Presenting our Iron Buffalo Recipients || Alex Difonzo & Erin Garza

Happy 2019 Everyone! We are still so full of love from celebrating our 10 Year Anniversary last month and we’re excited to share our first ever, Iron Buffalo winners.

Every year, we’ve chosen a male and female that stood out to us and exemplified the things that we look for in members of our community. In year’s past, this award has been called the Push-Up Man and Push-Up Woman of the Year award. While we will always be proud of our Push-Up men and women, we chose to bring to light a new award with a new decade and new ownership. The Iron Buffalo award reflects many of the same things we looked for with the PUM/PUW. The athletes chosen were not limited to physical ability alone, although both of these athletes are quite talented in their individual areas. It also encompasses their ability to connect with their fellow CFA members, their continuous drive, and their commitment not only to this community, but to their own longevity, health, and overall being.

As Tim was considering the elements of this award, he turned to his own family and his own history. The Buffalo has been a symbol in his family for many years. From family homesteading a ranch in Buffalo, Texas where he and his brother made many childhood memories, to his hometown in Bartlesville, OK where Buffalo statues line the intersections of the city. Even the company he formed to purchase the gym, The Buffalo Collective, uses the symbol.

The Buffalo, in Native American culture symbolizes a spirit of abundance and friendship. As a totem it symbolizes earth-centeredness, selflessness, and the power of a team unit. The buffalo itself is a symbol of power. It has the strength the carry heavy burdens, not just physically, but in all aspects. We find all of these qualities to be what we looked for in our athletes of the year and could not be more proud to call them the Iron Buffalo recipients.

These athletes exemplify all of these amazing qualities and more. They lead by example. They work hard. Their family and friends are a priority in their lives and they uplift and encourage those around them. We are so honored to share the interviews of our 2018 Iron Buffalo recipients, Alex Difonzo and Erin Garza. Congratulations you two! We’re grateful to have you as a part of this team and this family.



When did you join the CFA community?
I started fundamentals in October 2016 and joined group classes a few months after that.

What is one of your most memorable moments from your early days at CFA? Any ‘newbie’ stories you’d like to share?
I did the Open after doing CrossFit for about 3 months. That was my first big dose of reality. I vividly remember smashing my head between two 50lb dbs while trying to do walking lunges. It really showed me how much work I had ahead of me. P.S. we did that same workout a few months ago and didn’t smash my head even once.

What is it about CFA that you love or that is different from other sports/programs you’ve tried?
The community, 100%. I don’t think I could push myself half as hard as I’m able to without the constant encouragement, coaching, and just overall awesomeness of everyone else in the gym. No matter how much I’m hurting after a workout I always leave in a good mood.

What advice would you give yourself if you could go back in time to when you first started CrossFit?
Give it time and trust the process. I remember thinking that I would never be able to get my lifts down, or my mobility where it needs to be. It’s crazy to think about how far I’ve come in just 2 years.

What was your initial reason for starting (your ‘why’)? How has that ‘Why’ changed?
At the start I just wanted to get into a fitness routine that I wouldn’t get bored of, and to try to be a little less out of shape. Now all my goals are focused around seeing how far I can push myself, both mentally and physically. I want to see how strong, how fast, and how fit I’m capable of being.

How did you create long term fitness/CrossFit success for yourself?
For me it was swallowing my pride and working on my weaknesses not just doing workouts I thought were fun. Once I realized there’s no shame in lowering my weight or staying after class to fail at double-unders for 3 weeks straight I was able to slowly chip away at those weaknesses.

What makes you come in and train on days when you don’t want to?
I always think about what an old swim coach of mine said, “anyone can show up and perform when they’re feeling good, but a real athlete puts the work in on the days everyone else stays home”. It’s been a while since I’ve considered myself a real athlete, but I’m hoping to get back there sometime.

Recent PRs?
It probably sounds insignificant but I just recently strung together 20 double-unders in a row. I’ve always had a hard time with them so it feels good to get a few in a row.

Current training goals?
Long term goal, MURPH with a vest this July.

