May Athlete of the Month || Jaclyn De Los Santos!!

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 Jacki De Los Santos! Jacki joined the crew back in August of 2018 and very quickly became a part of the CFA family.  She is pretty die-hard with the “coffee crew” at 7:30 am. Jacki has taken HUGE strides in her health and fitness since joining class. Her Whole Life Challenge results were insane and she’s been putting in some serious work in class. When Jacki comes in, she works hard, encourages others, and always finishes with a smile. She exemplifies so many of the qualities we look for in an AOM and has truly proven herself as one of the #badassbabes of the community. Jacki, the CFA Team is proud to honor you as our May 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: 
Jaclyn Marie De Los Santos, but everyone calls me Jacki

Words to live by?
“Conquer your inner b***h” lol
-Joe Rogan

What is your fitness background?
None! Besides playing a few different sports and dance in high school, I really had zero experience when it came to a barbell.

How long have you been CrossFitting?
9 months, still such a baby!

Take us back to your first day of CrossFit… How did you feel? How do you compare it to workouts today?
I remember it like it was yesterday! I went to Austin’s 6pm class and we did Grace. I decided it was a good idea to use 55lbs on the bar, which I paid for later!  I finished in under 5 minutes, but I seriously felt like I was drunk or had been hit by a truck! I could barely walk straight out to my car and I probably said ‘thank you’ to just about anyone who talked to me during class. Will definitely always remember this moment.

What’s your favorite part of CrossFit Austin?
Not to sound corny or anything, but seriously everything! From my 7:30 crew, to the amazing coaches, to the sense of community it gives me. I’m just in love with it all!

Current Training Goals/PRs?
Since I’m still pretty new to CrossFit I have so many! One of my goals for 2019 was to get all my lifts to at least 100#, I’ve hit a few but still have a long way to go on other ones. I also want to eventually do a competition and commit to adding weightlifting to my regular schedule. There’s more but I think that is a good place to stop!

What advice do you have for folks just starting out in CrossFit?
Don’t be nervous! No one is judging you for not having as much experience as the other, and you also don’t need to be super strong to start CrossFit in the first place! That all comes later 🙂

What is your cheat meal go to?
Italian food! Pizza, gelato, you name it. Mandola’s is my husband and I’s favorite!

How do you use your fitness outside of the gym?
Running and hiking. It’s so crazy how easy running is now that CrossFit has made my endurance higher!

Tell us about a moment you felt most proud of yourself during a workout.
Definitely during 19.5! I probably cried the entire time and might have yelled at Coach Mark once, but it was such a nice feeling to finish!

If you could create a WOD and name it for yourself, what would it be?
“Jack-Attack”
Buy In: 1000m Row

then

5 rounds for time:
10 ‘Heavy’ Squat Cleans
10 High Box Jumps
10 Kipping Pull ups

What keeps you going on the days you don’t feel like it?
Knowing how disappointed I am in my self when I don’t go to class and how much better I feel when I do.

What are your hobbies, interests and/or talents outside of CrossFit?
I love cooking, gardening, hiking, running, camping, and most of all reading.

Tell us something we don’t know about you…
I once worked part-time at a Comic Book shop. It was one of my all time favorite jobs.

Leave the fine folks of CrossFit Austin with some parting words…
Never give up! It took me so many years to commit to my health and fitness and it was definitely a slow process, but here I am doing stuff!

Jaclyn De La Garza

Kitchen Adventures || Spicy Mushroom Bowls

Don’t get me wrong. We eat meat in our house. In fact, our freezer is full of it. But, in an effort to change it up a bit, in addition to at least one pescatarian meal, I’ve been trying to do a meatless meal once a week.

I’ve done black bean taquitos, portobello mushroom tacos, and several other dishes. Most recently we had nice little meal with an Asian flair. This was so fresh and delicious, but filling at the same time. We’ll definitely be including this in our rotation again!

QUICK PICKLED CUCUMBERS

  • 3 Tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp sugar (substitute stevia or monk fruit sweetener for a non-sugar alternative)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 cucumber

GOCHUJANG MUSHROOMS

1 Tbsp gochujang Japanese chili sauce (you can find this in the international foods aisle)
2 Tbsp coconut aminos
1 Tbsp water
1.5 Tbsp coconut sugar
1/2 Tbsp rice vinegar
3 portobello mushrooms caps
1 small yellow onion
1 Tbsp cooking oil (I used toasted sesame oil)

BOWLS

4 cups cooked jasmine rice
1 carrot shaved
2 green onions chopped

*Optional – Add a soft boiled egg

INSTRUCTIONS

In a medium bowl, stir together the rice vinegar, sugar, and salt for the quick pickled cucumbers. Thinly slice the cucumber, add them to the bowl with the vinegar dressing, and toss to coat. Let the cucumbers marinate, stirring occasionally, as you prepare the rest of the dish. They should soften and release water as they marinate.

