A Day in the Life – Aaron Richardson

Throughout the duration of the Whole30 Nutrition Challenge we will be featuring some of our very own 215 athletes in “A Day in the Life” highlighting a day of nutrition. Although we all have different professions and busy lives to take care of, we all face similar struggles to find balance in our daily lives. In “A Day in the Life” will get a glimpse of what some of us are doing to stay in the game during the Whole30.

  • What is your name? Aaron Richardson
  • What is your profession? Chemical Engineer
  • When do you wake up and when do you go to bed? Wake up 5:15 AM – Bed 10:30 PM
  • Have you participated in a paleo nutrition challenge before? If so, what were your experiences (positive and negative)? Never participated before. Not really happy about it but enjoy a challenge.  The things that I love the most I cannot have for the next 30 days; bread, cereal, bread, milk, candy, and bread.

I was out of town for the better part of the week so I had to plan my meals ahead of time.  I woke up this morning at 5:15 AM, hit the shower and did not shave because I am growing an epic Paleo Caveman Beard.  I was pretty cranky this morning because my nightly ritual is to have a bowl of cereal before I go to bed so I went to bed hungry.  I tried to eat a handful of almonds but that handful became several handfuls which made my tummy hurt.  I HATE BEING HUNGRY.  At any rate, for breakfast I had 2 eggs (scrambled without any milk) and water.  I was on the road by 6 AM and stopped and got a large black coffee from McDonnalds.  It tasted like McDirt without cream.  I need to find a coffee cream substitute!

Broke for lunch around 11 and went to Chipotle grill and asked for quadruple meat in a bowl.  They were impressed.

Went to Crossfit at 5:30 and PR’d overhead 1RM Jerk at 225#.  Came home and had cooked the grass fed $500 4-oz steak I purchased from Whole Foods two nights ago with some mushrooms and a sweet potato.

Wanted to make a snack for later so I took some almonds that my wife had in the pantry and found a recipe for Roasted Rosemary Almonds (recipe below picture attached).  They will be a good snack for when I am driving (my house also now smells like Thanksgiving with the rosemary).

I am not as hungry tonight as I was last night.  I also picked up some bananas and apples at the store to eat tonight before bed after I watch Modern Family and Duck Dynasty.


  • ·         1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh rosemary
  • ·         1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil $
  • ·         1 teaspoon chile powder $
  • ·         3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ·         Dash of ground red pepper
  • ·         1 (10-ounce) bag whole almonds (about 2 cups) $


1.     1. Preheat oven to 325°.

2.     2. Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl; toss to coat. Arrange nut mixture in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with foil. Bake at 325° for 20 minutes or until lightly toasted. Cool to room temperature.

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Day 3 – The Whole30 Nutrition Challenge

Day 3 is now in the books! So far we have discussed chili, snacks, and getting over the hump(s) that we may face during the Whole30. Let’s now turn our attention to other resources that might be helpful in our pursuit of nutrition and wellness during the next 30 days and beyond.

Due to the growing popularity of the paleo diet, there are now tons of fantastic paleo focused nutrition and recipe blogs floating around the interwebs these days. Some of these resources are more educational, others are more recipe driven, and a combination of them are a blend of the two. Here is my take on some of my favorites. Feel free to share yours!


PaleOMG – Juli Bauer is a competitive CrossFitter out of Denver, Colorado. Her recipes are fabulous and her lighthearted humor makes her blog one of the most entertaining on the scene.

Nom Nom Paleo – Michelle Tam shares wonderful photographs of her food and family. She writes about how to stay Paleo when eating out and offers kitchen tips and reviews about her favorite cooking gadgets.

The Food Lovers –  Hayley Mason and Bill Staley are the authors of the popular Paleo cookbook, Make it Paleo. Great blog, great recipes, and great pictures!

Chowstalker – a community food blog that pulls recipes from other websites. Think Pinterest meets paleo recipes.

The Clothes Make the Girl – Melissa Joulwan is the author of Well Fed: Paleo Recipes for People Who Love to Eat. A few of us met her recently at a local book signing. She is super down to earth and makes wonderful recipes especially for those who like spices.

Paleo Nick – Nick Massie is a CrossFitter, professional chef, and has been featured in the CrossFit Journal multiple times. His website includes many helpful ‘how to’ videos to accompany his sophisticated recipes.

Other Notables: Health Bent, Civilized Caveman

Informational (Paleo, Primal, and Health)

Chris Kresser – Chris is a licensed practitioner of integrative medicine and touches on it all: Paleo, Hypothyroidism, Heart Disease, Diabetes & Obesity, Heartburn/GERD, Depression and Skin Health.

Robb Wolf – a former research biochemist is the New York Times Best Selling author of The Paleo Solution – The Original Human Diet. He is also co-host of one of my favorite podcasts “The Paleo Solution Podcast.”

