Healthy for the Holidays

Are you going to let 12 meals out of 213 keep your from starting your journey to a healthier you? What about finishing your year in a healthy direction?

Join us for Healthy for the Holidays challenge, where you will get support and accountability to stay on track!

Did you know that an average person gains 7-10 pounds of additional weight during the holiday months?

The holidays are a time meant to be enjoyed with family and friends; not to pack on the pounds!! Don’t let that happen to you! Let us spend 4 weeks together, where you’ll learn tons of healthy habits that can help you avoid those extra holiday pounds while still enjoying the holidays!

Our 4 week Healthy for the Holidays Nutrition Challenge begins on November 18th!

For $79, this nutrition challenge will provide you with:

  • Healthy Habit Education (strategies you can use during the holidays)

  • Weekly Nutrition Challenges/Goals

  • Initial & Ending Weigh In, Biometric Scan, & Measurements

  • Private Facebook Group

  • Recipe Discussions and Tips EACH Week

  • Mini-Workout Challenges

  • Healthy Eating Guide

  • Regular Accountability from Coaches and Other Participants

What’s holding you back? That’s equivalent to a few Pumpkin Spice Lattes a week. Give up on the lattes (all that extra sugar is bad for you anyways) and spend it on improving your health! Let’s do this together!!

Sign up here or message us with questions!!

Success Story - Illene

Ilene has had such an amazing transformation both physically and mentally. Her commitment and positive attitude are contagious! Check out her story here!

Will you be our next success story?

Will Lifting Weights Make Me Look Bulky?

Will lifting weights make me bulky?

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As consumers of the media, we are constantly bombarded with images of bodies that are designed to look a certain way. From small and skinny to big and bulky, celebrities and bodybuilders alike, we see what we are told we should look like. That’s the thing… why is anyone telling you what to look like? What does healthy and happy look like on YOU? But I digress. Let’s talk about what this blog is about: lifting weights. Many people believe that lifting weights will make you bulky. That is so far from the truth. Lifting weights makes you strong


Sure, if you want to get big, lifting weights can help do that for you. That’s why people train a certain way, eat a certain way, and take certain supplements in order to get to a certain size. This is often known as bodybuilding. 

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Women especially should NOT be limited to lightweights, cardio, and isolated machines. Aside from it being totally awesome when a girl can out-lift a guy, it’s even cooler when she can pick up her injured kid off the playground or pack the car with the giant cooler for the weekend getaway. Lifting weights makes you strong, and that makes life much more enjoyable. 


Learn more about how we can help you reach your goals by booking a No Sweat Intro. Don’t worry, there’s no ‘sweating’ involved ;)

Recipe: Veggie Packed Asian Stir Fry Bowls

We all need a handful of quick recipes that we can turn to when our time is short but we still want a nutritious yummy meal. This recipe is packed full of veggies, easy to modify based on time, and delicious. Try it out and tell us what you think!

Watch and cook along with Harmony or skip below for the recipe and time saving tips!

VEGGIE PACKED ASIAN STIR-FRY BOWLS

INGREDIENTS

  • 2-3 lbs Chicken breast or thighs

  • 2-3 lbs Veggies of choice (such as: broccoli, cauliflower, asparagus, snap/snow peas, carrots, onion, bell pepper, baby bok choy, cabbage, baby corn, etc)

  • Rice (white or brown) (or swap for cauliflower rice

  • EVOO or oil of choice

  • 1-1.5 cups Teriyaki sauce (or make your own!)

  • Corn starch or arrowroot powder

  • (Optional: rice wine vinegar, coconut aminos, soy sauce, honey, garlic, ginger, brown sugar, water)

EQUIPMENT

  • Instant Pot

  • Rice cooker or stove & pot

  • Wok or large pan

DIRECTIONS

  1. Get your rice cooking! I love my rice cooker. If you want to use your instant pot for the rice, you can do the chicken or rice first then the other. If you want to cook on the stove, that works too.

  2. Add chicken to the instant pot. Top with 1-1.5 cups of teriyaki sauce. Optionally add some other spices/seasonings (like rice wine vinegar, honey, etc). Close the vent/valve, set to Manual, High Pressure, 10 minutes and leave to do its thing.

  3. Add some oil to a wok or large pan and heat over medium or medium high heat (if shorter on time)

  4. Chop those veggies! I like to chop them in order of the veggies I want to cook longest (like onions), so I can add them to wok as they’re done being chopped. Stir and mix each time you add a new veggie.

  5. Season the veggies when they start to soften - salt, pepper, (optional: garlic, ginger) to taste.

  6. When the instant pot is done, let it naturally release for 5 minutes, then open the vent and rapid release.

  7. When the pressure has released, take the chicken out and either chop or shred using forks.

  8. Thicken the sauce in the instant pot - turn to saute. In a separate bowl, mix 1-2 tablespoons of corn starch or arrowroot powder into lukewarm water. Slowly pour and whisk or stir into the instant pot.

