Food For Fuel

19 Oct


I’m reviving my old blog to help facilitate communication about the gym, food, and community!

Yesterday we had a meeting about nutrition. I’ll post our documents on here in case you lose yours.

It’a all about meal planning today! Let’s start our week off right by making a list, checking it twice, and prepping our food for the week.

1. FUEL YOUR WORKOUTS: Have a preworkout snack with carbs. A banana, protein shake, or health bar ( KIND Bars, Lara Bars, etc.)


3. Eat at least 30 min after your workout, either a protein shake (we recommend Progenex) or a balanced meal with protein and healthy carbs (sweet potato, rice).

4. All other meals focus on protein, veggies, and a little bit of fat

Basic meal template for Eat to Perform, an ideal diet for those who Crossfit or do any sort of weight training or resistance training. Diet is based on carb loading around your workouts and not restricting anything. Most people need to eat more calories! For more diet and exercise tips, check out @winetoweights at
Learn what to eat before and after your next workout to maximize the benefits of your exercise routine.

Don’t you just love technology! So much information is at our finger tips. I love the idea of a banana and almonds. Super easy for on the go days.

Planning the week out can be simple. Here’s my super un-fancy plan for dinners this week:


Sunday Monday Tuesday Wed Thurs Friday Saturday Left Overs for lunches
Crockpot steak White Chicken Chili Taco Tuesday Stir Fry Stuffed Sweet Potato Fried Chicken Thighs Family Dinner.

beef broth


sweet potatoes

chicken breastchipotle chili powder

4 cups low-sodium chicken broth

plain Greek yogurt


cilantro leaves

jalapeno peppers minced

red onion

tomatillos quartered

Kosher salt

ground cumin

90% lean ground beefsalsa




eggs* (v)

stir fry veggies

sweet potatoesavocado

cottage cheese


chicken thighssweet potatoes Find out what dish to bring MondayWed

All other days Cobb Salad for lunch:


Hard boiled eggs

Quality lettuce and veggies

Bolthouse Farms Yogurt Ranch dressing

Athlete Profile:

Athlete Profile:


Current Composition


Age Height Weight TDEE Calories
Macro Nutrients break down
PR’s Before (October) During (December) After (January)
Back Squat
Front Squat
Power Clean
Power Snatch
Push Press
Bench Press
Strict Press
SKILLS (1 min amrap)
Pull Ups
Push Ups
Double Unders
Box Jumps
*Muscle Ups
Rope Climbs
500m Row
1 mile Run

*To lose weight, decrease total calories by 200-300 from carbs.

*Advanced movement

Try to pick a few skill and endurance movements to work your way through before or after class and record your results. Afterall, the biggest changes you’ll notice is in how your clothes fit and how well you perform. Yes, this means you have to do a little extra work before or after the WODs. You should already have an idea of your current lifts. They should be programed into our training. Don’t try to max out your lifts without proper coaching. Contact Peter if you do not know what your current PR’s are, and he can look to find when you can test them.

Progress Weight Dress Size How you feel*

*How you feel is the most important element.


CrossFit Community

29 Mar



Why join a CrossFit Box? The term CrossFit is popping up everywhere lately over Midwest Michigan. What is CrossFit? The most basic definition of CrossFit is “The sport of fitness” (Glassman, 2000). This leads to the question, “What is fitness?” Fitness is “The ability to carry out daily tasks (work and play) with vigor and alertness, without undue fatigue and with ample energy to enjoy leisure-time pursuits…” (Clarke 1976). CrossFit training encompasses everything from metabolic conditioning, plyometrics, Olympic weightlifting, powerlifting, gymnastics, and interval training. One thing both novice and experienced CrossFitters know is that this sport will challenge you both physically and mentally every day. It takes someone with intrinsic self-discipline and motivation to push through their limits everyday. Which is why CrossFit Affiliates are important. Affiliates at their core are communities of people who challenge one another and keep each other accountable, all the while helping and encouraging each other to be the best version of themselves.

