Prep! (5/5)

Missed any of our previous four posts?

Part 1 – Nutrition is the Foundation
Part 2 – Eat Real Food. Not Too Much. Mostly Plants.
Part 3 – Quality First
Part 4 – Resources

Read about our 2017 Nutrition Challenge and register here.

Here we go y’all! Let’s get ready to clean it up, feel and perform better!

Isernio’s breakfast sausage, zuch/pepper/onion frittata

To start off, prepping your food for the week on Sundays is great however, something that we’ve learned over the years is that you don’t need to prep for the whole week ALL on Sunday. You end up spending literally all day prepping: create your list, go grocery shopping, cutting, cooking, washing dishes, cooking more, waiting for dishes to complete before starting new ones. If you’re new to this, time management will be something you’ll play around with the first couple of weeks. So, to shorten up your Sunday food prep time, just prep it for the first three days. This allows you to 1) not spend your whole Sunday in the kitchen 2) not eat the same dish for 5 days straight (though some people would do just fine doing that) 3) have a plan for your next prep/cooking day. You can prepare for Wednesday or Thursday to be another cooking prep/day so you don’t feel like you’re in the kitchen for SO long. Boom!

We’re going to share our shopping lists with you every weekend so you can a.) bite and just do the same, or b.) see the general flow of things. We’ll keep you updated with all the things we complete and the things we don’t end up using too.

Things we ALWAYS have in stock our kitchen

stock (chicken, beef, vegetable, your choice)
Kerrygold butter (salted, unsalted if Sheena decides she’s making bulletproof coffee)
coconut oil
olive oil
sesame oil
chili powder
garlic powder
finishing salt (this 3lbs bucket is all you’ll ever need)
Himalayan Pink salt (specifically for this recipe which we make at least once every three weeks)
Red Ape cinnamon (AB’s favorite brand)
Tabasco or Cholula
Red Boat fish sauce (AB’s favorite brand)
Coconut Secrets coconut aminos (AB’s favorite brand Whole30-approved soy sauce substitute, and here’s another brand we will try when we need to reup)
apple cider vinegar

Things that’ll be eaten THIS week. This will seem like a lot, but we’re using the excitement of the challenge to get in the kitchen more, knowing it’ll calm down later into the challenge. Also doing a lot of prep for the next week.

Sheena & Andrew’s shopping list:
2 lbs sweet potatoes
2 lbs purple yam (really any other color tuber. You can look in the International district for Hawaiian Purple Yam or “Khoai Lang Tim”) OR a spaghetti squash OR butternut squat OR 2-3 eggplants
1 lbs broccoli OR green beans (fresh or frozen)
large container mixed salad greens
a medium contain/bag of spinach OR kale OR chard
3-6 bell peppers (various colors)
4-6 cucumbers
5-7 bulk celery stalks
bag of carrots
clamshell of cherry tomatoes OR small heirloom tomatos
2 onions (or 2 bags of frozen chopped onions)
2-3 apples (Swet Tango is my newest addiction)
Dorot crushed garlic (thank me later!)
white rice (Jasmine or Calrose)
cage-free eggs

approximately 3-5 lbs of various cuts of meat (4-6oz/meal for 3 meals/day for 2.5 people)
beef: ground, steaks
chicken: thigh, breasts
pork: Isernio sausages OR thick-cut bacon, loin
ground beef/bison/turkey/etc. (always keep 2 lbs in the fridge in case of emergency)

Other things we grab

Smith Bros (or Grace Harbor) whole milk OR almond milk (if paleo/Whole30)
Brew Dr. Superberry (or Happiness) Kombucha
Ellenos yogurt (plain or Latte or Chai or Pumpkin Pie)

We’re allocating three occasions to eat out as a family, otherwise leftovers for breakfast/lunch.

The real secret: cook a protein in a fat, serve with fresh or lightly cooked veggies and you’re set.

Recipes we’re using this week

Eggs & coffee. Start your day right! This is the true breakfast of champs. I prefer to make them with Kerrygold butter Gordon Ramsey-style (almost) and it ends up eaten with some quickly-sauteed spinach. Maybe half an avocado if there’s one nearby.

