Let’s talk about it. But first, some ground rules:

Rule 1: You know your body best.

I’m a registered dietitian, exercise physiologist, and food science nerd. But you are an expert in your own body (and the stuff that really matters, like allergies, intolerances, your likes and dislikes, cultural food preferences, your food budget, how certain foods make you feel, your overall health goals, etc.). A diet recommended by CrossFit HQ, your favorite coach, or an IG influencer might not (probably won’t) be perfect for you in every way, you beautiful unique human, you. This is general advice, and not intended to diagnose or treat anything. Capisce?

Rule 2: Nutrition is a performance building block, not a band-aid.

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” -Will Durant. Food, supplements, and your “go-juice” of choice will only do so much. Your daily habits (how you sleep, hydrate, mobilize, train, manage stress, and drink – or don’t) matter more than what you do once.

Now for the good stuff.


Do eat balanced meals that include some colorful veggies (for antioxidants/anti-inflammatory power), protein (for repair), and complex carbs (for fiber, sleep support, and energy). Here are some examples. Your mileage will vary:
– One or two fistfuls of veggies: stir-fry peppers, roasted beets or carrots, leafy greens, bok choy, broccoli, or green beans, oh my!
– A palm-sized portion of protein: your meat, fish, tofu, etc. of choice
– A fistful of complex carbs: rice, potatoes, beans, fruit, bread/grains, and more are all fair game.

Do hydrate. Water is best. Sparkling water and herbal/fruit teas are also great choices. You probably don’t need electrolyte drinks – you’ll get all the carbs/electrolytes you need from your balanced meals. Avoid alcohol and caffeine close to bedtime as both will muck up your sleep quality.

Don’t “carbo-load” or eat large, heavy, or fatty meals. A 15:00 workout is not a marathon (though to most of us CrossFitters it sure feels like it!). Your stomach will thank you tomorrow.


Do eat before your heat. You’ll need to follow your gut here, literally. Some athletes can eat a ton before an event and be fine, others will suffer severe GI consequences. Your body needs mostly carbohydrates, maybe a little protein, and fluids to get you through an open workout.

– If you have several hours before your event, complex carbs are great. Think oatmeal, yogurt with fruit/granola, or toast with your topping of choice.
– If you’re rolling out of bed less than an hour before your assigned heat, choose simple/quick-burn carbs like bananas or fruit snacks.

Do hydrate. Your performance drops significantly even with a 2% reduction in body fluids. How do you know if you’re hydrated? Pay attention to your pee.

Do follow your usual routine as far as foods, supplements, and caffeine go. If you usually drink coffee before a workout, do that! But…

DON’T TRY NEW FOODS ON GAME DAY. Every distance runner can share a story about the time they nearly (or did) poop themselves because they ate something new before a race. Now is not the time to experiment with new foods, supplements, or pre-workout. Just don’t do it.

Looking for more? Check out the credible sources below or find an RD if you need more personalized information.

MedLine Plus

UCCS: The Athlete’s Plate

Remember, you know your body best. Fuel with what feels good, get some good sleep, drink some water, and let’s have some fun tomorrow!

Much love,

Maia Kurnik, MPH, RD, ACSM-CEP


What other nutrition info do you want to see on the blog? Let us know in the comments!


It has been an exciting week seeing all of your registration forms come in for the 2018 Nutrition Challenge! If you’re not signed up yet, go to the site and sign up! We’re asking for sign-ups to get you committed, accountable, and get some goals set for the next two months.

If you’re already signed up, we’ve already got some blog posts up on the nutrition-challenge-specific-website. Be sure to check it out and mark down the events we have planned. There are lots of things happening this month in addition to the challenge (ahem Intramural Open during the CrossFit Games Open.. look out for our blog post on that soon!) and you don’t wanna miss our check-in/event/potlucks planned!

This week has been a prep week for the challenge and we’ve set up a little mini challenge for you to clean out your pantry! Sarah set up a box at the gym for you to bring in your unwanted items and will donate the goods to NW Harvest Food Bank (Cherry Street). Last day to bring in these items will be Monday 2/5.

Lastly, I want to remind you all of our nutrition Q&A session happening this Saturday, after classes at 12pm! Bring your open minds and your questions! See you there!

You’ve heard us talking about it all month. You went hard this weekend and celebrated with us.

And now it’s time to gear up for our 8-week nutrition challenge!!

We’re kicking this week off with Hydrostatic Body Fat Testing today (there are STILL spots left) AND the launch of our challenge-specific website.