  9. As the sauce thickens, taste and adjust by adding any of the following: rice wine vinegar, coconut aminos/soy sauce, honey, brown sugar, garlic/ginger

  10. Assemble your bowls and ENJOY!!!

FLAVOR CHANGES

  1. Use fresh grated ginger, chopped garlic instead of powdered

  2. Spice it up by adding sriracha or other hot sauce to the instant pot

  3. Add a few tablespoons of peanut butter to the sauce instead of thickening with corn starch

TIME SAVING SWAPS

  • Use bottled teriyaki sauce only (don’t doctor it up with additional things)

  • Use a bag of frozen stir fry veggies instead of fresh - toss in the pan or microwave in a glass dish

  • Pick up a rotisserie chicken at the store - pull all the chicken off the bones, give it a quick chop and call it good

  • Skip making rice and just eat the veggies and chicken

  • Double the recipe and use half for lunches throughout the week

  • Double the recipe and freeze half for future dinners (freeze rice/veggies/chicken/sauce separately for easier thawing for feeding the whole family OR make individual servings and freeze for a quick meal for one)

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How to Be a Beginner

Butterflies bounced around my stomach and I nervously spun my ring around my finger. I kept my eyes down so no one would talk to me. I whispered questions to Jeff about what to expect, what to do, where to put my bag and when to take off my shoes. I felt very uncomfortable and unsure. I’d wanted to try jujitsu for some time, but finally decided I was ready to try into my first class.

Last week, I tried Jujitsu for the first time. And for the first time in a while, I got a bold reminder of what it feels like to be a beginner — to be completely new. To swallow my fear, anxiety, and nervous thoughts and walk through a door to try something completely different and outside my comfort zone.

I’m sure I had similar feelings the first time I tried CrossFit (which feels like a lifetime ago now), but as I entered the jujitsu studio I kept reminding myself that everyone I was about to meet started as a beginner at some point in their life. That just like new members that enter CrossFit Ampersand for their first On-Ramp class, my nervous feelings were normal but weren’t a reason to turn around and run.

Being a beginner is uncomfortable.

Trying something new is uncomfortable. Especially when you’re in a group with other people that aren’t beginners or aren’t as new of a beginner as you.

My experience was a whole bunch of uncomfortable moments, including:

  • Wearing the only loaner Gi (uniform) that they had in my size, that just happened to be BRIGHT PINK (while everyone else was wearing white, blue, or black).

  • Feeling like I’m putting another student out when they were paired with me to practice some drills and they literally had to teach me the entire time.

  • Apologizing over and over when I did a move wrong and had to restart and try it again.

  • Laughing nervously every time I’d forget the next step of what I was supposed to be trying.

  • Feeling the eyes of the entire class on me when I was introduced as the new member (as if being the only one wearing a bright pink uniform didn’t help me stand out already!).

  • Smashing my body into the bodies of a few complete strangers. Hi, I’m Harmony, let me hug you with my legs. Oh and here’s some of my sweat.

  • Being asked by one of the instructors if I had learned to “horsey,” if I remembered what position was “guard,” or if I had drilled “blahbidy-blah (insert-other-technical-jujitsu-term-that-I-can’t-remember-here)” and staring back with a blank face

  • Hearing "Just do what feels natural” while being folded up like a stepped on spider as my opponent stretches one arm and one leg in opposite directions and simultaneously traps my neck in their arm and continues to press my entire body into the floor… *nervous laugh* nothing feels natural to escape, except that wriggling motion I tried which clearly made my position even worse. LOL.

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BUT… I LOVED IT.

Once I decided to take it one minute at a time and allowed myself to be a beginner, it was awesome.

Everyone was encouraging and helpful. They didn’t care that I didn’t know what things were called or that I didn’t magically pick everything up after being shown once — because they weren’t expecting me to. They helped me over and over. And I accepted the help, thanked them for the help, and asked for help when I needed it.

I was still uncomfortable because it was new. But it was a really fun experience. And the fun new experience outweighed the nervous uncomfortableness.

Stepping back into CF& as a coach made me reflect on my beginner jujitsu experience and reminded me of a few things:

  1. We should try new things, and regularly. Our life is made up of our experiences. Every time we try something new it expands the boundary of those experiences and makes life more interesting, more relatable, and you become more adaptable to future challenges/experiences. So try a new sport, a new hairstyle, accept the invitation to that class your friend asked you to try, or book an appointment for some activity you’ve always wanted to do but were too scared. If you have been curious about CrossFit and wanted to try it, do it.

  2. Allow yourself to be a beginner and be okay with being uncomfortable. You can be uncomfortable and still learn and have fun. Every time you repeat the process you move away from beginner towards novice then eventually expert.

