Spice it up!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Be sure to input your score to the CrossFit Games website before 5pm today!

Hip Prep

Jog 800 meters
15 Squats with Barbell
15 Strict Press with Barbell
15 Good Mornings with Barbell
then, resting as needed between sets
5-3-2-2-1 Back Squats loading up to your first attempt

Workout of the Day:
“CrossFit Total”
Back Squat, 1 rep
Press, 1 rep
Deadlift, 1 rep

You will only get 3 attempts per lift!  Your CrossFit Total score will be the sum of your highest successful lifts from each.

Cool Down:
Seated Straddle Stretch, 2 minutes
Seated Pike Stretch, 2 minutes

From the vault:  The first CF Total at PCF, October 2009.  Good times:)

Nature provides us with many herbs and spices that are beneficial to our health. No modifications necessary. I think sometimes we get caught up with the hoopla of supplementation that we forget to look to Mother Earth for natural remedies when it comes to curing muscle soreness, joint aches and pains and digestive issues. Cooking with spices not only enhances the flavor of many dishes but it provides your body with disease-fighting antioxidants. 

Here are some spices you can use in your kitchen to keep your gut, body and mind happy.


Half a teaspoon of this hot red pepper helps to boost feelings of fullness. Capsaicin, the phytonutrient that gives cayenne its kick, may also help to stimulate fat-burning proteins. Capsaicin also can reduce excessive stomach acid production, lowering the risk for ulcers, and improve blood vessel function to lower blood pressure.

 Cayenne Pepper


These pungent dried flower buds are antioxidant overachievers. Antioxidant-rich close extract combats oxidative stress in the brain and may help with brain fog. Clove extract may block glycation, a process in which protein or fat molecules bond to simple sugar molecules, creating advanced glycation end products or AGEs, which are implicated in aging, heart disease, and diabetes.




Nutmeg contains myristicin, an oil with antioxidant and antibacterial properties that may suppress cancerous cells. Oils in nutmeg have been used to reduce symptoms of diarrhea, nausea, and stomach upset. Also applied as an analgesic to reduce tooth and mouth pain.


Ginger (my favorite as of late)

Used to boost immunity and sooth digestive upset, ginger contains components called gingerols that may help lessen arthritis pain and inflammation by protecting against free radical damage and suppressing pro-inflammatory compounds. After tough workouts, eating ginger can lessen muscle soreness by as much as 25 percent. Ginger has also been shown to help reduce motion sickness and nausea associated with situations such as pregnancy and chemotherapy. Ground dried ginger retains much of the antioxidant capacity of fresh.

Ginger Root

Side note: Whole spices are good for up to one year when stored away from light, moisture, and heat. Ground spices only last about three months. To retain potency and flavor longer, purchase spices such as nutmeg and cloves whole. When you need them, use a spice grinder or grater. Buying small quantities of bulk spices saves money and means more flavor with less waste.


A fellow crossfitter recently made this dish for me and it was delicious. The secret ingredient you ask?… FRESH ginger root. I’ve cooked many dishes with ground ginger but using fresh ginger is ridiculously delightful. It’s crazy shape can be intimidating to cut so click here for a little video on how to properly prepare fresh ginger for cooking. Make this dish, you won’t be disappointed. As always, if you have any questions about how to spice up your kitchen, feel free to email me at jamielynn.gilbert@yahoo.com. 🙂

Chicken Tagine

  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 2 tablespoon of Kerrygold grassfed butter or ghee
  • 1 large onion, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Salt
  • Pinch nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 4 tbs fresh ginger – YES!
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander (do not skip on this, nothing tastes like coriander)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • Pinch cayenne
  • 1 1/2 to 2 cups chopped Muir Glen brand tomatoes; drain excess liquid. (you can get Muir Glen at Whole Foods. This canned brand contains no MSG!)
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 4-6 of your favorite chicken cuts – BONE IN is the best. I used a whole chicken cut into pieces. Any Whole Foods butcher would be happy to separate the thighs and breasts for you.
  • Chopped cilantro or parsley leaves – optional
  • 1. Put oil and butter in a large skillet or casserole, which can be covered later, and turn heat to medium high. When butter melts, add onion, and cook, stirring occasionally, until it softens, 5 to 10 minutes. Add garlic and ginger, a large pinch of salt and spices. Cook, stirring, for about 30 seconds. Add tomatoes and raisins and bring to a boil. (If mixture is very dry, add about 1/2 cup water.) Taste, and add salt as necessary.
  • 2. Sprinkle chicken pieces with salt, and nestle them into sauce. Cover, and 5 minutes later adjust heat so mixture simmers steadily. Cook until chicken is very tender, 45 minutes to an hour. Taste, and adjust seasoning. Then garnish, and serve.

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