CrossFit Lake Effect is a CrossFit gym in Holland, Michigan that just celebrated its first anniversary on March 28th, 2014. Within that year, Paul Burkert (owner of CFLE) has grown his Affiliate into more than just a gym. He’s grown it into a family. In its humble beginnings, Paul had two members, his best friend, and Andy Sturgeon. Andy came to CrossFit weighing over 300 pounds. He had never worked out before in his life, and was apprehensive, like many first timers, of what this CrossFit thing was all about. Looking at Andy now, you’d never have guessed that he was overweight. He’s shed over 90 pounds in his first year of Crossfit. He’s gone from not being able to hang on a pull up bar, to being able to do full pull ups, from never running, to running a mile in under 9 minutes, from never lifting weights, to Olympic weightlifting. And through it all, Andy has shown up everyday, ready to work, wearing his best smile. You’ve never seen someone as determined, kind hearted, and encouraging as Andy Sturgeon…that is, except for his mother.

Alyce Sturgeon is another of Paul’s first members. She’s known around the gym as the encourager. Andy definitely gets his no-quit attitude from his Momma. She is living proof that you can accomplish whatever you set your mind to. Both Andy and Alyce competed in the recent 2014 CrossFit Open and watching them for even one minute you can tell there is no quit in that family.

Not only do Andy and Alyce do their best everyday, but they also bring out the best in others. Alyce and Andy are the first people to high five a member after a grueling workout, the first to cheer others on -often staying after their own classes to watch other members and encourage them. They are the first to greet you at the door with a wide smile, and a “How ya doin’ today?” They’re the first to listen, the last to judge, and the first to give you a hug when you’re upset. Andy and Alyce are the epitome of the CrossFit spirit.

What sets CrossFit gyms apart from traditional gyms is this sense of family. The workouts are challenging, but CrossFitters know that we’re all in this together, and we’re not going to give up on each other. CrossFit Lake Effect is a gym that builds others up, helps athletes conquer their weaknesses, celebrate strengths, and grows each other physically and mentally. At CrossFit Lake Effect, Paul Burkert and his trained coaches work hard to ensure that all members are safe, being challenged, and see results. Athletes come to CFLE for a great workout, and stay for the community. CrossFit isn’t easy, but as Alyce and Andy can attest to, “Nothing worth having ever comes easy.”

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Andy pre CrossFit in March 2013, and now March 2014

Alyce in the 14.5 Open

Pre and Post Workout Fuel

27 Feb

Here’s the deal.You can out eat any amount of exercise.

I know, I know. It makes me sad too! I’d love to be able to eat a whole jar of Almond butter after an intense day at the gym, but it’s not going to help you accomplish your goals.

out of almond butter

As someone who has worked out daily for the past 10 years, I can truly attest to two things that work

1. CrossFit

2. Eating whole, real foods…and using portion control

I can also tell you what did not work for me:

1. Running..marathon training/ standard gym experience

2. Avoiding lifting weights because I thought I’d get bulky…in the words of Dewight Schrute…


But that brings me to the question that I get so often… “What DO you eat?”In layman’s terms. Food. Based on the Paleo diet, if it had a face, or grew from the ground, you can eat it.

But what about around a workout? Good question. It’s taken me a long time, and a few set backs to figure this out. But once I did, I started feeling so much better, I had more stamina, my CrossFit performance improved, and I was overall less lethargic.

Pre-Workout Options:

-Banana and almond butter

– Hard boiled eggs

– Lara Bars

Home Made Lara Bars

Post Workout Options:

Whey isolate protein powder

-Hard boiled eggs

-Pre-cooked Lean meats

Sulfate/nitrate free jerky

-Pre-cooked sweet potatoes

Scotch Eggs

Sweet potato chips

Other sites I get paleo inspiration from are:

Stupid Easy Paleo

Nom Nom Paleo


I think it’s important to know that finding what works for you doesn’t happen overnight. Most people are not sensitive enough to their bodies to realize how nutrition affects them, so it might take  longer to winnow out what they can tolerate and what they can’t.

Make sure you fuel your body. And back off on the Paleo “treats”…they’re sneaky! Eat real food, mostly veggies, then meat, and a little fruit.

