"Beyond the Barbell – Dionne Elvira"

Being active has been a part of my life from the moment I could run away from the school nurse giving out shots as a kindergartner until now, as a thirty something woman. I love the running and weight lifting side of Physical Education and dance. In fact, when I was sixteen I proclaimed I would be a dance teacher when I grew up – and here I am. This is now my eleventh year teaching, and I am currently an aspiring educational leader working on my Doctorate degree at CSUSB. Currently, I teach Physical Education and have enjoyed teaching my students the value of being the strongest version of themselves – inside and out. I am hoping to one day get CrossFit certified to bring CrossFit to my students and/or the communities students in the area I teach in.

I remained active my entire life, I hit a wall with a weight struggle for almost a decade. It really hit when I began teaching as an intern. I had poor quick and affordable eating habits while ignoring my personal needs due to lack of time and stress. The highest weight I reached was, in 2010 at two-hundred and three pounds. My diet was poor, even though I taught dance and ran the occasional 5K – despite the weight I carried. I began injuring myself numerous times when teaching/coaching and I knew a change was needed, I knew it for a long time before I actually moved forward to do such a thing. I really convinced myself that I was physically who I was meant to be, due to genetics, and that there was nothing I could do to change that. I was running and dancing, right? What more could I possibly do? Tons actually. One day, life kicked me in the behind and I woke to the realization that playing the victim to poor health and so-called-genetics, was not solving anything. How could I create a solution, what can I do for this temple I will spend the rest of my life in?

Not knowing the answers, I sought out help by doing research to find the professionals who could help in both diet and fitness. I learned there is a priceless value in taking care of one’s own health and personal growth. It is true what they say, knowledge is power. The more you know the more unstoppable and successful you can be at whatever you set out to accomplish. During this time, I also furthered my education, because I believe the mind has to grow healthy just as much as body. It took me a year and a half to lose the weight, and I have maintained it since. I believe it worked this time because I WANTED it to. There is a difference between wishing and wanting. If you want to make it happen, you will make it happen – no excuses. If you wish it to happen, you either won’t do a thing or you will make several attempts that end in giving up.

Since I was figuring out the diet side of health, and the intellectual side of personal growth, I knew I needed more. To be stronger. I did my research to find out the current fitness trend, as well as best facility. Desert CrossFit had the most and highest ratings, and this facility has forever changed my approach to fitness. It has given me that missing thing I never knew I was missing. Being a member is like being on a team sport that is year round, your teammates are the other gym goers and everyone cares. Everyone cares about your progress as well as your struggles. The best thing is you never know what workout is going to hit you until you do the unpredictable WOD or Workout of the Day. Being a full time professional and student, it has been the best exercise for time constraints – ONE HOUR. I’ve been a member for a mere seven months, and can now do push-ups, pull ups, handstand push-ups – all things I have never been able to do in my life. I am beginning to sculpt out, and have found a love in competing which I plan to continue.

The hardest step is always that first step, especially when attempting to take it while carrying your past failures with you. Simply put, you can’t move forward with past failure weighing you down. You have to let go of those past failures and allow that action to be the momentum you need to move forward into the future life you deserve. I invite you to take that first step, to be the strongest version of yourself, because YES YOU CAN!!


"Beyond the Barbell – Scott Kemp"

We’re back for another edition of ‘Beyond the Barbell’ and the December athlete we’re featuring from our #DCFStrong community is James Scott Kemp. Scott is 63 years young and has been doing CrossFit for 2 1/2 years. Since joining Desert CrossFit, Scott has been a very dedicated athlete. The DCF coaches have noted Scott gives every workout his all! We want to send a big DCF THANK YOU to Scott for his contribution to the blog (especially during this busy time of year). We’re so glad you’re part of our #DCFStrong community!!!

I’m a 63 year old man who’s always been active, but over the years I became steadily more sedentary. In my twenties I ran, bicycled and played tennis. In my forties I gave up running because it caused my knees and feet to be sore. Not many years later I gave up tennis. When I was nearing sixty I had to break into a jog to get across a crowed street before the light changed. As I neared the curb I caught the eye of a younger man who was looking at me with a mix of admiration and bemusement, petty even. I expected to have sore leg muscles; not to see that expression on another face.

At this point I had worked at a job I liked for 20 years, gaining a pound or two each year. I managed to ignore the load I was and carry on each day at my desk job. I still tried to incorporate a bicycle into my commute but that was about it. As a result of my more sedentary lifestyle my fasting blood sugar test reached pre-diabetic but my cholesterol and blood pressure were still good.

