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!

CrossFit Austin || Celebrating 10 Years Strong!

Join us in celebrating 10 Years of serving the Austin Community!


We are so honored and excited to be celebrating 10 Years Strong w/ CrossFit Austin! Serving the Austin community for the last 10 years has been no small feat, but one of the most rewarding! The relationships and journeys we’ve fostered have filled these walls with love. We hope you can join us to celebrate!


Saturday, December 8
2:00 – 6:00 pm


The home of Linzi Newth

14015 S Turnersville Rd
Buda, TX 78610

*Next door to her awesome business – Remington Pet Ranch! Check them out for pet grooming, boarding, daycare.. They’ll even come pick up your pooch on their tricked out bus!

*Note – this will be an outdoor party so dress accordingly. Don’t worry though, there WILL be a bonfire! 


All members, families, friends, residents in the area! It’s a party y’all!

*Unless you’re dropping them off next door for a boarding/grooming/or daycare appt. Please leave pets at home. The party is at a private residence and we want to respect the space.

What else:

Male and Female members of the year awards
In years past it has been Push Up Man and Push Up woman, but with new ownership and a new decade ahead, we are excited to announce our new annual award – Stay tuned!

Superlative awards
Think high school year book 😉 Always a lot of fun and a good way to get to know your CFA community

Corn hole, spike ball, frisbees, etc… You can also make smores at the bonfire if that’s your thing 🙂

Food & Brews

Usually we have our annual party at a restaurant or bar where everyone’s on their own and food and beverages can get pretty pricey. We’re thrilled to be able to offer discounted meal plates and beverages thanks to some of our friends! 

We are having BBQ plates catered from one of our favorite go-tos! Owned and operated by a long time friend of Tim’s, AJ’s Ranch Road Grill will be cooking up all kinds of goodies at a steal! They are even coming out to serve for us!

BBQ chicken
Mac & Cheese
Pinto Beans

**We’re also excited to have custom printed cups for the occasion! We’ll have 3 kinds of beer from a couple of our neighbors! If you plan to drink beer you must be (21+) and must purchase a beer cup with or without a meal. Cups may also be purchased if you don’t plan to drink beer and just want a commemorative cup 😉 

NXNW Restaurant and Brewery on Slaughter lane
Zombie Dragon IPA & Northern Lights Lager

Two Wheel Brewery in Buda
Buda-Ful Blonde Ale

We’ll also have some of the standards if craft isn’t your thing.

BBQ plates + CFA Cup $15  – Will include 2 meats and 2 sides, cup must be purchased if you plan to drink beer. (21+)  Water and tea will also be provided

BBQ plate (food only) $12 – Will include 2 meats and 2 sides – water and tea provided with meal plates

CFA Cup only – $5 – Cup must be purchased if you plan to drink beer (21+) You can also purchase without drinking beer if you just want the cup! 🙂

POTLUCK SNACKS/APPS – We’ll be setting out some additional snacks and appetizers for free. Help us stock the table and bring your favorite! Ex: Chips, salsa, guac, veggies/fruit/meat trays, potato salad, cole slaw (it’s outside so anything that needs to stay cool will do great!) crackers, cheese, sweets, etc…

*Email to purchase plates and cups


We are excited to be working with several of our favorite local restaurants and businesses for some awesome raffle prizes!

So far our prizes include:

Emmer & Rye Gift Cards
District Kitchen Gift Cards
Rosewood Gift Cards

Stronger Faster Healthier prize packs
Cryo + Compression session at Restore Cryo
Infared Sauna + Stretch session at Restore Cryo
Austin Weightlifting 1-on-1 Sessions
Massage with Heidi @ CFA

But, there is much more to come!

Email to purchase raffle tickets! All proceeds go to covering additional costs for the party and left over goes to our equipment fund! 

