September 2020 - Sharon Sonmez
Sharon is our SPOTLIGHT ATHLETE for September!
Sharon first heard about CrossFit from friends, but had the misconception that it was all about tire flipping outside. When she noticed the gym in her neighborhood, she stopped by to check it out.
Here are some of the amazing changes Sharon has noticed since starting CrossFit:
"Since CrossFit, I have a lot more energy and I look and feel better. I've become a lot more aware of my eating habits and making better nutritional choices. Doing CrossFit also helped me to quit smoking. After being a smoker for a long time, I got tired of feeling like I was going to die in workouts."
When Sharon isn't in the gym she is an Account Executive for a third party logistics company and mom to a 5 year old son, Erem, who also started coming to our Kids Class!
We love having Sharon as part of our community and will continue to watch the progress she makes in the gym and in life!
March 2020 - Dawn Hart
Dawn is the SPOTLIGHT ATHLETE for March!
Dawn says “CrossFit has also made me feel stronger as a woman, not just physically, but also mentally and in every day life and the challenges I face.”
Dawn has impressed us all with her dedication to her workouts and just participated in her first competition! She wants to work on gymnastics and would rather not ever Overhead Squat 😅 but her perfect WOD includes Power Cleans, Push Jerks, Rope Climbs, and Rowing.
Dawn doesn’t only crush it in the gym, she is Assistant State Attorney for the 13th Judicial Circuit State Attorney's Office 😳. We are excited to see her continue on her fitness journey!
November 2019 - Morgan Griffin
Our November Spotlight Athlete is Morgan!
Morgan has been an athlete at the gym since August 2018. She has enjoyed the challenge that CrossFit workouts have given her, and how encouraging everyone in the community can be. Despite having a shoulder injury, Morgan regularly attends classes, and is able to use modifications when needed to avoid further injury.
When it comes to movements, Morgan would skip box jumps if she could, and prefers cleans, double unders (for more practice), and burpees! When asked what are the biggest positive impacts since starting CrossFit, Morgan says "I'm getting my cardio strength back up, who knew you could be so spent after a 7 minute workout?! And seeing muscle definition again!"
Thank you Morgan for your dedication in the gym!
October 2019 - Matt Ebert
Matt started working out at the gym in May 2019. He has been a CrossFit athlete for 7 years, but for the previous two years before joining he had been working out on his own and fell into a "rut". He has seen numerous benefits since joining, including losing close to 10 pounds!
Matt enjoys getting to come into the gym, planning how to attack the WOD, and relieving stress from his day. He enjoys partner workouts, or workouts with built in rest so he can reset and come in strong. If programming his own workout, he would leave out Sumo Deadlift High Pulls, Thrusters, Running, and Wall Balls.
He is always supportive and encouraging of other athletes, and fun to have in class! We love having Matt in our community and are excited to see what the future holds for him!
September 2019 - Jen Hettinger
Jen has been an athlete at the gym since May 2018. She is a dedicated member of our 9am class, and one of our Primal Mamas! She has made the gym a part of her daily routine, and says "I know that after I drop my daughter off at school I go straight to CrossFit. My youngest is able to play in childcare while I do the 9am Workout. By 10am I’ve hit all my movement and exercise goals on my watch for the day!"
Jen says her biggest challenge at the gym is metabolic conditioning, and she is happy about CrossFit's shift in focus back to the basics. "If I want all of my lifts and gymnastics movements to get better I need to build my engine." Though she dislikes thrusters, her ideal workout would include power snatches and abmat sit-ups!
Jen's favorite part about the gym is the community, and the fact that " everyone knows each other and truly cares how you’re doing." We're happy to know you Jen and love to see the progress you continue to make!
August 2019 Spotlight Athlete - Tony Foreman
Tony has been an athlete at the gym since April, after he came to our Free Week of Fitness. Since joining, he has easily become one of the most consistent athletes with a fun competitive spirit. Tony's wife Aubrie is also a member of the gym, though they don't get to work out together very often.
Tony says the biggest challenge for him during workouts is staying focused on being consistent - not pushing too hard, but trying to find a good pace. Although he finds the snatch to be a challenging movement, he has been able to go from a one rep max of 135 to 185 recently due to "coaching, time, and effort".
His ideal workout would include running (no surprise), snatches, and bar muscle ups. For the biggest impact CrossFit has had on Tony's life he says, "Giving me the strength and motivation to wake up everyday feeling good about myself.. and most importantly family.. seeing everyone happy and excited to kill the workout each and everyday.. learning about others and coming together. CrossFit isn’t easy but when you have people that are motivated it gives you the drive to push yourself and others."