New Year’s Theme

30 Dec

happy new year

2013 is almost GONE!  As much as I don’t want to get any older…I really can’t wait to see what 2014 will bring! (Remember when everyone thought the world was going to end in 2012? oh, and don’t forget Y2K!)

I have to admit, I don’t like New Years Resolutions. Basically because they don’t last with me, maybe it’s because I choose something unattainable, like, “I’m never going to eat chocolate again!” and that’s just silly… and wrong! 🙂

However, I heard about someone starting a New Year Theme instead of a resolution. I like the idea of choosing a theme to focus on through the year. This makes sense.

So I got to thinking about a personal theme for this year…One that would trickle over to every aspect of my life – faith, fitness, family, and finances.

Wait for it…drum roll please….I am going to use STRENGTH for my theme. Shocking, I know.  It may seem cliche since I’m obsessed with CrossFit, but it really does have value in all aspects of my life.

Theme Verse: Philippians 4:13


Strength comes in many forms:

 Relationships – creating deeper bonds, and forming healthy boundaries.

 Financial life – making wise financial choices.

Fitness – eating for health and performance (not comfort). Pushing past comfortable and breaking past limitations.

Faith –  realizing that strength comes from trusting God, and in order to do that we first have to pray and get to know who God is (daily devotions).

Becoming a strong person does not mean having it all together all the time. It does mean that you fight to become who you are meant to be. Human nature is complacent, lazy, and weak. Being strong means fighting against the voice inside you that tells you to give up. It’s combating against negativity and anxiety. It’s also knowing when to rely on others, and when to be reliable.


So that’s my theme for this year. It will be a journey for sure. But I’m excited to see where it will take me. I’m choosing to NOT be safe, or comfortable. I’m choosing the road less traveled…and I hope that will make all the difference 🙂

What about you? What theme will you/would you choose?

Love and Fitness

27 Dec

picture life

Let me first start this post by saying that I am a normal, average person. I am not an expert in the area of nutrition and fitness, or spirituality. HOWEVER, I feel that I have experienced a lot in my own pursuit of happiness. I have found that there is a deep connection between emotional, physical, and spiritual health.

I have done it all in terms of fitness fads….calorie counting, vegan, Raw Food Revolution, cleanses – juicing, Shakes (Vi Salis, Herbalife, Shakeology) and it’s not like I gave these things a “College Try”, I mean, I was dedicated. But none of it seemed to be sustainable. I was running 6 – 10 miles / day in conjunction to restrictive eating…The Results: A grumpy, self indulgent woman…who thought she knew everything.

Reality: I literally felt like I was breaking myself down. Don’t get me wrong, These things are not bad. I STILL LOVE running, BUT, it was my approach that was off. I was too focused on the end result, and not the process. I went after everything with 100% tenacity and…obsession. My “disciplines” were turning me into a selfish, calloused – and bitter, woman.

I needed a reality check, BAD.

priority check

1 Corinthians 13  

1 Corinthians 13 is probably one of the most well known bible verses. It is the verse read at almost every wedding – Love is patient, love is kind… But it doesn’t only pertain to weddings. God’s greatest command is to LOVE. To love God, others, and ourselves (in that order). It is not our human nature to love, it is divine to love. This is why – Love is NOT  a feeling. It is a choice (what does this have to do with fitness? hold on, I’ll get there!)

Love is not a chemical reaction, it is a discipline. Sure, in the beginning of a relationship you have biochemistry with someone, attraction, infatuation and so on. But if you base a relationship on those feelings, it is sure to fail (been there too…) Why? Ever hear someone say, “sometimes love is not enough.” ? What they REALLY are referring to is attraction and infatuation…because love is always enough…if you truly know what it is…

And here are God’s words (the creator of life and LOVE):

Love is patient,

love is kind.

It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.

It does not dishonor others,

it is not self-seeking,

it is not easily angered,

it keeps no record of wrongs.

Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.

It always protects, always trusts, always hopes,

always perseveres.