Tell us about an obstacle you have had to work through in your training. How did you work through it?
My mobility, without a doubt, has been my biggest obstacle. When i started I don’t think i could even air squat below parallel. I’ve done a lot of things to improve, I started doing yoga on rest days, more foam rolling, durability classes with Jesse, and massages with Heidi.

What is your cheat meal go to?
Torchy’s! Chips and queso, fried avocado taco and fried chicken taco.

What does the Iron Buffalo title mean to you?
It means a ton to me. I feel like I’ve only just started hitting my stride in CrossFit and am super excited to see just how far I can push myself. This is obviously a huge motivator to keep pushing. CFA is full of so many amazing athletes, I couldn’t think of a better place to be.

Thoughts upon winning the title?
I was shocked, I wasn’t expecting it at all. I don’t think my face has gotten that red since I was in high school. I’m generally pretty hard on myself so I don’t do great with being recognized for stuff.

How will you use your new found  Buffalo Strength?
I’m going to push myself even harder now, you can’t half-ass a workout when you just won the Iron Buffalo.

What are you most excited about in the upcoming year? Gym related and/or personally?
To be honest, this past year has been so crazy with new jobs, buying a house, and getting a puppy, I’m really excited to be able to be able to just put my head down and work in the gym. I’m planning on doing some olympic lifting with Dylan which I’m pretty pumped about.

Leave the fine folks of CFA with some parting wisdom.
Don’t take it too seriously, if you’re not enjoying it it’s not worth it.



When did you join the CFA community?
May 2015

What is one of your most memorable moments from your early days at CFA? Any ‘newbie’ stories you’d like to share?
I have SO many wonderful memories at CFA, but one memory sticks out the most. It was a particularly hot summer afternoon at the gym, you know the kind where the air is thick and the sticky humidity is covering everything? Well, the WOD that evening involved pull ups. Lots of pull ups. “Great!” I thought, “I can do those and fast!” I was on the rig doing butterfly right next to JoAnna Brandt, who I didn’t know super well at the time. I was flying high and the next thing I know, I’m flat on my back. I slipped off the pull up bar! My world was rocked, I couldn’t breathe and I was pretty embarrassed. I was preparing myself for an “OMG are you okay?” but instead I look up and see Jo with her gnarly, beautiful curly hair looking down at me and she said, “Well…GET UP!!!!” (There may or may not have been an expletive at the end of that sentence). I love that memory.

What is it about CFA that you love or that is different from other sports/programs you’ve tried?
In 2017 I left CFA and joined a different gym in Austin. I nearly came running back to CFA just 3 months after leaving. Sure, at this new gym the programming was good and I may have gotten little stronger but I didn’t feel the same connection with the community. I missed showing up every day after work and being greeted with a smile and a high five (or a hug). I missed Night of Champions. I missed watching people get their first muscle up or achieve that PR they’ve been working on all year long. I missed seeing my friend’s babies running around and watching their badass parents become healthier people. I love CFA because we are in it together.

What advice would you give yourself if you could go back in time to when you first started CrossFit?
“You need to stretch!” (Lol) No, but seriously…I have to say I was all in when I first started CrossFit but I didn’t realized the importance of rehabilitation for many years. I am paying for that now!!

What was your initial reason for starting (your ‘why’)? How has that ‘Why’ changed?
I graduated from college in December of 2013 and moved 30 miles north to Austin. I was working in the bar industry and with that came a string of nasty habits that were holding me back. I wanted to be the best version of myself and was tired of feeling like I was going through the motions. The change in routine left me searching for a new direction in life. I signed up for CrossFit and started in March of 2014. A few months later I met another newbie, my sweet husband Aaron. ☺

How did you create long term fitness/CrossFit success for yourself?
I found the class schedule that worked best for me, chose my days of rest and tried my best to stay committed to that routine. Luckily I have lots of friends who hold me accountable at CFA too!

What makes you come in and train on days when you don’t want to?
My friends! Also, knowing that I will leave the gym so much happier than when I walked in.

Recent PRs?
I PR’d Diane at 8:42 RX. “The Girls” are particularly challenging and I love getting better at these benchmarks.  

