Be a (Wo)Man with a Plan!


As we get deeper into the nutrition challenge, planning becomes even more important to be successful.  There are a lot of outside factors working against us on our quest to be healthy, not just for these 30 days but on an ongoing basis.  Here are a few things you can do to up your planning and nutrition game this winter.

Plan your menu one week out, and create a shopping list

Taking the time to sit down and pencil out what you plan to eat all week (breakfast, lunch, dinner & snacks) is absolutely critical in keeping your house stocked with the right food.  As easy as it might be to say I’m going to make chicken and sweet potatoes this week for all the meals, by the time you get 2 days in it’s going to be hard to talk yourself into day 3 of the same old same for every single meal.  You are also likely leaving something on the table nutrition wise if you lack variety. Maybe you have the same lunch plan, but a try to vary dinners to keep it exciting and get lots of nutrients.  Eitherway set a plan that looks appetizing to you, and create your list.  You can most certainly make big portions of certain foods (think chili and pasta sauce) and freeze them for a week or 2 down the road to keep up the variety without increasing prep time.

Pick a time for your weekly grocery store trips & STICK TO THE LIST

If you’ve done your menu planning and list creating, this should be a fairly quick painless experience.  If you can avoid showing up to the store while hungry I would recommend it.  We’ve all attempted to stick to a list while hangry in a grocery store that’s crowded….that usually ends with half a bag of goldfish gone before you get through the checkout line…or is that just me? Eitherway, pick a time (preferably shortly after a meal) to shop, and stick to your list!

Meal Prep Days – Pick them and stick to them

If you are a 9-5er than Sundays work great for this! I tend to plan my list Friday evenings, shop Saturdays, and then spend my Sunday afternoon meal prepping so I am ready to go for the week.  Find a way to portion those meals out for the week as you go as well.  Ideally when you are done with your meal prep you have lots of meals already portioned out in Tupperware you can quickly grab on your way out the door to get you through the week.  This is very important for lunch and snacks, and if you have the Tupperware to put the right portions for all the meals I would encourage you to do so for breakfast & dinner as well.

Eating out

While eating at home is the easiest way to know you are eating a completely clean/paleo meal we understand that isn’t always realistic.  If you know you will be going out to eat in the coming week, plan accordingly.  Just about every restaurant nowadays has an online menu.  Look at that menu, and have a game plan of what you plan to order before you get there.  If you have a say in where you go, throw out an option you know has some paleo or healthy options.  If not aim for the meats that are grilled vs fried, fresh foods/veggies vs mashed potatoes or foods that could hide lots of the fake (albeit tasty) stuff.  You may have to ask for no cheese or dressing on the side, but most places will accept those requests.

Basically if you wanna win that prize money, you gotta be a woman (or man) with a plan, and keep crushin it in the kitchen!

-Coach Courtney

Eat Everything!

Photo Credit to Whole 30 Recipes

Photo Credit to Whole 30 Recipes

Importance of Eating Enough

So you’ve done, you’ve either jumped right in and joined our Paleo challenge or you are making an effort to clean things up without fully diving in.  Either way there have been some life changes and you’re feeling pretty good about it.  We want to help you be as successful as possible and work through some of the pit falls before they affect your overall results.

Make Sure you are Eating Enough
One of the biggest reasons people don’t see results when they start eating in a healthy way is because they are no longer eating enough.  It’s really easy to come up with 1000 calories when you’re grabbing a big mac, fries and a 32 oz soda.  It’s a whole different ball game to get those calories from eggs, kale and broccoli.  One of the easiest ways we have found to overcome this is load up at breakfast.

Eat Breakfast
Breakfast should be bigger than you are used to for sure, and how you ask do you do this and get out the door to work, plan ahead.  Make some egg cups in a muffin tin for grab and go, when you make dinner make extra for in the morning, blend up a smoothie with avocado for extra calories and good fats.  If you have time to makes some eggs, make as many as you can fit in one hand with some good quality bacon.  Also stop thinking breakfast has to be just eggs and oatmeal. The above picture is one of my favorites, it takes time to get use to but you can eat anything at breakfast…anything!

DO NOT skip meals!  
Again I repeat DO NOT SKIP MEALS!  After about the first 10 days this will be
borderline impossible as your body will be letting you know you’re starving (hanger is real).  Eat until you feel full.  This will vary over time as well but eat enough that you feel satisfied, not stuffed.  Each plate should have about ½ the plate in protein, just under half in green yummy veggies and the rest is reserved for good fats like oils, avocados, nuts and or seeds.

Vary Meals as Much as Possible
Lastly vary your meals as much as possible.  I for one love meat in a bowl with some veggies but I can’t eat that every day.  Try some of the meals we have posted, ask other people in the challenge their favorite so far or grab a new paleo cookbook and try things you’ve never had.  This is a time to try some new things.  Some may work, some may not but keep trying and don’t give up!  The long term health benefits will be well worth it!

Keep being Awesome
-Coach Sara

5 Tips For A Healthy Winter


The cold weather makes wanting to go anywhere tricky, so I wanted to share a few things I’ve learned that help get me to the gym even on the coldest or snowiest days.


