7 Things Every CrossFitter Should Have in Their Gym Bag!

Gym Bag

 

1. Workout Journal- This is probably the most important item you need to bring with you to the gym. It is good to track your progression in a journal or on your phone. How can you improve without knowing your numbers.

2. Lacrosse Ball- Crossfit is all about moving efficiently. In order to be efficient you need to be in the proper position. Use the Lacrosse ball to get into those sore points to open up the tissue for better range of motion. To attack your spinal erectors get 2 extra balls and tape them together for an additional way to stay mobile. For mobility exercises check out mobilitywod.com.

3. Lifting Shoes- The benefits of wearing lifting shoes increases hip and ankle flexibility which will help you get lower in the squat. These should definitely be worn when Oly Lifting and even beneficial during some workouts.

4. Speed Rope- It’s good to have your own rope customized for your height. This is a great way to get you warmed up and ready to go for the workout. Also having your own rope can allow you to practice double unders as needed!

5. Athletic/ Strapping Tape- This is a good multipurpose item to have in your gym bag. It can be used to tape your wrist, cover injuries, cuts and protect against tears. It’s a cheap item that is great for back up if necessary.

6. Long Socks or Shin Protectors- Box jumps, rope climbs, and deadlifts are a few movements that can put your shins at risk. To prevent potential scrapes and scarring this is a necessary investment. Also no one wants blood on the equipment.

7.  Banana- Sometimes you need a dose of energy before your workout or even in the middle of it. Bananas are a quick, easy and healthy energy source. It also contains a sufficient amount of electrolytes.

Be ready to tackle anything that is thrown your way in the gym today. You are prepared and ready to go!  

 

Why BCAAs Before Your Workout?

CrossFit 480-15

Written by Derek Kneadler

You all know I don’t push most supplements, but if you are looking to try something, read up on BCAAs.
They are cheap and effective. I use them almost everyday and drink during my workouts. 5-20grams, but I would say that 10grams is enough for any of us. Also, keep in mind that most have fillers and artificial flavors, but you can find some that are PURE. The taste is something to get use to, but not bad. You can buy one that has minimum flavoring, up to you!!!

Nutri Vit Shop – 100% PURE INSTANTIZED BRANCHED CHAIN AMINO ACIDS – BCAA FREE FORM POWDER PHARMACEUTICAL PRO FORMULATED.

Vitamin Shoppe has a brand called True Athlete that is pure.

10 Benefits to BCAAs
http://www.poliquingroup.com/articlesmultimedia/articles/article/1088/ten_benefits_of_bcaas.aspx

Should I Register for the CrossFit Open?

Crossfit open

 

The Open is upon us! For some that just joined CrossFit, you might not even know what that means. Every year CrossFit has the Open which is a series of workouts that will be announced and performed every week. This will be 5 weeks long. Scores will be posted after each workout is completed. The cool thing about the Open that it is for everyone, no matter the level! You are able to see scores from all over the world.

 

For many you might think, I am not good enough to do that or I might not be able to do some of the movements. When we decide to get out of our comfort zone you open yourself up to experiencing growth and usually surprising yourself in a positive way. Never think you are not good enough!

 

Most importantly, it’s fun! It is a great way to bond with your gym. Everyone is cheering and pushing each other to the end. Sign up today!

https://games.crossfit.com/cf/login?returnTo=%2Fregister-athlete&flow=games

Pizza Spaghetti Pie

Paleo Pie

 

This recipe is a healthy alternative to delivery. It is extremely filling and even something the kids would enjoy. It smells delicious when baking too!

Ingredients
  • 1 large spaghetti squash (about 600 grams)
  • 1 pound italian sausage
  • ½ yellow onion, diced
  • 1 cup pizza sauce (no sugar added)
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 3 eggs, whisked
  • (optional: add anything you like with pizza: veggies, basil, even cheese if you do primal)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Cut spaghetti squash in half lengthwise. Place spaghetti squash cut side down on a baking sheet and bake for 20-25 minutes or until the skin of the squash gives when you press on it. Then reduce oven heat to 350 degrees.
  3. Once squash is done cooking, remove threads and place in an 8×8 greased baking dish.
  4. Place a large pan over medium heat. Add italian sausage and onion. Cook until pink no longer remains in the sausage and it is broken up into pieces.
  5. Add pizza sauce, dried basil and salt and pepper to the pan and mix well.
  6. Add sausage mixture to the 8×8 dish and mix well with spaghetti squash threads.
  7. Lastly, add whisked eggs to the baking dish and mix everything together until you can no longer see the eggs.
  8. Place in oven and bake for 1 hour or until the top of the mixture forms a slight crust that doesn’t give when you press on it in the middle of the dish.
  9. Let rest 5 minutes before serving

 

References: PaleOMG.com

 

 

 

Hand Maintenance

Hand maintenance

 

So you have been doing CrossFit for a while and your hands are accustomed to bar-bell work, pull-ups, ring work, and toes to bar. While learning and progressing with these movements are exciting,  your hands might not feel the same way. It is important to properly take care of them, so they will not interfere with your workouts.