Prepare the marinade for the mushrooms. In a medium bowl stir together the gochujang, coconut aminos, water, coconut sugar, and rice vinegar. Stir until the gochujang and coconut sugar are dissolved.

Clean each portobello mushroom to remove any dirt or debris. Cut each cap in half, then slice crosswise into thin strips. Place the mushroom strips into a shallow dish and pour the gochujang marinade over top. Gently stir the mushrooms to coat in the marinade, taking care not to break them. Let the mushrooms marinade for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

While the mushrooms are marinating, shred the carrot using a cheese grater. Thinly slice the yellow onion and slice the green onions.

Add the cooking oil to a large skillet and heat over medium. Once hot, add the sliced yellow onion and sauté for about two minutes, or just until the onion begins to soften.

Add the marinade mushrooms and all of the gochujang marinade to the skillet. Continue to cook the mushrooms and onion over medium until the mushrooms have softened and the liquid in the skillet reduces to a slightly thickened sauce (about 8 minutes).

To build the bowls add about 1 cup cooked rice to each bowl then top with 1/4 of the gochujang mushrooms, 1/4 of the pickled cucumbers, and 1/4 of the shredded carrot. Sprinkle sliced green onions over top, then serve.
*If adding soft boiled egg – Bring a pot of lightly salted water to a boil and gently place your egg(s) into the water. Boil for 6:30 minutes and then immediately transfer to an ice bath for about 2:00. Slice in half and place on top of your bowls!

Kitchen Adventures || Sweet Chipotle Kabobs

Who likes steak?? Actually, it doesn’t really matter whether you eat meat at all, this is such a versatile recipe. It can easily be swapped out to meet vegetarian and even vegan guidelines if you wish.

We don’t have steak often, but when we do I try to come up with some creative ways to serve it. This recipe took a little planning due to the marinating time, but it was still so easy and SO flavorful! It was worth the wait.

I served this with some quinoa, fresh corn, and of course, some avocado. While I did this in the oven on a grill plate this time, it’s probably even better on a grill. Hope you guys enjoy!

INGREDIENTS

Steak Skewers:
1.5 pounds chicken breasts, chopped into small chunks (sub chicken, pork, or even tofu!)
1 green pepper, chopped into 1 inch pieces
1 red pepper, chopped into 1 inch pieces
1/2 yellow onion, chopped into 1 inch pieces
1/2 red onion, chopped into 1 inch pieces
1.5 – 2 cups large pineapple chunks
Salt to taste
1-2 tsp Garlic Pepper Seasoning
1-2 tsp Chipotle Seasoning

*See below marinade for instructions

Marinade:
4 Chipotle chilis in adobo sauce
1 cup either honey or maple syrup
4 cloves of garlic, peeled
2 TBSP coconut aminos

Place all ingredients in a food processor and blend until combined

INSTRUCTIONS
Season chopped steak with salt, Garlic Pepper Seasoning, and Chipotle Seasoning. Transfer steak and vegetables to a large zip top plastic bag and pour in 1/2 of marinade (more if needed to cover ingredients). Save remaining sauce for brushing on skewers during cooking.

Place bag in the fridge and marinate for at least two hours, or overnight. Longer is better!
When ready to cook, place marinated steak and vegetables on skewers in a repeating pattern. Discard bag with used sauce.
If grilling, preheat grill to medium-high heat and oil the grates. Cook skewers for 10-12 minutes, turning every 3-4 minutes or until steak is cooked to your liking. Brush with remaining sauce during cooking.
*If baking, it’s best to use a cast-iron grill plate. Preheat oven to 350. Brush the grill plate with oil. Cook skewers for 17-20 minutes turning every 8-10 or until steak is cooked to your liking. Brush with remaining sauce during cooking.
I had enough for about 7 skewers with these measurements. You could easily swap some different veggies on these as well. The marinade is really what makes this so don’t be shy about it!

