Smoothie Saturday || Chocolate Sunbutter Dream

Who likes Reese’s?? Well… this isn’t exactly the same, but if you’re a fan of that flavor profile, you’ll like this! Don’t let the spinach fool you guys. You won’t even taste it, but you WILL get all the goodies in it. You can use any chocolate protein you have. If you don’t have chocolate protein, use something like vanilla or coconut and throw in a 1-2 teaspoons of cocoa powder. This one is almost dessert! Enjoy!

 

INGREDIENTS

2 Scoops chocolate protein of your choice
2 TBSP Sun butter (almond, peanut, etc… whatever you like)
1 Banana
1 TBSP Coconut Oil
1 Cup fresh spinach
1 Cup fresh oats
1 TBSP Chia Seeds
Milk of choice – I like coconut milk
Handful of ice cubes for texture
*1/2 cup of coffee

 

INSTRUCTIONS

As a rule, it’s good to get a little liquid in first so the protein powder doesn’t stick, but otherwise drop all that good stuff in and blend it up!

Prehab/Rehab for The Ankles || Coach Mark

Ankles, ankles, ankles! I cannot emphasize enough the importance of ankle mobility. Think about it, our feet and ankles are the foundation on which we perform 90% of movements.Whether that’s in a CF gym or simply walking around our homes/communities. Take a simple movement like the squat, for example. If we lack appropriate ankle dorsiflexion (our ability to bend forward at the ankle joint), it throws off the entire movement system. We may begin to compensate by exaggerating hip flexion which in turn, creates unwanted torque (due to a greater moment arm) in our low back. The image shown demonstrates an individual with poor ankle dorsiflexion (stick figure on the left), and another who demonstrates appropriate ankle mobility (stick figure on the right). Below are a few exercises to help us improve our ankle mobility and ultimately, our performance.

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Soft tissue/Foam roll:
      • Gastrocs, anterior tibialis, plantar surface of foot
      • Start your session off with some foam rolling of the calves (Gastrocs), soft tissue near the shins (anterior tibialis), and the underside of the foot with a hard ball (plantar surface of foot)
      • Use longer strides vs shorter to maximize the movement of fluids into and out of the targeted tissue(s)

 

 

 

  • Goblet squat stretch

      • 2 sets of 30 sec hold
      • Holding a weight, place elbows on knees in the bottom position to force knees out (deeper stretch) 
      • You can also lean towards either side to really focus on one ankle at a time
      • Keep the heels down!!

 

 

 

 

 

  • Box/chair ankle stretch
    • 2 sets (per side) of 10 ankle pumps
    • Using a stool/chair/box, prop one foot up while placing your other leg in a lunge position
    • Perform 10 ankles pumps, taking the ankle to end range of motion (or until the heel starts popping up)
    • KEEP THE HEELS DOWN!!
    • You may also hold at end range of motion for 20-30 seconds to continue stretching the gastrocs 
    • Place a weight on top of the knee to use as leverage when moving into the deeper positions

Kitchen Adventures || The best “frozen dinner” I’ve ever had…

Believe it or not… working from home has had us working longer, harder hours than ever. To the point that it’s been hard to find time to prep and cook like I was before… Enter: Freezer Meals. Game changer guys!  One day, I batched up about 7 different freezer meals. Most of them yield 4-6 servings so for each of us that’s 2-3 meals worth. I was a little concerned because I’m one who tastes and adjusts as I cook and by going this route, there was no tasting until it was done. I did adjust slightly once it was done, but I was pretty dang proud for myself for how good this tasted right out of the bag!

That was the best part too… It took maybe 5 minutes to put this together in a bag and all I had to do when I was ready to cook it was dump it in the instant pot. You will need the larger 2 gallon freezer bags for this OR divide it into (2) 1 gal. bags.

I’m going to include instructions for both the instant pot and the crockpot. The only other step for this would be to make the rice if you’re using it. (I suggest it, but you know how your body responds to it).

Anyway, try this out and tell me it’s not the best dang frozen meal you’ve eaten! 😉

Sausage and Chicken Gumbo

INGREDIENTS
12 oz  Andouille Sausage
2 Large Chicken Breasts
16 oz  Frozen Okra
1 red bell pepper – diced
1 medium yellow onion – diced
3-4 cloves garlic – minced
28 oz can of petit diced tomatoes – include the juice
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp Cajun Seasoning
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
2 dashes tabasco or hot sauce (leave out if you prefer mild)

*Optional, but HIGHLY recommended 🙂
serve on top of white rice

*Add gumbo file’ powder – add about a tbsp once it’s done

INSTRUCTIONS

Label a 2 gallon (or 2 1 gal.) freezer bags with the date, the name of the recipe, and the cooking instruction. Add all ingredients (except rice and file) to the bag, seal it trying to get as much air as possible out of it and lay it flat in the freezer.