Raffle tickets
1 – $2
3 – $5
5 – $7
10 – $10

What do I need:

A lawn chair
Cash for raffle tickets if you didn’t pre-purchase and have FOMO
Warm, outside clothes or a blanket (just in case)
Potluck dish for the snack/app table
The meal and beer tickets you purchased
Your party pants


Kitchen Adventures || Quick Chili for a cold day!

HOLY BURR! There is a reason that I moved out of Kansas and to Texas… cold weather. I will say… I’m glad it’s not raining anymore, but this is for the birds.

I say that, but guess where we are going for Thanksgiving next week? Yeah.. Kansas. My dad said they’ve already gotten their first snow. I honestly don’t mind that if I don’t have to be driving or getting out in it. I’ll take snow on Thanksgiving day when we can veg out and just watch it come down in the yard.

So, guess what I was craving with the cold weather? Chili. I’m not really a fan of the typical chili beans and I like a lot of “stuff” in it, so this is the recipe I came up with when I wanted chili MY way. With every recipe, you can add and subtract as desired, but I like to think this is a pretty good one. Tim would agree… we’ve had this twice in the last couple of weeks and he hasn’t complained. 🙂

Alright, put on your sweatpants and get to cooking! This will be ready in no-time. It’s not one of those chili recipes that needs hours to simmer so if you want a quick one for tonight – I got you covered.

Weeknight Chili 

1 Tbsp Olive Oil
2 Lb ground meat of your choice – I like a mix of 1lb Bison and 1lb Beef
1 15oz can of black beans – drained and rinsed
1 15oz can of garbanzo beans – drained and rinsed
1 14.5oz can HEB fire roasted tomatoes
1 14.5oz can HEB diced tomatoes with green chilis
1 medium yellow onion – diced
2 cloves garlic – minced
1 large jalapeno – finely diced
1 poblano pepper – diced
1 large bell pepper (color of your choice) – diced
1 cup sweet corn (I use frozen)
*2-3 Tbsp chili powder – I like a lot in my chili so I use 3, but go to taste
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp dried oregono
 tsp cayenne pepper (Optional if you like spicy)
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp fresh ground pepper

For topping – All optional
Diced onion, diced green, fresh cilantro, sliced jalapeno, plain greek yogurt (I actually like this better than sour cream), sliced avocado, lime wedge, tortilla chips… make some cornbread… the world is your oyster.


In a large pot (I use my cast iron dutch oven… let’s be real, I use it for EVERYTHING)… heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onions, jalapeno, bell pepper, and poblano pepper and cook for 2-3 minutes until they begin to soften. Add the garlic and cook another minute. Add the ground meat, stir and cook until browned throughout.

Add the seasoning and all your canned goods. Tomatoes (both kinds) – (note* If you can’t find those, about 30 oz of any diced tomatoes will do. I just love the flavors of those), black beans, and garbanzo beans. If you need more liquid you can add a little water or broth, but keep in mind the ingredients will cook down a bit and release some moisture.

Bring the chili to a boil, add the corn, then reduce the heat, cover and simmer for about 20 minutes. The longer you simmer the more the flavors will blend, but it’s pretty much ready at this point! Taste and adjust your seasoning if you prefer.

Put your coziest socks on, dish it out into nice deep bowls and load it up with your favorite toppings! Netflix and chili y’all.


November Athlete of the Month || Steve Singleton!

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 November Athlete of the Month is Steve Singleton! Steve has only been a part of the CFA family since July, but he came in HOT and has already made massive jumps in his training! Steve is a regular in the “4:30 Fire” crew, but you’ll occasionally find him popping into other classes, always making fitness a priority in his schedule. From day one, he has had some clear goals in mind and immediately began doing the extra work to achieve them. He takes the time to do the extra work, schedule individual sessions, focus on technique, and it shows in the PRs he’s hitting!! Steve exemplifies so many of the qualities we look for in an AOM and has shown some awesome progress in his time here. Steve, the CFA Team is proud to honor you as our November 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:Steve Singleton

Words to live by?
Success is not final, failure is not fatal; it is the courage to continue that counts. – Winston Churchill

What is your fitness background?
I was an athlete growing up, but exchanged the weights for a whisk a couple of years ago which is one of the reason I turned to CrossFit.