Current training goals?
I want to push myself further in training and treat each workout the same. It’s easy for me to stick to the same weight throughout a training cycle or not get back to the bar for a few more reps. I want to push myself to reach further and in turn I hope it improves my endurance and strengthens my mental game.

Tell us about an obstacle you have had to work through in your training. How did you work through it?I have a problem with my sternum so I really struggle with pushups and dips, especially out of the muscle up. I have found that this obstacle was more than just physical, it was mental for me. I had to learn to give myself grace and modify! Tim helped me with the “backpack” pushup and I’m working on tightening my core for dipping out of the MU.

What is your cheat meal go to?
Talenti Gelato! All the flavors, all the time.

What does the Iron Buffalo title mean to you?
Ah, so much! To me, it means that numbers do not mean that much in the long run. I’m not a top performer in the gym and have to scale a lot of things. It means that you can be recognized for being you and that’s gotta be the surest feeling in the world.

Thoughts upon winning the title?
I was literally shocked! I felt like I didn’t deserve the title (Enter Wayne’s World quote, “We are not worthy”). But in all seriousness it felt really great. CrossFit has meant so much to me over the last 5 years and it continues to mean so much to me now. My life has completely transformed relationally, spiritually and physically from my commitment to CrossFit and I’m really proud to be the first female Iron Buffalo lady at CFA.

How will you use your new found Buffalo Strength?
I want to encourage others to be the best version of themselves, whatever that may look like for them. There is always more that we can do to love our neighbors or say a kind thing.

What are you most excited about in the upcoming year? Gym related and/or personally?
Gym related, I’m just thankful for another year to move! I hope to gain strength this year but I also want to learn more about nutrition. Personally I am looking forward to a trip to Hawaii with my hubby in June and settling into our new home here in Austin!

Leave the fine folks of CFA with some parting wisdom.
Just remember, the only thing that matters is your attitude and effort. You can’t always control your performance and strength but something that you can always control is your attitude and your effort. I am absolutely encouraged by you people and love you all dearly. Thank you for showing up, working hard and pushing me every single week!

Kitchen Adventures || Happy New Year!

Happy New Year! As Tim and I were looking back over 2018 we realized how thankful we are for all of you! 2018 was a great year of growth for us, both personally and professionally. We have some truly amazing memories from all the events with the gym and we are so proud of the growth in the gym and in our community. 

As we look into 2019, we can only hope for the same! We have some exciting things in mind and hope that you’ll continue to join us as we keep building and growing. Onward and Upward to 2019!



Now on to the recipe 🙂 **Note– If you use dry black eyed peas you do have to plan ahead and soak them the night before. There are pre-soaked options if you’re choosing to do this same day.

Y’all…. we got an instant pot for Christmas and I think it’s changed my life forever. I’m definitely still learning and figuring out all the different options, but I’ve made a few things in it already and I’m a believer.

Traditionally, black eyed peas are for New Year’s right? I’ve heard a variety of different meanings behind the traditional meal. Black eyed peas and pork for luck and prosperity. Greens for wealth. Cornbread for gold…aka.. more wealth? I can’t tell you if there’s anything behind the tradition, but I do always have a version of the traditional meal on New Year’s.

I like black eyed peas, but it’s not something I usually think about through the rest of the year. I think that changed this year with this recipe though. I’d eat this all year long. Maybe the luck works that way too? Who know’s, but this came out SO flavorful and like most things I enjoy, it’s chock full of veggies as well. Because I’m obsessed with our instant pot right now, that’s what I used, but I also included a stove top version (with my other favorite kitchen gadget (dutch oven) but you can use any pot…)

Enjoy guys! I can’t wait to eat this for lunch again today! Wishing you a happy, healthy, and wealthy New Year!

