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Recovery Day – The CrossFit Open

As some of you already know, REGISTRATION FOR THE CROSSFIT OPEN IS LIVE.  The Open is part of a five-week, five-workout online competition “that unites CrossFit athletes all over the globe,” and pushes people to the extreme.

For 99% of athletes, the aim of the CrossFit Open is to have fun and to enjoy the process over the next month. However, because each workout is scored, some athletes are able to make it to the Regionals of old (the 2nd stage of the competition) and then even compete in the CrossFit Games in Madison, Wisconsin.

CFB athlete Kelly O’Brien from the 2018 CrossFit Open 

Some of our members have already registered, and it’s important that you do too. It’s an easy way to test your skills, push yourself, and have a community of hundreds of thousands encourage you on a day-to-day basis.

Your goal shouldn’t be to completely change your diet by eliminating all carbs, begin working out 2-3x a day, and to limit the amount of sleep you get. You should maybe clean up your diet because these workouts are taxing (trust us on this one), enjoy an extra rest day, and encourage those around you.

This is the season to see how far you’ve grown. Compare your standings from last year, take pride in your new PRs, and show off what you’ve learned the past 11 months. Focus on yourself and only try to impress yourself. The CrossFit Open is about you and the CrossFit community. All you have to do it show up and perform — so get after it. 

*Credit Nikita Tiffany. Follow @niki.eats for more cool food action!

Recovery Day – Caffeine and CrossFit

Some of us can’t function without coffee in the morning. We can’t think fluidly or even move quickly without that extra boost at the beginning of the day. However, how much caffeine should we drink — on the daily and before working out — without becoming jitter-bugs? 

Patrick J. Frank, USAW and CrossFit Level 3, argues that while caffeine is shown to “to improve speed, power output, and endurance,” it can be detrimental to our health. It can cause insomnia, irritability, unwanted bowel movements, and anxiety. 

The question he asks himself and his audience is “how much caffeine should we have?” He thinks that 300mg (around 3 cups of brewed coffee) should be where we max-out on the daily. Drinking more than that, and you will face the above symptoms.

If you want to drink coffee in the morning, he suggests taking 150-200mg in the morning thirty minutes prior to working out. Drinking caffeine in this window ensures an ample amount of energy for high-intensity training, which is written all over CrossFit.  

Caffeine isn’t going to ruin your health. You can drink more coffee than that one day or drink less than that the following each. Too much of anything is bad for you, so just like anything else, moderation is key. Eating too many dates can give you an upset stomach. Drinking too much water too quickly can kill you. Just listen to your body, use this as a rule of thumb, and fuel yourself how you feel fit. 

*inspired by EVFperformance.com  

*Credit Nikita Tiffany. Follow @niki.eats for more cool food action!

Recovery Day – Rebecca’s Dinner

Social media influences us in more ways than we can count. We continuously scroll through pictures of dogs, motivational quotes, and crazy strong weight-lifters. Often, we don’t know these people, so we admire from afar. 

Recently, I came across a recipe by one of our very own members, Rebecca Bilodeau! She made an AWESOME whole30 dinner (relax, she’s clarifies the non-whole30 parts), and it couldn’t have looked more appealing. 

I couldn’t help but admire and want to recreate this. While this isn’t the exact recipe she used, this is an instant pot recipe that should be similar to what she used.  

Instant Pot Ribs | Yields 5-6. 

1-2 racks pork ribs
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon light brown sugar
1 cup water
1/2 cup apple juice

1. Remove ribs from packaging, and season both sides with salt, pepper, garlic pepper, chili powder, onion powder, and sugar.
2. Place wire trivet rack in the bottom of the instant pot. Then add water and apple juice.
3. Place the ribs upright, with the meat side facing out. Secure lid and close vent.
4. Press “manual” or “pressure cook” and cook on high pressure for 25 minutes.
5. When the timer beeps, allow the pressure to naturally release for 15 min. 
6. Remove ribs. Plate with baked, then salted potatoes and steamed green beans. Enjoy with barbecue sauce (Rebecca recommends some sauce that isn’t Whole30).

Happy Eating! 

*Inspired by Rebecca Bilodeau and tastesbetterfromscratch 

*Credit Nikita Tiffany. Follow @niki.eats for more cool food action!

Recovery Day – Gooey Brownies

Everyone loves to eat something sweet every so often. However, most of our favorite or nostalgic snacks are too detrimental to our health to eat often — such as cupcakes, cookies, and brownies.

Healthy cookies and the like do exist — but a lot of them have things like avocado or another odd mismatched replacement added into them. This ruins the flavor profile of the very thing you want to eat, which isn’t worth eating, in my opinion.