How long have you been CrossFitting?
I briefly tried Crossfit in New England, but it didn’t workout. I joined CFA last July.

Take us back to your first day of CrossFit… How did you feel? How do you compare it to workouts today?
I don’t think I was nervous because I knew it would take time and patience to learn things, but I also wasn’t confident in myself as an athlete. Today, I walk in with confidence in the skills I have learned.

What’s your favorite part of CrossFit Austin?
I truly enjoy seeing everyone push themselves and each other with every workout. We all have strengths and weaknesses, therefore can step up and help one another get through each day.

Current Training Goals/PRs?
My current goal isn’t a number, but a time. I took a picture of myself on June 19, 2018 at one of the lowest points of my life, one month before joining CFA; I look forward to taking another picture on June 19, 2019 to see how far I’ve come.

My short term goal was to get a single muscle-up… nailed it.. now, on to the rings

What advice do you have for folks just starting out in CrossFit?
Less really is more! With time and practice focusing on form, the PRs will come.

What is your cheat meal go to?
Breakfast tacos! Any kind any way.. I learned the hard way that New Englanders don’t know what they are or how to make ’em right. Worst two years ever! (Not really)😎

How do you use your fitness outside of the gym?
I use my body everyday as a massage therapist so keeping up with fitness is key to my longevity

Tell us about a moment you felt most proud of yourself during a workout.
The day I broke my pr by 90lb on the power clean. All the 1-on-1 sessions with Dylan and pointers from the coaches really paid off!

If you could create a WOD and name it for yourself, what would it be?
The Triwizard Tournament: for time

  1. 50 squat snatches
  2. 50 burpee into jumping pull-ups
  3. 1600 meter run

What are your hobbies, interests and/or talents outside of CrossFit?
I’m a massage therapist by trade, but a pastry chef by hobby. I went back to school when I turned 30 to get my degree in Pastry Arts, just for fun. Also, I’m a retired professional wrestler (just like on TV)

Tell us something we don’t know about you…
The workout was a hint to this… I’m a HUGE potthead aka Harry Potter nerd. I was 12 when the first book came out and I’ve been a fan ever since. The dragon tattoo on my shoulder is a custom piece I had drawn by taking 3 pieces of graphic art from the movies.

Leave the fine folks of CrossFit Austin with some parting words
As someone who’s is naturally introverted I’d like to just thank everyone, coaches and workout crew, for making me feel welcome from day one. Coming to CFA was something that was definitely out of my comfort zone, but with great risk comes great reward because joining was one of the best decisions I’ve made.

Kitchen Adventures || Sweet potato breakfast bowls

Happy Hump Day! I hope your week has been full of awesome things! It’s been a bit hectic around here, but that’s only because we are planning our 10 Year Anniversary Party! We’re so excited y’all 🙂

I’m going to keep this one brief because I have a ton of things to do for said party, so we’re going to get straight to the kitchen. I’m usually a savory breakfast person. Don’t get me wrong, I love pancakes and pastries, but if it isn’t paired with something savory, I’m usually not into it for breakfast. This recipe may be the exception to that.

It’s sweet without being overly sweet… if that makes sense… and like all my favorite things, you can customize this with your favorite toppings. I’ll share what I used, but also list a few other ideas for you. If you need a super quick breakfast option, this is the way to go. Enjoy!

