desserts that won’t destroy

We’ve got A LOT of attention on food right now at SOFLA. 

We’ve got our beginner’s CrossFit challenge going on where our athletes are aiming to go 100% Paleo for SIX WEEKS!

We’ve got our SOFLA Challenge: Team Series going on where our athletes are getting points based on how closely they can get to their target macros EVERY SINGLE DAY for the next four weeks.

And we’ve got Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years coming at us fast, getting ready to tempt us with fantastic foods and delicious drinks for an entire season! Yikes!

Walking into this time of year without some kind of a plan can be a bit dangerous if you’re hoping to look good and feel good all season long. This is the time when a lot of folks fall off their plans and protocols, and just “wait until January” to get back on track.

“Waiting” for something to happen, though, is a slippery slope. “I’ll start Monday” or “Once this is done I’ll start” or “I just need to wait a few more weeks and then I’ll be ready” are phrases that we’ve all, indeed, uttered before; but I believe the time needs to be “RIGHT NOW” in order to actually make a change. “Waiting” and “wanting” end up becoming synonymous, and for months we allow for poor habits to take over because we decided to wait.

There are tons of strategies that you can employ in order to prepare yourselves for a holiday season that doesn’t leave you 10 pounds heavier, and one of them is to bring the dessert to the party yourself. 

You’ll be going to tons of great get-togethers and fun gatherings this season, and if you’re anything like me, you’ll be looking forward to the inevitable array of post-meal sweets.

But loading up on the sugar is one of the biggest mistakes you can make this season. Why? Because sugar makes you crave more sugar. You can’t stop it. One cookie won’t satisfy you. You need two, three or four. One piece of pie won’t do it. It seems that you’re always going back for seconds.

Sugar is addictive as hell and it can take control. But this year, if YOU bring the dessert, you can enjoy something sweet (as you should!) without derailing all of your hard work. Keep in mind — the recipes listed aren’t sugar-free; they just use more natural sugars and have fewer grams of sugar per serving than the typical desserts you’ll eat at parties.

Here are three yummy things to bring with you to the next event…

1- Mark’s Daily Apple’s Primal Brownies are a PERFECT choice for the chocolate lover. They are sweetened with dates and dark chocolate, and are rich and dense enough to where one little brownie will satisfy your post-meal sugar craving. And with a shit-ton less sugar and carbs than traditional brownies, you won’t be feeling that out-of-control need for more and more and more.

2- Paleo Strawberry Banana Ice Cream is so yummy, and because we live in South Florida and we still get 90 degree weather in December, we can get away with bringing ice cream to the party 🙂 All this needs to make it party-appropriate is some sliced strawberries on top for garnish, and voila! A delicious, lower-sugar alternative that you can enjoy without overdoing it.

3- Paleo Pumpkin Pie, because it is, after all, FALL! Instead of things like white sugar and sweetened condensed milk, this recipe calls for pure maple syrup, dates and coconut milk. The ingredients in this paleo version of pumpkin pie won’t leave you feeling tired, bloated, and, in 15 minutes, yearning for more. You’ll be able to have a slice and move on about your night.

Cheers to a happy and healthy holiday season!



Are you a former SOFLA member? Are you ready to come back? You probably already got the email, then. But if you didn’t, respond to this email to hear about our November Special for former SOFLA members ONLY! We only do this kind of thing once a year, so don’t miss it 🙂

SOFLA Halloween Costume Party is TONIGHT at 8pm! See you there!


drop a few lbs before Thanksgiving

So something we know is that going it alone (dieting, exercising, parenting, budgeting, studying, etc.) is often not as productive, effective, or fun as doing it with a partner or a group. 

When like-minded folks get together with the same intention, such as getting an “A” on a test or losing excess weight, there is power and energy (not to mention accountability) that you often miss out on when going totally solo.

At the gym, we’ve seen some pretty major successes in the challenges we’ve run. We run them a couple times a year because we know that when provided with the right environment and the right group of people, really important and positive changes will inevitably occur.

For some people, the change is small (yet still quite mighty). They lose the 10 pounds they put on over the summer and feel like themselves again.