Black Eyed Pea Soup


2 TBSP olive oil
1 small onion – diced
2 stalks celery – diced
2 carrots – diced
2 clove garlic – minced
2 cups cubed smoked ham (or leftover ham bone or hock) – I used this and it was delicious 
1 lb. dried black eyed peas, soaked overnight in water, rinsed, and drained
6 cups chicken or vegetable stock
1.25 TBSP smoked paprika
1 bay leaf
3-4 sprigs fresh thyme
1 14 oz. can fire roasted diced tomatoes
3-4 cups packed roughly chopped kale (or collard greens) – to your liking
Salt and pepper, to taste – I used smoked salt
*Optional for a bit of spice – 1/4 tsp cayenne


Turn your Instant Pot/pressure cooker to the “sauté” setting. Sauté the onion, celery, and carrots in the oil for 2-3 minutes, or until softened.

Add the garlic and ham; sauté for 2-3 more minutes. If using a ham bone or hock, just add the garlic, then add the ham bone in the next step.

Add the pre-soaked, drained, and rinsed black eyed peas, stock, smoked paprika, bay leaf, and thyme. Stir together.

Set on ‘Pressure Cook’ to high pressure for 10 minutes.

Allow to naturally depressurize for 20 minutes, then (carefully) quick release the pressure.

Stir in the kale or collard greens and tomatoes to the soup and season with salt and pepper to taste. If you’re choosing to use cayenne you can add it here as well. The residual heat of the soup should cook the greens through, but you can always set the pot to “sauté” to simmer it for a few minutes if you need to.

*If using the stovetop, sauté the onions, carrots, an celery as instructed in olive oil in a large pot. Add the garlic and ham as instructed. Add remaining ingredients except for tomatoes, greens, salt, and pepper, bring to a boil, cover, and simmer on low for 2-3 hours, or until black eyed peas are tender. Add the tomatoes and greens, season with salt and pepper, and continue simmering until greens are cooked through.

Kitchen Adventures || Cold Weather Power Bowl

T-Minus 6 days to Christmas! If your month has been anything like mine, you’ve been going a million miles a minute, hitting all kinds of holiday parties and gatherings, trying to squeeze in Christmas shopping, keep up with work, and generally not lose your mind a little bit. This is a wildly busy time of year for most and between not having a lot of time to cook and having lots of holiday parties to binge at, it’s also a difficult time of year to eat well.

I found myself this past weekend CRAVING veggies and healthy food like none other. After our 10 year party (thanks to everyone who made it out!) we had lots of food left over. If you had any of that brisket you know we couldn’t let it go to waste. I made brisket chili (which I should share that recipe soon because it was BOMB). I made brisket breakfast hash. I used the chicken and pinto beans to make stuffed bell peppers. I even had a breakfast taco party for the coaches! As much as I love BBQ, I was definitely ready for something lighter and…. greener… by the end of the week.

I also wanted something that was still full of flavor and warm and cozy for this winter weather. Thus was born the cold weather power bowl. You’ll find that this is similar to some of the buddha bowl style recipes I posted back in the summer, but this one is made to be a cozy bowl of healthy, delicious, and filling goodies. It’s super easy to put together and tastes great. As always, customize as you like, but below is

my version.

Eat well while you can because we’re in for another full dessert table in less than a week! 😉

P.S…. stay tuned for a post addressing how to not totally lose control over the holiday 🙂




2-3 Tbsp olive oil
1 medium red onion (sliced in wedges)
3 large sweet potatoes – (Roughly sliced on the diagonal)
2 bundles broccolini (large stems removed – chopped)
3-4 big handfuls kale (larger stems removed)
1/4 tsp each salt + pepper


2 15-ounce chickpeas (drain, rinse, and pat dry)
1.5 tsp cumin
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp each salt + pepper
tsp oregano (optional)
1/4 tsp turmeric (optional


2 Lbs chicken breast (or meat of your choice!) This would also be great with steak, pork tenderloin, or Italian sausage…OR you could even go without and make it a vegetarian meals for the week.


Preheat oven to 400 degrees F and arrange sweet potatoes and onions on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil. Drizzle both with a bit of oil, making sure the flesh of the sweet potatoes are well coated and placed skin side down on the sheet.

You can do your chicken at the same time as the vegetables. Rinse and pat the chicken breasts dry. Coat evenly with olive oil and place on another baking sheet lined with foil or parchment paper. Season with salt, pepper, garlic power, and paprika (or any seasoning you like)! The chicken will bake for appx. 18-20 minutes or until no longer pink. You should see a nice golden color coming up on the top.