NIGHT OF CHAMPIONS || A League of Our Own

IT’S BASEBALL SEASON!! It’s also time for another Night of Champions! Night of Champions is our in house partner competition that offers our members a chance to compete, meet other members, have some fun, and help the gym all in one night! Partners join together to give their all in this two part competition in hopes of snagging a podium spot! Don’t have a partner? Post in the members page and make a new friend! This NOC theme is “A League of Our Own” 
Teams of 2 – Male/Male or Female/Female
Rx & Scaled Divisions available!
Night of Champions will consist of 2 WODs
PART 1 – A test of skill & strength

PART 2 – A test of teamwork and conditioning
Movements will be announced 2 weeks out and final workouts announced 1 week out. Stay tuned!

FRIDAY SEPTEMBER 14
6:30 pm – Athlete Check-In
7:00 pm – PART 1 Start Time

REGISTER HERE

$50 per Team (this includes registration for both team mates) Only 20 spots available!

(Only 1 registration per team needed – We’ll send an email to get division and partner name)

***Proceeds from Night of Champions will go toward new equipment for the gym!***

Kitchen Adventures || ‘Strawberry Fields’

Warm weather and sunshine is upon us! I am soaking it in and loving every minute of it! Warmer weather usually leads me to lighter and brighter recipes so that’s what you get this week.

This week is nuts for me. I have show opening tomorrow night! (SHAMELESS PLUG) which means it’s been a week of long days and late nights. I had to really be on top of meal prep for this week to make sure I had solid food to fuel me through all of the adventures! And, to keep Tim fed while he plays MVP at the gym!

I had actually prepped this recipe as a snack, but increase the serving size or throw some grilled chicken on it and it’s easily a meal.

I know, I know. Balsamic reduction sounds fancy and hard, but it’s not at all. DO NOT SKIP IT. The salad is good on it’s own, but if you know what’s good for you, you’ll make the reduction.

Ok, on with it! I have a ton to do at work before dress rehearsal tonight! Make the salad, come see the show, enjoy the sunshine!

This recipe made 4 servings

INGREDIENTS & DIRECTIONS
For the salad
1 pint of strawberries
1 bag of spring greens
4 oz goat cheese

Slice those berries!

Create a soft and fluffy bed of spring greens in your meal prep containers (or if you’re eating it right away, toss it on a plate).

I chose to put my strawberries beside the greens as I was prepping because greens tend to do better as a prepped item when they aren’t completely combined, but I’m sure it would be fine if you layered them.

Divide the goat cheese and sprinkle on top of each salad and top with your pecans.

Save the reduction to put on right when you eat it so it doesn’t break down the greens.

For the pecans
1.5 cups raw pecan halves
2 TBSP maple syrup
1 tsp cinnamon

In the oven, toast the pecans for 4-5 minute (be careful not to burn them!) at 350 degrees. You can also do this in a frying pan on top of the stove.

In a gallon size bag, mix the maple syrup, cinnamon, and pecans and toss until completely coated.

Throw these puppies on top of your beautiful salad masterpiece.

For the balsamic reduction
2 cups balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup maple syrup (more if you want it sweeter)

Combine the balsamic and maple syrup in a medium saucepan.

Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 20-25 minutes until it thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon.

Cool and transfer to a jar or container and keep in the fridge! Although, it won’t stay there long because you’re going to put this on everything….

Kitchen Adventures || Sunny Orange Roughy

Hey guys! I have been a little MIA with my posts lately, but with the transition to Triib and everything else in my world, I’ve barely had time to cook! I have still been squeezing meal prep in between rehearsals and meetings, but I’ll tell ya right now, we’ve been relying on GRxUB quite a bit lately too! This is where I give GRxUB a shameless plug and invite you to follow their Instagram page.

If you are interested in getting on the GRxUB list, you can subscribe HERE. Menus/Order forms go out on Saturdays and Tuesdays for delivery to the gym on Mondays and Thursdays. He has different portion sizes available and offers a breakfast and a lunch/dinner option on each menu.

Ok, with that said, I AM managing to cook as well 🙂 Tim and I are still trying to get more fish into our diet. The other day he requested Orange Roughy… which I had never cooked before, so I did some exploring and we ended up with a really tasty meal! I served this with quick blanched asparagus and roasted baby potatoes (seasoned with a little salt, pepper, garlic powder, and Italian seasoning).

Sunflower Seed Crusted Roughy

INGREDIENTS

2 large egg whites
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1/2 cup Italian-seasoned panko – You can purchase already seasoned or season yourself
3 tablespoons unsalted sunflower seed kernels
4 (6-ounce) orange roughy fillets (about 1/2 inch thick)
Cooking spray
Lemon slices (optional)

DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven to 475 and place a baking sheet in the oven. When I bake fish, I prefer to use a cooking grate like THIS ONE. It allows for more even cooking and keeps the bottom from getting soggy. Win-Win!
Combine first 3 ingredients in a medium bowl; whisk until foamy and mixed well. If you prefer a finer crust, pulse sunflower seeds in a food processor until chopped to your liking. This is totally optional.
Combine panko and sunflower seed kernels in a shallow dish. Dip fillets in egg white mixture; dredge in panko mixture. Place fish on a wire grate; let stand 10 minutes.