Mark’s Daily Apple  – Mark Sisson is a great resource for primal living. He is as old as my dad and has a six pack. He must be doing something right.mark sisson

The Whole 9 – Melissa and Dallas Hartwig are the creators of the Whole30 and authors of the New York Times Best Selling book It Starts With Food.

Balanced Bites, – Diane Sanfillippo is the author of the 8X New York Times Best selling book Practical Paleo. She also co-hosts a podcast with Liz Wolfe from Cave Girl Eats.

Dr. John Briffa,– Dr. John Briffa is from the UK, and as the name suggests, he is an MD. He’s always good for analyzing the latest study your skeptical friends gleefully shove your way.

The Daily Lipid– Chris Masterjohn specializes in all things cholesterol. If you want to geek out on this stuff, this is your man.

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Day 2 – The Whole30 Nutrition Challenge


The point chart is now posted in the gym on the wall in the Oly room. In order to be eligible for prizes you must sign up and track your nutrition and fitness points weekly. This will also give everyone a better idea of who your support system is during the next month. We are all in this together!!!

For those of you not on Facebook, I posted a link to paleo guru Robb Wolf’s blog today. He recently conducted a paleo chili recipe contest and posted all of the recipes on his blog. If you are a chili fan I encourage you to check it out! Chili is usually pretty simple to cook, packs a ton of flavor, and is a wonderful warm and satiating meal in the winter time.

Now that day 2 has come and gone, what are you struggling with? What are you finding surprisingly easy? Are those sugar cravings starting sneak up? A few people have asked me what I eat for snacks. This can be a tough one because there are not many suitable packaged Whole30 compliant snacks on the market. While nuts, dried fruit and jerky are always good options, beware of added sugar and eat in moderation. My snack this afternoon was plantains fried in coconut oil, a few strawberries and a handful of nuts. Do you snack during the day? What are some of your favorite paleo friendly snack foods? Post to comments!

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Day 1 – The Whole30 Nutrition Challenge

it starts with food

Day 1 is officially in the books! Easy, right? If this is your first Whole30 and you are not quite sure what else to expect over the next four weeks, I urge you to read “The Timeline: A Day-by-Day Guide to Your Whole30” For some of you, this may be your experience to a T and others may just breeze through it. Either way, don’t panic! Remember…

It’s the journey, not the destination.

A few more things…

  • There are still a few copies of It Starts with Food available for anyone interested.
  • I began creating the challenge tally board to keep track of points, but it looks like I need more room to fit everyone’s names! It will be finished and posted in the gym sometime tomorrow night. Please make sure you are tracking your weekly points!
  • If you would like to get a body composition assessment from Micah please contact him ASAP!

If you have any general questions, concerns, or feedback feel free to post to comments. Otherwise, Day 2 is tomorrow…see you in the gym!

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The Whole30 Nutrition Challenge Starts Tomorrow!


Okay 215ers, for those of you who have decided to jump on board day 1 is finally upon us. I hope you have all read the rules, gone food shopping, set your goals, and perhaps even taken some before pictures. Anyone who would like body comp measurements taken by us please contact Micah to set up a time. This is not mandatory but highly encouraged. Why put in all of the effort and not know exactly what you accomplished in the end? Measurable results are important, even if you just keep them to yourself.

Moving along, I would like to briefly recap the rules and regulations mentioned during our two information meetings.

  • The challenge starts on Monday, January 7th and ends at midnight on Tuesday, February 5th
  • You earn 1 point for 100% compliance to the Whole30 Program Rules. We are making one exception and one exception only. You may consume a post workout recovery drink immediately after exercise if completely necessary. Technically you will not be adhering to the Whole30 guidelines, therefore this is your choice and legal for our challenge only. If you are not using Stronger Faster Healthier products, your protein supplements must be approved by Kyle, Perrin or Micah.
  • You earn 1 point for exercise. This includes attending a CrossFit class and any activity outside of class such as yoga, running, biking, mobility, etc. This is completely on the honor system.
  • Everyone who completes the challenge with 30 nutrition points will receive a prize. From those candidates there will be one grand prize winner. The coaches will convene and select the individual who we think  embraced the challenge the most, also taking into consideration degree of transformation, exercise points, and participation in group events.
  • There will be a tally board with every participant’s name posted in the gym sometime tomorrow night. If your name isn’t there, please write it down! If anyone is interested in helping me put this together I welcome your help. Unfortunately, I was not blessed with artistic talents, but if you were please email me at [email protected]
  • We are trying to put together some group events including a potluck and screening of the documentary In Search of the Perfect Human Diet one night. If you have any other ideas of fun group events please email me!