For others, the change is huge. It’s the start of an entire new lifestyle. It’s the beginning of losing 50+ pounds of excess weight and changing how they spend their time and how they live their lives.

If you feel like the time has come to drop some weight, change your diet, improve your health, and/or make a big change towards leading a better life, we can help 🙂

Our next four-week challenge starts on Saturday, October 21st. If you register BEFORE October 18th, the price is just $99.

We’ve done our best to create the kind of environment where people are actually successful. You are put on a team, you are accumulating points, and you have a coach who guides you through the whole thing. These are the components that WE KNOW help people make lasting change.

We also know that doing this type of thing during the holidays is normally a recipe for disaster, so the challenge ends right before Thanksgiving. The idea is that you have established some really great habits that you’ll actually be able to carry through the holiday season with you. And while your friends and family are complaining about their holiday weight gain, you’ll actually be maintaining or perhaps even still progressing!

The challenge is for SOFLA members, as part of the point system is attending group classes or personal training at CrossFit SOFLA; but if you’re NOT a member and want to join for just the month of the challenge, you are welcome to! In fact, we think it would be pretty darn cool.

Read the details about the challenge here, and email us back to get your questions answered. We’d love to have you join us!

And if right here and right now isn’t the right choice for you, then consider doing your own challenge with your friends or family. I wrote a blog a few months back about how to form your squad and make some important changes in your life using positive peer pressure. Just remember that going it alone is cool, but you might find that you’re a lot more successful if you find a group or a partner.

Cheers to positive change!



Yay for new SOFLA t-shirts! Expected arrival date — next week! 🙂 🙂 🙂


We weren’t put on this earth to sink into the couch

At SOFLA, we’ve always found that one of the biggest obstacles to starting a new fitness program (or resuming the one you started!) is lack of time.

We all have incredibly booked (often overbooked) schedules that keep us from taking time to work on our own physical fitness. We work hard, we try to be great parents, we aim to be loving spouses and family members. And at the end of the day, we just want to crash and relax. Going to the gym and training at the end of a long day seems impossible. Even more impossible? Getting up at 5am to get our workout in before the day really begins. I totally get it. It’s super tough. I have experienced my own struggles with finding time to work out, and I have access to our CrossFit gym 24 hours a day and 7 days a week!

Here’s the thing, though: our physical fitness really needs to be a priority. It needs to be prioritized as much as sleeping, eating, and working. Why? Because it’s one of the things we can actually control that has been scientifically proven to have an incredibly positive impact on our existence. Exercise has been proven to help us live longer, better, happier, and more fulfilled lives.

So ok. We know that exercise is extremely valuable and that we should be committing to it. But how do we do it? How do we get out of bed or get up off the couch after putting in a long day’s work and actually find the time and effort to prioritizing our fitness?

We’ve got to turn to Marcus Aurelius, the great Roman emperor and Stoic philosopher, and follow his advice on getting up and getting to work from his famous and powerful book Meditations. In fact, this feels like a quote that should be in all of our bedrooms, reminding us to get to work…

“At dawn, when you have trouble getting out of bed, tell yourself: ‘I have to go to work — as a human being. What do I have to complain of, if I’m going to do what I was born for — the things I was brought into the world to do? Or is this what I was created for? To huddle under the blankets and stay warm?’ “

Now this isn’t to say that we shouldn’t rest and take days off; but it IS to say that there are ways for us to figure out how to make our fitness a priority. Maybe we turn off the TV or put down our phones an hour earlier at night so we can wake up earlier. Maybe we really only have time to train over the weekend, so we make sure we get to the gym every Saturday and every Sunday. If there’s a will, there’s a way!

Cheers to finding the time 🙂



It’s not too late to join our beginner’s challenge! It starts THIS Monday, October 9th and it runs for 6 weeks. You’ll come to the gym on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at 7:30am to train. You’ll also be following a strict nutrition plan for the whole six weeks. What an awesome way to enter the holiday season! Email us at to enroll!


really important thoughts on obesity

Jason Cooper, Registered Nurse and owner of CrossFit Enoch in Conroe Texas, published a compelling article in the CrossFit Journal yesterday about the relationship between genes and obesity. 