  3. Remember that everyone who is an expert was once a beginner and at one point, started where you are.  When you join in on a group class, no-one is judging you for being a beginner. You aren’t expected to master anything in a day. Give it time. Accept and ask for help from those who are further along from you.

  4. Bring a friend. All new experiences are a little less daunting when you have someone you trust by your side experiencing it with you.

  5. Take small steps. At CrossFit Ampersand we start with a No Sweat Intro, which is a one-on-one chat with a coach where we discuss your goals, tour the gym and talk about how we can help you reach your goals. Then for most people they start with a few one on one personal training sessions (On-Ramp) before starting group classes. We teach them the movements they’ll encounter in class and ensure they can move safely. This helps buffer those beginner feelings and make joining in a little less daunting.

  6. Take action. I wish I had tried Jujitsu a year ago. I think back now to all those times thinking about telling Jeff I wanted to go in. All the times he asked me to try it and I shrugged it off (even though inside I wanted to go). If I had said yes — if I had ignored the anxious fear — I would have been doing it for a year now and be out of the early beginner stage already. But I’ve started and now I’m already on my 4th class!

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Interested in trying CrossFit?

Julia's Success Story

At Ampersand we are about changing lives. Julia is committed to herself and has a new outlook on life! We meet everyone where they are and assist them in smashing their goals, just like Julia!

Meet our next Intern, Erica!

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Hello there! My name is Erica. I am the oldest of five kids and a Northern Nevada native. Upon graduation from Boise State University with my BBA in Marketing, I moved across country to explore the beautiful state of North Carolina while working as a digital marketing specialist and obtaining my TEFL certification. After spending a year backpacking through Latin America while working as an English teacher, I am back in the USA pursuing my passion for health and wellness. 

I grew up a competitive swimmer, but love to try anything and everything active. I have competed in numerous events, including Ironman 70.3 Boulder and multiple marathons. I found CrossFit in 2015 and fell in love. It is unlike anything I have ever done and challenges me in new ways everyday, both physically and mentally.  I tried my first CrossFit competition the same year I started and ended up winning New Kids in the Box. I was hooked!

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From teaching swim lessons to fitness classes at university, I love sharing my passion with others. It only made sense to become a CF coach. I am a forever student, ready to learn from those willing to teach, and ready to teach those who are willing to learn. 

Meet our next Intern, Janine!

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Hi, I'm Janine and I've lived in the Carson Valley since 2006. My passions are my family, hiking, backpacking, and helping people find meaning and health on all levels. I have formal training as a yoga instructor and taught for several years in the Lake Tahoe area.

The discovery of CrossFit Ampersand came along for me in August 2017. I feel very fortunate to have our Box be my first exposure to CrossFit. I enjoy sharing the benefits of CrossFit and am committed to furthering my training in this field. I love that just about everyone can benefit from CrossFit... from the grandparent to elite athletes and everyone in between. Increased strength, power, speed, cardiovascular/respiratory endurance, flexibility, stamina, coordination, agility, balance, and accuracy benefits everyone of us!

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Our training in the gym makes our lives better outside of the gym. My favorite thing is when I do something outside the gym that I wasn't previously able to do prior to joining CrossFit Ampersand. I look forward to hearing about what that is for YOU!

Meet our Intern Eli!

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Hi I’m Elisha! But most people call me Eli. I was born in Lake Tahoe, but I’ve lived in Nevada my whole life. During my High School career, I played Football for 2 years and I wrestled for part of my Senior year. I took 2 years of a Weight Training class that implemented the CrossFit methodology.

I am currently studying Kinesiology at the University of Nevada, Reno to become a physical therapist or athletic trainer. I always like working out with other people and I am always ready to make a new friend! I’m a born again man who loves Jesus and I’m always seeking truth and knowledge through the Bible. My favorite hobby is photoshop and I like to draw cartoons from time to time.

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CrossFit is my passion. I started CrossFit sometime during the summer of 2017. I used to be a bodybuilder who loved lifting weights, but I was lacking in so many other areas of my fitness. Then, one day, my weight training teacher showed our class a video called, “The Test of Fitness” (I highly recommend watching it). After watching the video, I was immediately hooked on CrossFit. I completed my CrossFit Level 1 Course on January 27, 2019.

I wanted to get into coaching because I love helping other people. I’ve found a new interest in helping athletes to improve their fitness and their lives for the future. I am constantly learning new things and always ready to help!

Say Hello to Isaiah!

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Hello! My name is Isaiah. I have grown up in Gardnerville and have loved it! I am a Nevada boy and it is hard for me to think of calling anywhere else home. I have a big family and many friends some of which are as close as family.

I have been doing Crossfit since May of 2018 and have loved it. I have worked out for many years, but it wasn’t until last year (2018) that I decided to try Crossfit. I have been having fun with it ever since!

I got my Crossfit Level 1 within a few months of starting Crossfit, because I knew that I wanted to coach someday.

