🙂 Ok, enjoy!

INGREDIENTS

For the fish – Double for more tuna steaks… obviously – This is just to feed 2 for one meal
1 lime, juiced
1/8 cup olive oil
1 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 cloves garlic, crushed and minced
1/2 tablespoon grated​ fresh ginger
2 6-ounce Ahi tuna fillets
Salt and fresh-ground black pepper to taste
1/8 cup honey

For the rice –
1/2 cup dry jasmine rice
3/4 cup water
1/4 cup coconut milk
Pinch of sea salt

For the veggies
Oil of your choice – I prefer olive oil for savory or coconut for more sweet
2-3 Large carrots – I used purple, but regular are fine! You could also use parsnips to change it up
1 large zuchinni
1 large yellow squash
1 bunch asparagus
Salt, pepper, smoked paprika

INSTRUCTIONS

There are actually a couple of ways to go about this. If you want to use a real grill, go for it. I just used a cast iron grill plate (like this) in my oven. I use this thing ALL the time. If you don’t have one, I highly recommend it. But, go for it with the grill outside if you want!

Ok, do the marinade FIRST. In a small bowl, whisk together the lime juice, olive oil, rice vinegar, garlic, and ginger.

Place the tuna steaks flat on a plate and season with sea salt and fresh-ground black pepper to taste, and spoon over half of the glaze, turning to coat evenly. Pop those babies in the fridge to marinate for about 30 minutes.

Add the honey to the remaining half of the glaze and mix well. You’ll come back to this later.

While the tuna is marinating get the rest of your meal going. With the grill plate IN the oven, preheat your oven to 425.

To prep your veggies, (wash them all first) peel and slice your carrots, slice the zucchini and squash, and trim the asparagus. You have another choice here. I roasted the carrots (30 minutes on a baking sheet in the oven – coated with coconut oil and lightly seasoned with sea salt/pepper) roast until fork tender. You can use the same method for ALL the veggies, or you can actually use your grill plate here too.

I roasted the carrots, but coated the squash, zucchini, and asparagus in olive oil, seasoned with salt, pepper, and smoked paprika and then grilled them on the grill plate. About 5:00/side. Then I just mixed the carrots in.

While your veggies are going, get the rice going. Combine in a medium sauce pan 1/2 cup dry jasmine rice with 3/4 cup water and 1/4 cup coconut milk. Add a pinch of salt and give it all a little stir to combine. Bring it to a bowl on your stove top. Then, reduce heat to a simmer, cover and allow to cook. Refer to your instructions on the rice for cook time, but usually about 15-20 min. Fluff with a fork when all the liquid has been absorbed.

Finally, the tuna steaks! Remove them from the fridge. Lightly oil your grill or grill plate and place the tuna fillets on. Cook for about 2 minutes and turn them over, brushing the glaze over the cooked side. Grill 2 minutes more for medium-rare to medium.

Load up the rest of your plate with veggies and dig in! We both really enjoyed this entire meal. Hopefully you guys do too!

February Athlete of the Month || Derek Peterson!!

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 February Athlete of the Month is Derek Peterson! Derek joined our family in April of 2018, but it feels like he’s always been a part of the crew. He very quickly found his place in the community and has been a welcoming face for everyone who’s come after him. He has jumped into several different class times, making friends in both the morning and evening crews! Over the last few months, Derek has made some incredible transformations. He’s truly focused on his training and nutrition and it’s showing with amazing results! Not only is Derek consistent and dedicated in the gym, he’s also a regular at our social events outside of the gym! He exemplifies so many of the qualities we look for in an AOM and has shown some tremendous progress in his time here. Derek, the CFA Team is proud to honor you as our February Athlete of the Month and as an awesome part of this community. 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:
Derek Peterson (Sayyed calls me skinny Derek now)
 
Words to live by?
I can’t control the outcome but I can always control the effort.
 
What is your fitness background?
All over the map. I was 100lbs over weight, lost it and then was a personal trainer for almost 5 years. I was an athlete growing up though and have always found my way back to the gym no matter how bad things have gotten.
 
How long have you been CrossFitting?
I signed up in May last year I believe so about 8 months. I did some olympic lifting before that for a little over a year.
 
Take us back to your first day of CrossFit… How did you feel?
How do you compare it to workouts today?
It was life changing, it was the beginning of finding a new passion for sport again. Having grown up wrestling and playing football, I grew accustom to workouts that were so hard you felt like dying. That pretty much describes my first CrossFit workout, it is also why I kept coming back. I have learned throughout my life that, more often then not, if its easy it’s not worth doing.
What’s your favorite part of CrossFit Austin?
Nate, David, Tim, Sayyed, Ivan, Jose, Zack, Page, Julia, Brenda, Alyson, Aaron, Erin, T, Rachel, Genevieve, Hannah, Mark, Stephen, Paul and well you get it, the community is amazing!
I love working my ass off with this crew. My entire life changed when I started CrossFit and so many of these people have walked through a really tough season of life with me. I’m so thankful for that.
 
Current Training Goals/PRs?
Right now, I have lost about 50lbs and almost 9% body fat. I have about 20lbs and 5% body fat to go. My long term goal is that I’m going to start working toward competing in an open in the next 2 or 3 years.

What advice do you have for folks just starting out in CrossFit?
Connect with the crew and learn the form. Spend time in the lifting classes, spend time working on the things your not good at after class. Ask for help. The more you put into it the more you’ll get out of it.
What is your cheat meal go to?
Right now, chips….. stupid right? I wish it
was something more awesome but I’m not really cheating until I look like Chris Hemsworth.
 