Long story short, Cooper tells us that genetics can cause obesity, but that it is far less common than people think. And even when genetics do play the primary role in one’s obesity, lifestyle changes, like a major diet change and exercise change, can still make a big difference in that person’s quality of life and body composition.

The sad and difficult truth is that many obese and overweight individuals are being told by their doctors and healthcare providers that their condition is primarily genetic, and very often they aren’t getting any real counseling on nutrition and exercise — the components that we know can make a significant, life-changing (and oftentimes life-saving) difference.

Read Cooper’s incredible story of twin boys below that illustrates this difficult point. And if you want to go to the original post to see all of the links and photos, click here.

The man in the bed weighed 555 lb.

He was in his 30s, a black Southern Baptist preacher. His father was a preacher and his wife’s father was a preacher. Both families were morbidly obese and the kindest of people.

Collectively, they discussed how the one cardiologist who treated all members of both families had told them their Type 2 diabetes and obesity were genetic conditions common to the African-American community.

“Mr. Jason,” the man’s aunt cried, “we have already had four of our family die this year. Why, Mr. Jason? Why? Why has God stricken us with this disease?”

The man came to be my patient on a weekend. They couldn’t fly him to me in a helicopter because he was too heavy. He barely fit into the EMS bus.

The man was experiencing lymphedema, a condition caused by blockage of the lymph nodes and common to Type 2 diabetics and the morbidly obese. The man’s legs were so big with adipose tissue that his lymph nodes were blocked, causing massive swelling in both lower limbs. The man went to a lymphedema clinic his physician owned and ordered him to visit. There, he had his legs wrapped—a profitable treatment that does not cure. Wrapping the legs tightly squeezes the edema/swelling out and pushes the fluid into the lymphatic system to drain.

Like most obese patients, the man lived with cardiomegaly, an enlarged, fatty heart weak from obesity and deconditioning. The wrapping of the man’s massive legs forced retrograde lymph into his heart and upward into the lungs, causing him to experience exacerbation of congestive heart failure. His heart could not effectively pump and he could not breathe.

He went into cardiorespiratory arrest, and CPR was started in the field. The hospital’s intervention consisted of an Impella ventricular assistive device (VAD), also inserted by the very cardiologist who treated the man’s lymphedema in his lymphedema clinic.

An Impella VAD is a small pump used to circulate blood in the body when the heart is so weak that it can no longer circulate blood to the organs itself. The use of VADs and LVADs (left ventricular assistive devices) is controversial because the cost is US$22,000-$35,000 and the devices are used in the terminally ill as a temporary life-extension device, most often a bridge to a decision: Do we allow the patient to pass or do we keep using technology to extend a life of bedridden suffering? The Impella VAD is most often used in patients so diseased that its expense and efficacy are questionable at best.

As a nurse in the cardiac ICU, my job was to keep the man alive. The education I am to provide such patients supports the protocols the hospital has in place to ensure profit and limit excessive spending. Hospitals limit nurses to provision of nutritional counseling that is supported by Eli Lilly and other insulin manufacturers. This practice is highly questionable and limits choice and transparency. Educating the family about whole food, metabolic conditioning or energy systems is outside my scope of practice and deemed inappropriate. We are taught to treat the symptoms, not to cure the disease.

So whom do hospitals and manufacturers serve if their expensive procedures and devices cure nothing?

Day after day, the man lay in the ICU. He was on several IV drips of medication to keep his blood pressure up; without them, he would die rapidly. He was on a ventilator at maximum support. His family came and went.

“Is there any change, Mr. Jason?” they would ask with somber, tear-filled eyes. Day after day after day, I would deliver bad news.

“I’m so sorry. He’s actually worse. He is on maximum life support and there are no more drugs we can start to support his heart or his lungs. And the longer we keep these medications running, the more damage we cause to the kidneys and to the liver.”

They would cry and collectively pray over the man’s failing body, begging God for a miracle.