BCS: Named after one of our former coaches/athletes, she came up with this simple dish: Bell peppers + Cherry Tomatoes + Sausage cooked in olive oil. Easy. Also cool because those letters were also her initials.

We’re pairing this with a more-dense salad: Cucumber + Tomatos + Fresh Basil. Cut them up into small chunks, drizzle olive oil, add salt & pepper to taste, and BAM. Easy peasy. Plus if you make a bunch it can keep fresh for a couple of days. Prep = done.

Steak, potatoes, and green beans. Simple. Make extra veggies for lunch.

Chicken soup (stock, miripoix, spices, chicken) + rice. Go heavy on the miripoix- buy the ingredients in bulk and cut them into big pieces. I go a little overboard because it cooks down. Because I’m just watching my macros I’ll also make sure to workout a little harder today so I can have rice with my soup. Might add another green to it. I can make “breakfast soup” by storing some in a mason jar for the next morning or two.

Teddy’s Chicken + salad greens. Check out this video from a couple of years ago. Megan and Margot hosted us at their building so Teddy could show us basic knife skills. Then he made this delicious chicken recipe. We simply put it on a bed of salad greens (with a simple emulsion of freshly-squeezed lemon juice into olive oil) and tada! Protein, carbs, and a fat.

Porkchops + garlic mashed cauliflower OR potato. By week’s end we’re tired or busy or both. Another easy one to make that can yield plenty of left overs which means LUNCH.

Bam. Hope you enjoy your first week!

Alright. HERE WE GO!


Nutrition Challenge Registration

As the weekend is approaching we’re getting ready to kick off our 5-week challenge!

If you plan on participating please fill out our registration form by clicking HERE or filling it out below. We have our challenge launch on Saturday, October 7th at 11am.

Reminder: there will be NO CrossFit class during that time. Normal 9am and 10am CrossFit classes are available and/or attend our free community class at noon.


Quality First, Quantity Second (3/5)

Missed Part 1 and Part 2?

Read about our 2017 Nutrition Challenge and register here.

“Eat meat & veggies, seeds & nuts, some fruit, little starch.” will continue to be one of the philosophies we follow in nutrition.

There are multiple reasons we focus first on quality.

Hormonal Balance

First off, we have to think of nutrition as a way to control our blood chemistry and hormonal balance? If this is out of whack we get moody or sleepy, experience head and body aches, promote or control inflammation, and more. Quality allows us to get the right things human bodies need. Quantity can unfortunately skip some important steps we require for good health. You might be able to perform well on quantity alone, but it’s not sustainable for a long period of time. (I’m look at you IIFYM people!)

As an example if we take a regular-sized Snickers bar, no doubt thinking about one of their commercials, and put their claim of “Snickers satisfies” to the test we’ll find that one 52.7g bar yields us

33g carbohydrate
4g protein
12g fat

For a real food equivalent of this, it would take

less than a full bite of a lean chicken breast
a large banana
approximately 7 to 8 raw almonds

Since we should all know that all carbohydrates are not created equal:

click to embiggen!

and all proteins are not created equal:

click to embiggen!

and all fats are not created equal:

click to embiggen!

The Snickers bar is definitely more practical since it’s wrapped up, easily available/portable, and obviously tasty as hell, but your blood sugar levels will be much, much higher than the chicken/banana/almonds “meal”. The hormonal response: your fat-burning systems will put on hold because blood sugars rose too high too quick and the pancreas created a large surge of insulin.

The sad lack of protein in the Snickers bar sets up no amino acids to start your regular bodily functions, and in turn the body will start pulling from it’s amino acid stores.

Why is that an issue? YOUR BODY WILL BREAK DOWN YOUR HARD-EARNED MUSCLE TISSUES. This is why there are so many soft bodies that don’t improve beyond a certain point. This is also one of the main causes behind the “Hard Gainer” archetype.