This is the recipe of a happy life. It is not easy. None of the above are easy…that’s why relationships fail – we focus on how other people make us feel and think that’s LOVE. But Love means focusing on others instead of ourselves.

Ok, so about fitness. We have to love ourselves too. Which takes discipline. We need to focus on the journey, now our end goals.

How to Love Fitness CrossFit:

Be patient – change isn’t going to happen over night!

Be Kind – Don’t self depreciate! Don’t “hate” your body! It does so much for you!

Do not envy – Don’t compare yourself to others…Including unrealistic images on glossy pages!

Do not Boast, Do not be Proud – Yes! Don’t be that person who clanks weights, or brags…don’t be a lunk!

Do not dishonor others- Build others UP! Don’t judge others on their personal journey. life is hard enough.

Not Self- seeking – Think of others, let them get the “better bar”, help them get their weights organized, give them the better spot for leg swing series or couch stretch 🙂 … (some of these are CrossFit specific)

Not Easily Angered- Don’t sweat the small stuff.

No Records of Wrongs – Don’t focus on your friends improper form, when you yourself are not breaking parallel….

Truth – Don’t cheat.

Protect – Have each others backs.

Trust – The coaches and the process.

Hope – Never lose hope! Rome wasn’t built in a day…pull ups won’t be mastered in a day year…

Persevere- Never. Give. Up.



crossfit inspiration


Traditional Gym Experience vs. CrossFit

13 Dec

I am a gym rat. I’ve been going to gyms since I was in high school (so for the past 10 years), and I’m a regular 6 days/week kind of girl. You name the class, I’ve taken it. Name the machine, I’ve been on it. So I’m like…in really great shape…right…right?!

urmph. Not quite.


I’m almost a little sickened when I look back and think of all the exercises I use to do that I thought were making me more “fit”. The truth is that I was potentially injuring myself. Ever try to isolate a muscle? You know…go to the ab machine, tricep machine, the weighted squat machine…etc. Ever believe that you should lift light weights in high reps? Me too! Only to find out that that’s not really the most efficient/ healthy form of exercise.

Not to mention…I really believe traditional gyms elicit unhealthy comparison and competition.

Traditional gyms (in my opinion) isolate both people and muscles…


So what’s different about CrossFit? In one word. COMMUNITY.


I’ve been going to CrossFit Lake Effect for the past 6 months, and the main thing that keeps me coming back, and excited, are the people. I liken it to a near death experience…Every WOD I think to myself, “I’m gonna die, I can’t do this!”, AND every time, the coaches and my girls cheer me on and push me farther than I ever could imagine! I’ve tracked my progress over the past months, and it’s amazing how far I’ve come!

In the Beginning

  • The first step to joining a CrossFit gym is to take your foundations.

It’s exactly as it sounds –  Learning basic movements and skills.

Want to hear something funny?

I thought I was going to be able to “test out” of my foundations, I mean, I “knew” how to workout…right?!


I highly recommend EVERYONE take a foundations course, even if you don’t plan on joining a box. I learned that I was doing just about everything incorrectly. And we all know what happens when you do something wrong for 10 + years…You form bad habits, poor technique, and the potential to really hurt yourself.  (Which is also why you DO NOT want to try to do CrossFit on you own, and should join a box!)

When I did my foundations I found the coaches knowledgeable, patient, and encouraging. They didn’t laugh at my “inchworm” push ups, or my “wiggling” on the bar in attempt to do a pull up. They clearly explained what I was doing, and how the movement is meant to be done.

When you join a CrossFit gym, with high quality coaches, you start to learn the science behind the movements. Not to mention that the mobility aspect of training is amazing. Sometimes I think I need to skip a WOD because I’m sore…but high quality gyms plan that into their training with mobility work and proper warm ups.

Common MISCONCEPTION: I’m not in good enough shape to start Crossfit.

TRUTH: Everyone needs to start somewhere! And getting in shape to get in shape is just silly.

What about you?

Have you done your foundations course? What did you think?

Do you live in the Holland, MI area? Check out CrossFit Lake Effect. I PROMISE you will be impressed.