After eight days, the man began to smell like he had died. His sugar-filled, diabetic skin and wounds began to rot, and the vasopressor drugs were squeezing his periphery so tight that his toes and legs turned black with necrosis. His swollen tongue was sticking out of his mouth and began to split open on his teeth like a hot dog overcooked in a microwave. Blood filled the man’s oral cavity, and we had to stuff his mouth with gauze tissues to soak up.

His kin coordinated a large family meeting to discuss the plan of care with the cardiologist, the neurologist, the ICU doctor, the internal-medicine doctor, the kidney doctor, the endocrine doctor and the case manager. The family did not know the man was overextending his stay in the ICU. He had limited insurance, and all this expensive care was now a liability for the hospital. As it often happens in the ICU, the meeting time came and no physicians showed up as promised. I was alone with the grieving family to answer questions hospital administrators deem outside my scope of practice. So I did not answer.

Against policy, I broke protocol and asked a simple question: “Has anyone ever discussed how your family eats?”

The only sound in the room was the ventilator that was filling the patient’s lungs.

“Mr. Jason,” the man’s aunt began, “I don’t understand what you mean.”

“There is a link between what we eat and obesity, Type 2 diabetes and heart disease. I can show you.”

“Mr. Jason, are you telling me that this is his fault?” she asked.

The moment she asked the question, I knew they couldn’t unhear what their physician, “Dr Heart,” had told them.

No. It’s your doctor’s fault. Dr. Heart killed your nephew by wrapping his lymphedema legs and flooding his heart. Your doctor intentionally sought your family out as a target market and sent you all to his heart clinic, his lymphedema clinic and to this hospital. And he lied to you about your genetics. Your doctor is targeting the obese and selling a lie about genetics.

“No, ma’am. That is not what I am saying,” I responded.

“Our cardiologist said that our diabetes, our heart disease and our obesity are all genetic,” she asserted.

“How do you know? Did they test your genetics?” I asked.

“So as a nurse you know more than our doctor? You know more about obesity than our cardiologist?”

And with that, she asked me to leave the room.

“Yes ma’am, I do know more than these physicians about food and its role in chronic disease,” I said, and I walked out.

A Different Life

“Cooper, pick up Line 2276. Family holding on 2276,” the tech barked over the intercom.

The entire family is either at the bedside or in the waiting room. What family is on the line?

“ICU. How may I help you?”

“Yes, sir. My name is Brandon, sir. My brother is in Bed 19. I’ve been told he is critical. Do I have time to make it to his bedside before he dies?”

“Sir, you are not on the family list. Do you have his four-digit code to receive information about the patient status?” I asked.

“No, sir,” he said. “I am at Camp Pendleton, sir. I was on deployment in Japan. A Red Cross case manager pushed the paperwork through for me to leave active deployment to be at my brother’s side. Seventy-two hours ago I was on a mountain training. I literally just got back to the States. Please, sir. I need to know, is he still alive?”

“Sir, what is your brother’s birthday?” I asked, hoping he could answer correctly.

“Sir, that’s easy, sir. We are twins.”

He gave me the correct birthday.

“I am sorry to inform you, sir, your brother is critical. He is on maximum life support. His heart is in total failure, and he is not a candidate for a heart transplant. Your family is deciding to withdraw his ventilator in the next couple of days. They are waiting for more family to get here from Mississippi. You need to hurry, sir,” I said.

“Roger that, sir. I’ll be on a plane and inbound in the next 24 hours. Thank you, sir. My family does not talk to me any more. I am so thankful you told me how things are.”

He hung up the phone.

They don’t talk to him anymore. What kind of brother does not talk to his twin?

It was not even 24 hours later that I met Brandon, the patient’s twin. I was shocked at what I saw. Brandon could see it on my face. Brandon was a wide-shouldered, square-jawed, ripped-up Marine. He arrived in battle-dress uniform, and like a good Marine he had his cover in his hands. I could see his Force Reconnaissance pin; he was a special-operations Marine.

“I’m sorry to meet you like this, sir. Your family is in the room. I can take you in,” I said.