That is all of the info I have for now. It’s time to support each other, share information, and keep our eye on the prize during the next month. Stay tuned to the website and Facebook for more info! Good luck everyone!

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CrossFit RedZone Sandy Hook Elementary Victim Relief WOD


CrossFit RedZone in Newtown, CT is starting a fundraiser to support the town, families, and community of Newtown after devastating event. All money raised will be going towards the Sandy Hook PTSA (Parent Teacher Student Association). Kurt and Kris Kling, owners of CrossFit RedZone, grew up and still reside in Newtown and are looking to the CrossFit Community for help and support. We know our CrossFit family in vast and strong and any and all help will be greatly appreciated.
Donations made to this event will go towards supporting the families of victims and the rebuilding of the community. Helping families with counseling, service, memorials, and funeral costs. Also helping the community with replacing/rebuilding or what ever may be the plan for Sandy Hook Elementary School, and starting a scholarship fund to support the children Sandy Hook Elementary.

If you would like to donate please go here.

We will be performing the same partner workout CrossFit RedZone and other CrossFit affiliates will be participating in during the Sunday morning 11am class for those of you who would like to join. The workout is below.

The WOD: Partner WOD
10 minute AMRAP
10 Thrusters
6 Burpees
10 Kettlebell Swings
Only one partner will be moving at a time and cannot advance to the next movement until both partners have completed the movement. For example Partner A does their 10 Thrusters then partner B does their 10 thruster, then they move on. It does not matter who does the movement first so if partner A starts the thrusters it does not mean they need to start for the burpees.

Weights and standards:
Thrusters= 95 pounds for men/ 65 pounds for women
Burpees= Chest must make contact with the floor and the way down and feet must leave the ground at top position with hands above head
Kettlebell swings= 53 for men/ 35 for women

Thrusters: 75 pounds for men/ 45 for women
Burpees= Same as RX
Kettlebell swings= 35 for men/ 26 for women

CO-ED Teams: will do weights as described above just will have two sets of weights.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Partners must be either both RX or both scaled, there will be no teams with one athlete RX and the other scaled.

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2013 Whole 30 Nutrition Challenge Meeting Tonight!


Join us in kicking off the new year by participating in our 2013 Whole 30 Nutrition Challenge. We will be holding the first of two informational meetings tonight at 7:30pm in the Olympic Weightlifting room for anyone interested in participating (which is hopefully everyone!). There will be another opportunity to attend the meeting at 9am on Saturday morning as well. If you cannot attend either meeting please email [email protected] to opt in. More info to come!

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A Partner Throwdown Competition 2013



Our annual partner throwdown competition is finally here! On Saturday, February 2nd, 2013 we will be hosting a partner competition on home turf. We will have two separate divisions, one RX and one scaled. If you would like to participate you will need a partner (one male, one female) and sign up is here.
There will be a sign up board posted in the gym for individuals who are looking for a partner if interested to help everyone pair up. If you are interested in judging or volunteering please contact [email protected]

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Philly Cowshare

The wonderful people over at Philly CowShare have asked me if our gym is interested in doing another group order for delivery on January 9thto coincide with our upcoming Nutrition Challenge (details coming soon). This will be our third go-around with Philly Cowshare and the cost per share will depend on how much interest there is, but if we fill a full order it would be $350 for 1/8th share or 43 lbs. For more information including what cuts you will receive, please visit Philly CowShare’s FAQ. This is my third time ordering from Philly CowShare and can tell you their product is always top notch. If you are not convinced about the benefits of eating grassfed beef vs conventional beef, there is a wealth of informational resources available. I have listed a few below.

Eat Wild – Health Benefits

Chris Kresser – Why eat pasture-raised animal products?

Mark Sisson – More Reasons to Eat Grass-Fed


If you are interested in being a part of the cowshare please email [email protected] ASAP. Final payment dates are December 31st!

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CF215 Grand Opening/Holiday Party


We are wrapping up the final stages of our renovation process and would like to thank all of you for your patience during the past few months. We have worked tirelessly to build one of the best facilities in the area, and cannot wait to unveil the finished project with you all.

We would like to celebrate the beginning of a new chapter and close out the end of the year with a Grand Opening/Holiday Party Potluck. The event will take place at the gym on Sunday, December 16th from 5pm – 8pm. We are requesting that everyone brings  food or drink to share. There will be a sign up sheet posted in the gym  to sign up for a category (appetizer, entree, dessert, drink, etc.) We are also going to do a Yankee Swap, so if you would like to participate please bring a wrapped gift $10 or less.

Make sure to stick around for the debut of our highly anticipated media videos courtesy of Bear Bear Pro. In addition, we will be announcing some new and exciting changes and additions to CF215 in the new year. You will not want to miss it!

Thank you all for your continued support and we look forward to celebrating!

– CrossFit 215

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