Bake for 10 minutes, then remove from oven flip sweet potatoes and add broccolini. Drizzle broccolini with a bit of oil and season with a pinch each salt and pepper.

Bake for another 8-10 minutes, then remove from oven and add kale. Drizzle kale with a touch more oil and season with a pinch each salt and pepper. Bake for another 4-5 minutes then set aside.

While vegetables are roasting, heat a large skillet over medium heat and add chickpeas to a mixing bowl and toss with seasonings.

Once hot, add 1 Tbsp oil and seasoned chickpeas and sauté, stirring frequently. If they’re browning too quickly, turn down heat. If there isn’t much browning going on, increase heat. For me, about 10 minutes total at just over medium heat worked well.

When chicken is finished baking, remove it and let cool for a few minutes before slicing into bitesize chunks,

Once the chickpeas are browned and fragrant, remove from heat and set aside.

To serve: Divide your veggies, chicken, and chickpeas evenly among 4 large bowls. I chose to add a little bit of a grain mix that I had leftover from another recipe to each bowl as well (quinoa, brown rice, bulgar, and farro)
That’s it guys! Eat it right away or pack it up for lunches later where you can heat and enjoy.

Happy New Year || Whole Life Challenge with Team CrossFit Austin

Image result for challenge


Change can be challenging. We like to think of change as an opportunity for growth. With the New Year right around the corner, many of us are beginning to think about those resolutions. Why wait until January to make a commitment to yourself?! You can start now and set yourself up for success by committing to focus on yourself and your habits for 6 weeks. You can do the prep work between now and the start of the challenge to not only get through the holidays with a healthier mindset, but roll into the challenge likes it’s no big deal with some major growth to look forward to.

We also hope that this challenge will create habits that cover the usual resolution suspects like weight, working out, eating well, etc… so you can shift your New Year’s resolutions away from health and fitness goals (because they’ll already be in place!) and make more goals surrounding having fun in 2019!

During our last challenge, we saw some awesome results and had great time working through the challenges & celebrating our weekly wins with our teammates. We hope you’ll consider joining us on this journey again! We introduced some awesome new opportunities the last time around and we’re excited to be adding more with this challenge! Stay tuned for what’s to come 🙂


Whole Life Challenge is part fitness, part nutritional and body composition, and part accountability challenges. Our goals for each New Year 2019 Whole Life Challenger are:

  • Mental + emotional preparation for the longevity of a healthy lifestyle {awareness + action}
  • Individual fitness gains
  • Deeper knowledge and understanding of your own make up, so you can create more specific goals
  • Creation of lasting habits for individualized nutritional and body composition success
  • Physical & nutritional preparation to get you through LIFE and be the best version of yourself

You + Whole Life Challenge = Team CrossFit Austin

Challenge = Change // Goals = Gains

{What is it?}

While everyone wants to look and feel better, it can be a challenge to know how or where to start. The Whole Life Challenge focuses you on the key areas of your life that produce real, life-long changes. Playing together with your friends and family in a fun and motivating daily game, you’ll create new healthy habits that last long after it ends.

The Whole Life Challenge focuses on 7 daily habits that you will learn and create for yourself as you journey through.

These 7 Daily Habits are:

    • Nutrition. Your food choices have the single greatest impact on your health, well-being, and community. When you make choices that keep you healthy, you give yourself the fuel to fulfill all of who you are. There are 3 levels to choose from that allow you to start making changes in a realistic and attainable way.  {Choose the level that is right for you}
    • Exercise. Humans are designed to move daily. Whether through workouts, activity, or simply enjoying the full use of your body, daily movement keeps you healthy and vital. You’re already moving regularly with us!
    • Mobility. In a sedentary world, our bodies get stuck. Daily mobility and stretching helps you move the way nature intended and continue enjoying freedom of movement into your later years.
    • Sleep. Modern schedules tend to dictate how many hours of sleep we’re entitled to. A practice of increasing that time, even by a little bit, can make big strides in robust health. You set the sleep goals that are right for you.
    • Hydration. More than anything, your body is made of water. This habit ensures that your body gets enough of its most basic resources for life.
    • Lifestyle Practice. The {WLC weekly lifestyle practices}turn a life into your life. Learn to step back, take stock, connect, and turn your attention to what is really important to you.
    • Reflection. Looking back, looking inward, or looking forward, daily reflection draws your awareness to what is working and what needs your attention today.