We wanted to create a separate site for the challenge so you have one place to go for all-things nutrition during the challenge. This is your home base for getting the support that you need to stay accountable, inspired, and motivated throughout the next eight weeks. Once you register to participate, visit the site daily! Food journals will be posted and shared with all, and we encourage you to interact with one another by posting comments on each others’ food journals and mini challenge submissions. Do not hesitate to ask questions to prompt conversation and discussion in your posts!

Still on the fence? We’re hosting a Q&A session after classes this Saturday, February 3rd starting at 12pm. Come by to geek out a bit about nutrition and get all of your questions answered (for example, YES you can still participate if you are counting macros). See you there!!

In case you missed it, we will be hosting a hydrostatic body fat testing truck here at FCF next Monday, January 29th! You can read more about it HERE.

You’re signed up, hooray! Now what?

  • Note the re-test date: Monday April 2nd.
  • Pack your swim suit, towel, and clothes (for changing after) to bring with you.
  • Show up at least 5-10 minutes before your appointment time to allow for changing into your swim suit. Our bathrooms and changing rooms will be available.
  • The water is kept warm and filtered, however, it is recommended you go into the tank clean. If you workout prior to getting your test done, please take a shower before taking your test. Our shower is available for you to use however on a first come first serve basis – it is not guaranteed you’ll be able to use it before your test.
  • Do not eat a big meal 2 hours prior to testing.
  • What will happen during your appointment? Your name, age, weight, and height will be taken before you get into the water tank. Please watch the two videos below.

Not signed up yet? Review sign up instructions below!

Please note: You are only available to sign up through: desktop and mobile website (NOT the app)

  1. Log into your Zen Planner account.
  2. Click ‘Make an appointment‘ // please NOTE: enter the hydrostatic tub clean (aka before you workout, or take a shower after you workout)
  3. The test date is Monday 1/29. Select a test time, which is divided into 10 minute appointments.
  4. Then click “Reserve Appointment” and you will be charged $84.

This test is completely optional. You don’t need to have it done to participate in the challenge but if you’re already committed to participating then, why NOT get it done? We want to help you understand your relationship with food and learn new habits that you can maintain even after our challenge is over. Getting this test done will be an investment in yourself. Use it to keep yourself accountable during the challenge and let’s celebrate your victory after 8 weeks and beyond!

If you would like to sign up but you are not in town on Monday 1/29 OR you aren’t in town on our retest date (Monday April 2nd) please e-mail sheena@foundationcrossfit.com.

DEXA Bone Scans is a service that they provide as well and can be available for an additional $39 (this is not included in your $84 fee). You can have it done at the same time you sign up for a spot on 1/29 and you will submit additional payment at your test (cash or check).

If you have friends who would like to participate but are not members of the gym, they can still sign up to get the body fat test done. Just have them sign up through Zen Planner!

You’ve heard us talk about it.

You’ve seen it written out on the board.

And now it’s just around the corner, our first nutrition challenge of 2018!


  • The challenge will be 8 weeks long, starting on February 5th, no cost to participate. Registration begins Friday 1/26. We’ll have a separate blogpost with directions!
  • We will have a specific website for all things nutrition challenge. We narrowed down your choices in nutrition protocol to: Paleo, Whole30, Low-Carb, or Keto. Please email Sheena and Sarah if you have a different protocol in mind.
  • A week prior to the start, we will have an educational week sharing guidelines to each protocol. There will be a nutrition Q&A led by Andrew and Sheena on Saturday at noon February 3rd.
  • We will be hosting the Body Fat Test truck right outside, on Monday January 29th. This is not required to participate in the challenge, though there are benefits to getting it done (and we highly recommend it). The cost will be $84 for both BEFORE and AFTER. MORE information on Hydrostatic Body Fat Testing HERE. 
  • We have check-ins, activities, and events planned to help you succeed in reaching your goals and keep you motivated to continue on throughout!

The nutrition challenge has been over for two weeks and Thanksgiving has come and gone already! Hopefully everyone has been able to still maintain the good habits they practiced during the challenge. I definitely didn’t eat as much as I would have if I hadn’t participated in the challenge as I noticed I didn’t crave much carbs and didn’t eat a ton of sweets (which is huge for me since I have a sweet tooth). I probably also benefitted from getting over being sick, so that is a plus too. Let’s hope that I can practice the same will power (without the cold) for Christmas time.

Sarah and I are excited to keep the eating healthy momentum going and we’re already planning our challenge for 2018.  Get ready for a different approach and to put in some w o r k !

From the feedback that I have received so far, everyone had met their goals from the beginning of the challenge and almost everybody had learned something new.