TL:DR: not all macros are the same, quality-wise. By only focusing on numbers (rather than well-sourced foods) you may inadvertently be putting in chemicals and preservatives into your body that sabotage your goals.

Energy Levels = Your Mood, Fatigue, and Soreness

Piggybacking on the last part, good hormonal balance = good energy levels. You know what it’s like to show up to a Saturday morning workout after a non-eventful Friday. Sometimes you come in early, ready to bang one out so that you feel accomplished and ready to go for the rest of the day. Now contrast that with a Saturday morning workout where you went out the night before and partied, had one too many drinks, and stayed up later than you normally do. How do you feel and perform then?

We set ourselves up for success or we don’t. That example is on a small level, but it also happens over the course of a couple of weeks. Months. Years. Look at the nutrition plan of some CrossFit Games athletes. Their social media posts will show how disciplined they are with how they fuel their bodies.

If you’ve never heard us talk about MFS when it comes to journaling, I pulled it from Rudy of The Outlaw Way. From the FAQ:

What does MFS mean?

This is a scale that we use to judge our athletes excercisers level of overtraining…

M = Mood – F = Fatigue – S = Soreness

The idea is these are the 3 things that are closely related to how you are handling the volume on a daily basis. The rating system goes from 1 being the best you’ve ever felt to 10 being on your death bed. If your post looked like this:

1-1-1: Would be ideal.
10-10-10: Would be REALLY bad.
6-6-6: Would be fucking awesome. OZZY!

Defining each quality further

Mood = your psychological state, consisting of your emotions and feelings. It’s either on a positive or negative side. Bringing anything negative to the gym generally leaves you in bad spots: missing lifts, getting sloppy on technique- potentially leading to injury, not to mention the fact that the time you spend in the gym should be FOR YOU AND FOR YOU ALONE. This is your personal time to develop yourself and while leaving your negative emotions is hard to do, it’s necessary to have successful gym days. If you cannot leave it at the door, just know you can’t expect too much of yourself. Be honest with yourself and use wherever you’re at the best way you can.

Fatigue = “a subjective feeling of tiredness which is distinct from weakness, and has a gradual onset. Unlike weakness, fatigue can be alleviated by periods of rest. Fatigue can have physical or mental causes. Physical fatigue is the transient inability of a muscle to maintain optimal physical performance, and is made more severe by intense physical exercise. Mental fatigue is a transient decrease in maximal cognitive performance resulting from prolonged periods of cognitive activity.” But it’s not only that- we can be more specific and call it Muscle Fatigue: “the decline in ability of a muscle to generate force. It can be a result of vigorous exercise … There are two main causes of muscle fatigue: the limitations of a nerve’s ability to generate a sustained signal (neural fatigue) and the reduced ability of the muscle fiber to contract (metabolic fatigue).” I’m sure you’ve felt all versions of this through heavy weightlifting, intense metcons, and long, repeated efforts. Be mindful of what exercises or exercise combinations really kick your ass so you can better prepare next time.

Soreness: specifically DOMS, Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness, which are “the pain and stiffness felt in muscles several hours to days after unaccustomed or strenuous exercise.” This is the life of a fitness enthusiast. You will live sore, but for all the right reasons. Now, there’s a certain level we’d like you to feel, but it requires practice, time, and experience to realize what makes you sore and long it usually lasts. It’s not a bad thing. We just have to make sure you know how to take care of it. Endurance efforts are great ways to keep working on your fitness while getting some nutrient-rich blood back in the areas that need it the most.

Recording your workout results and variables are important. These particular variables (MFS) can help inform you of why your performance went the way it did, and allow you to better game plan what happens next.

Nutrient Timing

For a lot of people just focusing on quantity of food (counting calories, macros, blocks, etc), they miss the boat on nutrient timing by not spreading the effects of hormonal synthesis. I’ve heard conversations from people of the IIFYM ilk say things like “I guess I’ll put down 50g of protein with my dinner since I missed my last planned protein window an hour ago”.