{How Do I Play?}

The {Challenge} begins with taking your preliminary measurements and completing a workout (that can be scaled to your level) that will be repeated at the end.

Throughout the 42 day challenge you will post your scores in the 7 categories listed above. The Challenge is designed in a way that we can work as a team to check in with and support each other on a daily basis.

To close out the Whole Life Challenge, you will repeat the preliminary measurements and workout to gauge how far you’ve come! But, it doesn’t end there! The Whole Life Challenge is designed to help you make healthy lifestyle changes that last.

{How Do I Register?}

You can register and join Team CrossFit Austin through the Whole Life Challenge {website}. Make sure you do join our team to participate with the community!

January 19, 2019       March 1, 2019
Early Return Player Registration
November 15 – January 3
Price: $29.00 (save $20.00)
Early Player Registration
November 24 – January 3
Price: $39.00 (save $10.00)
Regular Registration
January 4 – January 30
Price: $49.00

{What’s New This Year?}

Well, for one, the challenge is a little shorter. What used to be an 8 week challenge is now a 6 week challenge, but regardless, the goal is still the same. We’re here to create long-lasting, healthy habits to

We have partnered with {Body Analytics USA} to offer fast, accurate body composition testing. Their Hydrostatic Testing method uses a three component model which separates the body into 3 areas:

  • Bone, muscle and organs, along with connective tissue, collectively known as lean mass, sinks (is more dense than water)
  • Body fat floats (is less dense than water)
  • Total body water which is neutrally buoyant, but must be removed from your actual weight

By obtaining your dry weight and water weight, based on buoyancy, our specialized computer program can scientifically calculate your body fat as a percentage of your total weight. The ordinary scale cannot tell you if weight loss is muscle or fat while testing with Body Analytics will tell you exactly what took place with your body during your weight loss regimen.

This will be an additional service offered at CrossFit Austin both pre & post WLC. We will post back here with dates as soon as we confirm!

Single test – $49
Pre & Post-test – $80

Last challenge, we partnered with Grxub Prepared Meals and had healthy, delicious, COMPLIANT meals delivered straight to the gym. We are excited to be partnering with Jon and Grxub again this cycle!

There are still more exciting things to come for the New Year challenge (stay tuned)! Commit to yourself for 2019 and start your year out right by joining Team CrossFit Austin!


December Athlete of the Month || Alyson Bentley!

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 December Athlete of the Month is Alyson Bentley! Alyson has been a part of the CFA family for about a year and a half now, but she was no stranger to CrossFit when she started! Alyson and Coach Mark actually go back to their college days in Lubbock, training and competing together! Alyson is most regularly an early AM gal, but you’ll occasionally find her popping into other classes, always making fitness a priority in her schedule. Alyson is a serious #badassbabe! She exemplifies so many of the qualities we look for in an AOM and has shown some awesome progress in her time here. Alyson, the CFA Team is proud to honor you as our December 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:
Alyson Bentley
Words to live by? 
Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.
What is your fitness background?
I was a competitive cheerleader for many years and stumbled across Crossfit when I decided I wanted to get stronger. I figured if I could throw some weights around I could get become stronger at throwing my body around!
How long have you been CrossFitting?
5 years!
Take us back to your first day of CrossFit… How did you feel? How do you compare it to workouts today?
My first day of Crossfit I was so anxious. I had to do a series of elements classes which totaled to two weeks of learning the basics before I was able to actually join in the Crossfit classes and do my first wod. I hopped in there a little intimidated by all the amazing athletes but quickly found my place among them. Crossfit has changed my life and brought out a side of myself most wouldn’t see at first glance. It allows me to challenge myself and be both mentally and physically strong!