We are happy to have Tony as one of our athletes and are excited to continue to see the progress he makes!
July 2019 Spotlight Athlete - Avery Kantaria
Avery started CrossFit in January with our Fundamentals program after coming to the gym with her sister Marilyn. Since joining she has been a consistent attendee of the noon and 4:30pm classes. She moves well, is a coachable athlete, and a positive presence in the gym.
Avery's biggest challenge since starting CrossFit has been getting used to a barbell, and her least favorite movement is the squat snatch (I don't blame her!). After coming to the gym for 6 months, she has noticed she has less tightness in her hips, and more confidence overall! She says her favorite part about coming to the gym is "The coaches are amazing, very helpful and encouraging! I've also met a lot of really cool people who are equally supportive and encouraging of a newcomer like myself!"
Thanks Avery for being a part of our community!
Arlene started CrossFit with her family in January 2018. Since she went through our Fundamentals she was all in! Arlene has proven her dedication to working out and eating better by losing 53 pounds! She has also gone from having to visit her doctor every 3 months to just once a year! Not only is Arlene an inspiration, she is one of the kindest athletes we have, and we are lucky to have her :)
Here's Johnny! Johnny walked into the gym during our Free Week in April 2018 and has yet to walk out he is here so often! Johnny has overcome lingering issues with his shoulder to get stronger and has also lost weight as a bonus. Since cleaning up his diet he has lost almost 20 pounds!
Johnny is not only pursuing fitness for himself, but has also brought in his son Lance to our kids class and has just enrolled his daughter in our Fundamentals program. Johnny is a benefit to the community!
Since joining the gym in January, Gerardo has lost 35 pounds! He has been consistent with coming to both CrossFit and Barbell Club, and has jumped in to join Yoga as well. He participated in our "Macros in May" Nutrition Challenge and had the best body composition change.
Gerardo has also become part of the core community at the gym and has elected himself to the "party planning committee". He makes everyone feel welcome and at home inside the gym and at our social events. We are happy to have him and are excited to see him continue to progress!
Elena joined our Get Toned program shortly after she had her first baby, Caroline. Although she says getting into a routine coming to the gym to workout was tough due to having a new baby and all the challenges that come with it, she continued to push herself to go, often with Caroline in tow! Elena says that though she was intimidated by CrossFit at first, and never imagined herself being able to do it, she has successfully transitioned to our CrossFit program and has seen tremendous benefits from it!
She says her biggest accomplishments have been lifting heavier than she thought she could, getting her chin over the bar with banded pull-ups, and using RX weights for Wall Balls and Kettlebell Swings! She doesn't let having a new baby hold her back, and says, "Getting the oomph to get to the gym, and then sweat through running, ring rows, push-ups, and all manner of other activities with Caroline strapped to me is tough, but so worth it."
In addition to the fitness benefits she's seen since starting CrossFit, Elena says she is more conscious of choosing nutritious foods for herself and family. Though she doesn't get too concerned with what the scale says, she has lost 30 pounds since starting CrossFit. She has more energy during the day, and a gym-family with the people she's met here.
She says, "I’ve realized to be a good mom, I have to take time to care for myself and the gym helps me do that, and it has helped me set up a lifestyle that I’m looking forward to passing on to Caroline. I want her to grow up to be strong, independent, and believing she can do whatever she sets out to with hard work."
Andre started CrossFit in September 2016. He has been an athlete his entire life and played tennis in college, but like many of us, stopped being so active once out of school. He wanted a change in how he felt and looked, so he began to eat better - cutting out pasta and bread - and working out 5 days per week at our gym.
One of the challenges he's experienced since starting CrossFit has been learning the olympic lifting movements. He says "it has been educational and fun learning the technique."
Since getting back in the routine of working out he says, "Being a former athlete it is nice to get the spark back and see changes both physically and mentally in yourself. It makes you look back and wonder what the heck was I doing in letting myself not stay more involved with my health, mind and body."
Andre has accomplished a great deal since starting to CrossFit like getting stronger, losing over 20 pounds, and making new friends! He says "The community in the gym has been not only a great place to relieve stress but I have really enjoyed the comradery and friendships. We are all working on a goal of some sort and we love the fight for improved health."
Alix began CrossFit in December 2016 after hearing about it from her dad. She was hooked instantly and has shown her dedication by mastering many skills such as handstand holds and pull-ups to name a few.