Remember that hormonal balance and energy levels are dictated by what and how much food you’re eating. Trying to catch up and combine meals doesn’t work for many performance-end goals.


Read more:

+ Insulin Regulation of Blood Glucose – EndocrineWeb
+ IIFYM: The Good, The Bad, The Ugly – T-Nation
+ Is Nutrient Timing Dead? – Precision Nutrition


Powerlifting Cycle #2 (Updated)

*Updated 10/8
*Updated 10/17

As some of you know we were running a 6am-only Powerlifting session on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. This was the only one we ran for the entire year but saw some tremendous strength increases. Some squats went up 10kg. Some almost 20kg. On average the strict press went up just shy of 10kg. All pulls went up (deadlifts, strict pullups, kipping pullups) as well. We used Rippetoe’s Starting Strength-style programming since most athletes were experienced CrossFitters, but new to lifting-only.

Many of them transitioned back into CrossFit. One athlete, who had been CrossFitting regularly for years, provided feedback:

“I loved the programing. I liked how receptive it was. The repetition each week let me think about my lifts the night before and get in the right mindset for the coming days lifts. It had been a long time since I went to the gym with so much vigor and excitement. I think that was partly due to the fact that during the cycle I could feel myself get stronger. That feeling filled me with confidence as max week approached and I KNEW that I would PR. The cycle also opened my mind regarding how strength fits into CrossFit. For the longest time I felt that my biggest limitation during most WODs was cardio and for the most part I did not give the strength aspect a second thought. In the last few weeks I have seen my biggest gains in WOD’s since I was beginner.

I now have lot more confidence to go for the Rx weight in [CrossFit] WODs. I no longer need to get on my tip toes at the end of press when performing wall balls. I can link more pull-ups together. I’m able to keep up, on a occasion, with athletes that I have never been able to keep up with.”

I think we’re also ready for Round 2.

Gus, Grayson, and myself recently attended the CrossFit Conjugate Methods course w/ Shane Sweatt of Conjugate CrossFit and Jesse Bifano of CrossFit Squamish. I spent a year training up at Lynnwood CrossFit following Conjugate methods years ago and it brought my squats, presses, and deadlifts up.

The Conjugate Method is just like the CrossFit method (constantly-varied high-intensity movements) with a bias towards strength and improving the contested Power lifts: back squat, bench press, and deadlift. Our split will look like

Monday at 6am or 10am – Max Effort Upper. Example lifts: strict press, bench press, floor press, jerk, Anderson press, football bar bench, board press

Wednesday at 6am or 10am – Max Effort Lower. Example lifts: box squat, conventional deadlift, sumo deadlift, front squat, block pull, overhead squats, deficit deadlift, etc.

Friday at 6am or 10am – Dynamic Effort Upper. Example lifts: strict press, bench press, floor press, jerk, Anderson press with bands, reverse bands, chains, banded kettlebells

Saturday at 9am – Dynamic Effort Lower. Example lifts: banded box squats, banded deadlifts, banded front squats, all the lifts with chains, all the lifts with chains and bands

What does max effort and dynamic effort mean?

MAX EFFORT: low-volume, high-intensity, 1RMs, 3 attempts at/above 90%, 2-4 minute rests, with no misses, constantly-varied lifts

DYNAMIC EFFORT: sub-maximal weights at maximal speed, 50-60% of 1RM, bar speed = .8-1m/second, :30 rests, 25% accommodating resistance (such as bands, chains, etc.)

Monday through Friday you have an opportunity to workout at 6am (alongside the Olympic Weightlifting class) or 10am. Saturday at 9am will conclude the programming week. For those who regularly attend Saturday’s 8am CompEx classes, the second hour will become strength hour where you and the Powerlifting crew combine for some Max Effort Lower lifts. For the CompEx athletes there is no need to rsvp for the 9am Powerlifting class. Those who “drop-in” at 9am will be denied entry to the workout and redirected to the CrossFit classes.

If you plan to participate it is important that you attend all four days a week if you want to get strongerSimply put the program isn’t potent if the dosage isn’t there. That said you may use this to supplement your other fitness endeavors by attending twice a week: do one max effort and one dynamic effort per week.