What’s your favorite part of CrossFit Austin?

Crossfit Austin is the bomb because of all the amazing coaches and athletes that create such an awesome community. Crossfit austin is the reason I drive 20 min out of my way to get a workout in when there is multiple boxes within 5 min of where I live.

Current Training Goals/PRs?
My Training goals starting in January will be to become a more well rounded athlete. I plan to implement all the aspects of programming that CFA has to offer. I will be making some time to get my wods in, making time to hangout with coach Dylan to work on my barbell movements, and making time for some endurance with coach Jesse so that I can I work on my weakness I have with running!
What advice do you have for folks just starting out in CrossFit?
Have patience! Crossfit is not something that you become good at overnight and even when you do think you got it down it always sneaks up on you and makes sure you know that there is ALWAYS something to learn and to get better at. Check your ego at the door and everything will come with hard work and time! 
What is your cheat meal go to?
Margaritas and chips and salsa aka Mexican food!
How do you use your fitness outside of the gym?
Investing in my self with my commitment to fitness allows me to invest in everyone else around me. Whether it be in my personal life, at work, or even just making time to hangout with my furry friends you may often see sitting in my car!
Tell us about a moment you felt most proud of yourself during a workout. 
I feel proud of myself every single time I finish a wod. Every workout we do presents itself with it’s own challenge and the feeling of adrenaline rushing through you when you realize you did something you may or may not have known your body was capable of doing is unlike any other.
If you could create a WOD and name it for yourself, what would it be? 
20 min AMRAP
12 DL
12 hang cleans
12 front squat
12 push press 
12 back squat
What are your hobbies, interests and/or talents outside of CrossFit?
I love to travel, be out doors, hang out with my pups, and grab a good margarita now and then!
Tell us something we don’t know about you…
I sell personal lines insurance (home,auto,umbrella, motorcycle, etc)! Little did you guys know I am probably the coolest insurance agent you know.
Leave the fine folks of CrossFit Austin with some parting words…
You guys are all so awesome. I am very fortunate to be able to workout among all of you and be apart of the CFA community!

Kitchen Adventures || African Groundnut Stew

Well, today did not go as planned… Which is why you’re getting this post so late 😉 Something happened to knock the phone and internet out at the gym and working on my cell is not ideal.

I also had a ton of running around to do to pick up things for our upcoming 10 Year Anniversary Party!

Guys, I can’t tell you how excited I am for this! I’m going to plug it everywhere I can until party time, but meal tickets and raffle tickets are on sale now and trust me, you do NOT want to miss out on either! We have some super cool raffle prizes and tickets (for both the raffle and the food) are cheap y’all! As for the meal plates, you can’t have a party at a ranch in Texas without BBQ. AJ’s Ranch Roach Grill is one of our favorite go-tos down here in San Marcos. When I don’t want to cook, brisket it is! Tim has also known Andrew for years so we’re excited to support a friend.

Honestly, this whole party is put together by partnering with friends. I’ve spent the last couple of weeks reaching out to our friends and cohorts to bring the people and things we love together… Anyway, I have a ton of things to do this evening for this party so I’m going to get on with the recipe. Get your tix and I’ll see ya there! 🙂

African Groundnut Stew 

1 lb Ground Turkey
1Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 medium red onion – finely chopped
1 medium green bell pepper – finely chopped
1/2 cup chopped celery
3 cloves of garlic – minced
2 Tbsp fresh ginger – peeled and minced
2 Tbsp curry powder
2 large tomatoes – diced
1 bay leaf
4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
4 Tbsp natural almond butter – creamy or crunchy!
1 1/2 cups soybeans (edamame) cooked (I just use frozen in the steam bag)
1/4 cup fresh cilantro – chopped
1 lb baby spinach leaves
Salt and Pepper to taste.

Heat olive oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat and brown the ground turkey. Add the onion, bell pepper and celery and saute until soft and translucent, about 4 minutes

Add the garlic, ginger and curry powder and saute until fragrant. Be careful not to brown the garlic.  Add the tomatoes and bay leaf and cook, uncovered until tomatoes are slightly reduced, about 3 minutes.