On her biggest challenge since starting CrossFit, she says "My biggest challenge since starting CrossFit was getting over the mental hurdle. In the beginning it was intimidating being around people that were stronger, faster, and experienced. I thought I wouldn't be able to do it like everyone else. I really struggled trying to get through the workouts when I first started. I still struggle because let's be honest, it's hard! But now that I got over the mental hurdle of thinking, "I can't do it" I know I can push through the workout and finish it and be proud that I did!"
The most significant change in her personal life, "As a result of working out at the gym I have more self-confidence and I am overall happier, especially since it has become my favorite part of the day. I also make better choices during the rest of the day when it comes to food and water intake because I want to do better at the gym. A lot of my everyday choices, and short and long-term goals are affected because of my motivation to do better at the gym and to be the best possible version of myself."
Lindsey is one of our month-long group nutrition challenge winners from April 2017 Nutrition Challenge! She had the best overall score in categories such as hydration, sleep, nutrition, workouts, and mobility. She saw improvements in her overall body composition based on 6 skin caliper measurements. She also took a minute off of her Tester WOD in less than 30 days!
Doug participated in one of our month-long group nutrition challenges in April 2017. He lost 12 pounds, saw improvement in body composition, and cooked and ate more of his meals at home (with his wife who also participated in the challenge). He won for best overall body composition improvement as he saw changes in 6 skin caliper testing sites! Doug attends classes at the gym several times each week and is friendly and encouraging towards other athletes! We are proud of his success!
Angie has been a member of the gym for almost 2 years. She has been a dedicated athlete at the 5:30am class. She has seen improvements in her lifts and WOD times, and over the past few months she has been working extremely hard towards her weight loss goal.
Angie realized how unhappy she was with her weight on Halloween 2016. Angie participated in the Team Nutrition Challenge in November 2016. She had the biggest loss in inches around her waist, hips, and upper arm in gym. She also has had the most weight lost since the Challenge, and is up to 50 pounds lost since then!
She has continued following our healthy eating guidelines and making better food choices has had great success! She still comes to the 5:30am class and is getting stronger every day!
Eric’s journey to health began in July 2016. He discovered the paleo diet and lifestyle while watching a segment on Dr. Oz. He then went out a bought a few books to learn more about eating a whole foods diet close to how our ancestors ate. A few weeks later, he joined the gym to get back into fitness.
Until this point, Eric grew up in a family where food was the focus! If he had a date, he had to eat dinner with his family first, and then have a second dinner while out! After retiring from being a firefighter, he became more sedentary and slowly put on the extra pounds, occasionally doing the Atkins diet with limited success.
Since July of this year, Eric has lost 55 pounds from following a paleo diet and working out at the gym 4-5 times per week. He says he feels amazing, has more energy, and his health numbers have all returned to normal. His doctor was amazed by the change.
Eric continues to eat a paleo diet while making room for occasional treats like popcorn at the movies. Sign up for our nutrition challenge and start your own journey to better health!
We help make the right nutrition and lifestyle choices easy!
We believe that no matter how hard you work in the gym, you won't truly achieve the goals you set for yourself until you start eating a healthy diet. But what is healthy?
We believe in eating a properly prepared, nutrient dense, whole foods diet and in using the body's innate intelligence to repair deficiencies and weaknesses. In order to know what you should be eating and how much, think about a personalized nutrition plan!
Lauren is a certified Nutritional Therapy Consultant, which she completed through the Nutritional Therapy Association. She uses a foundational, holistic approach which focuses on the importance a healthy diet and optimizing lifestyle to achieve your fitness and health goals.
Though we can't offer any "fixes", "cleanses", or "magic pills", using a Nutritional Therapy approach will provide you with the long-lasting changes you are looking for, and we are here to support you the whole way!
Please contact Lauren at email@example.com to determine how Nutritional Therapy can help you achieve your health & fitness goals!
Check out our specific nutrition blog regarding all things related to holistic nutrition, lifestyle, fertility, and fitness.
Nutrition Blog Posts:
How to participate:
Sign up at the gym - buy in is $25 per person
Take 6 preliminary body measurements using skin calipers
Participate in a preliminary workout on April 3 (you will have 1 week to complete)
Take “before” pictures
Begin daily scoring
Every day of the challenge you will record the points you earn in 6 categories:
1. FB Check in (5 points)
2. WOD completed (5 points)
3. 10 minutes of mobility (5 points)
4. Consume ½ of your body weight in ounces of water (5 points)
5. Sleep 7-9 hours (5 points)
6. Nutrition (up to 5 points)
You will begin each day with 5 points and deduct 1 point per “non-compliant” food/drink
Example: -1 point for 1 beer consumed
You cannot get negative points
If you do not complete one of the categories, you simply do not get points for it that day. There are no points given less than 5 for the categories...more
Food labels. Are they indicators of how healthy our food is or just various forms of marketing? What is the difference between "free range" and "pasture raised"? Why are there so many different choices of eggs?