If you want to cook it immediately, go for it using the instructions below.

For instant pot-
From frozen, add the contents to the instant pot. You may have to thaw slightly and break it into chunks. Add 1/4 cup water. Cook for 12 minutes at high pressure then allow 10 minutes for natural release.

If cooking fresh, cook for 10 minutes at high pressure, then allow 10 minutes for natural release.

Once it’s done, shred the chicken, add the file powder and eat up!

For crock pot –
From frozen, add the contents to the crock pot. Again, you may have to thaw slightly and break it into chunks. Cook on high for 3-4 hours or low 5-6hours.

From fresh, cook on high for 3 hours or low 4-5 hours.

Once it’s done, shred the chicken, add the file powder and eat up!

 

Smoothie Saturday || Black Magic Smoothie – Gen & Tim

I call this black magic because of the color it ends up being at the end 🙂 You may also have noticed that both mine and Tim’s name are on this recipe. That’s because this comes from a combo of things we’ll both cram into a smoothie.

This is a dense drink, y’all! I’m a firm believer of packing as much goodness into the cup as possible so this ends up being a nice thick, creamy smoothie. It’s sweet without being overly sweet and with the sunbutter and avocado, the texture is amazing!

I also prefer to use a base of frozen fruit because that keeps me from having to use ice. The frozen fruit acts as an ice cube would, but I get all the goodies of the fruits & veggies that I wouldn’t get in ice.

Lastly, (I promise we’re getting to the recipe) I believe in making life easy where you can and bulk things up from there! HEB makes these frozen packs called “Blendables.” I love these because they have so many different combos, almost all of them have vegetables in them in addition to the fruit (extra goodies!) AND there is no added sugar or anything else. Next time you are at the store, look at some of those other smoothie packs… I have no idea why they find it necessary to add crap to it….

Lastly, lastly & finally – This will make (2) smoothies (appx. 12 ounces each) so if you just want one, use half the blendables and cut the rest in half. Or just go HAM on one giant smoothie.

Anyway, here we go!

BLACK MAGIC SMOOTHIE

Ingredients

1 HEB Blendables Blueberry Beet pack OR if using your own fruits/veggies, see below
1 TBSP sun butter (or nut/seed butter of your choice)
1 Date
1 scoop protein power – I love the SFH coconut!
1/2 a medium avocado
1 cup spinach – packed
1/2 banana
1-2 TBSP chia seeds
Coconut milk (or milk of your choice) to your liking. This gets THICCC so you may even need a little water to make it easier to blend

*option for not using the blendable pack – 1 cup blueberries, 1/2 – 3/4 cup beets – diced (you’ll need to peel and cook them first), 1/2 banana sliced, large handful of spinach, 1 TBSP flax seeds – after cooking (I just roast them), peeling and dicing the beets, add all these ingredients to a ziplock bag and freeze!

Instructions 
There is a little strategy to this. If you’re using a full sized blender it may be a bit easier, but we use a ninja so things get a little tight.

Add the frozen stuff first, then protein, milk last. The rest can really go in any order, but if you want the protein to blend in well, it’s best not to put it directly on the bottom.

That’s about it guys. Smoothies are such an easy way to get in some extra goodies! Enjoy!

Prehab/Rehab for The Shoulder || Coach Mark Celis

Even in the midst of an epidemic, it is still extremely important that we are taking care of our bodies. Not only with exercise, but with our eating and maintenance habits such as performing daily mobility drills. I have listed a few stretches that will ultimately help us maintain proper positioning and form during our jerk/handstand push-up cycle. Just like taking your car to get its oil changed, it’s imperative that we keep up with “maintaining” our bodies and working on all aspects of fitness, which includes mobility. Give these a try!

 

  • Downward dog holds (3 sets of 5)
    • Active stretch to open lats
    • Maintain active shoulders, neutral spine and pull head through

 

 

 

  • Doorway lat stretch (2 sets of 30 sec holds each side)
    • Static stretch to open up lats for improving overhead mobility 
    • Right hand holding door frame, right leg extended behind left foot (then vice versa) 
    • Lean away from wall and continue to push away with arm not being stretched for deeper stretch

 

 

  • Elevated Prayer Stretch (2 sets of 30 sec – 1 min holds)
    • Static stretch that helps improve lat and thoracic spine mobility
    • Pull elbows together while they rest on the chair (arms should form a “V” shape)

 

Kitchen Adventures || Coconut Cauliflower Chicken Curry

Hello again! Here we are with another week at home and another new concoction! I don’t know about you, but I love food of all cuisines. As I go through my week, I’ll have cravings for everything from sushi, to enchiladas, to curries, to bierocks…. This week… I wanted a curry.