After retiring I moved to the desert and soon after the move it became obvious the person I thought I was was not the one reflected back to me. I wanted to be the fit person my inner being was insisting, even pretending I was.

I started off hiking and I gained some cardio function. About 2 1/2 years ago I started Cross Training. When I started I could not run or jump rope. I was in no shape to be lifting much weight. But I quickly learned that’s not what this training program is about…. As I began this new, intensive exercise program I considered that I might die of a heart attack or stroke but I realized this was a fork in the road and I was going to stick to it, even if it killed me. Thankfully so far, it has only made me sore AND I have made progress towards being the thirty year old I still think I am. 🙂

I love being a member of Desert CrossFit for many reasons. The exercise makes me feel good. I like the way I am moving, feeling and looking. Cheryl and her coaches are very attentive. The other members who attend are universally good, fun, and upbeat. The benefit of all the work I’ve invested in my fitness is that my blood sugar is good again. I feel fortunate.

I’m a winner again. Try Desert CrossFit! Each day will be a personal victory.



"Beyond the Barbell – Jason Weisstein"

We have another ‘Beyond the Barbell’ blog coming at you for the month of November. We are featuring a former member of our #DCFStrong community who is not only a great athlete but happens to be a fantastic orthopedic surgeon. Jason recently relocated out-of-state however was willing to contribute his CrossFit experience with our online community. His advice to anyone starting their CrossFit journey is to “maintain a long-term focus.” A huge THANK YOU to Jason for taking the time to put this together. You are forever part of the DCFStrong community!!!

To read our November feature click HERE.


For over a year, I would drive by Desert CrossFit (DCF), slightly intimidated by the exterior as well as rumors about what CrossFit might entail. I knew that I needed a new way to work out. As a physician, I knew I sought big challenges. I had worked out in a traditional gym for several decades where the routine had become boring and recipe-like. Finally, in January 2015, I decided to join Desert CrossFit in an effort to prepare me for Spartan obstacle course races. DCF had ropes, giant tires, bars, etc. – most of the elements needed to prepare for a mud run.


My first week at DCF was an ‘introduction’ to CrossFit with Coach Cheryl as the main instructor. I was immediately impressed by how well she connected with the participants as well as how determined she was to make sure our technique was spot on. She was direct and in my face, but not in a military sergeant-type way. I felt like an inflexible old man during some of the routines, however, I was constantly encouraged to fight on. After graduating from the introductory classes, I started going to the 5;30 AM group classes. I couldn’t climb a rope, jump a rope, or do a string of pull-ups with any grace or agility. Despite my “newness” to CrossFit, I found a group of individuals who were supportive and motivated even during the wee hours of the morning. What I liked most was that all exercises could be modified to your particular ability level. There was also a distinct atmosphere about the box. In a traditional gym you are usually alone doing your routine. CrossFit thrust me into a group with a timer. This immediately fostered some minor competition and hurried me to get through the work-out in a set amount of time, rather than taking my time as I usually did in a traditional gym setting.


Since my initial exposure to Desert CrossFit, I have incorporated a CrossFit routine into my weekly life three to five times per week. Speaking as a father, husband, and doctor, there are few athletic opportunities in life at my age where there remains the challenge to achieve perfection. This is something I believe all people desire and seek. While I might be climbing ropes and doing pull ups with ease now, it is the finer details of the barbell lifting routines and double jump rope routines that continue to challenge me. I am in the best shape of my life and feel that I have more energy than I did in my 30’s. The road was not easy and there are no gimmicks at CrossFit. You get out of it what you put in. My hands are calloused, shins a bit scraped, and I have suffered a few minor musculoskeletal injuries along the way. The basic things I found difficult in the beginning are now fairly easy; that said, the work-outs are always challenging and always varied. I would say that humbling is a pretty good word to describe the WOD’s (work-outs of the day). This is part of the excitement of CrossFit. Now, my focus is on perfecting difficult techniques likes snatches and cleans (Olympic weight lifting techniques).