I hope I can help break down some of the confusion regarding the words you commonly see on foods - particularly animal products. In an effort to help you make better choices when you are spending your hard earned cash.
This is a guide I adapted from the USDA meat and poultry guidelines, you can find here.
- Natural - "A product containing no artificial ingredient or added color and is only minimally processed."
So no synthetic chemicals, but still may include things like GMOs, chemical fertilizers, & pesticides. Example: high fructose corn syrup - natural, but completely unhealthy.
Do you ever come across information that just clicks with you? That gets you all fired up and stokes your passion? This happens to me every so often and I feel compelled to share this information with others - whether they want it or not!
I am reading Michael Pollan's The Omnivore's Dilemma for my Nutritional Therapy program. Albeit this is the second time I am reading it as the first I couldn't hang and gave up. But that was years ago and I wasn't as tuned in to the real food movement like I am now. So this time around the information is really resonating with me. I am going to share information that I feel cannot be ignored, as much as we all turn a blind eye to it on a regular basis.
This quote stood out to me in the first section of the book about Industrial Corn:
"When you add together the natural gas in the fertilizer to the fossil fuels it takes to make the pesticides, drive the tractors, and harvest, dry, and transport the corn, you find that every bushel of industrial corn requires the equivalent of between a quarter and third of a gallon of...more
Grocery List/Food Guide
- This is NOT meant to serve as a black/white kind of list. It is simply meant to be a guide to incorporating real, wholesome foods into your diet.
- Complete health means balance but also remember that you want to eat for optimal health, performance, and satiety. This means to be sure to eat good protein, healthy carbs for energy, healthy fats for satiety and fruits/veggies for vitamins and minerals. Aim to balance your plate to around 40% carb/fruit/veggies, 30% protein and 30% fat at each meal.
- Be sure to eat real WHOLE food, in its original form and limit packaged/processed foods when possible.
- When possible, shop local and organic produce and meats. Grass-fed beef and pastured chicken/eggs are ideal.
- Look for ingredients made with coconut oil, olive oil, butter, palm oil, flaxseed oil, avocado oil, and sesame oil and avoid vegetable oil, canola oil and partially hydrogenated oils.
- Look for food labels with minimal amounts of ingredients. If you can’t pronounce it/do not recognize...
If I hear one more person say they can't eat red meat or butter because of the cholesterol content, I'm going to scream!
We need cholesterol to build and maintain our cell membranes, to make bile in the liver, which helps us digest healthy fats, to create Vitamin D and other steroid hormones (estrogen and testosterone among others).
It is transported by lipoproteins, which direct lipids to carry it to certain tissues. The ones we hear about most are LDLs (low density lipoproteins) and HDLs (high density lipoproteins). Lipoproteins are not cholesterol, so LDLs can’t even be “bad cholesterol” as most people refer to it as.
Why hasn’t conventional wisdom and dietary focused media caught up with these blatant facts? Because it is hard to admit you’re wrong, if you’re one person or a government agency or a food giant or a drug company.
The pharmaceutical industry is a multi-BILLION dollar industry. Their profits hinge on normal, everyday people driving their health into the ground by listening to outdated, incorrect information. THEY DON’T WANT...more
Modern society is not without its large share of stressors. We worry about money, careers, education, image, keeping up with social media, and the list is endless. Many of these stress-inducing concepts are not even tangible, meaning they are not actual objects to be feared, but our technological-age created anxiety. This is a far contrast from our ancestors who feared lack of food, the need for shelter, and predators. Since most of our basic needs are met living in the first world countries, we stress over meeting our needs on the higher levels of Maslow’s hierarchy.
Most of us sit at a desk all day, look down at our phones and computers, and sit in bucket seats in our cars. Being in a continuously rounded forward position is not just uncomfortable and completely opposite from how humans are meant to exist in nature, but it actually triggers the production of cortisol, or the hormone that...more
Milk is good for you. It helps you build strong bones with all that wonderful calcium it supplies. You should drink milk because our ancestors drank milk.
These are all lies, made up by clever marketing tactics to keep Big Dairy in business. Because at least in the United States, we care more about business than health.