The amounts I’m sharing made 3 bowls for us… adjust accordingly 🙂

Sweet Potato breakfast bowls

2 Large sweet potatoes
1-2 Scoops protein powder (I used SFH churro, but I think a vanilla, coconut, or even chocolate would be good in this)
1 Large apple
1 tsp coconut oil
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/3 tsp nutmeg
2 TBSP Almond Butter

Topping options

Sliced Almonds
Chia seeds
Flax seeds
Rolled Oats
*Optional – a drizzle of date syrup, honey, or maple syrup on top

You have 2 options with the sweet potatoes. If you prefer oven baked, wash and poke your potatoes with a fork several times. Wrap them in foil and baked them at 425 for 45-50 minutes…

**If you go the microwave route, start your apples first so they can bake while you prep the rest.

I do not have time or patience for that so I go the microwave route. Wash and poke with a fork 5-6 times. Wrap them in wax paper and microwave. Usually about 7 minutes, but if you do them together it may be a bit longer. Rotate them half way through and microwave until soft and fork tender. Cut open and let them cool for a few minutes before handling.

**Apples – Preheat the oven to 350. Wash, core, and dice your apple into cubes. I like to leave the skin on, but it’s up to you. Toss the apples in a bowl with coconut oil (liquid form) along with the cinnamon and nutmeg. Line a baking sheet with foil and spread the apples out on the sheet. Bake the apples for 10-15 minutes or until softened and golden. Your kitchen is going to smell amazing!

Once your potatoes have cooled enough to handle them (don’t let them get cold if you plan to eat this immediately) remove the skin and put them in a large bowl. Mash them up with a fork. Add the protein powder and mix it in well. If you’re having trouble mixing it in, add a little bit of liquid of your choice. I used coconut milk. You can also had more cinnamon and nutmeg to this mixture if you prefer. 

Dish out a bowl of the potato/protein mixture. Top it with a tablespoon of almond butter, the apples you just baked, and whatever else you prefer! Mine had raisins, chia & flax seed, sliced almonds, raw rolled oats, and a little drizzle of date syrup.

You could also skip the apples and do chocolate chips instead. I haven’t tried it, but I bet this would be good with some blueberries, shaved coconut, any other kind of nuts… It’s up to you! It takes on almost an “oatmeal” feeling so top it up however you want.

Even though I’m a savory breakfast person, I’ll definitely be making this again.

Kitchen Adventures || Happy Halloween {Treats}!


What do you call a pumpkin that has had too many Halloween treats??? 

(read the post to find the punch line…)

Happy Halloween! Today is the date that it’s acceptable to eat massive amounts of candy that’s been given to you by strangers! Don’t get me wrong, I love Halloween! I think growing up as a dancer elevated my love for costumes and dressing up. I still have a huge tub full of costumes… I think there is something really fun about getting to be someone or something else for a day and just live it up! In fact, a gal I knew when I lived in Kansas has the pleasure of doing it on a daily basis! If you want to be seriously amazed, check out her instagram.

Anyhoo… this post is about food, not expressing our other “selves” 😉 so let’s talk about sweets! Treats come in all forms! Halloween is a day for candy, cookies, baked goods, sweets of all kinds… I believe that there is nothing wrong with indulging from time to time, but I also believe that if you’re going to indulge it should be fully worth it. If you are trying to stay on track with your eating, days like today can be difficult, but I have a few recipes for some healthier alternatives to help satisfy that sweet tooth without binging on that overpriced store bought candy.

I have one recipe that I did and then I’m linking a few other choices so you have some variety. Check it out!


So this first one is the one I made. I love chocolate and peanut butter… who doesn’t? But, especially on the Whole Life Challenge, most of the good stuff that contains that combo is non-compliant. I actually made this recipe as a little energy bite that we could pop before or after a workout to give us a little boost, but it tasted so good that I have to share it as a treat.

Chocolate-Peanut Butter Coconut Energy Balls


2 cups medjool dates pitted (roughly 20 dates)
1 TBSP Coconut Oil
3 TBSP unsweetened cocoa powder
2 TBSP Peanut (or Almond) butter
3 TBSP Chia Seeds
1 1/2 cup rolled oats divided
3/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut 


In a large bowl, cover the dates with 2 cups of boiling water and allow to sit for 10 minutes. This softens them and allows for a smoother mixture
Drain and pat them dry and add them to in a food processor with a steel blade.  Add 2 tablespoons of the water, your coconut oil, cocoa powder, chia seeds, peanut butter, and 1 cup of rolled oats.