How do you use your fitness outside of the gym?
CrossFit is hard. It’s a regular reminder that I’m capable doing hard shit. When I feel down with work or relationships I have my workouts in the back of my head. I lean on my successes in the gym
when I need to and when I can’t I remind myself that I can’t control the outcome but I can always control the effort.
 
Tell us about a moment you felt most proud of yourself during a workout.
In September I did my first dead weight pull up, it changed everything!
 
If you could create a WOD and name it for yourself, what would it be?
I do this all the time. I have two kids so my schedule often times doesn’t allow me to make a class. When I work out in my drive way. I call it DP’s GOT THAT CRAZY SHIT (this is a Dead Presidents reference for all that don’t know). It’s 10 rounds for time: 15 pushups, 15 sit ups, 15 air squats, 150 meter run. (Cash out is 100 Double Unders) What keeps you going on the days you don’t feel like it? Memes of Chris Hemsworth
 
What are your hobbies, interests and/or talents outside of CrossFit?
My kids, my work and….. memes of Chris Hemsworth
 
Tell us something we don’t know about you…
One time I accidentally called Justin Timberlake’s cell phone while trying to get a hold of Simon Cowell (this really happened)
 
Leave the fine folks of CrossFit Austin with some parting words…
Lean in, get vulnerable, share your story, compete with the crew, connect with the crew, show up to events, don’t cheat (T……), get better every workout, tell David he’s a jerk (he’s not but tell him anyway), give Nate a hug and always remember, Sayyed’s not always angry…. he just looks that way.

Kitchen Adventures || Gratitude <3

 

Hey guys! It’s been a couple weeks since I’ve done a kitchen adventures post! I wasn’t cooking as much over the holidays, then ya girl got taken down hard by the flu and I had NO business being around food during that. We’ve also had so many other fun things happening that my recipe posts have kind of taken a back seat, but I’m back!

Today’s recipe is really simple, but the story behind it is pretty special. So… after our anniversary party and the unveiling of the new Iron Buffalo award, we all know how buffalos are a huge part of Tim’s life. Well, he recently had a really cool opportunity to take an adventure out to Roam Ranch. Roam ranch is home to the bison, chicken, and other animals that supply Epic Provision’s line of high protein snacks and bars. If you’ve never tried their stuff, do it…

Anyway, Tim had an opportunity to go out to the ranch for a tour and to takepart in what they call the “field harvest.” This means that he got to learn about how the ranch is ethically and sustainably run through regenerative farming. He learned about how the bees, bison, chickens, and of course all the hard working people on the team, work together to create the best environment and the richest land to raise these animals.

 

 

The field harvest part of this adventure means that he got to take part in the ethical kill of a bison and help with the break-down of the animal. He and a group of folks got to help butcher the bison, clean the meat, and break downthe rest of the parts of the animal to be used for other purposes. Altogether,about 85% of this bison would be used leaving very little waste. At the end of it all, he got to bring home some of the meat. He even brought home some parts to be used as puppy chow. Bet you didn’t know Chihuahuas could get all primal 😉

It’s truly his story to tell and I’m just here for the recipe today, but maybe we can talk him into a video to chat about his experience.

One of the pieces of meat he brought home was a HUGE bison shank! The head of the bone is bigger than my fist! This hunk of meat had to be 6-7 pounds. Easily the largest piece of meat I’ve ever worked with. As I cleaned the meat and began to cut away some of the connective tissue, I was finding some hairs and dirt on the meat. Having already seen pictures of the bison this came from, I was definitely thinking of that animal, but I was also extremely honored to have the chance to prepare this piece of meat as fuel for our bodies. It was a neat feeling to know that Tim had a hand in breaking down and bringing this meat home. Although he did not shoot the animal himself, it was a perfect example of going out into the field to bring home food for his family. I was happy to be preparing it.

Not really knowing what else to do with it, we went with the slow cooker. I wanted to keep as much of the natural flavor of the meat so I really didn’t use TOO much seasoning. I went with pretty simple sides for this as well, but all together we ended up with what Tim lovingly referred to as the “Triple B” Sometimes keeping it simple is the best way to go!


Tender Slow Cooker Bison Shank

INGREDIENTS
Butter, Ghee, or coconut oil for frying
Ground black pepper & sea salt
5-7 lbs of shank (obviously I used bison, but you can use beef as well) – bone in
1 medium yellow onion – sliced
8 whole garlic cloves – peeled
3 cups of bone broth (I actually used some I made from a chicken the week before  – stay tuned for a bone broth recipe)
2 TBSP tomato paste
3 TBSP Italian seasoning
¼-1/2 tsp cayenne *optional for spice

INSTRUCTIONS
Heat your butter/ghee/oil of choice over medium heat in a large frying pan. You should have enough to coat the bottom of the pan. Season the shank(s) on all sides with sea salt and freshly ground pepper and brown for 4-5 min per side.

Once you’ve browned them, put them straight into the slow cooker along with your diced onion and garlic.

Add another ½ tsp of salt to a medium sized bowl along with your Italian seasoning, tomato paste, broth, and cayenne if you’re using it. Whisk gently to combine and pour the mixture over the shank in the crock pot.

Cover and turn on low for 10-12 hours (or until falling apart tender). You can strain the brother through a mesh strainer and reserve for later use or to use as an au jus!

I served this with simple roasted beets (coated in coconut oil and wrapped in foil to roast) and roasted Brussel sprouts (coated in olive oil, sea salt, and cracked black pepper).

The flavor of the meat, particularly the cut we had, will speak for itself.

I know we don’t all have access to such amazing resources, but it was an experience that reminded me to always be mindful and to be grateful to the animals that serve to fuel our bodies. Stay tuned for a video from Tim in the member’s page soon for a recap of his visit!

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