It is refreshing to watch people at the gym crush their goals and push themselves to be better at life. I look forward to seeing more of that as Crossfit Ampersand grows and flourishes.

Meet James! Intern Extraordinaire!

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I am a Texan transplant at the age of five, so I claim the Carson Valley as my home. I've tried to leave multiple times but always come back. Nevada is just so free and open! Tahoe and the mountains really help keep life in perspective. Getting to see the stars every night and I love being able to hike, climb, camp, snowboard, hit the beach or fish at anytime I want.

I also love taking photos of nature, moss and little ecosystems. Drawing has been a passion of mine since I was a child.

I've always been competitive, but my fitness journey began with sports. I played football from age 12 till I was 19 and ran track all through high school and have trained in numerous other sports just for the fun. I was never the most talented, so i had to train harder to actually play or get noticed. My coaches gave me a good base of understanding of my body and fitness.

I had been coaching throughout my playing career and continued coaching football after it ended. I still lived the training aspect more so I started training kids on the side getting them ready for the season and helping at camps. Between my own training and coaching youth, I decided to try personal training. There was a lot within the industry I just didn't agree with at the time and didn't quite fit the mainstream fitness mold.

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Around then I was trying to join the military and started developing my own programming to fit the skills of the job I was going for. What I developed worked, but then I found CrossFit. Compete in and coaching CrossFit was my new passion. It had everything I wanted. Torturous workouts, full body movements, heavy lifts, could coach anyone and everyone, no mirrors or squat racks being used for flexing sessions, growing in knowledge was encouraged, and it was FUN!

What really hooked me was the community! In sports, supporting the community was essential. As an athlete you are to uphold the best in people and represent the best of the community outside yourself and the team. Without it, you have no team. You have no athletes. Your coaches are useless. The mainstream industry was way more individualistic. I missed that while trying to find where my life was headed and doing it in my own was terrifying at the time. In CrossFit everyone is an athlete and capable of the same great things and each of us is there to support their journey as well as pursue our own.

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At Crossfit Ampersand after 8 years in the sport and 3 boxes. A gym that has everything that got me into CrossFit is my home. The community support in this gym helped motivate me and helped me rediscover my passion for fitness. Helped put myself out there in ways I hadn't before. I look forward to returning the favor, helping people move and live full lives, building this community further and of course having some fun!





Meet Daunelle!

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I was (almost) born and raised in South Lake Tahoe in the early 1970's. I played "sports" with the kids down the street in the vacant lot, climbing rocks and trees, for hours! The only organized sports available to girls back then were swim team, ski team, and tennis. We couldn't afford the ski team, so I swam for almost ten years for the city of South Lake Tahoe, and for my high school, South Tahoe High. I also spent my four years of high school on the nordic ski team, where you "don't become king of the mountain by riding a chair lift." In college, I tried out for and made the lightweight varsity boat for the crew team. I was the "Stroke"...the first rower in the boat of eight that set the tempo for the rest of the team. I LOVED rowing! I would have continued with rowing had I not had the opportunity to study in Grenoble, France my junior year in college.  In France, I tried to stay fit, in between bites of baguette and yummy cheese! However, I did coach a local swim team while I lived in Grenoble. 

After college, I moved back to Tahoe and started teaching English at South Tahoe High School and French at Lake Tahoe Community College. I coached the high school's nordic ski team for a few years, but then left the high school and taught only at the junior college.  We raised two active daughters in South Lake Tahoe. Between skiing, soccer, swimming, horseback riding, and hiking, we were never bored. However, my husband must have thought otherwise because in 2009, he and his two friends opened South Tahoe CrossFit. 

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Initially, I thought CrossFit was a joke. How could anyone get a workout in a four minute Tabata or a 12 minute AMRAP? Well, the joke was on me. After a few workouts, I was hooked. It is the variation and functionality of the exercises that kept my attention, but the  community that is created between members was and still is the reason why I CrossFit. In 2010 I got my Level 1 cert., and then in 2012, I got my Level 2 and a Mobility certificate from CrossFit. I loved coaching, managing, and organizing events for and at our gym. We held several competitions and fundraisers for our region and community. A few years ago, I even won the Masters level at a regional competition! However, in 2017, we decided to sell our partnership to one of our awesome trainers because we had moved down to the valley and we couldn't give as much time to the gym as we used to. 

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I discovered CFAmpersand when my daughter started the Douglas Girls Lacrosse Club in 2017. She had asked me to coach the team, and we desperately needed some dry-land training. I approached Jeff and Harmony with our need and they graciously allowed us to use the facility for the two years I coached my daughter's team. From box jumps to burpees, those high school girls strangely looked forward to our time in the gym! While I no longer coach lacrosse, I have continued to stay active. Last fall I completed my first Spartan race, the Beast, at Squaw Valley. That race made me realize that I needed to increase my fitness, so I joined CFA. It was difficult getting to the gym this winter, but when Jeff and Harmony asked if I was interested in coaching again, things started to get back into focus for me. After I emphatically said, "Yes!" I realized that I had let my certificates expire last October...So, I will be taking my coaching certs again this month! 