My advice to beginners is to maintain a long-term focus. You can’t walk into a CrossFit gym and expect to master everything. It is just not possible. You will always be challenged – to an extreme at times. Having been to many “boxes” around the country I can say (as a practicing orthopedic surgeon) with absolute certainty that Desert CrossFit is a one of a kind place. Too often people are injured during CrossFit because they go to a box with inexperienced instructors who are aloof or have minimal experience. At Desert CrossFit, the instructors are personable, interested, and most importantly, care about bringing out the best in each participant, young or old, male or female, athletic or nonathletic. You will not be allowed to do more advanced techniques until you master the simple ones. This is certainly not the philosophy of other boxes I have visited where it is more of a free for all atmosphere – one that I know leads to injuries. This is part of the bad rap CrossFit gets in certain circles. So for those of you who are tentative, curious, or otherwise wondering about CrossFit, my suggestion is to give Desert CrossFit a look. I know you will accomplish more in 10-20 minutes of working out than you did in one hour or two hours before. You WILL get into the best shape of your life.







"Beyond the Barbell – Will Odom"

For the October segment of ‘Beyond the Barbell’ the athlete we’re featuring from our #DCFStrong community is Will Odom, the 1st place (male) winner of our previous Desert CrossFit Paleo Challenge. With the Rockin’ Fit Paleo Challenge kicking-off this month, some of our audience may be interested to learn about the different aspects of a Paleo Challenge and some details on what got Will through the challenge. We thank Will for his contribution to the blog and for being part of our #DCFStrong community!!!

Athlete name: Will Odom

Age: 35

Started CrossFit: February 2015

With the kick-off of the Rockin’ Fit Paleo Challenge I thought some of you may be interested in my Paleo Challenge experience. When I was asked to contribute to ‘Beyond the Barbell’, I decided that I would share some thoughts on what got me through the challenge. As a continued Paleo fanatic, I congratulate all who participate. You have decided to take on a task that is weary to the faint of heart. I’ve heard many people say they don’t have the nerve to take on such a lifestyle adjustment. All I can say is EMBRACE THE CHALLENGE! It is worth it. I say, stay the course and you will reap the benefits! Not only physically but mentally.

How did you hear about Paleo?

I heard about a Paleo Challenge through Desert CrossFit. Upon my first time walking into the box, I was greeted by the owner, Cheryl Cohen and was introduced to CrossFit and Paleo. I was lucky to begin my CrossFit journey along with incorporating a Paleo lifestyle at the same time. I was essentially working my body two fold, by changing my unhealthful eating, but also getting back into exercising.

I had been fighting a significant and discouraging weight gain around my waist and it began to inhibit other activities I was involved in. In coupling the CrossFit workouts with the lifestyle changes I was introduced to during the Paleo Challenge, I managed to drop 12 pounds in the initial 3 weeks. This weight loss further motivated me to embrace Paleo and continue to be active in CrossFit.

What changes/progress did you experience as a result of following the diet? How long before you started seeing those changes?

My initial 3 weeks was the springboard to my success. While certainly being a challenge, I knew if I was going to make the change, I needed to be radical. So I followed to a T, everything outlined in the Paleo Challenge, making my body better. I needed to heal it from damage caused by consuming sugar, refined foods and grains that were inhibiting me from being the best I could be. Persevering, I recall picking up a 15-pound weight during a workout and reminding myself this is what I lost and knew I could continue to build on it. My goal was to be able to pick up 45 pounds and know the hard work and dedication that went into losing that amount of weight. I was sure this would be the pay-off in sticking to an improved eating lifestyle and CrossFit training. I knew that changes were happening when my suits, gym-shorts and shirts were falling off. I started to use new holes in my belts and also began to notice that I needed to buy a new suit-coat for work.

Even though the challenge ended after 6-weeks, it changed my entire approach to eating and exercise. My eating and exercise habits have remained the same since the challenge ended. Today I can pick up 45-pound weight in addition to a 25-pound weight and that would just be under the total weight I have lost to date!

What were the biggest challenges in switching to and following the diet?

I was challenged with having to create new meals sans no pastas, breads, potatoes and rice, which were certainly part of my daily meals. While I was not a cook, I had to become one quickly and learn, otherwise I could sink back to my bad habits of eating highly processed fast food meals. I got my inspiration from cooking demonstrations along with some Paleo cookbooks. I embraced my BBQ and went to town! Grilling became something I really looked forward to. I still enjoy grilling vegetables, replacing my need for grains and pasta. Meat, vegetables, nuts and seeds along with some fruits have become staples in my refrigerator. I consume them at levels that will support my CrossFit exercise regimen

How long have you been following the diet?