Blend until smooth, scraping down sides. If you are having trouble with consistency, add a little bit of water (1 TBSP at a time) until the mixture blends smoothly. Then, add the remaining ½ cup of rolled oats and about 1/2 a cup of shredded coconut and pulse until it’s mixed in. You want to leave these roughly chopped for texture, but you do want them well mixed in.

Taste your mixture and make adjustments to the flavor if you want to.

Put the food processor in the fridge for at least 10 minutes before rolling into 1 tablespoon sized balls.

Coat your hands in coconut oil to prevent the mixture from sticking to you. Roll into 1 tablespoon sized balls, and toss to coat in remaining ¼ cup of shredded coconut. I actually added a few more oats in for the coating as well.

Let them chill in the refrigerator for another 10 minutes before enjoying. Keep them (if you have any left over) stored in the refrigerator.

If these don’t spark your interest, here is a list of recipes that look pretty dang enticing as well! I’m sticking with my energy balls for now because they are Whole Life Challenge compliant, but as far as cleaner alternatives go, these are some great options.

Ba dum tss!

And remember…. if you allow yourself to indulge in treats (store bought OR home made!) … do it in moderation 🙂 Don’t let yourself turn into a PLUMPKIN! 

The Four Sisters || Which one are you?

4 sisters getting coffee.png

Thrivestry “Story Time” – The Four Sisters

There once were four sisters who all trained together at the gym. They had been there a while, and all of them had hit a point in their training at which they started to have some opinions on how they wanted to train.

The oldest sister decided she would always do the hardest option. She was always looking for the hard path. She relentlessly attacked her weaknesses every day. She always did the hardest programs and went to the toughest coaches. Her diet was perfect, she worked out for hours every single day, and she never took a day off.

The second oldest sister decided that she would always do the safest option. She was always looking for the easy path. She avoided the things she was bad at, seemed dangerous, or didn’t enjoy. She stayed with the easy programs and scaled down most movements. She liked going to the coaches that didn’t push her too hard but cheered her on no matter what. She said her diet was ‘pretty good’, never tracked her food, but she did say “no” to her favorite desert or wine every once in a while. She came to the gym when she ‘had time’ and when she ‘wasn’t too tired’.

The third oldest sister could not make a decision. She was always starting one path or another. She went to a hard class and did the hardest options one day, then didn’t come to the gym for a week. She spent an hour working on a weakness, then did not touch it again for 6 months. She was constantly looking at other routines online, starting and quitting a new one every week or two. Her diet changed week to week, and sometimes it even changed in the same day. One day she started to train for a marathon, and the next day she started a program that would help her with her play better for her softball team. She would come to the gym 6 days in a row, then not come at all for over a week.

The fourth sister was the youngest. She decided to ‘pick her battles’. She spent some time focusing on just being consistent coming to the gym, but didn’t try to crush herself every day. She worked on one weakness at a time but didn’t overdo it. When she started a new program or diet, she stuck with it for at least 6 months, and only worried about small changes that would provide the biggest benefit. When she was feeling overwhelmed, she took it easy. When she was feeling bored, she found a new challenge. When she wasn’t sure what to do, what path to take, she asked a coach. When her progress got interrupted, she didn’t beat herself up or try to make up for it. She just got back to basics and worked on being consistent.

The Sisters Go on a Trip

The four sisters were traveling together in the far east for a vacation.

One of the days, they had some time in the morning before going to visit an ancient monastery.

The sisters were not getting along because the morning hadn’t gone well.

The oldest sister was frustrated because she couldn’t do her full program at the hotel gym that morning and they didn’t have all the foods she needed to eat according to her strict diet.

The second sister wasn’t feeling well because she hadn’t worked out since the trip began, and she kept eating everything that looked tasty.

The third sister was feeling rushed and frantic because spent the morning looking up workouts to do, ran out of time, and was only able to run on a treadmill for 10 minutes. She had to skip breakfast because she was running late and couldn’t decide what to eat.