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Thanks to Jeff and Harmony, and all the CFA members I've met these past few months. CrossFit Ampersand is a fantastic community of supportive members . You are the reason why we keep coming back day after day, difficult workout after difficult workout. 

2020 CrossFit Re-Open and Ampersand's 3rd Annual Intramural!

The Open is coming… again… AND WE ARE EXCITED!

First things first, if you don’t know about the CrossFit Open, please read HERE.

This year we are excited to make participating in the Open even more fun! 

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Don’t let it intimidate you. It doesn’t matter where you place and YOU DEFINITELY WILL NOT BE LAST! There are countless thousands of people every year who don’t finish all 5 workouts and we want to help you avoid that. Also, there is a SCALED division so don’t worry if you are unsure about your ability level. All are welcome and highly encouraged to participate.

HOW IT WORKS

We typically do the Open every year, with a Friday Night Lights WOD. But this year will be different. We will follow along and do all the same workouts on the exact same timeline BUT we choose two captains to run teams in our gym. This years Captains will be chosen by us!

These captains are huge parts of our Ampersand community, they work hard, have great attitudes and are sure to help us keep it FUN! Because, that is our aim. Fun. No crazy cutthroat attitudes. No nasty trash talking (well maybe a little.. ;). Just throwing down on some good ol’ fashioned CrossFit style workouts with the rest of Ampersand while we all compete against each other in an internal, CrossFit Ampersand-only competition.

POINTS

Don’t worry, you won’t “drag a team down”. Everyone can contribute points. All you have to do is show up AND there will be surprise opportunities to gain points for your team that don’t require you to do any working out!

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REGISTRATION

You do not have to register for the crossfit open in order to participate. If you would like to see how you fair against the world, region, or state, definitely register online!

Registration for the Open can be done at games.crossfit.com and is live now and please make sure to choose CrossFit Ampersand as your Affiliate.

DRAFT

We will be doing a live video on September 19th to have our Draft. All athletes in the gym will be automatically put into the Draft pool and will be randomly selected onto a team. We will release all the details of the Draft ASAP so you can find out what team you are on.

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Coaches will be split up and placed onto different Intramural teams to keep it fair and even. Captains choose athlete names in random order out of a hat. Team Captains will rotate draws, and then notify the athletes of their team that they have been drafted!

Our Open workouts will take place at every group class time on Friday, building to Friday Night Lights which will begin at 4:30 p.m. There will be a heat sign-up on a whiteboard which will be available first come first serve. Please show up as early as possible to sign up for a heat, help judge, take pictures and cheer everyone on! Bring friends or family to spectate and contribute to the cheering crowd!

FIVE WEEKS - OCT 11th - Nov 8th

Friday, October 11 @ 4:30 p.m.  – 20.1

Friday, October 18 @ 4:30 p.m. – 20.2

Friday, October 25 @ 4:30 p.m. – 20.3

Friday, November 1st @ 4:30 p.m. – 20.4

Friday, November 8th @ 4:30 p.m.  – 20.5

👇🏼Peep the sweet slideshow 👇🏼

Athletes will be allowed to make up workouts or re-test Saturdays at 10am, or by arranging an appointment with a Coach. If you plan to makeup on Saturday, please let us know ahead of time and find another member of the gym to judge for you ahead of time!

OUR FOCUS IS ON FUN. WE WANT PARTICIPATION BECAUSE IT WILL MAKE YOU FITTER, AND IT WILL GET YOU HIGH-FIVES AND YOU’LL BE HAPPY AND LOVE LIFE MORE AND GLOW AND STUFF.

Recipe: Instant Pot Turkey Chili

During the colder months I always crave soups and stews and chili. One of my favorite chili recipes is a paleo bean free chili you make in a crockpot. But since getting an instant pot, I haven’t been making dinners in my crockpot as much (typically because I forget to set a reminder to prep everything and get it into the crockpot midday). Through a little trial and error I’ve made an instant pot version of my favorite chili recipe and am excited to share it with you!

This recipe is chock full of veggies in place of beans, but feel free to add in some beans if you’d like! Whenever we make this recipe, it makes enough for about 6-8 servings (so we usually eat it for dinner, and lunch the next two days). You can also freeze some of it to have on hand for emergency meals!