I repeat DO NOT GO HOME FIRST! I’ve been guilty of stopping at home to grab a change of clothes, or to kill some time before the next WOD starts, only to find myself halfway through a new Netflix series wondering what happened to my night. Pack your gym clothes before you head to work, so that you can go directly to the gym afterwards. I’d even leave an extra set of workout clothes in your car just in case! If you are one of those morning people, make sure you have your work clothes ready to go so you can get ready at the gym after class and not have to add another stop in the morning as well.
This is helpful all year round, but especially on those frigid days. Find a buddy, set a schedule, and keep each other accountable! If you are new to the gym and need one, we’d be happy to help you find one or to be yours! Owners like buddies too!
It is always important to set and work towards goals. Setting short term, measurable goals that you can work towards and start checking off through those long winter months can really keep you wanting more. Having these goals will make the decision to come to the WOD even easier! If you aren’t sure what goals to set, grab one of us and we’ll gladly help you set 2-3 attainable goals and we’ll help you develop a plan of attack!
This is basically an extension of goal setting. Having an event puts a “deadline” on some of those goals you’ve been working towards which can help keep you on schedule. You’ll hit lots of PR’s throughout your training, and who doesn’t love some good ol’ fashioned gains! The CrossFit Open kicks off in February and is a great entry into the competition environment in the comfort of your own gym.
When it is colder I tend to be more of a home body, which gives me a little more time to do meal prep or cook at home. Pick a day, and do all of your weekly meal prep on the same day each week. Having healthy food prepped and easily at reach will help fight the urge to order in delivery or take-out. Plus this will help fuel all that time you’ll be in the gym, now that you’ve created a game plan and set those goals. Remember, summer bodies are built in the winter!!


Coach Shoe


11391509_10152835392872443_4352710845455206416_nThis is written on the first night of the biggest competition in Fargo (which my counterpart is kicking some serious booty in). I see people from all over the map coming to Fargo ND to show their competitive side. It’s exciting, it’s fun to watch people lay it all out there for the sake of competition. Some have trained for months, even two to three times a day. Others this might be their first competition so they’re in it for the experience, to see where their training has taken them. It’s what makes CrossFit so great, if you choose you can test your fitness against those in your area, region or the world.


On the flip side of this I saw a post that rings true with what we believe in at CrossFit Icehouse, it was was a post by our good friends at CrossFit Allectus. Their post read “express your fitness” with a picture of some pretty serious wake boarding skills. It showed me that yes we work hard in the gym but it’s summer, so they tell me, and we should look for ways to express all this hard work we do. By now you might know that Courtney jumps out of airplanes as a form of relaxation and I myself prefer a 70-100 mile bike ride to bring me back to center. There are many reasons we as a community do this crazy thing called CrossFit. Whether it’s to keep up with kids in the back yard, climb routes in the black hills, jump out of air planes or with the goal of competing at the regional level. The choice is yours but whatever you chose, show it off. You work hard everyday, express your fitness to those around you, it’s contagious!

Do you use the B word?

I can’t come to they gym I’m too Busy. The boss is here take this and look Busy. I have so much going on I’m just so Busy all the time.

This word is becoming like nails on the chalkboard to me. If it were important you would make time for it, that’s really all there is to it. Now don’t get me wrong you can’t make time for everything, I mean that’s what got you into this busy cycle in the first place. It seems in this hustle to do everything world we have forgotten how to politely say No (this could be a whole post on it’s own) so we have subbed “I”m sorry I’m just too busy.” If you are one of the busy people I challenge you to take a hard look at how much you’re really getting done being so busy. How many hours a day are you watching cat videos or reading all the mindless memes on Facebook. Is there time to binge watch the latest season on Netflix but no time to go to dinner with an old friend who may need to talk? Are you too busy to make time for yourself? When is the last time you checked in with yourself whether it be a quite room, a moment spent with a barbell or, if you’re one of those people, a long run.

Take this week and see if there is a way to be less busy and make time for the important things in life. Make time for you, your health and your sanity. Everyone around you will thank you for it.

You do not need to get into shape before you join CrossFit…Seriously.

“Once I get in a little better shape, I’ll come checkout CrossFit.” I hear this at least once a day. Of all the myths out there about CrossFit, in my mind, this one is the farthest from the truth.

While I think it is awesome for our sport that the CrossFit Games air on ESPN2, and that it has a ton of name recognition, I think it also hurts us at the same time. I know the first time I saw anything about it I was intimidatd and I had just finished running a marathon! Even being in decent shape it was just not something I thought I would be able to handle, or even like.  Plus does anyone in real life look like the people in the CrossFit Games?

Years into it, I have found one important thing to be true. CrossFit is infinitely scalable. Whether you just ran 10 miles yesterday, or haven’t worked out in 10 years you can show up and get a great workout.

• Can those two participate be in the same class and both be challenged? Definitely.
• Will those people’s workouts look the same? Absolutely not, nor should they.
• Do we expect everyone to understand how to read a workout then scale it to their level on their own on day 1, week      1, month 1? Of course not. That is why we are here.