The blend of spices that go into curries is so aromatic and curries actually have some food super powers! There are many different kinds of curries of course, but here are some benefits of the blend I made. Turmeric, if you haven’t already heard, is like powdered gold. It contains medicinal compounds like curcumin that aid in lowering inflammation and the risk of heart disease. It’s good for brain function and has even been found to be helpful in treating Alzheimers! There is so much more that turmeric is good for, but we’ll move on. Next up is cumin. Cumin is a good source of iron, aids in digestion, and has antimicrobial properties. Coriander helps regulate blood pressure and relieves skin inflammation. Cardamom improves breathing and oxygen uptake by opening the airways and contains cancer fighting compounds. Ginger is a natural pain reliever and can help fight cold & flu and garlic is full of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Aside from being delicious, curries are a great way to naturally give yourself a boost.

Add in the benefits you get from all the veggies in this dish and dang! You basically have a bowl of health!

Give this a go and enjoy everything you’ll get from both a flavor and a health perspective!

Coconut Cauliflower (Chicken) Curry

*The chicken is entirely optional… Leave it out for a fantastic veggie based dish

INGREDIENTS
1 TBSP coconut oil
1 small yellow onion – diced
1 small head of cauliflower – cut into florets
1 medium sweet potato – peeled and diced
1 red bell pepper – sliced
1 jalapeno – seeded and diced
1 cup frozen peas
4-5 handfuls fresh spinach
1 tsp fresh ginger – minced
3 cloves garlic – minced
2 tsp cumin
1 tsp coriander
1 tsp cardamom
1.5 tsp salt
*optional – pinch of cayenne for heat
1 can full-fat coconut milk
1 TBSP each of lemon juice and lime juice
Pepper to taste
*Optional –
1-1.5 lb chicken breast or thighs – cooked and shredded
2 cups cooked basmati rice
fresh basil or cilantro to top

INSTRUCTIONS

If using rice and chicken, go ahead and cook that so it’s ready when the curry dish is finished.

Heat oil in a large dutch oven over medium/high heat. Add the onion, bell pepper, and jalapeno and cook until softened and starting to brown. Reduce the heat to medium/low when it’s close to done.

In a small bowl, mix together the cumin, coriander, turmeric, cardamom, salt & if using, the cayenne. In another small bowl, mix together the garlic, ginger, and 1 TBSP of the spice mixture until the garlic and ginger is coated. Set both bowls aside.

Add the sweet potatoes to the onions and cook for a few minutes. Then, add the cauliflower, coconut milk, and the mixture of spices and garlic/ginger. Stir well to combine and then cover and simmer on low for about 15 minutes (or until vegetables begin to soften). If it becomes to thick, you can add just a little bit of water to thin it out.

Add the lemon & lime juice, spinach, and peas and stir until combined. If using chicken, add that now as well. Taste and adjust by adding more of the spice mixture if preferred.

Serve over rice and top with basil or cilantro if you like!

Coach Dylan’s Date Smoothie

 

Fun Fact! Coach Dylan used to work at a smoothie shop called “Fresh Factory” (where all their factors are fresh 😉 ) And this recipe comes from his days slingin’ smoothies! Give it a go if you’re looking for something a little different!

Date Smoothie Recipe

1 Banana
½ Apple
¼ Normal Size Avocado
2 Dates (Remove Pit)
½ Cup Almond Milk (I used almond milk, you can use whatever dairy or non-dairy milk you prefer, or even water)
Handful of Spinach (Or more, I put a good amount in, you really can’t taste it in the smoothie)
¼ tsp Cinnamon
Ice (I used five or six ice cubes that come from an ice trey, these are bulkier and thicker, you will have to use your best judgement to get consistency right)

**Optional**
1 Raw Egg
½ Cup Oats
½ Tbsp Turbinado (I used Turbinado, but you can use stevia, monkfruit, and or whatever you prefer)

 

 

Directions – Peel and chop the banana, apple, and avocado to make it easier to blend. Add all ingredients to a blender and blend well! Add more ice to make it thicker or more milk to make it thinner. Enjoy!

Kitchen Adventures || Using What’s Left (Squash & Veggie Bowls)

Hey Friends! It’s Wednesday again! Isn’t it crazy how getting out of our normal routine can make us lose track so quickly? Speaking of routines, I think one of the things I’m struggling with the most during these mandates is grocery shopping and cooking.

