Thursday, December 21, 2017

How to Find the Right CrossFit Gym When Traveling

With Christmas just days away, I wanted to share some tips for finding the right CrossFit gym – just in case you’re planning a drop-in while you’re away from home. I love to travel and I love CrossFit, so I try my best to get a WOD in when I’m on the go. Some people are restaurant people; I’m a gym person. But part of the fun of CrossFit is the community, so I try to research the box as much as possible before I go because I like to know what I’m getting myself into. Knowing what to expect is key, so here are some of the strategies I use to find a CrossFit gym when I’m traveling.

How to Find CrossFit Workouts When Traveling

How to Find the Right CrossFit Gym When Traveling

Crowd-source at your home CrossFit and/or social media – Asking fellow CrossFitters for recommendations is typically my go-to for finding a high-quality CrossFit gym (or ones to stay away from). CrossFitters love to travel, so this strategy is often really reliable.

Use Google Maps (or similar) to figure out which gyms are closest to where you are staying – If I can’t find a personal recommendation, using Google Maps (or similar) when I arrive at my destination is what I do to find a CrossFit. Typically, there’s at least a couple of (if not more!) gyms nearby, so, to narrow-down my choices, I utilize these following methods…

Check out the class options and times – Some gyms offer more than the traditional CrossFit class (i.e. Oly lifting, endurance WODs), so I check out the schedule online and then determine if the times work with my agenda. And, of course, be sure to call or reserve your spot. It’s the worst when you make the effort to find the right gym and then the class is full!

Check out the gym’s Instagram account – How active a CrossFit’s Instagram account (or Facebook page) could say a lot about the quality of gym. It’s not a hard and fast “rule,” but if the gym and their members are engaged on social media, they might be friendly/fun/engaging in person! You can also check out reviews on Facebook and Yelp for additional details about the facility.

Determine if there are any CrossFit Games athletes tied to the gym – Typically, if a Games athlete works out a specific gym, it’ll likely have quality coaching and equipment. If you know that one of your favorite athletes is from a specific area, try to figure out which CrossFit they belong to and go there. You may even get lucky enough to have a celebrity athlete sighting! 🙂

Question of the Day

What makes you pick a certain CrossFit gym over another when you travel?  

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CrossFit gyms I’ve visited over the years and highly recommend:

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Kitchen Tips for Primal Holiday Entertaining

people clinking glasses with wineThere’s no ancestral tradition more meaningful than sharing a meal together. Holiday parties and dinners are when we come together to celebrate the bonds we have and the promise of a new year. Whether planned or impromptu, the effort doesn’t have to compromise the enjoyment. The best gatherings are simple and casual, and your menu can reflect that. Today we’re offering a holiday party rundown of favorite recipes that allow you to offer the best in Primal hospitality for all your entertaining events this season.

No-Stress Primal Appetizers

If you’re planning to cook a huge holiday meal, then give yourself a break when it comes to appetizers. Don’t go overboard. Instead, serve easy-to-make crowd pleasers for your guests to nibble on like Bacon Trail Mix.

Or Marinated Olives & Nuts.

Olives-Nuts-1

Slightly more sophisticated, but still easy to whip up, are appetizers like mini smoked salmon hand rolls.

salmon handroll 1

Or shrimp with kimchi mayo.

Final_Shrimp_with_Kimchi_Sauce

Make-Ahead Main Courses

Instead of being trapped in the kitchen when guests arrive, cook your main course a day (or two) ahead of time. Large cuts of cooked meat like brisket  actually taste better when they rest in the refrigerator 24 to 48 hours.

Lemon-Parsley Brisket

 

Bone-in beef short ribs are another delicious make-ahead main course. Both brisket and short ribs can be reheated in a covered dish at 350 ÂșF/176 ÂșC.

For casual holiday get-togethers, cook up a big pot of stew or Texas chili  the day before a party, or better yet, make the dishes weeks before, and stash ‘em in the freezer.

Primal AviaryPeanut Stew

Easy Primal Desserts

There’s no need to expend undue time and effort making elaborate Primal desserts when there are plenty of perfectly Primal, easy-to-make desserts that will satisfy a holiday sweet tooth.

