Brussel Sprout Gratin

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This is the recipe that changed my family dinners. NEVER before would my kids touch that toxic vegetable otherwise known as brussel sprouts! How easy it has been to change their view with just one recipe. OK – I will fully admit that this is not the healthiest recipe I have posted, yes, it does have some cream and the beloved substance called bacon! But let’s keep things in perspective – I now have 2 children that voluntarily eat brussel sprouts and go back for seconds! Give this recipe a try – you won’t regret it – great one for Easter not that far off!!

2 pounds brussel sprouts, cleaned and trimmed
1/2 – 1 pound bacon – thick cut, cooked and cut in small pieces
salt and black pepper to taste
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/8 cup Italian seasoned bread crumbs
1/4 cup grated fresh Parmesan cheese
2 Tbs butter cut into small pieces
Preheat oven to 400 degrees, lightly grease a baking dish.
Boil a large pot of water – cook sprouts in water for approximately 8 minutes, drain and then immediately rinse with cold water. Cut them in half or quarters depending upon sprout size.
Put sprouts in greased pan and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Pour cream over sprouts, then sprinkle with bacon, then cheese, then bread crumbs, then broken pats of butter.
Bake 20-25 minutes. Enjoy!!

Open Competition

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Happy 2017 Open Day One!!
As another year of pushing one self past previous limits arrives, I give you an blog from a top CrossFit competitor. I myself find it hard not to obsess about where in the standings I fall and even fight that feeling to not be let down as the weekend continues and I see myself fall lower in the standings. But the true goal of the games is to celebrate a year of hard work! We should be thankful everyday for the ability to do the workouts we do, and enjoy them in our mental and physical healthy state. There are so many who would love to trade shoes. So I say – Enjoy the Open, enjoy the rush, enjoy the sweat, cheer each other on, survive the recovery and do your own thing! In the end, it is the smile of accomplishment that makes it all worth while!


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I debated what to blog next. It’s been a few days since I shared a recipe, but it’s only 36 hours till Open 17.1 is released and many might be carb loading – not my usual food choice. Yes, the open is knocking at the door, so motivational blog? And then this came across my wall and it summed up everything that I’ve seen in the world lately.

Broken?! We joke about being broken in our gym all the time.
There’s the athlete that has to take a few days off because of an recent injury or re-infliction takes them out. BROKEN? There’s the workout that takes you down to exhaustion – you know the one that “broke you”. BROKEN? There’s that plague that is going around Chicago for the last month and a half that makes you want to crawl back in bed. BROKEN? There’s the stressed out times in life when a situation or demands just seem overwhelming. When life has piled on more than one person should possibly have to hold and it breaks them. Pushed to the point that a person almost snaps. BROKEN!
Bottom line it takes all the pieces working together, mentally and physically to make the amazing machine we call our body work to it’s full potential.
As we approach the start of the Open, peak performance will be determined by not only being physically, but also mentally, ready to take on the world. Not everyone is participating in the Open, but I can’t stress enough – Life is the Open! Everyone is participating in that! One of our senior athletes recently mentioned how much more energy they have since they started coming regularly – no need for a daily nap! Another younger client mentioned how much more efficient she seems to be at work when she regularly gets into the gym. Scientifically it has been proven that exercise will lower depression and lower anxiety levels. We all know how that weekend eating rampage makes us feel like a sloth come Monday.
So, I challenge you BROKEN people – channel those monkeys sitting on your backs – whether it be Open’s 17.1 or the project that’s due. Don’t see these bumps in the road as blockades, see them as an opportunity to grow. Use them to get stronger, be stronger, and smile because the healing process feels good.
Eat well / sleep lots / and GOOD LUCK in Life’s Open!
May the odds be ever in our favor as 17.1 is released tomorrow!