Ever since the Paleo Challenge that began in February 2015, I have continued a lifestyle of eating quality whole foods. I prefer the word “lifestyle” instead of “diet” because diet implies a simplistic, specific start and stop of consumption until the desired weight is accomplished. For me personally, I’ve found this to be self-defeating, as someone doesn’t just diet or deny themselves until the desired goal weight is reached. I have found success in embracing Paleo, and changing my mindset to making it part of my daily lifestyle. A Paleo lifestyle has done more for me than just simply losing weight and inches. It has restored my energy, confidence and greatly reduced inflammation. In addition my strength gains have increased which I’ve noted during my CrossFit workouts. I’ve noticed that athletes who embrace a balanced approach to nutrition and CrossFit are often are the ones that standout in making personal records in CrossFit and thus life.

What does your version of the diet looks like? What do you eat on an average day?

I eat meat and vegetables 3 times a day and snack on seeds (almonds, walnuts and pumpkin seeds), and a little fruit. The vegetables I eat are, broccoli, spinach (lots), asparagus, lettuce (of all kinds), sweet potato (little bit), celery, snow peas, cucumber, tomatoes and a few others when in season. I include some oils like avocado, olive and coconut for cooking. The Paleo lifestyle does exclude a lot of foods that many are accustomed to, though I have found ways to adapt many recipes to something I can enjoy. It does take some effort and homework to find recipes but there is a plethora of good information on the Internet and cookbooks galore. I also recommend preparing meals in large quantities such as chicken breasts, roasted vegetables and some grilled pineapples that serve as dessert when I’m craving something sweet. If there’s anyone who is looking for food preparation ideas, I am always available for questions.


"Beyond the Barbell – Kelly Reynolds"

We’re going ‘Beyond the Barbell’ again and the next athlete we’re featuring from our #DCFStrong community is Kelly Reynolds. Kelly is 27 years old and has been doing CrossFit for 2 years. She’s also one of our many athletes who participated in the Desert CrossFit Paleo challenge and underwent an amazing transformation! Kelly gives you some insight into why she started CrossFit and her experience transitioning from our introductory program designed for individuals new to CrossFit into our ‘All Levels’ CrossFit classes. We thank you for your contribution to the blog and for being part of our #DCFStrong community Kelly!!!

“Welcome to the cult.” That was what Coach Mo said to me when he handed me the certificate that said I had finished the CrossFit essentials class; I could now enter the main cross fit classes. As I mustered every last inch of effort I had left to lift my sore arms that were screaming at me to just lie down and stop moving to grab that certificate. I thought, “Wow! That/he seems a little intense.” What I had yet to realize was what being a member at Desert CrossFit would mean for me.

I walked into Desert CrossFit on a dare. Someone had told me they didn’t think I could do it and so, of course, I needed to prove them wrong. I had only lived in the Coachella Valley for a year and was still struggling to find a place where I really felt a sense of community. I had always been pretty athletic, but had slipped into a lazy and sedentary rut that had left me overweight and in terrible shape. That first class was a real eye opener. Not only was I out of breath after the warm-up, I also could not do most of the movements without modifications. I knew halfway through that first class that this was exactly what I needed to knock my butt out of that lazy rut. I also knew I was going to be super sore and tired the next day so much so that I would probably talk myself out of ever coming back! I decided immediately after that first class to signed up for a whole year. In my whole athletic career I cannot remember ever being as sore as I was during that first two weeks of the essentials class. Once I finished that class I had an extreme sense of accomplishment followed immediately by panic- I had to join those crazy people I watched in the all-levels CrossFit classes now! I will admit it took me a while to get the courage to join those classes. I spent the first month going to just the Boot Camp classes on Monday and Friday nights and that was kicking my butt! Then I decided to take the leap and add a Wednesday CrossFlex class and eventually I added in a Tuesday and a Thursday and then Saturday…needless to say I was hooked.

I began to look forward to the workout everyday and being really upset when I had to miss one. I was seeing great results physically especially after participating in one of the Paleo Challenges. I getting back into shape and improving my overall health without any shadow of a doubt, but that wasn’t the entire addiction. The big draw for me was the sense of community.

I have found a place where people push me everyday to be better, hold me accountable when I am tempted to slack off, cheer for me when I accomplish something, and encourage me when I struggle. It doesn’t matter if you land your first jump on a 12” box or a 30” box somebody is going to celebrate with you. If you are dead last to finish and have an all around terrible day some one will be there to encourage you through those last gut-wrenching reps and to assure you every workout won’t be that way.