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Instant Pot Turkey Chili

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs. of ground turkey (you could also use ground beef)

  • 1 onion, diced

  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced

  • 2-3 large carrots, diced

  • 2-3 ribs of celery, diced

  • 2 bell peppers (I like to use 1 green and 1 red/orange/yellow), diced

  • 1 jalapeno, minced (optional - leave out if you want a milder chili)

  • (2) 14-ounce can of crushed or stewed tomatoes

  • (1) 14-ounce can of diced tomatoes (try fire roasted for an extra kick)

  • (1) 15-ounce can of tomato sauce

  • 3 tablespoons of chili powder

  • 1 tablespoon each of oregano & cumin

  • 1 teaspoon each of salt & pepper

  • 1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon of cayenne (optional - makes it spicier)

  • Optional toppings: apple cider vinegar, chives, avocado, crumbled bacon, lime

Directions

  1. Turn Instant Pot to sauté and once hot, add fat of your choice (coconut oil, olive oil, etc)

  2. Add onion, cook for 1-3 minutes, then add garlic, cook until fragrant (~1 min)

  3. Add turkey, break down and brown

  4. While turkey is cooking, chop the rest of the veggies

  5. Once turkey is cooked through, add everything else to the instant pot (carrots, celery, bell pepper, jalapeno, tomatoes, and spices). Give everything a good stir making sure the spices get evenly distributed.

  6. Close the lid and set the instant pot to cook on Manual - High Pressure for 15 minutes.

  7. When your chili has finished cooking, you can manually release if you’re ready to eat, or let the pressure release naturally and eat when you’re ready.

  8. Season with additional salt, pepper, and apple cider vinegar to taste.

  9. Serve and top with your favorite toppings (like avocado, crumbled bacon, or chives!)

  10. Store extra in the fridge for 4-5 days or freeze for up to 6 months.

New Year New You – One Small Step at a Time

2019 Is a FRESH CHAPTER!

The possibilities are endless for what you can achieve and what can happen with the start of a new year. As a coach, it’s hard for us to not jump in with all of the resolution talk going around. So often we hear people saying they want to eat healthier or get more exercise. Those are great goals, but without specifics for what they want to achieve, it will lead to disappointment and quitting by the middle or end of January. 

Only about 9% of people achieve their New Year’s resolutions.  Those 9% of people drill in to their goals and celebrate the baby steps that got them there.

Instead of a New Years resolution, why not make a January resolution? Something smaller and more manageable that will give you the satisfaction of accomplishment. Maybe this will be the month when you check-in to the gym 3x each week instead of 1 or 2. Maybe this will be the month that you commit to the nutrition challenge and learn about healthy eating for 28 days that will help you learn your body and to support healthy eating choices for the rest of the year.  

For some of you, even committing to something a month long sounds daunting or impossible. What if you tried for one day? Or one week? Try increasing your water intake by substituting water or tea instead of soda or other sugary or fake sugary drinks like Diet Coke and Sugar free Redbull.  This is a great small first-step where you will see changes in your body in a short time. 

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Follow this formula when choosing your goal:

All goals should be SMART!

Goal: I will check in to the gym for the 5:30pm class 3 times each week for the month of January.

Specific -  I will check in to CFA 3x each week in January

Measurable – I should have 15 check-ins during the 5 weeks in January

Attainable – I can come Monday, Wednesday and Friday to the 5:30pm class

Realistic – I am already going to the gym 2x each week, so I’m only adding 1 more day each week. 

Time-sensitive – Month of January


 Here are five ways to keep any goal you set:

1.     Share it with those around you who will be supportive. Simply saying it aloud or posting it online gives you accountability.

2.     Leave yourself words of encouragement regarding this goal in places you will see it often. If your goal is around healthy food choices, try a post-it note on your fridge.  This step solves two problems, it encourages you through your day and it helps you stay focused on your goal.

3.     Only set one small goal around one behavior at a time. Don’t start eating healthy, spending more quality time with your family, sleeping nine hours each night, removing toxins from your home, and going back to school all at the same time. Instead bite off only what is manageable. You can always slowly add more goals as your behaviors transform!

4.     Don’t be hard on yourself if you mess up. Only a very small percentage of the human population can accomplish a goal the first time they try. For the rest of us it takes a couple slip-ups before we propel forward and achieve our goals.

5.     Ask for help. It is brave and admirable to make changes in your health routines. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. The coaches at CrossFit Ampersand are here for you as well as people in your classes. You can also take coaching and accountability up another step by talking to our Health Coach Elizabeth, to really drill into your intrinsic motivations, character strengths and help you achieve even more than you could do alone.

Book a Goal Setting Session with one of OUR Coaches and let us help you set your SMART Goals!

But.

But.

But but but…

Doesn’t the word ‘but’ just bring up a level of anxiety in you even without even knowing what it’s referring to? Such a tiny insignificant word can keep us from becoming who we deserve to be.

Life Transitions can cause us to stop forward progress, we refrain from doing anything new or even worse send us further down the black hole. It can make us not do what needs to be done to better ourselves because of the anxiety and inner turmoil that is created by the word but.

Click here for some motivation from real people just like you! They can do it so can you!