Remove baking sheet from the oven; if cooking directly on the sheet, coat it with cooking spray. If not, you can just place your rack onto the pan. Also, coat fish with cooking spray. Bake at 475 for 10 minutes or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork or until desired texture. Serve with lemon slices.

 

April Athlete of the Month || Handsome Nate Lopez!

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 Nate Lopez! Nate has been a part of the CFA family since January of 2018.  You’ll usually find Nate in the afternoons either at the noon or the 4:30 class. We have been SO proud of Nate and the incredible growth he’s had in his time here. No matter what, he comes in, works hard, encourages others, and always does it with a smile. He exemplifies so many of the qualities we look for in an AOM and has truly become a pillar in our community. Nate, the CFA Team is proud to honor you as our April 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:
Nate, but I have given myself the name Handsome Nate and it seems to be catching on. Which is nice.
 
Words to live by?
If you aren’t the life of the party, bring food.
What is your fitness background?
I was in the Navy a thousand years ago. I ran a half marathon once. Then I got fat.
How long have you been CrossFitting?
About 2 years.
Take us back to your first day of CrossFit… How did you feel? How do you compare it to workouts today?
My very first workout was a 5k on the rower. I hated it and I wanted a shark to eat me. I survived. Now I hate sharks. I genuinely wanted to quit.
The workouts today are still hard. But, I enjoy them more. It’s fun to conquer a mountain and go onto the next one.
I still hate sharks.
What’s your favorite part of CrossFit Austin?
The people are incredible. Derek, Jillian, Jose, Kristy and a million more I’m not mentioning. It’s impossible to do this stuff alone. They’ve really made it a second home. Also the coaching staff! Holy crap they’re great! The encouragement and knowledge is indispensable. It’s perfect. Tim and Genevieve and Jessie look out for me, answer all of my idiot questions and realize when I need an attaboy. It’s really welcoming and motivating.
Also, can we give it up for the shower? How many crossfit boxes have a shower? I’m a big fan of the shower.
Current Training Goals/PRs?
I want to do a Murph alone this year. Last year I teamed up with Derek. It was good, but now he’s a robot. It’s cheating if you pair with a robot, so I need to do it myself. I respect the rules.
What advice do you have for folks just starting out in CrossFit?
Everyone looks dumb all the time. Just jump in and work. Especially if you’re a dadbod with a man bun.
What is your cheat meal go to?
Pizza. I love pizza. I haven’t had it in months. Is pizza still good? Somebody tell me. I miss pizza.
How do you use your fitness outside of the gym?
There’s so much more you can do when you’re not Jabba the Hutt. My favorite thing though, is bypassing escalators and running upstairs in airports. It’s way faster, plus I can feel superior to all the escalator trolls. And that’s what life is all about.
Tell us about a moment you felt most proud of yourself during a workout.
A couple weeks ago I got a strict pull-up. I tried it on a whim. Normally I need a band and a box. I whipped it out and almost fell off the bar out of surprise. Even at my most fit, I couldn’t do one. To me, a pull-up represented the line between in shape and human pizza roll. I always feel weird banging the gong, but, I’m really glad Tim made me. It was a huge moment for me!
If you could create a WOD and name it for yourself, what would it be?
I’d call it Dadbod:
1500 m Row
5 rounds:
10 kipping pull-ups
20 wall balls
30 sit-ups
40’ bear crawl
10 high fives with anyone in the gym
What keeps you going on the days you don’t feel like it?
Honestly? Competition and shame.  If Jose or Marco or T or whomever is still going, I need to keep going. If Austin is looking, I can’t cheat. If the Aaron’s/Erin’s are killing it, I can’t crumble into a ball and disappear into the ground.
What are your hobbies, interests and/or talents outside of CrossFit?
 I did comedy for a decade in Boston. I didn’t become famous. But, I did get heckled a lot! Win-win!
Tell us something we don’t know about you…
My arm tattoo means “General Tso’s Chicken”
Leave the fine folks of CrossFit Austin with some parting words…
Thanks for putting up with me. Also, I’m sorry if I’ve ever farted on you, especially during kipping drills.
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