“I need a minute. My family has not seen me in six years,” he said, staring through the glass door from afar.

“What happened with you and your brother?” I asked. “With the exception of your brother’s obesity, you look exactly the same.”

“The Marine Corps happened. I told my family that I wanted to live a life of service, and they told me to be a preacher. I didn’t feel that my calling was in the church. I told them I wanted to be a Marine. No one in my family has ever been in the military. Ever. And against my family’s wishes, I went to Parris Island just after my 18th birthday. I was an obese, scared kid, and when I returned home from boot camp, I was a confident athlete. I lost 45 pounds in boot camp alone,” Brandon said to me.

“I was so excited to tell my brother about my experiences in boot camp. I wanted to show him how to lose the weight. And when I did, it caused a rift in my family. They said that our disease is genetic. They said that it’s not their fault and that Dr. Heart knew more than I did about obesity,” Brandon said.

I nodded in agreement, having just heard the same statement from his aunt.

“So I left home for good that Christmas. I never looked back. I requested to try out for the teams. When I made it through Force Recon, I knew there was nothing I could not do. I knew everything I thought growing up was a lie. I called my brother and told him that. And he stopped communicating with me after that. The years went by and we lost touch.”

“I’m sorry to hear that, sir. I’m so very sorry.”

Brandon eventually walked into his brother’s room. He was polite and he was caring. Not many of his family members looked him in the eye.

Two days later, we removed the breathing tube and put the patient on full comfort support. The family allowed Brandon to be at the bedside. Despite my best efforts, the patient gurgled and gasped for air until his heart stopped 15 minutes later. It was a ghastly death, and his entire family was at the bedside to witness it.

Nature Versus Nurture Versus Fitness

Brandon was an identical twin. He was a human machine in Marine Force Recon.

His brother was an obese preacher who died from obesity his doctor said was genetic.

Did Brandon change his genetic code? Did Brandon control his gene expression by choosing a life of metabolic conditioning over sedentarism and processed food? Or was his family disease simply cultural and emotional, a condition self-inflicted through poor lifestyle choices?

We know true genetic disease exists. Take, for example, trisomy 21, aka Down syndrome. No matter how hard he or she exercises, no matter how well he or she eats, a trisomy adult cannot reverse the condition caused by a third copy of Chromosome 21. It’s genetic and permanent.

Genetics can cause obesity, but it’s far less common than people think.

Prader-Willi syndrome and Bardet-Biedl syndrome are the only obesity-causing conditions science has linked directly to genetic deletions. Both conditions are rare: It’s estimated 17,000-22,000 Americans express Prader-Willi and about 3,000 North Americans have Bardet-Biedl.

Compare those small figures to the approximately 170 million—70 percent—of American adults who are overweight or obese. How many of them have been wrongly told their condition is genetic?

We don’t even know exactly how genetic and environmental factors affect obesity, Type 2 diabetes, congestive heart failure and other conditions, and we don’t know how lifestyle affects the expression of imperfect genetics even if they exist. For example, CrossFit Founder Greg Glassman recently suggested that if a gene for alcoholism exists, you might prevent its expression if you simply didn’t drink. Even the support pages for Prader-Willi and Bardet-Biedl still mention positive benefits from proper nutrition and consistent daily exercise. They are genetic conditions, but lifestyle still affects their expression to a degree.

I’ll ask again: Did Brandon control his gene expression by choosing a life of metabolic conditioning over sedentarism and processed food? Or did he merely change his lifestyle to avoid a condition that wasn’t genetic at all?

We know he grew up obese, so he wasn’t free of the factors—environmental or genetic—that caused his family’s obesity. And yet Brandon lost weight and gained muscle in the military while his brother ballooned to 555 lb. and was told his fate was sealed by bad genes.

Here is what we know for certain: Healthy eating leads to massive fat loss when paired with metabolic conditioning. We also know diet and exercise reverse metabolic disease.

That’s not debatable. More than 14,000 CrossFit gyms are collecting huge amounts of data to support it. Our trainers are helping people lose weight, reduce disease symptoms, come off medication and avoid the hospital and the grave.

