CrossFit Charlottesville is hosting our seventh Nutrition Challenge! This event is open to the public, so come redefine your relationship with food, learn how to cook again, and get some abs in time for the summer!

At 6 PM on Sunday, April 7th we will host our Nutrition Challenge Kick-off at the gym. Anyone, member or non-member, is welcome to participate; all you have to do is bring $20 in cash for the prize pool. Here are the results from our past challenges:

Then at 7 PM we will host a Paleo Potluck Dinner. Bring snacks, appetizers, entrees, or desserts, as long as they emphasize good-quality real food (meat, fish, veggies, fruits, nuts, seeds, etc.) and skip out on the bad stuff (processed sugar, gluten, etc.). We will supply utensils, plates, bowls, and paper towels. Bring your own beverage.

Food is fuel, and in order to fully achieve your health, performance, and body image goals, you need to dial in your nutrition. Unfortunately, exercise alone will not do the trick, and there is no such thing as out-training a bad diet. Here are three great resources about proper nutrition written by our very own trainers from CrossFit Charlottesville:

Nutrition Challenge Rules

  • Consult your doctor before you make any nutrition changes.
  • You must bring $20 in cash to the meeting on Sunday in order to participate. The money will be used as a prize pool for the winner.
  • If you want to enter the Nutrition Challenge, follow the guidelines exactly. There are no exceptions or “cheat” meals.
  • It starts Sunday and ends after 6 weeks.
  • On Sunday we will take a picture of you showing your mid-section. The winner will be the one who shows the best body recomposition (more lean muscle mass and less fat). Men will go shirtless for the photo, and women will be asked to wear a sports bra.
  • You need to enter everything you eat into FitDay for the first three weeks. Once a week, print out your FitDay information and bring the sheets into the gym to review with Chris G.
  • Emphasize naturally-raised, organic, and pastured food as much as possible. Shop at Whole Foods, the Farmers’ Market, and the C’ville Market. Avoid processed food-like substances in the aisles by sticking to the perimeter of the grocery store.
  • Good: local, organic, or pastured meats and eggs, wild-caught fish, local or organic vegetables and berries, oils like coconut or olive oil.
  • Bad: processed sugar, gluten, grains, alcohol, soda (even diet).
  • Grey area: full-fat grass-fed milk and butter, whey protein, full-fat Greek yogurt
  • Supplements: fish oil (5 to 8 grams daily), multi-vitamin, vitamin D (5,000 IU per day), creatine (3 to 6 grams daily)

Calculating How Much to Eat

  • Take your body weight and subtract fat mass. For example, if you weigh 150# and have about 20% body fat, you have 120# of lean body mass.
  • Everyone will start out by eating 1 gram of protein per pound of lean body mass (our example would eat 120 grams of protein per day). Based on general Zone guidelines, divide that number by 7 to estimate fat and carb macronutrient blocks. This gives us 17 blocks for our example.
  • Multiply by 9 for carbs and by 3 for fat; so roughly 150 grams of carbs and 50 grams of fat (which we will tweak later on in the challenge). This is not purely a science, but rather it is just a starting benchmark.
  • If you are looking to shed fat dramatically, you need to be eating under 100 grams of carbs per day. Under 50 carbs per day and you are going to be lethargic and your performance will decrease. You need to experiment, track, and dial things in based on your specific needs.

More Resources

Sunday Recipe: Sun-dried Tomato Pesto Bacon-Wrapped Meatloaf Rounds

This week’s recipe features Sun-dried Tomato Pesto Bacon-Wrapped Meatloaf Rounds courtesy of Fashaya!

photo 3


  • 1/2 cup sun-dried tomato pesto, plus 1/4 cup for tops (*see recipe below)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped oregano
  • 1 tablespoon chopped basil
  • 1/2 tablespoon fresh thyme
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 cup yellow onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 pound fresh grass-fed beef (I used a pound instead of splitting it with Veal)
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup blanched almond flour
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 pound fresh ground veal
  • 4 slices bacon (I used bacon from The Organic Butcher – it’s the best in town)