Getting healthy and joining a gym is a personal decision, but for me walking into Desert CrossFit was one of the best decisions and investments in myself that I have ever made.


"Beyond the Barbell – Carole Pinkner"

At Desert CrossFit, one of the things that sets our box apart from other fitness facilities are the awesome athletes who have dedicated their time to train to excel at life. They are the pillars of what we refer to as the #DCFStrong community. Watching relationships evolve from complete strangers, encouraging workout-partners, to friends who spend time with each other outside of the box brings us great joy and is one of the many reasons we love what we do as coaches. With that being said, we’re on a mission to share with our larger audience a little more about the phenomenal people who make Desert CrossFit the premier fitness facility of the Coachella Valley.

This is the first of many blog posts to come that will give you some insight into our community ‘Beyond the Barbell.’

Athlete name: Carole Pinker

Age: 77

How did you hear about Desert CrossFit?
I attended another CrossFit box for several years, but didn’t fit in with a younger group. I couldn’t keep up with the class and felt frustrated. I had already planned to leave I just didn’t know where I was going, I just knew that I would continue with CrossFit somewhere. Then while reading the local newspaper an ad about O.W.W! pops up! Older, Wiser, Wonderful! I call it WOW! The advertisement for O.W.W! indicated a it was a CrossFit program for people between the ages of 53 and 83 – a class meant for me! Now I’m a member of a community that cares for everyone! Thank you Cheryl and CrossFit friends.

What made you start CrossFit to begin with?
My husband Joe and I were having dinner at Pacifica one night several years ago and we had a conversation with one of the waiters and he told us how much he thought we would enjoy Crossfit. He was an instructor at one of the local Crossfit boxes which was close to our home so we went to give it a try.

Did you have any doubts, worries or concerns about CrossFit before you started?

I didn’t have any doubts or worries about CrossFit to begin with but struggled a bit with the 101 training because it was so different from anything else we had ever done.

What sort of unexpected changes in your life have you experienced out of taking on something like CrossFit?
After taking CrossFit for a few years I knew that this was something I wanted to do for as long as I could.

So what does your day look like on days that you know you’re coming to the box? How do you feel right before 3-2-1, go?

My Crossfit days are the highlights of my week. I look forward to them eagerly.

What is your favorite music to listen to during a WOD?
Cheryl plays our kind of music – the oldies!

What would you say to someone who is considering joining CrossFit?
I believe CrossFIt is good for everyone from the very young to the very old. However, every CrossFit box is not right for everyone. Do your research and find the right program for you.


"Go be AWESOME!"

Did 2014 have parts that left a little to be desired?

All too often we decide that the end of the year is a good time for self-reflection. What we don’t realize is that we missed the chance to change directions and create a new opportunity for ourselves. Woulda, coulda, shoulda… Right?

Leaving yourself open to possibility…making a commitment to who you’re going to be…and stepping into that reality. That’s the good shit.

It’s not what happens to us, but how we handle it…who we choose to be in that moment. Instead of being pigeon-holed as victims we have to take away the powerlessness our minds create and just BELIEVE. What’s the key to manifesting it in real life? Remembering that you don’t “work on” something…you step into it…and become that reality. As Yoda said, “There is no try.”.

Declare what you are committed to being in 2015…GO BE AWESOME!

Tater in sink


"I’m not fit enough to do CrossFit!"

This is probably the most uttered phrase that I hear as a CrossFit gym owner. You’ve probably heard it yourself when you’ve invited some of your friends to try a CrossFit class. Now that you’ve been doing it for awhile….do you really believe that? They might not like it (or you) when they’re done, but they are definitely capable of participating.

Let’s be realistic…it’s WAY easier to ride a recumbent bike while reading Cosmo, than it is to make it through a CrossFit class.  But easier isn’t necessarily better, is it? Especially when we’re talking fitness. If you got it for free…or with no effort, would you really value it? C’mon now…would you?

We’re getting to the time of year where people make the leap into the trendy world of self-improvement. According to “Just 8% of people achieve their New Year’s Resolutions.”.  So why don’t people succeed?  Because getting fit is confronting, uncomfortable…and HARD!  It means that folks have to toss out the Cheetos and the late night Taco Bell run in exchange for real food and consistent exercise. Let me also say, it has to come with a supersize order of ‘change your attitude’!