The entrance to the program will happen in waves- next week will be the first, then about 5 week out we’ll have another.

You’ll be revisiting movements you haven’t done in a while, as well as some you’ve never tried before. It’s going to be fun.


Questions? Send them here.

Further reading:

+ Conjugate Method – Westside Barbell

+ Conjugate Periodization: The Westside Model – Catalyst Gym

+ The Westside Conjugate Method – CrossFit Journal


“Eat Real Food. Not Too Much. Mostly Plants.” (2/5)

Missed Part 1?

Read about our 2017 Nutrition Challenge and register here.

What do we really mean by this?

It’s sounds really easy to follow, but is it? In today’s GO! GO! GO! society it’s hard to slow down and pay attention to what we’re really doing.

In yesterday’s post I put up a brUTE Strength podcast discussing 10 things people can do to be consistent. Look that up for tips about staying consistent with the following.

Green bell peppers, cherry tomatoes, and sausage


Nutrient-rich food should be perishable: fresh vegetables, fresh fruits, fresh meats, nuts, seeds, and healthy fats like olive oil, coconut oil, grass-fed butter, etc.

If you shop around the perimeter of the grocery store you’ll find most of these foods. The aisles contain food-like products (created by science!) that are usually processed and filled full of preservatives and fillers.

Broccoli, sweet potato “pasta”, and grilled chicken


Americans tend to overeat. For some, the “eat until you’re stuffed” concept still exists long after high school athletics. You are now an adult who spends the majority of your day stressed out and sitting.

Our guidelines are simple. We use an eyeball method: look at the size of your hand. When building a meal, the protein source should be the size and thickness of your palm. Starches like potatoes, rice, or pasta should also be the size and thickness of your palm. Fill the rest of your plate with vegetables. Cook or dress your food with a healthy fat.

If your t-shirt size is a medium or small then eat 3 plates a day. If large or larger then eat 4 plates a day.

No snacks. Do not “get stuffed.” Do not go for seconds.

“Primalaya” contains many vegetables of many colors. EAT THE RAINBOW!


Most adults do not get enough greens in their systems. These carbs also contain the micronutrients (vitamins & minerals) that are necessary to support healthy body systems. When veggies aren’t a staple of someone’s diet we can see why all these vitamin & mineral supplements are constantly being advertised and sold by the boatload. It’s “easier” to fill in the blanks and take pills for some rather than take the time to show the body some respect and eat cleanly.

Fresh produce is best, but frozen works in a pinch. Buy locally and eat what’s in season.

As we progress through the next couple of weeks we will go in depth with each of these philosophies.


The Foundation is Nutrition (1/5)

Starting next week we will start our Fall Nutrition Challenge where #1 goal is consistency. Can you be accountable to us and track each meal using a good ol’ journal pen + paper, electronic, or otherwise, social media, pictures, etc. Can you have integrity with yourself and treat your body to a new level of respect?

Our plan is simple and it follows the simple guideline written out by author Michael Pollan:


Tired of not making progress in your times and lifts? Are you dependent on your morning coffee because of grogginess, lack of sleep (recovery!), and lack of clarity? You’ve already become a more-enlightened mover by taking the time to learn and perform CrossFit. Now we apply it to eating!

Clean nutrition is as simple as something like this:

We want a focus on quality first, quantity second, and then the rest of the rulesets of many popular nutrition plans can come into play. If this is new to you, or your relationship with food is complicated, then let’s keep it simple.

Read more

DL Wednesday

Dave H

Did you know: deadlifts used to be called Healthlifts for all of the benefits this exercise produces.


+ Entire Seattle High School Football Team Kneels During National Anthem Before Game – Q13 Fox

CrossFit WOD for Wednesday 9/27

sumo deadlift 7×4

tabata burpee
tabata plank
tabata toes-to-bar
tabata L-hang
tabata HSPU
inverse tabata handstand

Post max deadlift weight to whiteboard.