  • Better understanding of balance in macros!
  • Some lost 5, 8, 10lbs!
  • Eating more veggies!
  • No more hangry mode!
  • Giving up booze for 5 weeks!
  • Trying new recipes!
  • Eliminating certain things from diet and not having an urge to reintroduce!
  • Logging meals!
  • Fully participating in the 5 weeks with no slip ups!
  • Loving the gifs Sheena entered in each follow up email!


Again, great work to you all! If you participated in this last challenge, did you miss our nutrition challenge wrap up e-mail? We have a survey we’d like you to fill out in case you missed it. Please fill it out HERE!




Happy Friday Eve!

We’re finishing up our five-week nutrition challenge this week. You guys have put in a lot of hard work, dedication, and time into these last five weeks so you should be PROUD! Your will power, strength, and changes you’ve seen are the best reward after participating in a challenge like this and it should be enough. Try not to reward yourself with ALL of the things (“treats”) you omitted during the challenge.

Here are some tips and advice on how to ease back into non-challenge life, from our staff:

  • If you eliminated items and are feeling amazing, be deliberate with the reintroduction of those items (one item per 3rd day is recommended) to see how the body reacts to those items. Now is not the time to binge on “cravings” – Jessie
  • Think about all the things you can eat that make you feel great! Feel free to have the things you deliberately skipped during the challenge, but keep it to a single day of the week, see how it feels, then honestly figure out if it’s good for you. You may feel like sh!t with those not-so-clean choices. – Andrew
  • Don’t completely quit! You’ve set up new habits for prepping meals. You’ve probably saved some money not eating out. Continue the habit. Maybe instead of prepping for 5 days in the week, prep for three and be open to other options the other two. Remember why you decided to eat cleanly in the first place and that should be your motivation to continue. – Sheena
  • Our Nutrition Challenge is an effort to change the way people think about food, so the best way to “end” the challenge is to continue to live it and not treat it as a defined timeframe. – Tony
  • Pick one or two changes to adopt long term. I found that after each whole30/nutrition challenge, adhering to all the rules was too big of an expectation. But continuing on with a few nutrition modifications (ie lettuce shells instead of corn/flour tortillas for tacos) is much more realistic and manageable. – Sarah

Robyn is fired up for the 2017 American Masters weightlifting competition in Savannah, GA!

She will be lifting 8am PT (11am EST) tomorrow, Friday 11/10 — watch the livestream HERE.

Good luck Robyn!!


We’re in the last week of our nutrition challenge! If you’ve been participating, has the time flown by or has it felt really slow? Either way, we’re rooting for you to finish strong this last week.

Some tips on finishing out strong:
-Don’t count down the days until it’s over!
-Finish out your meals and continue to meal prep.
-Come up with a plan for what is to happen when it is over. (More tips on this later this week)
-Remember that nutrition is fuel for your body to perform well, to sleep well, and to recover well.

Leah, Andrea, Jon on Halloween – if you eat a donut after 5 weeks of no sugar or carbs, you might feel like Leah — a zombie!

Get ready to retest some workouts you did at the beginning of the challenge!

Participant Favorite Recipes:
Camree: Kalua Pork – Michelle Tam, Nom Nom Paleo
Sarah: Cashew Beef – Mark Sisson, The Keto Reset Diet
Robyn: Night time smoothie// Casen chocolate protein powder, raspberries, banana, and 1 tablespoon of peanut butter.
Amy: homemade bone broth// roast beef bones, oxtail, celery, carrot, garlic, leeks, lemongrass, onions -> big pot of water with salt, fish sauce, turmeric, and pepper – simmer till bones fall off!
Nasreen: stir fry because it’s easy!
Layne: Spicy Beef Stew – Ali Slagle
Lindsay: I’m loving all of the varieties of fall squash options right now. Toss with salt, pepper, and olive oil and bake at 400 degrees for 15-25 minutes or until fork-tender.
Alan: roasted veggies w/red onion
Anna: Whole30 buffalo chicken meatballs. It’s super easy and they cook pretty quickly. Perfect for football game cravings!


+ 5 Things You Need to Know Before Your First Competition – Steel S&C
+ FCF Winter Weightlifting Mock Meet – Foundation Barbell

CrossFit WOD for Thursday 11/9

for time:
100 double unders
40 deadlifts, 61/43kg
75 double unders
30 hang power cleans, 61/43kg
50 double unders
20 power snatches, 61/43kg

Post time to whiteboard!

HIIT WOD (Long Interval) – 12pm

– Yolk
– Stone
– 1 arm kb overhead
– Kb suitcase
– Farmers

5 Intervals. 3min on / 1min off:
Start with 15 cal row or 10 cal AB
– then –
Accumulate 100 Sandbag Thrusters
– then –
Accumulate 50 T2B


Dirty D’s Yoga

HIIT WOD (Long Interval) – 5:30pm


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!