I read an awesome quote the other day “Whether you think you’re the worst, or the best athlete that has ever trained with us, you’re wrong.”. It all starts with the first step…showing up. That takes guts!  After that, the community takes over.  The coaches educate and motivate, and you find that you’re surrounded by like-minded people who have gone through the same process you’re experiencing.

The value of what we offer extends far beyond getting in shape. This is the stuff that you don’t even know that you don’t know. What would it feel like to live each day thinking “Of course I can!”?  Sure, muscles are cool…but you can’t begin to put a value on self confidence. CrossFit helps us become so many things…better parents, team players, and more present in our own daily lives.

Bottom line…that thought you had about not being fit enough…you might as well kick that one to the curb!

The new you is waiting!  🙂

Holiday Tater


"All Things Pumpkin"

I don’t know about you guys..but I get really excited for fall because I know it’s coming. What you might ask?  PUMPKIN! You could say that I qualify as a true pumpkin freak. My house…and the bathrooms at the gym…know my love for pumpkin. I don’t just like to eat it…I like to smell it…everywhere and ALL the time. To share some of my pumpkin love..i wanted to give you all a few of my favorite pumpkin yummies to try yourself. 🙂 Hopefully, these will tickle that pumpkin fancy of yours, and your taste buds, as much as they do mine. ENJOY!

Pumpkin Hummus

  • 1 (15-ounce) can organic pumpkin
  • 2 tablespoons tahini (sesame seed paste)
  • 1-2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper
  • 1 garlic clove, choppedPlace ingredients in a food processor, and process until smooth. Spoon hummus into a serving bowl; sprinkle with roasted pumpkin seeds, if desired.

Pumpkin Spice Smoothie

Pumpkin Smoothie
  • 1/2 cup organic pumpkin puree (fresh or canned)
  • 1 scoop vanilla protein powder
  • 1 cup lite coconut milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon ginger
  • ice (optional)
Add all of the ingredients to your blender and blend until smooth and creamy. Serve immediately.
Paleo Pumpkin
  • 3 cups yellow onion, chopped
  • 8 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 2 (15 oz) cans fire-roasted tomatoes
  • 2 cups pumpkin puree
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 4 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons chili spice
  • 1 teaspoon chili spice
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • teaspoon sea salt
Directions: 1. In a large pot saute the onions and garlic in coconut oil for about five minutes. 2. Add the ground turkey and break it up with a spatula as it cooks for about five minutes. 3. Add the rest of the ingredients, stir and bring to a simmer. 4. Simmer without a lid for about 15 minutes. 5. Add more chicken broth to thin slightly if desired.
Pumpkin Pie Fudge
  • 1 cup -8oz pumpkin puree ( fresh or organic canned)
  • 1/2 cup coconut butter that has been softened
  • 3-4 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/8 teaspoon cloves


  1. Place all ingredients into a vita-mix. For the coconut butter, soften it before measuring out 1/2 cup.
  2. Blend till smooth and creamy. This works best of all ingredients are at room temperature.
  3. Pour into a 6 inch cake pan.
  4. Set in freezer or fridge for 3-5 hours, or till firm to touch.
  5. Remove and slice into your desired slices.
  6. If you have any leftovers, store in refrigerator for 5-6 days.
Paleo Pumpkin Pudding
  • 1 cup fresh baked or organic canned pumpkin
  • 1 tablespoon grass-fed beef gelatin
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 2 tablespoons honey (8-10 drops stevia liquid)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • pecans for garnish * I like to add 1/2-1 scoop of vanilla protein powder in place of the honey/stevia

Directions: 1. Dissolve the gelatin in a small bowl with 3 tablespoons of water. 2. Heat the coconut milk in a saucepan then add the the gelatin mixture. 3. Stir for a few minutes and then add the pumpkin, spice, and sweetener. 4. Stir for a few more minutes until it is all warm and dissolved. 5. Put in two small bowls and put in the fridge or freezer until it is cool and set, about 20 minutes.

Bon Appetit! 🙂



"Not Today!"

I can’t believe it! It’s December and 2014 will be over before we know it. I don’t know about you…but this year was a bit of a hard pill to swallow. Don’t get me wrong…I’m not saying that I didn’t have any fun and it was all bad. I just had some things happen that were…well…tough to get through.

A friend told me “bad things happen to good people”. You ever hear that one?  Did it make you feel any better?  Yeah, me either.