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, add veal, beef, almond flour, pesto, herbs, salt, pepper, onion,and garlic.
  3. In a small separate bowl, whisk in the egg and add it to meat mixture.
  4. With your hands or a spoon, combine the mixture until well incorporated.
  5. Form mixture into 4 equal rounds and place on a parchment lined baking sheet.
  6. Wrap bacon strips around each meatloaf round. Top each round with additional sundried tomato pesto.
  7. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes or until the meatloaf is cooked to desired doneness. Makes 4 rounds

photo 1

*Sun-dried Tomato Pesto


  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes (in oil if you can, rehydrate per instructions if dried)
  • 1/2 cup fresh spinach
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil (a small bunch)
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. Add the garlic, sun-dried tomatoes, tomato paste and herbs to your food processor and blend.
  2. Stream in the olive oil until the pesto comes together.
  3. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Sunday Recipe: Tzatziki Sauce

Today’s recipe is a Tzatziki Sauce courtesy of Jenni!


  • 1 medium-sized cucumber
  • 1 large clove of garlic, finely minced
  • 3 tbsp parsley, finely minced
  • 1 cup full-fat Greek yogurt
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • juice from 1 lime
  • sea salt & pepper


  1. Clean, peel, and dice the cucumber. Place in a bowl and sprinkle generously with sea salt. Allow the cucumber to sweat the excess water out. Drain and put it aside.
  2. Combine all ingredients and season to taste. Done!

Sunday Recipe: Beef Kidney in Red Wine Sauce

Today’s recipe is a Beef Kidney in Red Wine Sauce courtesy of Jenni!


  • 1 lb beef kidney
  • 1/8 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/8 cup wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp grass-fed butter (Kerrygold is a favorite)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 medium onion, diced
  • 1 cup mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
  • 1/4 cup red wine
  • 1/8 tbsp garlic powder
  • Salt & pepper to taste


  1. Rinse and dry the kidney. Using a paring knife, cut the membrane and remove the fat and tubes from each cube. Place the cubes in a medium-sized bowl and cover with cold water and the two vinegars. Allow to soak for at least 30 minutes. This helps remove the beefy odor.
  2. During the soaking time, prepare the onions and mushrooms.
  3. In a skillet over medium-high heat, melt the butter and olive oil. Throw in the kidney cubes and allow them to brown, tossing them every now and then.
  4. Remove the kidney from the pan and set aside.
  5. Add the onions and mushrooms to the pan and allow them to cook. Allow the onions to become translucent. Add your seasoning.
  6. At this time, include the red wine and allow to cook for a minute.
  7. Add the kidney cubes and stir around. Allow the flavors to meld together.
  8. Serve on a plate with cauliflower rice, zucchini noodles, or spaghetti squash!

Sunday Recipe: Almond Butter and Jelly Cookies

The following recipe, courtesy of Elizabeth, is adapted from the PB&J cookie recipe from Elana’s Pantry.



  • 1/2 cup creamy almond butter
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup almond meal
  • 1/4 cup flax meal
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • jam/jelly/preserve of your choice (I use a local blackberry preserve)


  1. Blend together the almond butter, coconut oil, honey, and egg.
  2. Add in the almond meal, flax meal, and sea salt until you have a homogeneous consistency.
  3. Preheat your over to 350, and line a cookie sheet with parchment.
  4. Drop a heaping tablespoon of the batter on the cookie sheet about 2″ apart.
  5. Using your thumb, make a small depression in the center of each dough ball. Place about 1 teaspoon of jam/jelly/preserve there.
  6. Bake for 10 minutes (bottom edges should be a darker color than the rest of the cookie).
  7. Allow to cool, and then eat! Warning: these don’t last long.

Sunday Recipe: Skillet Cinnamon Apple Clafouti

This week’s recipe is a Skillet Cinnamon Apple Clafouti courtesy of Kim!