Click here for some motivation from real people just like you! They can do it so can you!

But I’m not in shape enough to start working out. But I can’t figure out my nutrition.

But I’ve never been successful before.

But I work. But I have kids. But we are moving. But I am injured. But I just got pregnant.  But I just had a baby.

But but but...  

As fitness professional we have encountered at least one of those buts, if not all. We have suffered through those buts, it has been scary, it was hard and there were lots of tears. Eventually we conquered those buts and have moved forward. We know that life is hard, that it has seasons, it gets in the way. If you want to live your life in spite of those buts we will help you navigate your buts.

Let’s make those buts mean something new, maybe with a healthy new butt to carry you through the year!


Let 2019 be the year of new but(t)s by signing up for our Nutrition Challenge!



Mindfulness: Why is it Important to Your Overall Health?

Mindfulness mind·ful·ness    /ˈmīn(d)f(ə)lnəs/    noun    the quality or state of being conscious or aware of something.    "their mindfulness of the wider cinematic tradition"    A mental state achieved by focusing one's awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one's feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations, used as a therapeutic technique

Mindfulness mind·ful·ness

/ˈmīn(d)f(ə)lnəs/

noun

the quality or state of being conscious or aware of something.

"their mindfulness of the wider cinematic tradition"

A mental state achieved by focusing one's awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one's feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations, used as a therapeutic technique

What Is Mindfulness?

Taking into consideration the definition; how can mindfulness be applied to our daily lives; or even better, how can it change our daily thought process? As a coach I hear it all the time, “I can't do that.” or “it’s too hard.” Being mindful and in tune with our thoughts and our physical abilities will help us push through barriers and challenges. Instead, I urge people to ask themselves, “Do I trust my coach? And do I trust myself?” If the answer is yes, then we will proceed with the task that was asked.

Surrendering ourselves to the unknown in this way can be scary. Allowing ourselves to not question the ‘what if’, to not be stalled by fear and to fully open ourselves to the new possibilities that are offered will exponentially improve our outlook and allow us so many opportunities that might have otherwise been missed. By trusting our own body, by listening to what it is telling you will take you too many new places.

How Does Mindfulness Fit into Health and Fitness?

Being mindful asks us to look internally, to be aware of how my body is feeling. How is it reacting to something new? As coaches we ask our clients all the time “how does that feel?” We aren't looking for a generic answer. No, we want to really know how that felt. Was it challenging, but doable? Did it cause a twinge of pain in that old injury? Did performing that movement for the first time successfully, instantly bring you joy? We want to know the real answer to help our clients start becoming in tune with their own body.

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How Does it Affect the Long Term?

Working towards our goals mindfully isn’t going to make it happen over night, but it will help us get there quicker and more successfully. Being mindful, knowing when it's time to take a break and let your body heal from will allow your body to progress forward steadily and safely without pushing through an injury or on a day that a workout just isn't going to happen.

Yes, goals vary, many have the goal to lose weight, to be healthier long term, to run a marathon, to play with the grandkids, but what all these different goals have in common, is the conscious decision to be mindfully present with their bodies and needs and choose what is necessary to make the changes to meet these goals. When asked what was it that triggered the change, it was always a mental change. Mentally they wanted it. Mentally they needed it. They chose to be mindful with themselves, allow the change mentally and what is being asked of their bodies and of their psyche to ensure long term success.

If you are ready to set some goals of your own, book a goal setting session with a coach!

Prioritizing Self with Tanya

Hey everyone! We got the chance to ask Tanya some questions about her experience with CrossFit. We met her when Harmony and I went to the emergent care and she was our nurse. After our visit a few weeks later, Tanya walked in the door workout gear in hand ready to rock. She came from a history of CrossFit before she moved here and has been a part of the Ampersand family ever since!

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Before finding us, what was your struggle?

My biggest struggle was putting away the excuses and getting up off the couch even when I was too tired or sore to move.  I was a shift worker for many years like many health care professionals and I found it hard to balance and find motivation when all I wanted to do was sleep.

What were your biggest frustrations?

Feeling like I spent all my time and energy taking care of everyone (my family and patients) and had no time and energy to take care of myself. I felt like a hypocrite and as a result I kept having to buy bigger and bigger clothes which is always disheartening.

How did your struggle and frustrations affect your life?

I felt that I was not leading by example. I was educating my family and patients about the importance of exercise and healthy eating but I was failing to live the life I was promoting.  I worried constantly about our family history of diabetes, obesity and heart disease affecting not only me but my children.

What did you feel like before you made your transformation?

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I had low self esteem when looking in the mirror, I cried more times than not in a dressing room trying to find clothes that fit, I refused to wear a swimsuit in public, and I just felt like a failure.

How did our program help you?

