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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!



Conquering Adversity with Andrea

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So let me begin by saying what a joy it is to have met and grown close with Andrea and her family. Her story combined with her driven nature is nothing less than inspiring to me as a coach and to our community. I am really excited for everyone to get to know Andrea a little more and be inspired as well by seeing just how strong and powerful women are and can be. We have all heard of the saying 'cancer survivor', but from where I stand as a coach and a friend, Andrea is a conquerer... and cancer had no chance. So without further adieu, here is her story! Enjoy!

"CrossFit wasn’t something even on my radar. I grew up being active and always was up for taking a class or two at the gym. Then at the age of 20 I was diagnosed with stage 3 muscular cancer. Boom, all that was more norm, going to the gym every day, college, an active lifestyle was out the window for a while. Fast forward to almost a year ago. I was trying to find something to challenge me again. Get me active and get me out of the house. I work from home 10+ hours a day and needed not only to get out but to interact with people. Not really interested in much there was to offer in my area, a girl I knew through a friend has suggested I try CrossFit. Um, yea... NO. One, I have no idea what that really was, and two, what I do know of it I could NEVER do. That is not for me. I can’t do that because of my limitations from having cancer…. Blah blah blah, you know, all the excuses we like to tell ourselves to keep us from doing scary things. Well, one day, when I guess I was just crazy enough to try, I posted a question on our community blog and everyone was giving me the same answer: CrossFit Ampersand.

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A few clicks, some research, and reading a few clients stories I set up a meeting. I am not a weight lifting kind of gal. Throw me in a cardio class I am ready! But showing up for CrossFit I thought, what am I doing, can I even do this?! All the weights and medicine balls and chalk!? Why do we need chalk?! But the other thing driving me was, behind all the lifting and sweat and learning, was the challenge. I needed a challenge. I had become distracted from life with work and kids, and all the adult things that make us responsible. I needed something that was mine and was going to challenge me. That was what I set out for and that was what I got.

Some of the toughest times in the beginning and still today, are recognizing that I can’t always do what everyone else is doing. Not because I wasn’t or am not strong enough, yet, but because of something from my past. Cancer. That was a part of my life, my story, I tucked away, I conquered, and moved passed. But here I was, in the gym, trying to lift something my hand didn’t have the strength to hold. But then with the help of the amazing support, community and coaches at CrossFit Ampersand I saw that there is a way to get through every lift, every jump, every challenge. The coaches encouraged me to do what I could and taught me how to modify movements so that I could build strength and keep going. That is one thing I was most amazed about. The coaches never made me feel like I was inadequate or “broken”. They just said “ok, then do this instead” and that was that.

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One of my proudest moments to date was conquering box jumps. Yep! I can jump on a box and do it over an over again. When I first started CrossFit I would jump on stacks on weights. Then over time I just worked my way to feeling more confident and trusting my body and I did it! It’s not just the physical aspect of growth you find in CrossFit, it’s the mental. I have gained so much more trust in my body and what it is capable of. Confidence, yes that too, but knowing that months before I couldn’t do something and to work and see myself lifting more weight, improving in many different aspect and also having all the awesome coaches and other members at Crossfit Ampersand cheering you on. Helping you see you really can do more than you think you are capable of, you can’t help but try harder and be better.

At the end of the day I look forward to every workout. I want to see my friends, who have become more like family, because that’s how it is at CrossFit Ampersand, a family. I want to be with my tribe, pushing myself to see how far I can go. Is CrossFit tough, yes! I would be lying if I said it was easy. But pushing yourself and being with people who want to see you reach your goals and support you makes every sore muscle worth it. If you have ever questioned trying CrossFit I would say do it. We all have things that can create excuses not to try, but honestly, do it, please try. You may just find your not as broken as you once thought you were. You may become stronger, happier, more focused, less anxious, or more determined then you have been in a long time. What have you got to lose? I am so thankful one crazy day posting something on a community page lead me to a much healthier and better place. One sore workout at a time…GAME ON!"

"Some days I am more wolf than woman and I am still learning how to stop apologizing for my wild." -Nikita Gill

Ready to begin your journey? Book a No Sweat Intro and come see what we are all about! 