You don’t need to get in shape so that you can then get in shape. I know on paper it is a little easier to see the redundancy in that than it is to feel that way. A big part of what we do is work with people of ALL LEVELs to get you healthier and stronger to be able to face whatever it is that life might throw at you. Anytime someone who has had that mentality has joined, the next thing I hear is “I don’t know why I waited so long.”

Last week I had a great conversation with a new member. She’s a founding member, shares all the things on Facebook, she comes to all the events and just an awesomely supportive lady all around. She was holding off on actually coming to classes because she was worried about being judged. She knew she couldn’t do all of the movements and didn’t feel she was “In shape enough to CrossFit.” Admittedly I’ve walked into a few gyms, even after years of CrossFitting, and felt out of place or not at a high enough level. We work very hard to make sure that is not the culture we have in our gym. We know working out is hard, you shouldn’t have to be made to feel like a lesser person while you’re doing it!

Our On-Ramp program is designed to help transition all varieties of people into our regular classes, and take the edge off a bit. We walk through types of WODs (Workout Of the Day), Olympic Lifts and how to safely scale them, the gymnastics movements you’ll see, “What’s a Wallball Shot?” to name a few. After two weeks of learning the basics, regular class doesn’t seem so scary. After a month of regular class, you’ll wonder why you’re only a month in.
Change is scary, and we get that. We felt the same way once upon a time. We do all of the legwork for you so all you need to do is show up. Everyone’s journey looks different. We all have to start somewhere. The most important thing is that you start.

The Barbell

We’re sharing a post today from a one of the best fitness coaches out of Minneapolis Jen Sinkler, if you’re not following Thrive as the Fittest you should be. She wrote about this the other day, which caused me to go back and read the entire article written by Henry Rollins (link at the bottom) because it’s just that good. There is something that you come to appreciate over time lifting heavy things and that is that there is a power in the barbell.  The barbell will teach you so many lessons in life. I’ve watched it happen throughout my years of coaching and it’s one of the greatest parts about our job. You can watch someone walk into CrossFit for the first time a little timid and quiet, they start with a bare barbell and look wide eyed on the people next to them squatting all the weight. Then you see that same person about 6 months into their journey and they have completely transformed and not just physically. They hold their head a little higher, they are now helping the new person, they have a renewed sense of self confidence brought on from the barbell. They are now the ones squatting all the weight, accomplishing their goals and setting a higher standard. There really is power in the barbell, come see for yourself.

Thrive as the Fittest May 14, 2015:
Sure, lifting weights is good for your physical well-being, but the mental tenacity this pursuit builds is just as notable as any gain in muscle. To quote writer Henry Rollins (as everyone so wisely does), “It took me years to fully appreciate the value of the lessons I have learned from the Iron. I used to think that it was my adversary, that I was trying to lift that which does not want to be lifted. I was wrong. When the Iron doesn’t want to come off the mat, it’s the kindest thing it can do for you. If it flew up and went through the ceiling, it wouldn’t teach you anything. That’s the way the Iron talks to you. It tells you that the material you work with is that which you will come to resemble.”

Make It Happen

Make It HappenA few months ago an old skydiving friend posted this picture and my mind has drifted back to it quite a few times since. Not so much because of the photo itself (though it is pretty badass), but because of the caption. “If you ask people what they’ve always wanted to do, most people haven’t done it. That breaks my heart.”
While I don’t think everyone who reads this should go jump off a bridge like Joey here likes to do on the regular (in fact I’d probably recommend against it), I think what he is saying should really be taken to heart.
Everyone has dreams, goals and to do’s on their bucket list: “Someday I want to go skydiving.” “Someday I want to see the Eiffel Tower.” “Someday I want a job I love.” “Someday I want to get in shape.”
Why not today?
About 6 months ago Coach Sara and I sat down for a casual beer at one of our favorite Minneapolis establishments and threw out an idea: “What if we opened a CrossFit gym in Fargo?” I had been doing the long distance thing with the boyfriend in Fargo, so I knew it was on the radar, but move and open a business in a new town? She has to be crazy. I have a great job and a lot going for me here, why would I leave all that now? Then the thoughts hit, I have always wanted to open a business, Fargo is an awesome town, Sara’s an amazing coach but was I ready for all that?
Coincidentally my previous employer announced layoffs that were likely to include my job about a week later. Someday I want to open a business and CrossFit is a huge part of my life… maybe someday should be today. That day I began the job search in Fargo (let’s be real, I needed something to pay the gym bills until the gym can) and decided to make it happen.
Maybe it’s time we all take our some day’s and make them today. Call the drop zone and schedule a day to jump. Book those plane tickets to Paris. Apply for that job you’ve always wanted or take a class to qualify you for it. Go to a CrossFit class, try a spinning class or take Zumba to find what activities you like and stick with them.
I’m not saying all of those things are easy, in fact change is really fucking hard. But think about how much you will enjoy checking that box or making that big life change in the direction of happy! Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t look around every once in a while, you could miss it.

Yes. I have always wanted to end a post with a Ferris Bueller quote.