  • 1 medium sweet apple (pink lady, fuji, etc.), peeled and chopped
  • 1 TBS coconut oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3 TBS canned coconut milk (full-fat)
  • Splash vanilla extract
  • 1.5 TBS coconut flour
  • 1.5 tsp cinnamon, or more to taste
  • Pinch of salt
  • Optional: pure maple syrup for topping


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Preheat small oven-safe skillet over medium-low heat (I use an 8″ cast iron one).
  3. While skillet heats up whisk together eggs, coconut milk, and vanilla extract.
  4. Add coconut flour, cinnamon, and salt, and whisk thoroughly again and set aside.
  5. Once skillet is hot, add coconut oil, let melt, then add chopped apple.
  6. Saute apple for approximately 5-6 minutes or until softened.
  7. Pour egg/coconut mixture over apple pieces, making sure its evenly distributed. Let sit undisturbed for about 2 minutes.
  8. Remove skillet to pre-heated oven and bake for 18-20 minutes, until puffy and top is golden brown.
  9. Remove from oven, let cool slightly in skillet, then plate and drizzle with optional maple syrup.
  10. Serve. Makes 1-2 servings depending if you feel like sharing or not.


  • If you do not have cast iron or are using different material, adjust baking time by a couple minutes (give or take); just watch for the top to puff up and turn golden brown.
  • You can also make this in a comparable sized baking dish. Just saute apples as written, then place in a greased baking dish, pour egg/coconut mixture over top, place in oven, and bake for at least 25 minutes; if not done then watch in 5 minute increments until top is golden and puffy.

Sunday Recipe: Shaved Brussels Sprout Salad

This week’s recipe is a Shaved Brussels Sprout Salad courtesy of Meg!


  • 3 dozen brussels sprouts, shaved thin
  • 2 scallions, diced
  • 1 tbsp chopped basil
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 2 tbsp grated pecorino cheese
  • 2 tbsp chopped hazelnuts
  • salt to taste
  • 1/2 tsp red seed pepper (optional)
  1. Put shaved brussels sprouts in a large bowl, add scallions, basil, salt, pepper, red seed pepper, and nuts.
  2. In a small bowl put lemon juice and pecorino. Stir to mix together.
  3. Add the lemon-pecorino dressing to the sprouts, stir, and serve.

Sunday Recipe: Brussels Hash

This week’s recipe is a Brussels Hash courtesy of Elizabeth!

brussels hash

  • 1 small sweet potato, peeled & diced
  • 1/2 cup brussels sprouts, quartered
  • 1/4 red onion, diced
  • 2 T duck fat
  • 2 eggs
  • sea salt
  • cracked black pepper
  1. In a large skillet, heat the duck fat until hot.
  2. Add the brussels sprouts and sweet potato and onion. Make sure all is well coated with grease.
  3. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Stir until all is well cooked and slightly browned.
  5. Remove from pan and add the eggs. Cook to preference then place on top of hash (I prefer over easy).
  6. (Fry up bacon — or sardines or kippers or protein of choice — as a tasty side.)

Sunday Recipe: Chicken Soup

This week’s recipe is a Chicken Soup courtesy of Martha!

chicken soup


  • 3/4 of one whole organic chicken (including neck and things)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • Vegetables of choice (celery, carrots, turnips, potato, winter squash)
  • Seasonings of choice (curry, tumeric, chopped ginger, parsley, cilantro)
  • 1/2 can coconut milk
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. In a large pot, cover the chicken with water and bay leaves. Bring to boil. Simmer one hour.
  2. Remove chicken. Add onions, garlic, vegetables, and seasonings.
  3. Simmer about 30 minutes until vegetables are soft.
  4. Add the chicken meat back, without bones and skin, plus the coconut milk.
  5. When hot, add salt and pepper to taste. Done! (When re-serving you can skim off excess fat.)

Sunday Recipe: Chicken Stir Fry

This week’s recipe is a Chicken Stir Fry courtesy of Elizabeth (and Jason Glaw)!


  • 1 chicken breast, pre-baked
  • 1/4 head green cabbage, chopped
  • 1 cup broccoli pieces
  • 4 green onions, diced
  • coconut aminos
  • sesame oil
  • fresh minced garlic (about 1 T)
  • fresh minced ginger (about 1″ square cube, grated/minced)
  • crushed red pepper (OR, even better, red chile paste made by the same people who make sriracha)
  1. In a large skillet (or wok) heat the oil.
  2. Add the ginger and garlic until fragrant.
  3. Add the cabbage and broccoli and cook a few minutes.
  4. Add the chicken and the green onions, then the red pepper (or chile paste) and coconut aminos.
  5. Stir all together until cooked through and fragrant. Serve warm, eat well.