Here are some reasons I have accumulated through listening to endless health podcasts, reading books and blog posts from nutrition experts, and most recently my coursework in becoming a Nutritional Therapy Consultant that we should avoid conventional dairy products. Again, this list is not directed at RAW MILK, which I will get to later.
1. Genetically modified cows – yes, GMOs are not just for seeds/plants. Cows have been selectively bred and given genetically engineered growth hormones in order to yield the most milk possible. Who do you think then ingests those hormones? That’s right, it’s you (and your kids).
2. A Ton of Antibiotics – factory farm...more
My husband and I brought guacamole to a MDW pool party over the weekend and it was a crowd favorite! Everyone asked for the recipe so I thought I would share with you all as well! Enjoy!
4 ripe avocados- peeled and pitted
½ red onion- finely diced
1 plum tomato- finely diced
Juice of 2 small limes
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp garlic powder (could use fresh garlic as well)
¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
Mash avocados and lime juice together. Mix in remaining ingredients and season to taste!
Serve with fresh cut veggies, plantain chips, or just eat it by itself because it is just that delicious!more
I made this recipe after being inspired by the cuisine I ate while in Puerto Rico a few months ago for my wedding. This meal was so easy to put together and absolutely delicious. This recipe makes about 6 servings, which can be a lot, but since it is only me right now, I prepped it into individual servings and enjoyed for the week. You could easily half the recipe for fewer servings but I love leftovers! Picadilla is the perfect combination of savory and sweet and super easy to modify. I am not a fan of olives so I omitted them. If you were watching your sugar intake or participating in some type of sugar detox program, you could easily omit the raisins and the dish would be more of a chili-like stew. If you’re an athlete or need more carbohydrates in your diet, you could easily serve this recipe over sweet potatoes, plantains or with some cauliflower rice.
2lbs Grass-fed ground beef
2 Green Bell Peppers-diced
1 yellow onion- diced
1-15oz can tomato sauce
¼ cup apple cider vinegar
1 tsp garlic powder
Hey everyone! Below are my tried and true methods of sleeping soundly through the night! Give them a try and let us know how they work for you!
1) Set a bedtime-
I can’t express enough how setting a bedtime for myself was a game changer in my ability to fall and stay asleep each night. I used to be someone who would make my way to bed when I started to feel tired which led to me sleeping in later the next morning. This cycle ended up leading to later evenings and several snoozes on my alarm clock the following morning. Lack of good night’s sleep for me resulted in a chaotic morning, crankiness by early afternoon, and lack of motivation and energy by the evening time. The solution- Set a bedtime and stick to it. Now, my goal is to be in bed by 9:30pm. This doesn’t mean I’m starting my bedtime routine at 9:30pm, this means I am in bed, lights off, glasses off, music or podcast playing in the background, and ready to drift away into dream land. My suggestion to those looking to create a bedtime is to be realistic...more
Why is chia seed pudding so good?! When mixed with coconut milk and refrigerated overnight, the consistency becomes almost irresistible. "Semi-sweet, thick, and refreshing" is how my partner in crime, Rachel, describes it.
And it's packed with omega-3s and fiber! Chia seeds are helpful for digestion and contain essential fatty acids. They are high in antioxidants and are rich in vitamins and minerals.
For my version, I added organic cacao powder which contains magnesium and iron, while providing energy and is a chocolate source without all the sugar and processing.
Craving a dessert? Give this a try!
1 Can of Organic Coconut Milk (I used Trader Joe's brand)
1/4 cup organic chia seeds
1/4 cup organic cacao powder
1 tbsp honey
1 tsp vanilla
Pour all ingredients in a mixing bowl and stir until well combined.
Cover and refrigerate for minimum 4-6 hours or overnight.
That's it! Feel free to make this your own by adding cinnamon, fruit, shredded...more
I grew up the way many people my age probably did, in the era of fast, convenient, ready made everything. From food and drinks to entertainment and lifestyle, most things I have ever wanted have been made extremely accessible and “easy”. I ate Pop tarts and cereal for breakfast, drank diet coke and microwaved most of my meals all the way through college. I would plunk down at night and watch TV, play video games, or occasionally hang out with friends doing something similar indoors.
After college, I did try and get healthier – I joined a local gym, started to buy vegetables (although the frozen, already cut up kind), and even tried an Atkins diet. I have never been what one might call “overweight” but I definitely not healthy. I have been lucky to avoid major illnesses and my biggest problem growing up was some eczema on my legs that would become better or worse depending on the season or how stressed I was – or so I thought at the time.
When I moved to Florida from Connecticut to attend graduate school for social work, the amount of free time I had led to many nights...more