The youngest sister was having a great day because she slept in a bit. Instead of an aggressive workout, she did some shoulder pre-hab to help her shoulder that has nagged her in the past, then did a short little circuit that left her breathless but not wrecked. She ate some healthy stuff but didn’t feel too bad about indulging in some new treats as well.

The Sisters Were Not Getting Along

When the sisters got to the monastery, they were arguing with one another about their day.

The oldest sister thought her sisters were lazy, making them late all the time, and too laid back. The second sister thought they had woken her up too early, made her guilty about not working out, and judged for eating the yummier foods. The third sister thought they were rushing her too much, ignoring her (not helping her decide what to do), and she was feeling hungry because all of them ate but her.

The youngest sister was just trying to enjoy herself and wasn’t too worried about her sisters.

They had just finished watching a demonstration of the physical feats of the monastery residents, learning about the long history of teaching and training, and getting some instruction themselves, when one of the teachers asked if they had any questions.

The Sisters Learn Valuable Lessons

One of the sisters asked: “We all have similar goals of feeling good about how we look, being able to do fun things, and staying active a long time… which one of us is using the best approach?”

The teacher looked at each sister in turn and gave them advice.

She told the oldest sister that her training would lead to burn out and injury. The guilt when she missed a workout or ate ‘bad’ was going to make her not fun to be around and make her upset with herself no matter how much she achieved.

She told the second sister that her training was going make her bored and not produce any change. The years would fly by and she will be disappointed with her lack of results. She would feel judged by everyone and wish she had committed to something sooner.

She told the third sister that her training was going take a lot of energy and time, but not produce meaningful results. She will always be frantic to find the ‘better’ program, a ‘better’ technique, or a ‘better’ coach. She will always feel like the ‘next’ program will be the ultimate one, only be disappointed when it doesn’t work any better than all of the others. She will feel that everyone thinks she is a quitter and that the reason that she isn’t progressing is because something is wrong with her.

Then the teacher turned to the youngest sister and said:

“Your way is not the easy way, but it is the best way. And you still have lessons to learn.

You must learn when to push hard, when to let things go, and when to stop and wait.

Sometimes you will feel overwhelmed, so you must learn to accept it, work through it, and plan for downtime in the future.

Sometimes you will feel bored or in a rut, so you must learn to pick a new challenge that is difficult or fun.

Sometimes you will feel confused, so you must learn where you can find clarity or who you can go to for advice.

The most difficult part will be not getting stuck on one path, stuck trying to decide, and to not get swept up in other people’s journeys.

If you continually work on these things, you will get results the fastest and you be most likely to succeed in all the things you desire.”

The Sisters Return

The rest of the vacation went by and the sisters came back with a new appreciation for the different approaches to training and life.

The oldest sister planned periods of time where she would just have fun with her second sister, and she let herself ‘indulge’ in her favorite foods occasionally.

The second sister picked at least one day a week to really push herself and decided to master one of the movements she liked doing. She also challenged herself to pay more attention to what she ate.

The third sister talked to a coach and settled in on a routine that she can stick to for 6 months. She is going to workout more with her oldest sister to keep her consistent. She is also going to stick with some simple nutrition rules that aren’t too extreme.

The youngest sister was making excellent progress, surpassing her sisters even, making them proud (and maybe a bit jealous).

Then she got pregnant…

But that is story for another time…

I hoped you enjoyed our little ‘parable’ about the 4 sisters!

Which sister do you find yourself relating to most?

Do you understand how to balance your life so that you can have what the youngest sister was working toward and what the teacher was trying to convey?

In life we shouldn’t try to live in extremes. We need to focus on small changes that create balance. We need to look at our schedule and routines and make deliberate changes that will keep us moving in the right direction.

We need to understand that nothing stays the same forever. We must remember that having some clear goals, stopping to ‘take stock’ of how we are doing regularly, and having a plan for when things change, is a recipe for success.

Thrive on.


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