Sweet Potatoes, which don’t have an overpowering flavor, are a perfect pairing to making thick and gooey brownies. So, let’s get baking. 

Sweet Potato Brownies | Yields 10 

  • 1 c sweet potato puree (skinned, boiled, then smashed until no lumps)
  • ⅓ cup oat or almond flour
  • ⅓ c cocoa powder 
  • ⅔ cups coconut sugar  
  • ½ cup chocolate chips
  • 1 + ½ tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • salt
  1. Preheat oven to 375. Grease a pan with olive oil and line with parchment paper. 
  2. Mix together almond flour, cocoa powder, and baking soda. Add the dry mixture to the wet mixture–sweet potato puree, sugar, and vanilla. Once mixed, add in chocolate chips and salt.
  3. Place in pan. Bake for 20 minutes.
  4. Let cool and enjoy! 

*recipe inspired from chocolatecoveredkatie.com 

*Credit Nikita Tiffany. Follow @niki.eats for more cool food action!

Recovery Day – Hitting the Hay

When we were kids we hated sleep. Now, sleep is a luxury.

A lot of top-level CrossFit athletes track their sleep. The elite seek to maximize their bodies’ performance, i.e. they must sleep to completely recover before their next arduous list of work.

However, that begs the question — should we be tracking our sleep?

The CrossFit Journal argues that because “exercise, nutrition, and sleep are three elements of fitness”, we should. However, for the average Jane & Joe, “tracking” sleep doesn’t have to be buying a $100 app — it could just be going to bed and waking up at the same time each day.

It’s been argued and well documented, almost widely assumed, that the sweet spot for adequate sleep is around 7-8 hours a night. Sleeping more or less than that has various effects on different types of people. Not all good, not all bad.

Healthy sleep habits include not eating 3 hours before bed (digestion can keep the body awake), putting away your electronics (seriously!), and maintaining a routine before bed. By making your body and mind relaxed, you’re setting yourself up for waking up satisfied the next morning.

You’re busy, we get it. You have work, a kid, maybe both, but taking care of yourself should be a priority. Drink your tea, go to bed early, and hit the hay.

Research from Martin Rawls-Meehan

*Credit Nikita Tiffany. Follow @niki.eats for more cool food action!

Recovery Day – Sticking with a Plan

We’re 6 days into 2019. Have you kept up with your new year’s resolutions, derailed yourself, or haven’t even started?

No matter where you are, know that you have 359 days left. That means that you have an enormous potential for success, chances to mess up and still get back on track, and still hit your goals by the end of the new year.

The easiest way to keep your goals intact is to motivate yourself. To do that, try new healthy foods, try different forms of exercise, and enjoy the process. 

*recipe inspired from wholesomelicious.com

Here’s a 1-pan teriyaki chicken meal that will keep you on track and that you should add to your recipe box. 

Easy Teriyaki Chicken Recipe | Yields 4-6 

2 cloves garlic, minced
1.5 tbsp teriyaki sauce 
2 tsp fresh minced ginger
1.5 lbs chicken breast cut into bite sized pieces
1.5 cups diced pineapple
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 medium sized red onion diced

1. Set oven to 400 degrees. 
2. Spread out chicken, pineapple, bell pepper, and red onion over the sheet pan. Add teriyaki sauce, mined garlic, and ginger evenly over the top. 
3. Place in the oven and bake for 25 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through or white on the inside.
4. Once cooked through, remove from oven. Serve over rice or cauliflower rice.*

*Credit Nikita Tiffany. Follow @niki.eats for more cool food action!

Recovery Day – Be about ‘YOU’ in the New Year!

“New year, new me!” 

You hear this phase over and over again as the year comes to a close — but how true is that? Are you really about to do a 180 and completely change the way you do things?

Probably not. 

There’s no problem being motivated and wanting to change your current situation. In fact, it’s a great way to get you rolling and to change a couple things about your life you’ve been meaning to fix. For example, my resolution is to focus more on my health and fitness goals since I strayed away from them during the later part of this year. Specifically, it’s to track my macros and go to the gym 5x a week. To me, that’s pretty doable.  

But does that mean come January 1st, I’m going to go crazy, do crossfit 2x a day, and only eat Paleo? 

No. That’s neither sustainable nor enjoyable for me. In fact, it’s completely unreasonable. 

Making an extreme change is almost pointless. The chances of sticking to something that crazy are slim to none. There will be no real change that will occur if I have one foot out the door before I’ve even started. 