Add the broth and bring the mixture to a boil.  Reduce the heat to low and whisk in almond butter until blended.  Add the soybeans and cook until heated through, about 2 minutes.  Stir in the cilantro and spinach.  Season with salt and pepper to taste!

This recipe is cozy and earthy and a great way to break out of your normal routine. Enjoy!

Kitchen Adventures || Cozy Comfort Food – Hearty Soup

It’s kind of strange how food can bring so much comfort emotionally, but it really does! Over the weekend, Tim wasn’t feeling so hot AND we had his mother in town visiting. Sunday evening, it was chilly out, Tim was resting, and I wanted to make something cozy for all of us to enjoy while we watched a movie. If you haven’t figured it out yet, I love soups. I love to make soups, especially in my cast iron dutch oven. I wanted a nice hearty soup with warm fall flavors and this is what we ended up with!

It did the trick! We were warm, full, and happy. Tim got a little soup therapy, and I got the thumbs up from his mom so I’d call it a success! I know it’s Thanksgiving this week and there will be plenty of chow making the rounds, but if you need something quick and you’re tired of turkey, this can be on the table in under an hour. Enjoy guys!

Also, Happy Thanksgiving! Hope everyone gets some quality family time in this week. Tim and I are grateful to have all of you in our lives! XO

*Take note on the spice blend – I did not have Old Bay seasoning on hand, but I made an awesome mix on my own that I actually like better. Easy route, go Old Bay, but if you don’t mind spending another minute or two to mix it up, the alternate is awesome.


  • 1 lb ground Italian sausage (turkey works as well – heck! Maybe you shred up the leftover turkeyfrom Thanksgiving!)
  • 6 cups chicken (or vegetable) stock
  • 1 cup uncooked wild rice
  • 8 ounces baby bella mushrooms, sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 medium carrots, diced
  • 3 ribs celery, diced
  • 1 large (about 1 pound) sweet potato, peeled and diced
  • 1 small white onion, peeled and diced
  • 2-3 Bay Leaves
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon Old Bay seasoning – see below for alternate mix
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 2 large handfuls of kale, roughly chopped with thick stems removed
  • Kosher salt and freshly-cracked black pepper

Alternate to Old Bay

  • 1 Tbsp celery salt
  • 2 tsp fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp dry mustard
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg-fresh ground if possible
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon powder
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and mix well!


**I really cannot tell you how worth it an enameled cast iron dutch oven is guys.. I use it for everything! This is the one I have, but Cuisinart, Martha Stewart, and so many others make very similar ones. Such a solid investment!

  1. Heat (an extra) 1 tablespoon butter in a large stockpot (or dutch oven)  over medium-high heat. Add in the meat and cook, stirring occasionally until browned.
  2. Add onion and sauté for 4 minutes, stirring occasionally, until soft and translucent.  Stir in the garlic and cook for an additional 1-2 minutes, stirring occasionally, until fragrant.
  3. Add in the stock, wild rice, mushrooms, carrots, celery, sweet potato, bay leaves and seasoning.  Stir to combine.
  4. Continue cooking until the soup reaches a simmer.  Then reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer for 45 minutes, or until the rice is tender, stirring occasionally.
  5. Meanwhile, during those final 10 minutes, prepare your cream sauce in a separate saucepan on the stove.  In it, cook the butter over medium-high heat until melted.  Whisk in the flour (add gradually) until combined, and cook for 1 minute.  Slowly add in the milk, and whisk until combined.  Continue cooking, stirring frequently, until the mixture nearly comes to a simmer and has thickened.  (It should be very thick.)
  6. Add the cream sauce and kale to the soup, and stir gently until combined. Taste and season with salt and pepper (plus any extra seasoning, if you would like) as needed.
  7. Serve warm.  Or transfer to sealed container(s) and refrigerate.
I’m a firm believer in corn bread, so that’s what we had with this soup. On that note, I just used a little box of Jiffy, but I always add about 1/2 cup of frozen corn. This time though, I used unsweetened coconut milk instead of regular milk and I don’t think I’ll ever go back. It was awesome!