So if we can cure the chronic diseases caused by obesity with diet and exercise, why don’t we? Why has chronic disease been sold to us as genetic when the simple application of lifestyle changes cures the conditions or perhaps even prevents expression of faulty genetics? And why are more “care providers” not questioning the supposed genetic link to obesity and chronic disease in the absence of lab work and proof?

The idea of genetic chronic-disease predestiny was dictated to us by doctors and corporations that intend to maximize billing in a market full of sick people. The evidence is beginning to suggest that the medical system is keeping its patients obese and diabetic because those patients are profitable. What other explanation is there if we know that diet and exercise can cure obesity-related diseases and keep people off medications and out of hospitals?

Prevention simply doesn’t pay. Medications and procedures do, especially when they treat the symptoms but don’t cure the disease. A client for life—until death.

As CrossFit affiliates and trainers, we are the first line of defense, those who will save clients from obesity and chronic disease. We are the real providers of health care, and the hospitals are designed only to take advantage of those who fail to embrace us.

Politicians and corporations focus on how to make health care more affordable for people, changing nothing. Tomorrow, if health care were suddenly affordable it would just help people manage the cost of being ill and ensure hospitals and corporations keep their sick clients.

As CrossFit affiliates, we can give people something the corporations, the hospitals and the politicians cannot: true health. We give them the tools to end their disease and become something greater.

There is no rebuttal or retort.

There is just the sound of our mic drop.



Are you ready to try CrossFit? Our six week Beginner’s Course starts Monday, October 9th. Email for more details!


you don’t buy salad dressings, do you?

Do you buy salad dressings from the store? 

Once I learned how to make my own dressing about seven years ago (you’re looking at a former Food Network Channel JUNKIE) I never bought another store-bought salad dressing again. Mine are better, cheaper, and definitely healthier. Just read the labels of some of the dressings out there and you’ll start to see some of the nonsense they put in those jars.

One of CrossFit HQ’s nutrition contributors, Hilary Achauer, has the same sentiment I do when it comes to buying salad dressings in the store.

She offers three of her personal recipes here.

And if three isn’t enough, here’s the one I make that everyone always gushes over…

Stephanie’s Homemade Orange Salad Dressing
1/2 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 Tablespoons Freshly Squeezed Orange Juice
1 Tablespoon Balsamic Vinegar
Zest of 1 Orange
1-2 Tablespoons Raw Honey (more for sweeter, less for more tart)
Salt and Pepper to Taste

(Note — This dressing is not thick. It’s light and a little bit goes a long way. And it’s so yummy that all you need are delicious greens. My favorite is this one 🙂 )

Cheers to being the best salad dresser of all your friends!



Our schedule is totally back to normal! We have our power, we have our AC, and we have all the WODs you need to burn off your hurricane snacks and booze 😉 See you soon!

Our beginner’s CrossFit class has been pushed back a couple weeks due to the storm. We are now starting on Monday, October 9th. Want details on when, where and what? Reply to this email for all the juicy deets!


busy? try these med ball at-home workouts!

There are some days when you just can’t make it to the gym. 

But the tricky part about that dilemma is research has showed us time and time again that daily activity, the kind where we get at least a little sweaty and elevate our heart rates, is remarkable for our mood, energy levels, sleep, well-being, and more.

My recommendation to folks has always been to get to a group fitness class or hire a personal trainer, since this is always a more effective (and certainly more fun!) route to fitness; but on the days when that can’t happen, we need some tools in our tool box so we can get the benefits of daily exercise.

The options are plentiful (follow one of the many 10-20 minute yoga flows on YouTube, go for a rigorous swim, do 50 push-ups in your living room, etc.) but I thought I’d share a great option with you that requires nothing more than a medicine ball.

The folks over at Onnit have shared with us five med ball workouts for both beginner and advanced athletes alike. This is PERFECT for those days when you have very little time to spare and you know you won’t be able to make it to the gym.

So grab a med ball if you don’t already have one (you can order one in any size from Rogue Fitness here) and try out one of these five awesome workouts!