Focus on something small, and change it. We want ACTUAL changes here, not something that you promise doing January 1st but will fall off the wagon on the 2nd. Maybe give up soda for a little bit. Or stop eating fast food. Those two options aren’t too extreme, but they will keep you healthier. 

In short, motivate yourself, but be realistic. There are plenty of chances to get back on track. New Years isn’t your only option to make an impact on your own life. 

*Credit Nikita Tiffany. Follow @niki.eats for more cool food action!

Recovery Day – Happy Holidays

The Holidays are in full swing, so stop looking at your food as either “good” or “bad” for you, and just eat. 

I’m not going to tell you to eat differently on Christmas. Nobody wants to miss out on the pecan pie or to skip the extra cheesy mashed potatoes. At this point, you’re well aware of what fuels you and what doesn’t. 

But that’s not the point. The point of the holidays is to celebrate what you believe in, your family, and the experiences of the past year. 

In a one-to-two day celebration, what will you lose? Even if you eat a thousand calories more, you’re not going to completely undermine your health. It’s okay to take a break from meticulously counting your macros and to focus on the present.

However, if you just want to expend a little bit of energy between the festivities, join in on our Christmas Bodyweight WOD Challenge, from 12/24-12/29. There’s a $60 buy-in, but you win your cash back and split everyone’s cash who missed a workout. For more info, check out our Facebook page. 

What we’re trying to show you here is that there are options to keep you in check and in shape over break. Take advantage of them, or just take a couple days to recoup, enjoy your family, and indulge in the food.

Just focus on your happiness and have a Happy Holiday. 

*Credit Nikita Tiffany. Follow @niki.eats for more cool food action!

Recovery Day – Brown Rice Salad

Salad doesn’t have to be boring . . . we’ve talked about that before. But your carbs (potatoes, rice, etc.) doesn’t have to be boring either. 

Today we’re putting your carbs and leafy veggies together to make a scrumptious “salad” recipe, which you can substitute for your previously boring carbs.  

Here’s a yummy recipe to re-integrate into your diet. There’s a perfect balance between sweet and salty with the rice salad, making it an easy pairing to any meat for any of your meals.

Brown Rice Salad | Yields 4 servings | 310 calories
2 cups water
1 cup brown rice
½ cup diced red pepper
½ cup diced celery
¼ cup dried cranberries
3 cups spinach 
½ cup balsamic vinaigrette salad dressing
Salt
Pepper
Lemon juice

  1. On a medium-to-high heat pot, let 2 cups of water boil. Add in 1 cup of brown rice and cook for 45-50 minutes or until tender.
  2. While the rice is cooking, put dried cranberries in a cup of hot water. Let sit or until cranberries have expanded. Drain and set to the side.  
  3. Dice celery and red pepper. Put on medium-to-high heat pan with ½ cup water. Let the water soften the vegetables. 
  4. Once the rice is cooked, put red pepper, celery, cranberries, and spinach in the pot. Let the heat from the rice wilt the spinach. 
  5. Once the spinach is wilted, add in the balsamic vinaigrette, salt, pepper, and lemon juice to your liking. 
  6. Serve hot or cold. Enjoy! 

*Credit Nikita Tiffany. Follow @niki.eats for more cool food action!

Recovery Day – Why You Should Eat More Fish

Red meat, chicken, and turkey are three main protein sources you probably hear about on the daily. However, one protein source many people stray away from is fish.

While fish shouldn’t be meal-prepped due to its potent smell, eating fish has some astounding health benefits. For example, it lowers your risk of heart attack and strokes, improves your recovery time due to Omega 3 fatty acids, protects you from age-deterioration, and overall improves body and brain health. Furthermore, people who eat fish 2-3 times a week are proven to live longer than those who do not (NIH.gov).

Let’s give fish another shot. Below is an easy lemon & thyme fish recipe that is great for on-the go. 

Lemon & Thyme Fish | Yields 1 
1 uncooked fish fillet (cod, tilapia, salmon, etc.)
1 lemon
Fresh thyme
Salt 
Pepper 
Olive oil 

  1. Preheat oven to 425.  
  2. Cut the lemon in half. Squeeze the juice out of one half of the lemon and place the other half of the lemon to the side. 
  3. Place fish fillet in center of aluminum foil. Put olive oil, salt, pepper, and lemon juice on the fish. Place fresh thyme and the other half of the lemon in the aluminum foil. 
  4. Seal the fish in foil. Bake in oven for 12-15 minutes, or until fish is tender. 
  5. Let rest for 5 minutes. Serve with a side of green vegetables and either potatoes or rice. Enjoy!

*Credit Nikita Tiffany. Follow @niki.eats for more cool food action!