Body Image

4 Dec

Whenever there is talk about health and fitness, there is always an elephant in the room…Body image.

And Body Image tends to lead to thoughts of self worth…

I get it, talking about insecurities is not fun. But we’ve all been there, and continue to go there from time to time.

The question is, what do you do when those thoughts of self doubt start to invade your mind?In today’s culture, we are bombarded with thousands of images a day. Images of airbrushed, hungry (or as I like to say hangry: hungry + angry) models, which lead to unrealistic and unhealthy expectations.

The Truth is, “You are fearfully and wonderfully made.” Psalm 139:14.

Beauty comes in all shapes and sizes, all ethnicities, genders, cultures, etc. The definition if beauty is open ended.

You’ve heard the cliche, “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.” But it’s true. Everyone has their own perception of what beauty is. My definition of beauty would be, “The intangible aspects of your character : confidence, integrity,  strength, and compassion.”

When you look outward for your body image and self worth, you are sure to find disappointment and self loathing. I know, I’ve been there. Not going to lie…sometimes I find my thoughts gravitating that way from time to time.  However, the older I become, the more I realize that I really don’t like feeling bad/sorry for myself.

So what do I do? I’ve really learned that when I feel insecure, it’s usually a lie I’ve let myself believe. First off, if it’s from comparing myself to others, I know, deep down, that I should be happy for them, and count my own blessings. God laid it out for us in the 10 commandments “Don’t Covet”…that means our bodies too. We can look up to someone and admire them, but the moment it crosses the line to comparing and you start feeling sorry for yourself, then it’s coveting and unhealthy.

1.I’ve learned to thank God for the blessings He’s given me. And if there is something I don’t like about myself, I’ve learned to give it to God, and focus on things I can control – like diet and exercise. Andrea Ager said “Focus on nourishing your Body, and exercising, and the results will take care of themselves.” Paul Burkert from CrossFit Lake Effect gave me wise advice once (I’ll give it to you this ONCE) “Control what you can, and don’t worry about what you can’t. No point getting upset over things that are out of your control.”

2.Also, God tells us to treat our bodies as a living sacrifice to Him…. so take care of your body, it is a blessing. BUT, don’t idolize your body. We are not merely physical beings. We are souls. And in the end, our bodies will return to dust, but our souls will remain. Don’t obsess more about your body than you do about how you treat people.

3. Focus on others. Avoiding a party because you feel sorry for yourself is just silly! (I know, I’ve been there). You will not remember the days you spend sitting on the couch in years to come and say…”Oh yea, I remember sitting all alone, feeling sorry for myself…good times.” NOPE! You’ll remember the relationships you’ve made and things you’ve gone out and done.  Keep things in perspective. Even if you are insecure about something…other people rarely ever see the same flaws you see. And if they do…they don’t matter. To quote Dr. Seuss…”Those who matter don’t care, and those who care, don’t matter.”

4. Move your body. Exercise is the BEST antidepressant…and it’s FREE! For me, CrossFit has totally revolutionized the way I see my body. I no longer look at my dress size or the scale — I actually don’t weigh myself or own a scale at all. I view my body as a blessing – I am capable of so much more than I ever could have imagined, and CrossFit has really opened my eyes to my full potential. I have a lot of progress to make, but I have come a long way already. It carries over to all aspects of life…Whether you think you can, or think you can’t, you’re right. It’s all about having faith. Faith that life will work out for you. Faith in God, that He loves you and will provide for you, and Faith in success. Even if you get knocked down…Get back up, and have faith that you can move mountains.

Truth is: You are Beautiful…All women, all shapes, all sizes, are beautiful.

Here is a website that I LOVE that really promotes awareness of all body types.


In Closing, I want to share with you a video of Female CrossFit Athletes…You’d think they’d never be insecure, but even the people we think are “perfect” have insecurities. It’s how they’ve learned to understand body image that is interesting to me.

Sorry if this seemed like  a huge tangent. I just have a LOT of thoughts on this subject. What ABOUT YOU?? What do you do when the doubt monster starts to seep in? Where do you find your strength?

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