If you’re like us, we are trying to minimize our shopping trips as much as possible. Not only to minimize our own potential exposure, but to make it easier for others to minimize theirs as well. I have so many comments I could make on how many people I see that have no regard for others and make no attempt to distance, but I’ll save that for another rant post.

ANYWAY, I used to do 1 big weekly trip and then make several small trips throughout the week for additional items, but lately I’ve been trying to cut it to once every other week. Two weeks of groceries is a LOT of food and for a household like ours where our basket is generally about 70% fresh produce (Yes, really. No, we aren’t vegetarian… we just eat a ton of veggies) it’s been tough to figure out how to make that work.

My first attempt at buying two weeks of produce resulting in me having to toss some of it out. Tossing out food hurts my heart. Tossing out produce I didn’t even get to hurts my SOUL. We’ve been so slammed I just wasn’t able to cook what I had intended. I always try to use what I can, even if it’s not at it’s best and that’s why the ingredients in this recipe came together, but the outcome was so good I’ll definitely make this again!

I planned a little better on this last trip. I didn’t cut back at all on my produce list, but I lined out several freezer meals that used a lot of it before it will even have the chance to go bad. Stay tuned for some of those recipes coming up!

Enjoy, guys!

INGREDIENTS

1 Large Spaghetti Squash – cooked well and mashed
1 Red Bell pepper – diced
1 Small Yellow Onion – Diced
3 Carrots – peeled and thinly sliced
3-4 Handfuls of kale – ribs removed and torn into chunks
3 Cloves of garlic – minced
1 package Force of Nature Wild Boar (or ground turkey sausage, ground chicken, or ground pork)
Oil for cooking
1 TBSP Italian Seasoning (or the equivalent combined of basil, oregano, and thyme)
Salt & Pepper to taste

INSTRUCTIONS

Choose your cooking method for the spaghetti squash. Cook time is kind ofup to you. I wanted more of a mashed texture vs the “noodle” texture you can get from spaghetti squash so I cooked a little longer. I used my instant pot – cut the squash in half and scoop out the seeds. Coat lightly with olive oil. Place on the trivet with a cup of water in the pot. Close and seal the valve on the lid. 5 minutes on high pressure and 10 minute natural release. For more of a “noodle” texture, vent the valve and remove after the 5 minutes.

If using the oven – preheat to 400. Cut the squash in half and remove the seeds. Poke a few holes in the skin side with a fork and coat the flesh side lightly with olive oil. Place face down on a baking sheet and bake until desired texture. About 30 minutes for the “noodles” and up to 50 for a mashed texture.

Heat a little oil in a pan over medium high heat. Add the meat you are using. Season with salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning and cook, breaking it up into small pieces until browned. Removed from pan and set aside.

Add the onion, carrots, and peppers along with a little oil if needed. Saute until they begin to soften. Add the garlic and the kale and cook, stirring frequently until the kale reaches the desired texture and has a bright green flavor. Add the meat back to the pan and mix well. Taste and adjust seasoning as desired.

Once the squash has finished, remove and let it cool until you can handle it. Then, scrape out the “noodles” or scoop into a bowl and use a fork to lightly mash. Divide it into your serving or storage bowls and top with the meat and veggie mixture.

That’s it! I was able to rescue some of my veggies and create a delicious, healthy dish!

The Journey || April 11, 2020

REGISTER THROUGH CFA LINK 

REGISTER + ADD DONATION

PAY WHAT YOU CAN

*A note on registration – If you go directly through our team link it should add you to our team automatically. If you use the registration + donation or the “pay what you can” option, you’ll have to go into your profile and search for CrossFit Austin to join our team. Regardless of the option you choose, make sure you join our team to receive all of the communications and accountability! 

As we prepare to start “The Journey” this weekend, I just wanted to shed a little more light on what to expect! Some of you have done the Whole Life Challenge with us in the past, for some this is all brand new, but for everyone, The Journey has a lot of new things to offer!

The Whole Life Challenge is comprised of 7 Daily HabitsNutrition, Exercise, Mobility, Sleep, Hydration, Well being, and reflection.

It is an opportunity for us to turn our focus to ourselves, create some guidelines, and use this time we have to become better versions of ourselves.

In the past, this has been run in 6-8 week “challenges” with pre & post tests and measurements and daily scores. The goal has been to be as close to “compliant” as possible. While we are still focused on establishing and engraining healthy habits, we have a little more growth and exploration with The Journey

The Journey is an adaptation of the 6 week WLC that gives us an open platform for a full 12 weeks. Now, I know what you’re thinking (especially those who’ve done the challenge with us in the past)…12 weeks is a long time.