Missed Part 1? What about Part 2? and Part 3?

Read about our 2017 Nutrition Challenge and register here.

Here are important resources I use myself for controlling my nutrition:

Google. Because of course.

Uwajimaya. The International District. Seattle area QFCs. Trader Joes. Seattle Farmers Markets. Rain Shadow Meats. These are the groceries we regularly purchase and gather our food from.


It Starts With Food by Melissa Hartwig

A life changer. Seriously, this can change your life if you let it. A great primer on the basics of nutrition, as well as a way to see how we’ve developed our emotional relationship with food. Definitely provides a better understanding of the whys behind the creation behind the Whole30 too.

Coleena and Lillian. “Gym mamas” who helped us develop a lot of recipes during past challenges, with tips/tricks/recipes that we use today!



Nom Nom Paleo: Food For Humans by Michelle Nam

This book helped us change the way we looked at Paleo cooking. Michelle made it fun and fresh. Many recipes reminded us of many asian dishes we thought we’d never have. A nice emphasis on umami too!

Paleo Nick’s videos on CrossFit HQ’s YouTube Channel. Spoiler alert: going to make the following multiple times during this challenge!

Up until Nick popped up a lot of performance cooking video and picture looked super bland (Sorry MDA of yesteryear). His videos made me a bit more confident in my growing cooking skills.

NW Fit Meals. “Northwest Fit Meals is a Seattle-based Paleo/clean meal delivery service geared towards fueling Paleo athletes and non athletes living the Paleo lifestyle.  We believe in clean eating to bring balance, performance, and energy to your days and workouts as well as improving your quality of life. Athletes fueled by Northwest Fit Meals, no longer have to meal prep on their days off: They can save time from taking trips to multiple stores, don’t have to prep/cook/clean, aren’t tempted to cheat on their diet, and get their Sunday’s back!  We bring you only the freshest ingredients and we utilize sustainable, locally sourced and organic ingredients whenever possible.”

Gena and Jesse are really good people and their cooking, to me, is amazing. Their turkey chili is to die for. Gena figured out how to make a performance paleo Korean BBQ plate. NW Fit Meals pops up at local events as caterers, but getting their meal service is so exciting. If you’re interested contact them, say you’re FOUNDATION, and that Andrew sent you. They deliver directly to the gym. Then you can run to the office and ask if there’s a stack of reusable containers full of delicious meals with your name on it. EXCITING!

Post-CrossFit competition. These were all mine.

This video because this is the only technique I use when I make myself scrambled eggs:

Whole30 Cookbook by Melissa and Dallas Hartwig

The companion cookbook to the Whole30. Wish I had this way back when, but it’s cool to see the evolution of the program.

The Food Lab by Kenji Lopez-Alt

Even though it’s lower on this list (only because it’s not a diet-based book), it’s one of my top 3 cookbooks. Kenji is humorous but the big thing is discussing and disecting the science behind cooking techniques and how that affects outcome like appearance, flavor, and texture. I must’ve gifted this book at least 10 times the year it came out. Fantastic.

The Omnivore’s Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals by Michael Pollan

A insightful look into how corn fcked us up, why we eat the way we eat, how culture dictates cuisine, and why we have so many options for food and “food” now. This isn’t a cookbook, but a nonfiction book on the topic of eating. You can also check out one of his other books In Defense of Food: An Eaters Manifesto, were we pulled the “Eat Real Food. Not Too Much. Mostly Plants.” from!

The Frugal Paleo Cookbook by Ciarra Hannah

I had the opportunity to listen to the author speak at an event and it was interesting how her approach to feeding her family eventually just led to writing this book. Great philosophy and proof that eating clean doesn’t have to cost you an arm and a leg as long as you’re creative and have some sort of plan in your head when you cook.

ChefStep’s YouTube channel

For other fun cooking tips and tricks. They’re Seattle-based! Pike place.

Ready or Not! by Michelle Nam

The latest by Michelle, and something I picked up just last week, this book is made specifically for those who live busy lives and want to respect their bodies through nutrition. Short on time? Great- look at the RED section of the book. Kinda have time? Look at the YELLOW section. Want to make some fancy meals and have set a side of ton of time for prep? Try the GREEN section of the book. I’ve only thumbed through it so far, but it looks very promising. There’s “150+ make-ahead, make-over, and make-now recipes”!

Next Thursday I’ll have my 2017 HOW TO EAT OUT WHEN TRYING TO EAT CLEAN guide.

(Note: these Amazon links are affiliate links- they don’t add to the price of the product, but I do receive some kickback if you purchase through the links.)