Squares of high-quality dark chocolate and a bowl of Clementine oranges are always a hit. Or, try these simple but unbelievably delicious homemade Dark Chocolate Citrus Macadamia Balls.

Mac Choc Citrus Balls

Or Dark Chocolate Brazil Nut Bars.

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Or Coconut Macadamia Bars.

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All three desserts can be made ahead and kept in the freezer.

Festive Holiday Drinks (That Won’t Leave You Hung Over)

The festive drink in your hand doesn’t have to be an alcoholic one. Offer guests (and yourself) a fancy mocktail instead.

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Enjoy the season with a warm mug of creamy cocoa or Primal Egg Nog.

Or any of Seven Healthy Coffee Ideas or some soothing Turmeric Tea.

Screen Shot 2017-12-21 at 10.34.11 AM

 

 

Which ideas will you try, or do you have more to add? Happy Holidays, everyone!

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Soup Is The New Salad

I crave crisp green salads (topped with heirloom tomatoes and goat feta!) all summer long. But as soon as the first frost hits, I just lose my taste for salads (at home at least.) In the winter, I like to think of soups as the new salads. Soups that are loaded with vegetables are also loaded with nutrition! They take a little more prep to cook, but once you have one in your fridge you can heat it up when you’re hungry, and it can last all week.

My friend Lynsie is a superb cook and also runs a meal planning business called Vie. Her weekly meal plans are based off of the sales at the grocery store, so not only are you cooking great food, but you’re using the least expensive ingredients you can. Each of Lynsie’s meals plans comes with 4 Mains, 2 Large Sides, 1 Soup + Breakfast, Lunch & Snack. I just love that she plans in a flex soup that you can eat whenever you want!

Thus, I knew Lynsie would have some excellent soup recipes to inspire us all this winter. I asked her for her top five, and she shared these with me.

Three Sisters Vegetable Soup

Perfect for the Vegetarian or Vegan, this soup showcases typical end-of-harvest produce available in our area.  It is a tradition American Indian soup filled with squash, potatoes, beans, corn, and fire-roasted tomatoes.

Ingredients

  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 yellow squash, trimmed and sliced into rounds
  • 1 zucchini, trimmed and sliced into rounds
  • 1 bag baby potatoes
  • 1 bag frozen green beans
  • ½ bag frozen fire-roasted corn
  • 1 large 28-oz can of fire-roasted tomatoes
  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary
  • ½-1 tsp salt and pepper, to taste
  • Water to cover (start with 1 quart)*

Instructions

  1. In a soup pot set over medium heat, cook the onion and garlic in olive oil until softened, about 5 minutes.
  2. Add yellow squash, zucchini, baby potatoes, green beans, fire-roasted corn, fire-roasted tomatoes, rosemary (the whole sprig – you’ll remove it later), salt, pepper and water to cover.
  3. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes, or until potatoes are done and flavors have melded.
  4. Serve hot with leftover garlic bread, or add rice for a stew.

Coconut Lime Shiitake

Ingredients

  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp coconut oil
  • 2 cans coconut milk
  • 2 cups water
  • 3 limes, juiced
  • 2 Tbsp green curry paste
  • 1 tsp soy sauce
  • 1 pkg fresh shiitakes, sliced thinly, stems removed and reserved for stock if desired
  • 1 lime leaf *optional

Instructions

  1. Sauté the onion and garlic in coconut oil until softened, 5 minutes.
  2. Add coconut milk, water, lime juice, and green curry paste.
  3. Mix to combine, then add soy sauce, shiitakes (and lime leaf if using.)
  4. Cook on low heat until shiitakes are softened, about 10 minutes.
  5. Taste, adjust seasonings and serve hot.