It is, however, this format is structured very differently. We’ve broken up the 12 weeks as follows:

Weeks 1 & 2 – Take inventory of your current routine and habits. What is going well? In what areas would you like to improve? Don’t worry too much about making major changes just yet. This is a time to look inward, develop a plan, and prepare to make changes.

Weeks 3 – 8 – This portion is broken down into a 6 week cycle. We will have an overarching focus on all 7 habits, with the daily reflection piece throughout the whole cycle however, we will deep dive into one of the habits each week with discussion groups, extra content and tips to succeed in each area.

Weeks 9 – 12 – This is a four week period where we will re-evaluate and look back on the changes we’ve made from week one. This reflection time will allow us to determine what made the biggest impact on us. Some of these habits we may let go of or revisit later, and some of them we may hang on to for the rest of our lives.

The beauty of this longer format is that it allows us the time to process and adapt and since many folks aren’t sure where to focus their energy in this time, this is a great opportunity to be a little selfish and focus it on yourself!

Some other things we plan on doing with our team are weekly meal plans… these won’t be completely individualized, but they will include shopping lists, recipes, and more and you can always reach out to your coaches for more help here. We plan to do discussion groups where we’ll schedule a zoom meeting to check in, chat about things, share tips that we’ve discovered, etc…

Lastly, I know many are in a position where even spending $39 for the 12 weeks seems tough and I really want to emphasize how valuable this 12 weeks is going to be for many of us. If you’re in that position where $39 is not doable for you OR on the flip side, maybe you feel like you can help someone else, check out the link in the comments. WLC has created a registration format where those who are in a position to help can register and add a donation and those who need a little help can go through the “pay what you can” option.

This challenge is open to anyone so if you have friends or family that you think would benefit, feel free to send them the registration link and tell them to join our team!

Registration will be open for 6 weeks, but I really encourage you to jump on as early as possible so you don’t miss out on all the things we’ll be offering the team.

Please feel free to reach out with any questions. I’ll be starting our team communication tomorrow morning!

Kitchen Adventures || Kicking off “The Journey”

Happy Hump Day! I hope everyone is doing well. I hope everyone’s friends and families are safe and well in this time. I also hope that many of you will join us on “The Journey” starting this weekend! If you have never done it, you’ve likely seen us post about the Whole Life Challenge. We’ve been running the 6 and 8 week cycles for a few years and it brings something new to light for me every time. I won’t spend a ton of time telling you about it here because I’ve already done a video and a blog post ((CHECK THIS OUT)) but I’m really excited about the next cycle. It’s going to be different in a lot of ways that I think all of us could really use right now.

In honor of the upcoming challenge, I’ve actually chosen to share a recipe I’ve already posted before. I’ve been writing this blog weekly for about 2 years now (WOW) and this is the first time I’ve ever repeated! This is not only compliant for the nutrition portion of Whole Life, but it’s just so dang easy and delicious.

One last note on “The Journey” Whole Life Challenge – this is a tough time for a lot of people and there is SO MUCH GOOD that comes from this challenge. If you’re interested, but concerned about paying the registration fee, please email me gen@crossfitaustin.com

The CEOs of WLC have opened a registration option to make this more accessible to people in this time. 

 

 

Easy Breakfast Hash:

INGREDIENTS
2 TBSP Coconut oil (add as needed when adding kale)
1 large butternut squash – peeled and cubed (you can also buy pre-cut at HEB to keep it easy)
1 large bunch of kale or appx: 3/4  of a 4 oz. bag chopped with thick stems removed
1/2 medium sized red onion
1/4 cup pine nuts
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
Salt & Pepper to taste
*Optional – red chili flakes

 

INSTRUCTIONS
Heat 2 TBSP oil in a large skillet (the bigger the better for when you’re adding the kale). Saute’ the onion and butternut squash until the onions begin to turn translucent and the squash begins to soften. It will turn a bright, beautiful orange!

Add the paprika (more if you like) & pine nuts and stir for about a minute (also add red chili flakes if using)

Begin folding in your kale. You may have to do it in chunks. It will shrink as it cooks. Don’t let the kale get too dry. This is where you’ll start adding in a little more coconut oil as needed. Don’t go crazy though, it shouldn’t be “wet.”

Cook until kale is a rich green color and has softened some.

Serve with your choice of sausage, bacon, hard boiled or fried eggs and some fresh avocado! This week I packed the meals with 2 hard boiled eggs along with both bacon & sausage. This meal keeps well and reheats well for a filling breakfast. Enjoy!