About halfway through the year, one of my precious cats unexpectedly passed away. Soon after, my other cat needed emergency surgery and a kitten I had adopted was diagnosed with a fatal disease and put down. And then I had my own medical issues……

I’m not sharing these things to paint a picture of myself as a victim. I’m leveling with you that I felt completely overwhelmed, powerless and out of control. I wanted to open a door to my life, step outside and just stop. I didn’t want to be responsible anymore.  I wanted to sit…do nothing…and be sad.

But life doesn’t work that way.  The universe doesn’t let you take a break when things get hard.  You don’t get to hand off your responsibilities to someone else when it starts getting uncomfortable being you.

So each morning, I hauled myself out of bed, stiffened my jaw, and fulfilled my commitments…to myself…and the people around me. And I did it over and over again…day after day. Even when it felt like I was just going through the motions and the odds were stacked against me, I kept on. Even though I was convinced the universe must want to see me fail, I stayed true to my commitments.

And as it turned out…it was these same commitments (and of course my cat Tater)…that put me back in touch with my possibilities.

Tater 1

Monday came, Tuesday came, Wednesday came, and as the days and weeks progressed…I started to appreciate what life afforded me. I began to remember what I was capable of creating…powerful possibility, relatedness and play.

I immersed myself in my community, shifting the focus away from my internal battles.  Suddenly fun mattered again…and my smiles felt genuine.

So when the universe came knocking to ask if I had had enough…if I was ready to give up…I answered “Not today!”.



"Fuel the machine…don’t pack the trunk!"

Wait…isn’t ‘junk in the trunk’ supposed to be a good thing? This time we’re not talking about booty. Were talking about the extra stuff…you know the things people fondly refer to as love handles, thunder thighs, muffin top, bingo wings, and the dreaded saddlebags!

You can totally out eat your best training day. Real food is food that grows in water, on a plant, in dirt/on land, or has a face. Real food is fuel for our body…and our body is our machine. Without it, our machine will eventually stop working properly. One package of double stuffed Oreos after your workout puts your 2 steps forward…three steps back. It definitely doesn’t put you on the road to optimal health and performance.

Replenishing our bodies after a killer workout with real, nutritionally dense food, is far more important and beneficial than packing your tummy with empty (but tasty) calories from Dairy Queen. Sad, but true. One thing is for sure…you will appreciate it the next morning when you’re staring yourself down in the mirror playing the “Can I see my abs?” game.

Now…back to the booty (We can’t forget it!). If you are going to have one, do your due diligence to make it a cannonball, and not just miscellaneous junk in the trunk. Plus…nobody likes a dirty car. 😉

Tater and Oreos

Please take care of your beautiful machine…its one of a kind…and it is the only one you’ve got. Honor it.


"We don’t need no stinkin’ warm up!"

So why do we make you do it? Its not just because we like hearing you grunt and groan….or watching you make funny faces.

You know the coaches just love listening to your bitching and whining about what body part is the most sore that day. It’s like music to our ears!

In your standard globo-gym, warming up is probably little more than spending ten or fifteen minutes on a bike, treadmill, or stair climber… while trying to chat up the hottie sitting next to you…or flipping through the latest issue of Cosmo/Maxim. While this is better than nothing, this approach to warming up is definitely not your most productive use of time…not to mention you will probably never get anywhere with the hottie. What’s missed is an ideal opportunity for reinforcing and practicing good movement patterns, setting yourself up for a great workout!

Ok…so what makes for a great warm up? Believe it or not… the feeling of “OMG, my heart rate is so high!” is a good thing! We don’t want the first time your heart rate increases to be after you hear “3-2-1-GO!” Your lungs should already be open…you should be sweating and breathing heavy long before that happens. Ideally, your warm up should include components that will be involved in and benefit your workout. Make it something that challenges you, but does not totally burn you out before the WOD.

If you look closely at the warm ups on the board, you’ll notice that you can almost guess what will be coming up next in the workout! We make sure that the joints and muscles you’re about to throw down with get lots and lots of TLC. There is a method to the madness… it’s not just for fun!
So what about the times when you don’t feel like warming up…what then? At that point you should simply do an ‘about face’, walk back out the door and come join us again when you are ready. By not priming your machine properly, you risk doing potential harm to your “I worked so hard for this body” body! We do our best everyday to give you a well rounded warm up, now it’s up to you to take advantage of it. Don’t fake it till you make it…and for sure quit your bitchin. 😉

Tater in tube

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