In the sport you do want tough hands so you are not ripping constantly. On the other side, if you start to develop calluses you need to properly take care of them because if you do not they can pinch and rip when doing barbell and bar work. Here are a few steps to keep your hands healthy while keeping them soft and smooth but still tough.

Step 1

MOISTURIZE! This is something you should be doing daily with lotion or vaseline. Vaseline is great if your hands are dry and cracked. Using excessive chalk can dry out and make your hands more susceptible to ripping.

Step 2

Shave your calluses once a week. It is not wise to shave your calluses following a workout, when your hands are sore and tender. I would recommend doing this on a rest day or the following morning. Here is what I would recommend to use. This is quick, easy and keeps your calluses smooth.

http://www.drugstore.com/products/prod.asp?pid=201180&catid=196087&aid=338666&aparam=201180&kpid=201180&CAWELAID=120142990000029583&CAGPSPN=pla&kpid=201180

Step 3

Using a Pedi Egg will help get rid of any excess ridges or bumps. This can be done throughout the week with small calluses that might not need to be shaved off. Try filing your hands down after shaving the bulk of your calluses off for a nice smooth finish.

http://www.target.com/p/as-seen-on-tv-ped-egg-pro-colors-may-vary/-/A-10758474

Here is a tip for those whose hands have ripped or blistered. Try Blister Band Aids. They protect your hands and help promote quick healing. One thing I love about them is they stick to your skin really well.

http://www.drugstore.com/products/prod.asp?pid=79971&catid=59963&aid=338666&aparam=79971&kpid=79971&CAWELAID=120142990000060574&CAGPSPN=pla&kpid=79971

Now you know 3 easy steps to take to keep your hands feeling and looking great. You will be ready to tackle any workout that comes your way!

 

5 Ways to Cook a Sweet Potato

Sweet Potatoes

 

1. French-fried

This is a great way to change up the way you eat sweet potatoes that are light and healthy. After cutting the potatoes into strips place them on a baking sheet and spread with coconut oil. You can add salt, pepper or your favorite seasoning. Bake fries at 450 degrees Fahrenheit for 25 minutes, flipping them halfway through the time. Check the tenderness with a fork to ensure they are cooked through entirely.

2. Hash Browns

Potatoes are commonly eaten for breakfast, so why not sweet potatoes. Peel your sweet potato then grate it into shreds. Add the shreds with some diced onions and coconut or olive oil in a pan to saute. Cook until brown and crispy. Add your favorite herb or seasoning to finish the dish.

3. Grilled

Grilling your sweet potato adds a unique flavor. It’s similar to baking them, but with a rich smoky flavor. There are a few ways to do this. Cut your potato in round slices and brush with oil. Place on the grill for 5 minutes each side. Check the tenderness, cooking times will vary depending on the thickness of the potato. If you want a softer potato, cube and wrap in a foil, add grass fed butter and cinnamon then cook for about 20 minutes.

4. Chips

Homemade chips are a much better option than buying chips. You can determine the quality and quantity of oil and salt used. For baked chips, preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Slice the potato as thin as you can, toss in olive or coconut oil and season for flavor. Spread them on a large sheet and cook until crispy for about 20 minutes. Flip once during baking to make sure they brown evenly.

5. Roasted

Some veggies that pair well with roasting sweet potatoes are butternut squash, onions, parsnips, carrots, Yukon Gold potatoes and beets. Preheat your oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Cut veggies into 2 inch chunks and toss in olive oil and season with salt. Adding rosemary, thyme or garlic cloves will add a bold flavor. Roast for about 30-45 minutes flipping throughout to cook evenly. Cook until tender not mushy.

7 Steps to Better Sleep

FullSizeRender

 

We all have things in our life that can interfere with our sleep. The pressure of work, family, kids, unexpected challenges and illness. No wonder why getting a good nights sleep is difficult.

Although we are unable to control some of the factors that play a role in our lack of sleep, we can adopt some healthy habits to support better sleep. Here are some helpful sleeping tips.

1. Stick to a sleep schedule

It is important for form a habit of going to bed and waking up at the same time, even on the weekends and holidays. This consistency will help support your body’s sleep-wake cycle, which will give you a better nights sleep. Be aware of how long it takes you to fall asleep. If it is taking you longer than 15 minutes to fall asleep, try getting up and doing something relaxing until  you are tired. If you are tossing and turing to fall asleep, you will find it tougher to nod off.

2. Pay attention to what you eat and drink

Going to bed either to full or hungry can make it difficult for a good nights sleep. The discomfort may keep you up. Limit the amount you drink before bed, this will help with less trips to the bathroom in the middle of the night.