Scorched Pepper & Peanut

Ingredients

  • 1 pkg vermicelli rice noodles
  • 1 bag sweet peppers
  • 1 pkg mixed mushrooms
  • 2 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 1 yellow onion, sliced in slivers
  • 1 tsp coconut oil
  • 1 tsp red chili paste
  • 2 limes, zested & juiced
  • 1 Tbsp fish sauce (optional)
  • 1 quart vegetable stock
  • ½ pkg baby kale 
  • ½ bunch cilantro, rinsed and chopped
  • 1-2 cups peanuts, roasted and unsalted

Instructions

  1. Heat a pot of water to boiling. Remove from heat, add noodles, and let sit 3-4 minutes, or until softened but not mushy or falling apart.
  2. While water is coming to a boil, preheat oven to a high broil.
  3. Cover a baking sheet in aluminum foil and scatter peppers evenly on it.
  4. Place sheet pan under the broiler in the lowest part of the oven.  Allow the broiler to scorch the peppers for 10 minutes.  Remove when the peppers are browned or even a bit charred.
  5. In a large pot, heat coconut oil, chili paste, mushrooms, garlic, and onion for 5 minutes.
  6. Remove from heat, add lime zest and juice, fish sauce and beef or veggie stock. Bring to a boil, remove from heat, add baby kale, pour over noodles individual bowls, and top with cilantro, scorched peppers, and peanuts.

Creamy White Bean with Pesto Drizzle

Ingredients

  • 1 large pkg basil
  • 1 cup pine nuts, toasted
  • 1 cup grated parmesan *optional
  • 2 cloves garlic, left whole
  • 1 pinch red pepper flakes
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 lemon, zested and juiced
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • ½ bag white beans, cooked (2 cups reserved)
  • 2 Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 1-2 quarts chicken or vegetable stock
  • 2 tsp salt and pepper (or to taste)

Instructions

  1. Make pesto first by combining basil, pine nuts, parmesan*, garlic, red pepper flakes, half of olive oil, pinch of salt and lemon zest and juice in a food processor or blender. Set aside.
  2. SautĂ© onion and garlic in the rest of the olive oil for 5 minutes.  Add beans (minus 2 cups), potatoes, and chicken or vegetable stock.  Cook for 20 minutes.  
  3. Puree the soup in a blender, add the rest of the beans and add salt. Taste and adjust seasonings. Cook until heated through and top with pesto to serve.

Rosada Chili

For Beans

  • 1 bag rosada beans (pink beans, dried)
  • 1 thumb-sized piece kombu (seaweed)
  • lots of water
  • NO SALT

Instructions

  1. Rinse beans and place in a large ovenproof pot with a lid.
  2. Cover beans with water to 2 inches above where the beans end.
  3. Bring to a boil and set a timer for 15 minutes.
  4. While beans are boiling, preheat oven to 250 F.
  5. Once timer goes off, transfer pot (with lid) to the oven and set a timer for 60 minutes.
  6. Check beans after 60 minutes and make sure there’s still enough water to cover beans.
  7. Continue cooking for up to 30 minutes more if beans are not tender, but don’t overcook. You still want the beans to be intact and not completely mushy!
  8. Drain and use or freeze.

For Chili

  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 lb ground beef *optional
  • 3 Tbsp cumin
  • 2 Tbsp chili powder
  • 1 Tbsp garlic powder and paprika
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 can chopped tomatoes
  • 1 1/2 quarts water
  • 4 cups cooked beans (or more if desired)

Toppings

  • queso fresco
  • avocado
  • radishes, julienne cut
  • tortilla chips (we used nacho flavored flax chips from Wegmans)
  • chopped tomatoes
  • oregano and paprika

Instructions

  1. Sauté onion and beef together until browned, about 10 minutes, with spices.
  2. Add tomatoes, water, and beans and cook over medium heat until thickened, about 25 minutes.
  3. Taste, adjust seasonings if needed.
  4. Serve with desired garnishes.

As a special gift to you guys, take advantage and try Vie for yourself!  Use the promo code katheats when you subscribe for a Meal Plan and get one month free. That’s 8 meal plans a week and over 220 recipes all based on sale items at your favorite stores. If you don’t have the Vie sale grocery stores in your area, not to worry! With Vie you can just shop at your favorite store as usual, just make sure to choose sale items when possible to save even more.

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