'High Fructose Corn Syrup' is getting a makeover!

'High Fructose Corn Syrup' is getting a makeover!

So what happens when the corporations who mass produce food get clever?

Get this, consumers are actually getting smarter with their food choices and in some ways are filtering what they are purchasing based on what they can find in on the box. There are tons of trends that seem to come up all the time. "All natural"; "Minimally Processed"; "No added preservatives"; and in this case, "All natural." Now, we have to learn the new name of the all to easy to produce, "High Fructose Corn Syrup."

Instead of food companies doing what the consumer wants, they will cut corners and protect their bottom line first, by tricking the consumer into 'thinking' they are getting what they want. Of course there are many companies out there that have integrity in their products but in the mainstream products, we seem to need to shy away more and more altogether.

So when they get creative, we need to get wiser!

Companies are now masking the ingredients we are always trying to avoid. There was a time when there was hardly any sugar in anything. But now, it's nearly impossible to purchase products that are lacking. I'm not talking about sugar in natural things like fruits and veggies, no no, the all to popular, high fructose corn syrup.

"The product is General Mills’ Vanilla Chex, an updated version of the Chex cereal sold in most conventional grocery and discount stores for many years. The front of the box clearly states that the product contains “no high fructose corn syrup” (HFCS), but turn it over to read the ingredient list and there it is – the new isolated fructose."

So whats the big deal?

'The Corn Refiners Association is now labeling high fructose corn syrup as fructose. Packing on products such as General Mills Vanilla Chex cereal now states the product contains no high fructose corn syrup, while the ingredients list contains the simple word, "fructose." This fructose is actually a manufactured sugar called HFCS-90, and is made up of 90% pure fructose. High fructose corn syrup, or HFCS, contains 42% or 55 percent fructose. Health issues relating to free fructose include diabetes, leaky gut syndrome, and liver failure.'

Well, according to the CRA:

 “A third product, HFCS-90, is sometimes used in natural and ‘light’ foods, where very little is needed to provide sweetness. Syrups with 90% fructose will not state high fructose corn syrup on the label [anymore], they will state ‘fructose’ or ‘fructose syrup’.”

“Simply eliminating the high fructose corn syrup designation for the laboratory sweetener that’s nine-tenths fructose and calling it what it really is: fructose. And that’s how a processed-food product like Vanilla Chex that contains “fructose”, a substance that, according to the corn refiners, used to be called HFCS-90, can now declare itself to be high fructose corn syrup-free.”

So, while looking for HFCS on the back of your foods ingredients, you will now see it as just "fructose." Don't be fooled by their sorry attempts to get you comfortable. We have very little regulations in this country on our food companies to begin with. It's up to you to know and make good choices.

So what do we do?

I would suggest that you buy organic as much as possible and stay away from foods that ecould possibly have added artificial sugar in them. Buy local at farmers markets and actually prepare your own food. Stay away from anything that is in a box that you know is NOT good to put in your body. Especially while you are training. Sure if you want to occasionally have a doughnut or some cookies, GO FOR IT! But if you are taking in those kinds of processed foods on a regular basis, you will not only see your fitness deteriorate in the gym, but your health as well outside of the gym... Not to mention not losing the weight or putting on muscle. Also, you have heard me say before,  if it is not good enough to put in your body, its not good enough to put in your families bodies either!

"The CrossFit Way"

We believe that nutrition is the cornerstone of health and fitness, and that achieving your fullathletic potential is impossible without tuning up your diet.

The CrossFit rule of thumb is: eat real food.  Base your diet on vegetables, especially greens, lean meats, nuts and seeds, little starch, and no sugar.  If it has ingredients you don’t recognize, don’t eat it.  If you can’t imagine its path from a farm to your plate, don’t eat it.  If that path must have included some sort of factory, don’t eat it. Pretty simple, yeah?

Some say well it's too expensive... Look I get it. It's not cheap, so do your best! Changing your lifestyle won't happen over night, but one step at a time. But you have to be taking those steps to get anywhere.

Don't hesitate to contact us if you are struggling in this area and would like us to assist you!

- Jeff

Source: 'www.hlfteam.com'