Olympic Weightlifting WOD

clean & jerk complex, pause front squats

Kettlebell WOD

Primal mobility (extended)

Banded rotatory stability exercises

Getup and single arm swing focus

Simple and sinister


Remember we have cancelled the 6:30pm and 7:30pm classes for the FREESTYLE CONNECTION SEMINAR tonight from 6:30 to 8:30pm with Carl Paoli.


+ Best Gymnastic Grips for CrossFit – Garage Gym Reviews

CrossFit WOD for Tuesday 9/26


for max total reps:
5 power cleans, 61/43kg
7 dips*
5 shoulder-to-overhead, 61/43kg

5-4-3-2-1 minute AMRAP & rests

*all AMRAP are max efforts
*pick up where you left off on each AMRAP

Post total score to whiteboard!

HellaFit WOD

Our take on bootcamp workouts, this class challenges you for the entire hour with a blend of strength and conditioning that works all the major muscle groups and focuses on functional movement. HellaFit will get you #hellasweaty while having #hellafun!

Gymnastics Strength WOD

station work, hang, stretching, handstands, Crossover Symmetry, planche work, still rings conditioning ladder

Yet Another Take on CinDT

Throwback Thursday: a staff picture with Nate and Carl the last time we hosted a Freestyle Connection Seminar

“So what’s this seminar we’re hosting on Tuesday all about?”


This is a 2 hour workshop designed to be an exploration of movement thru the Freestyle Connection framework. The seminar will help attendees set movement standards and learn to create universal progressions.

Specifically Carl will address:
– Freestyle Connection Framework. A universal language for movement.
– Principles of Motor Control
– Pushing and Pulling
– The theory of Blocking Movement

This seminar is designed to help you:
* Turn on and trust your intuition about movement
* Use tools that help optimize imperfect movement
* Tap into the universal movement patterns and progressions underlying all disciplines
* Use Carl Paoli’s movement framework to create roadmaps for your physical success
* Learn what being strong really means


+ Scaling Your WOD, It Goes Both Ways – Just Alyssa


– Community CrossFit class on Sunday, 9/24 at Noon!
– Carl Paoli brings his Freestyle Connection Seminar to FCF on Tuesday, 9/26! Late evening classes cancelled for the event.

CrossFit WOD for Thursday 9/21

AMRAP in 10 minutes:
5 pullups
10 pushups
15 squats

rest 5 minutes then

AMRAP in 10 minutes:
12 deadlifts, 70/48kg
9 hang power cleans, 70/48kg
6 jerks, 70/48kg

Performance does it in reverse order (DT then CINDY).

Post both scores to whiteboard!

HellaFit WOD

Our take on bootcamp workouts, this class challenges you for the entire hour with a blend of strength and conditioning that works all the major muscle groups and focuses on functional movement. HellaFit will get you #hellasweaty while having #hellafun!

Front Squats and Rope Climbs

Lauren B & Nathan M

May these two goat belly together forever- congratulations on the engagement!


+ Fittest On Earth? – PeteJourgensen

CrossFit WOD for Tuesday 9/5

front squat 5×3

AMRAP in 5 minutes:
10 burpees
5 kettlebell dead squat clean/side, 24/16kg
1 rope climb

Rest 5:00, then repeat.

Post scores to whiteboard / comments!

HellaFit WOD

Our take on bootcamp workouts, this class challenges you for the entire hour with a blend of strength and conditioning that works all the major muscle groups and focuses on functional movement. HellaFit will get you #hellasweaty while having #hellafun!

Gymnastics Strength WOD

Handstands/Hanging: finger/hand/wrist prep then kick-ups into the wall, Messiah Stretch, Super Pigeon, station conditioning, Crossover Symmetry

CompEx WOD

21-15-9 rft:
power snatch, 35/25kg
C2/AB calories


15-12-9 rft:
thruster, 61/43kg
weighted pullup, 45/30#

30-20-10 rft:
kettlebell swings, 24/16kg

Rest 5:00 between workouts.

Foundations 7


150 wall ball shots for time