Be cautious of caffeine and alcohol as well. Caffeine being a stimulant can take hours to wear off. Alcohol might help you fall asleep faster but can interrupt your sleep later on in the night.

3. Create a bedtime ritual

It is beneficial to your sleep to have a routine before you go to bed. Relaxing activities can help aid in a restful nights sleep. That looks different to everyone. It could be a hot shower, reading a book or listening to relaxing music. Whatever helps your body wind down. This is suggested to be done with the lights dimmed.

Some research shows that using electronic devices right before going to bed can interfere with your sleep. Be careful of watching TV or being on your phone as a bedtime ritual.

4. Get comfortable

Create the perfect environment that suites you for ideal sleep. Usually that means cool, dark and quiet. Your room should be between 60-67 degrees. Blackout drapes, fans or earplugs might be just what you need.

5. Limit daytime naps

Long daytime naps can interfere with your restful nights sleep, especially if you struggle with poor sleep at night. If you do take naps, take only one that lasts 10-30 minutes and taken mid afternoon.

There is an exception to this rule if you work nights. Make sure you are sleeping with drapes or curtains to block out the sun, which adjusts your internal clock, to not disrupt your daytime sleep.

6. Include physical activity in your daily routine

Regular physical activity can help you fall asleep faster and experience a deeper sleep. The timing of this is important. If you exercise too close to your bedtime you might be to energized to fall asleep. If this is the case, exercise earlier in the day.

7. Manage stress

When you have have a lot on your plate and on your mind, it can be very difficult quieting your mind to fall asleep and therefore your sleep will suffer. Try some healthy ways to manage your stress to get back to a peace state. A few would be get organized, tackle the most important thing, and set priorities. Sometimes its good to step away for a minute and do something relaxing or fun. Enjoy spending time with friends or taking a walk outside.

These are all basic tips for something that is extremely important. GOOD SLEEP.

 

How to Stay Motivated

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The holidays have come and gone. The hype of New Years resolutions have started to fade. How do you stay motivated to keep going and not get overwhelmed? Statistics show that only 71% of resolutions stick past two weeks. Here are a few tips to keep motivated two weeks into 2015.

 

Identify your readiness to change. Ask yourself this question. How bad do you want it? How could your life be different if you did A,B,C or if A,B, and C happened. Reflect on the goals you set and see if they are actually things that you want and need in your life. If your goals align with your values, your eagerness to change will fall hand-in-hand. For example, if you want to lose 10 lbs. but are not giving up comfort foods, i.e. diet drinks, alcohol, or sweets then realign your goals with what you value. You can commit to eating healthy 5 days a week.

 

Believe. You have to believe in order to achieve! Even if the goal seems impossible, see yourself ‘there.’ Remember that if it was easy everyone would do it.

 

Baby Steps. Einstein said, “Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” It starts with the small stuff, in order get somewhere and achieve a goal. A big goal would be adding 50 lbs. to your clean or drop a substantial amount of weight. To achieve this goal, maybe do a strength cycle, for example Wendler or clean 3x a week adding 1-2.5 pounds each week. Instead of eating dessert at night, try eating some almond butter with apple slices.

 

Constructive Criticism. We all have setbacks throughout the year in some form or another. When these occur don’t throw in the towel and say forget it. Give yourself a pep talk. If you eat a meal that is not on your nutrition plan, get on track for the next meal. If you tell yourself you are a failure you will most likely fall off the wagon on your New Years resolutions. Success is not all or nothing. Be positive and keep moving forward.

 

Strengthen the mind. Mental strength is just as important as the physical. You have to strengthen your mind by exercising it, just like we do with our bodies in the gym. It is impossible to reach your goals without having mental strength. This will look different to each person. For you it might be not missing a workout in a month, not eating any processed foods for 1 week, or take time to calm your mind and be alone in your thoughts for 30 min. Find what challenges your mind to build it.

 

Take a few minutes of some quiet time to think, pray, or meditate to visualize where it is you want to be.

 

Paleo Italian Meatloaf

Meatloaf

 

Just because you made the commitment to eat healthy doesn’t mean you have to eat boring! Here is a hardy dinner that will fill you up and is full of flavor. It serves 3-4 and takes about 50 min. from start to finish.