CrossFit Ampersand is so open and welcoming that I didn’t feel awkward or that everyone was staring at me. All the members are very supportive and encouraging. I also had the benefit of starting the program with my daughter and through our support of each other and the support from the whole crew at Ampersand, I started to look better and feel better with every class.

How is life different for you now?

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Life is still a struggle everyday, but I have the positivity of my health and wellness to keep me going. I don’t feel like a hypocrite any more when I talk to my patients about the longstanding benefits of exercise and clean eating. I feel stronger than I have in years, and I’m able to complete any workout that I attempt despite my many chronic health conditions like asthma or the multiple surgeries on my hands and hip. I recommend CrossFit Ampersand to anyone who will listen regardless of their age, size, health conditions or athletic abilities because the Ampersand crew is a dedicated, knowledgeable and caring team that can help anyone achieve their wellness goals!


Let us hear your goals and show you how we can help you reach them! 

Getting Motivated with Misti!

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Misti is another example of when you stick to your goals and stay consistent, great things happen. She is very humble and coachable and is joy to have in the gym. We asked her to share her story and we hope you are as encouraged as we were! Enjoy!

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Before finding CrossFit Ampersand I had been without a gym for about a year. I had left my previous gym of 7 years, where I spent most of my time running races and doing sprint triathlons. I had totally burnt myself out and decided that I needed a break. I would work out at home on my own one or two days a week and take my dog out for a run here and there. I told myself that this was sufficient and that I didn’t need a gym, but I soon became lazy, frustrated and depressed. I love working out and doing things that make me feel healthy and strong, but I felt like I was never going to find anything else that motivated me and got me excited about my health and fitness again.

This totally affected my life because I stopped being motivated about how I was eating. I wasn’t doing anything much to challenge my body and it was depressing. For me, the biggest benefits of working out and eating good, besides the obvious of being strong and healthy, is the positive mental state that it keeps me in. I feel sane and happy when I’m pushing and challenging myself.

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Then I found Crossfit Ampersand and they changed everything! I was familiar with some of the CrossFit workouts but I had never been to a gym like this. I was so impressed with the way that you make proper form and function the most important part of the workouts. I’ve learned that actually knowing how to do the movements properly and the importance of training your body the right way makes you so much stronger!  I was so impressed with how everyone cares so much about each other and cares about motivating you and seeing you improve and grow. I have been at this gym for almost a year now and I love it! I love the coaches and the people here so much. I know that this will be my home for a really long time.

Life is different now because I have something to look forward to and get excited about again. I’ve found a new challenge that I love even more than the things I had been doing before. I feel so much stronger and feel like I’m gaining strength in areas I never thought I could. I’m doing things that I never thought I would be able to and I am excited to see more changes in my strength and ability!


Let us tell your story! Talk to a coach and see how we can help you reach your goals!

Desert Racing and CrossFit with Greg

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We like to call Greg the "Silent Assassin" because he has such a humble attitude when he walks in the door, but his competitive spirit takes over at 3, 2, 1, GO!

His work ethic and determination towards his goals have proven in his increased work capacity and his speed on the course when he is on his bike. It is exciting as coaches to hear that CrossFit is doing its job when you hear reports of improved times, or personal bests outside of the gym. 

Greg is another reminder that CrossFit is for everyone! So we asked him a few questions about his CrossFit journey. 

What are your passions?
My passion in life is Desert Racing. Ever since I started to ride that little word "racing" popped up and seemed to take over my mind and soul.

Why did you start, and how did you find CrossFit?
I found CrossFit online just surfing the web. I chose CrossFit because I needed to change my
routine and challenge my body. Which all of the coaches are happy to challenge what you are
capable of doing.

What was your first impression?
My first impression of the gym was clean and very open. Everyone really cared that you came
to classes and did your best on good and bad days.

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What are your goals?
One of my goals that ties into racing is I want to become a Expert Racer. Another goal I have is to lose weight and possibly have skin removal surgery. So far I have lost over 100lbs from before and after I started CrossFit.

What has CrossFit done for you?
CrossFit has showed me I can push myself harder and in multiple different ways. The recovery time from my achilles injury went so much smoother than I expected with the help of training at Ampersand. Also I really like the atmosphere of working out with a group of people.

What’s one accomplishment you’re proud of during your time at CrossFit Ampersand?
I am proud of myself for being able to do kipping pull ups, handstand pushups, and having the
ability to use my whole body to do more complex movements.

Would you recommend CrossFit Ampersand to others?
Heck yes, I've told so many people about the benefits from CrossFit and that they should come
join the team.

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What advice would you give someone who is interested in CrossFit?
My advice to others would be no matter how hard something may seem you only have to beat yourself not others. Giving a 100% with everything from the amount of weight or speed. Give your 100% and the coaches and everyone around you will do the same for you so you can excel and achieve your goals.


Want to learn more about what Ampersand can do for you and your goals? Book a No Sweat Intro and talk to a coach today!