Cheers to not allowing our schedule restraints to keep us from the benefits of daily exercise 🙂



Updates on the schedule due to hurricane Irma will be done via Facebook and the website. We’ll keep the schedule page on the website updated, so check it before you attend a group class and watch for any cancellations. Stay safe!

Tomorrow is Bring a Friend to CrossFit!! Who ya bringing?!?! Classes are FREE for friends all day tomorrow!


burned out?

How do you think about “hard work?” 

Is it something that you’ve defined as draining? Exhausting? Too much of it is not a good thing? Too much of it causes burn out? After hard work comes vacation, downtime, massages, etc.?

The way we think about things and the way we define things is the way that they end up showing up in our lives.

Ramit Sethi, New York Times bestselling author and founder of I Will Teach You To Be Rich, talks about burnout and how to find your way out of it simply by reframing what the phrase hard work actually means.

You’ll want to actually open the article and read it fully here because the links and pictures are great, but here’s the text…

Why is it that the average person thinks of energy like a videogame character?

The implication is: Energy is good, work is bad, and when you work a lot, your energy goes down. It’s a belief we hold so tightly, it’s become an invisible script.

I was reminded of this recently when I was hanging out with 2 friends talking about how we were raised. One of them said something fascinating:

“I mean, I want my kids to work hard, but if they don’t want to study, I’m not going to scream at them.”


3 things I noticed:

  1. Why is it that the opposite of working hard is yelling at kids? Isn’t there a middle ground?
  2. OF COURSE KIDS DON’T WANT TO STUDY! THEY’RE KIDS! They want to play and eat candy. That doesn’t mean that’s good for them.
  3. The idea that work is good, but “we shouldn’t work them too hard.” There’s this idea going around that “my kid has too much homework.” LOL. Try saying that to my parents (or any Indian parents) and see what their reaction is.

At the core of this belief — the idea that kids shouldn’t work too hard, or that “too much work” is bad — is the invisible script that work = less energy.

That we need a burst of “motivation” or a vacation to get that energy back.

Or maybe a positive Instagram post.

But what if there was a way to rethink that? What if the more you worked on something, the more energetic and motivated you got?

This is a different way of thinking about energy and hard work. And it involves reframing the way you look at hard work.

Look, I’m not saying all burnout can be willed away. Burnout can be a serious medical issue. I’m talking about the stress we impose on OURSELVES.

It’s what best-selling author Carol Dweck calls a “Growth Mindset” in this TED talk: the idea that hard work isn’t a roadblock, it’s a stepping stone to getting better. And I’ve seen the same pattern with top performers (and all of my Indian friends). For them, work isn’t something to finish as quickly as possible. No. Work FUELS them.

Here’s what Navy SEAL Jack Walston said about building this kind of mental toughness in a recent interview:

“Once you can convince yourself that the harder or more miserable or crazier something becomes, the stronger I get, that no matter what happens, I’m getting stronger. Not weaker. There’s just a handful of people that can do that.”


There’s a reason top performers are rare. They take responsibility for the success of a project — including things they can control and things they can’t control. It’s all on them.

“You can’t buy it. It doesn’t come in a can. It’s all on your shoulders.”

What kind of freak wants that responsibility?

It turns out that top performers are usually a little… weird. Every top performer I know has their own idiosyncrasies that they’ve embraced. Maybe they have a morning routine that seems weird to others, but they don’t care. Whatever it takes to succeed.

They don’t fight against the way their brain is wired — they build their lives around it. They play offense, not defense.

For example, look at all the different approaches here:

  • Cal Newport shuts off all social media and commits himself to long stretches of “deep work.”
  • Tim Ferriss does all of his writing at night with a TV quietly playing in the background.
  • AJ Jacobs writes while walking on a treadmill, so he doesn’t get too sedentary.
  • I know I need ~90 minutes of time in the morning to wake up and get going, so I set my schedule accordingly.