Ingredients

For the meatloaf
  • 1lb grass fed ground beef
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 1 roasted red pepper, diced
  • ¼ cup tomato sauce
  • 1 egg, whisked
  • ¾ cup almond flour
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • olive oil, for sauteing
For the sauce
  • ¾ cup tomato sauce
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • fresh basil, chopped (to top-optional)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Place a medium skillet over medium heat and add a tablespoon or two of olive oil. Then add your onions and roasted red pepper to the pan.
  3. Cook until onions have become soft and translucent.
  4. Once they are done cooking, add them to a bowl along with the rest of the ingredients for your meatloaf and use your hands to mix it all together.
  5. Press ingredients into a bread pan and baking for 35-40 minutes.
  6. Once your meatloaf is almost done cooking, add your sauce ingredients to a saucepan to heat up until slightly bubbly.
  7. Let meatloaf cool slightly then add sauce on top. Top with some fresh basil.
  8. Then eat it all up!
Breaking Through the Mental Barrier

Gab comp

Written by Gabrielle Andrews

 

Our mind is a powerful thing. It can push our body to go to a place it never thought possible or it can do the opposite and hold you back. The strong learn how to control their mind when its screaming at them to stop. The weak let it take over and take control.

 

Is it possible to develop an action plan to break through these barriers? Yes! Here are a few key elements to help you next time your mind starts taking charge.

 

One more rep.

When that voice inside your head is yelling at you to “drop the bar” or “take a break,” it’s decision time. One more rep. You fight back with everything you have to do just one more, when you succeed this builds confidence and strength. This over time is building control over the voice upstairs.

 

Small goals.

When working out, always have small goals in mind. Small goals lead to big goals. Here is an example, if the workout calls for a high rep scheme of thrusters or cleans, start out with a number in mind, maybe that’s 5 for you. When you hit 5, maybe you can do 5 more, then another 5, then 3, and 2. Do not be concrete on the number, see how you feel because you possibly can do more than you had in mind. Chip away at it one rep at a time.

 

Break through the wall.

I will give you a personal example for this one. It doesn’t even have to do with “working out” but this has helped me personally when training. When I was diagnosed with Lupus, it held me back from doing many things. I was fearful of what “might” happen if I pushed to hard or tried exercising. I remember joining a senior citizens water therapy class at the YMCA, everyone was over 3 times my age. That was breaking through a wall for me, of what people thought and how my body would feel doing this. I did it and stuck with it. This was the start my exercise journey. Fast forward 6 years and I am now a competitive CrossFit Athlete. I set small goals, those turned into big goals, and then broke through walls. Remember those times in life you pushed through and came out stronger on the other side or that workout that pushed you to your max. You chose to push harder and hit a goal. Those build and become BIGGER goals.

 

Your body can handle more than your mind will tell you. Don’t let it defeat you; show it who is calling the shots.

Make your Fitness and Health Resolutions Stick in 2015!

o-NEW-YEARS-RESOLUTIONS-facebook

 

We have seen countless motivational quotes, videos, and ads for make 2015 the best yet! How do we do this? We need to find what works best for each individual and the best way to set us up for success. It is good to reflect back on this past year and celebrate the successes, recognize the difficult times and the learning in them and the blessings we all have. Some might look back on this past year and think, well I didn’t stick with “it” whatever that may be for you. Remember you either win or learn. Take that learning and apply it to this year.

Two of the most popular resolutions would be “lose weight” and “stay fit and healthy.” Here are 10 resolutions to help in your fitness journey and get you on your way to the results you want.

  1. Set realistic goals. Take baby steps. If you want to get double unders, take 5 min. before class and work on them.
  2. Participate in a gym challenge
  3. Get out of my comfort zone
  4. Cut out sugar (Maybe cut out sweets during the week and on the weekend allow 1 cheat treat.)
  5. Make it to the gym 3-4 times a week consistently
  6. Drink more water (You should be drinking .5 ounces per pound of bodyweight.)
  7. Don’t cherry pick workouts- show up and do my best!
  8. Stop comparing myself- it’s me vs. me
  9. Go “RX” on a WOD
  10. Remember have fun!

Make your resolutions SPECIFIC, MEASURABLE and outline the ACTION STEPS (baby steps) you need to take in order the get there.

Remember you either win or learn!

Paleo Breakfast Casserole

Breakfast Casserole

 

This is a great breakfast casserole for the weekend that you can munch on for a few days.  It feeds about 5-6 people. This recipe can also serve as breakfast on the go. It’s well rounded with protein, carbs and fats. Enjoy!

 

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons fat of choice (coconut oil or butter or ghee, etc.), melted
  • 1 large sweet potato or yam, diced
  • ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1½ pound breakfast sausage
  • ½ yellow onion, diced
  • 2 cups chopped spinach
  • 10 eggs, whisked
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease a 9×12 baking dish.
  2. Toss diced sweet potatoes in fat and sprinkle with salt
  3. Place sweet potatoes on baking sheet and bake for 20-25 minutes, until soft.
  4. While sweet potatoes are cooking, place a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add breakfast sausage and yellow onion. Cook until no pink remains in meat.
  5. Place meat mixture in baking dish, add sweet potatoes and spinach then add eggs along with salt and garlic powder and mix until well combine.
  6. Place in oven and bake for 25-30 minutes, until eggs are set in the middle.