Coconut Bars

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Valentine’s Day is just a day away! Gotta love that sacred day of chocolate! So how do we indulge without the recovery workout the next day – You know what I’m referring to – that workout that you think will replace all the bad that you did the day before!! No magic bullet, but go in with a plan! You plan your workouts and plan for meals for the week, so why not plan the indulgence as well!
In walks coconut bars – coconut gets a lot of press for being the “good” kind of fat, but has a lot more to stand on than that! Raise that HDL and add so many minerals that we have trouble getting elsewhere including magnesium. The anti-aging properties can’t be beat! That’s a discussion for another blog.
So combine that with a little dark chocolate and you have a couple bites of no guilt.
So indulge this Valentine’s Day or make a treat for the special healthy someone!

Coconut Bars:
2 cups unsweetened coconut
1/4 cup coconut oil melted
2 Tbs honey
Melt coconut oil with honey in microwave. Add coconut flakes. Place in square 8×8 pan. Press to form a solid mass.
Place in refrigerator until cool. Top with melted dark chocolate.

Yep, its just that easy! YUM!!

CrossFit Open 2017

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Get ready folks – the Open starts in only 2 weeks.
Yes, 2 weeks to test your fitness level, test how far you’ve come since last year, or just have fun!
Spire CrossFit is a certified box to complete your workouts if want to sign up and are looking for a place to WOD, just let us know when you want to head in!
Spire CrossFit will be running the Open workouts even if you just want to see where you fit in even if you don’t want to officially register.
Spire CrossFit is ready – are you??
What’s the Open?? Check this out from HQ!

Yes Runners can do CrossFit

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There’s fit and then there’s CrossFit. I am NOT a runner and I have a ton of respect for those that do – maybe in another life I will like running. BUT even runners can improve their times through the all body conditioning CrossFit provides. The following is an article that’s a couple months old, but the story is timeless. We have have multiple athletes in our gym that will testify to the fact the strength gained through CrossFit workouts greatly improved their race times! Here’s a great story from Runner’s World …

Crock pot Turkey – make time!

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marinated turkey crock pot recipe

Life is full of choices. We are each given 24 hours and the ability to use them as we wish. Yeah, yeah, I know – there are a ton of things we don’t control, BUT in the end if you really think about it – we always make time for the things that are most important to us. For me exercise and my family are on the top of my list.

So we started this business and I have become faced with the challenge of getting healthy dinner options on the table without being home to cook them. Enter that dusty crock-pot that has been taking up room in my pantry!! I have made the commitment to cook more with that wondrous invention! After a long day I have forgotten I put the ingredients in the pot early in the am and come home to this amazing dinner that feels like someone else has cooked it.

This week I tackled a turkey breast. So incredibly good and such a small amount of work! Give it a go!
If you have favorite crock-pot recipes, please share them with me! I would love the support on this new commitment! Post here or email to in the mean time – get out the bird!!

Crock-Pot Marinated Turkey Breast Recipe

1-7 pound turkey breast (without bones is easier, but I couldn’t find one – 7 pounds is what fit in my crock-pot)
1/2 cup white wine
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 Tbs. oregano
1 Tbs minced garlic
salt and pepper
Spray crock-pot with Pam or olive oil. Please turkey in pot skin side down.Pour wine and lemon juice over turkey. Sprinkle oregano and garlic over turkey. Cook on low for approximately 8 hours. Enjoy!! So good!!

Be an athlete – Come join us!

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I never considered myself and athlete. I was a cheerleader in high school and a band geek, well, yes just a geek period. OK, I ran cross country in junior high, but anyone who knows me knows I hate to run!! Athletes – yep, those are those amazing people who …
Like to work out! OK maybe it is just those who work out – some days are not fun!
Try to eat healthy! Yes, athletes can still eat chocolate!
Have fun with others while being active!
Most don’t get paid!
Most do not come in first!
Most just try!
Most are just like you and me!
It’s all how you think about it!
You can be an athlete!
Come be an “Inspir” ‘d athlete!

My college daughter sent me this article saying hey, I’m an athlete – next generation, same story – YES – YOU ARE AN ATHLETE!! She’s way more of an athlete than I am and eats a lot less chocolate! Read this inspiring article!