They just shrug and say, “I know, it’s weird, but I absolutely hate packing my own suitcase, so I hire someone to do it for me.” Or “I need to have 90 minutes of quiet time before I start my day, so I wake up early.” Whatever it takes, they rearrange their life to give themselves every advantage for top performance.

Burned out and bedridden for a week

I know what burnout feels like.

After our first Earn1K launch, I was so burned out that I couldn’t get out of bed for an entire week. It took me 6 months to get back to being 100%. I’d worked every day from 6am to 2am, writing a 5-week launch funnel, getting hooked on coffee, and feeling every emotional swing you can imagine.

At the time, I thought this was NORMAL. I was the person in the first image at the top, right? The one that felt more drained every time I had to do my job. I bought into the story that more work required me to be more tired and that burnout was normal, or even expected.

So how’d I change? I followed the same script top performers do. First, I reframed hard work.

I knew 3 things:

  1. I loved doing launches. I loved the work, the camaraderie, the fact that we put it all on the line. I loved the work.
  2. I was going to keep doing launches and I couldn’t keep getting burned out like this. There had to be another way.
  3. I was willing to compromise on other small areas of life to have a successful launch.

Just acknowledging these 3 things changed everything. I didn’t try to avoid launches. I loved the work. But I knew it was possible to do the hard work and avoid burnout.

To do this, I built an automation system around my idiosyncrasies around my personal health:

  • I paid a personal trainer that would hold me accountable and make sure I progressed in the gym…
  • …who sends my workout results to a nutritionist…
  • …who sends nutrition recommendations for my chef

I know this system is expensive (and you can also get 85% of the results with about 10% of the cost). But as they say, “Show me someone’s calendar and spending, and I’ll show you his priorities.”

I embraced rest during launch, knowing this was a marathon. And I made sure to organize my life before launch (seeing friends, pre-signing checks, etc) so I could focus on my work when I needed to. Again, because I knew work itself wasn’t draining me and that I ENJOYED doing it.

And over time, that burnout went way, way down.

The second time we did a major launch, it took me 3 months to recover (down from 6!).

And today — many launches later — I’m usually out in NYC the night a launch closes. That’s how far we’ve come.

If I’d hated launches, or if I believed “more work = burnout,” I would have burned out. No amount of fancy trainers or systems will overcome your deeply held psychological beliefs.

But when I reframed hard work from causing burnout to giving me more energy, it started a snowball effect on how I prioritized, and everything changed.

This is really hard. We have a deep-seated belief that the more we work, the more recovery we need — in America, that comes in the form of vacation, massage, and TV.

Nothing wrong with those — I love all of them.

But I want to challenge you to be mindful of the way you think about hard work. Do you sigh when you wake up? Do you roll your eyes when you sit down at work? When someone says, “How’s work?” how do you respond?

Most importantly, I’ll ask you the question I asked myself: How can you manage your energy like a top performer? How can you reframe the way you think about hard work? And how can you embrace your idiosyncrasies?

Cheers to hard work energizing us instead of exhausting us 🙂



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news team assemble

Frustrated that you aren’t getting anywhere with your diet? Or with your exercise? Or with your budget? Or with your **insert challenging lifestyle goal here**? 

Maybe it’s because you haven’t assembled your dream team, your squad, your crew.

Maybe it’s not because you suck or because you have no will power, but because you haven’t found the right approach.

The folks over at Nerd Fitness think that positive change often comes from a powerful group of people that you’ve associated yourself with (AKA your badass squad) who are there for each other, encouraging each other, and who are keeping each other accountable, and I agree with this wholeheartedly.

In fact, I’d argue that CrossFit is so powerful and so effective because it has created small communities of people who genuinely care about each other. Everyone wants to see everyone else succeed. SOFLA athletes call each other, text each other, meet up with each other, and help each other stay focussed on their fitness. I’ve witnessed the power of a team over the last seven years of doing and coaching CrossFit. I know that this is a hell of a lot more effective and successful than going into a big, cold gym by yourself and doing your own workout without the support of anyone else.

So if you have a goal, whether it’s fitness, diet, or otherwise, you may want to consider creating a small team of people, if you haven’t already, to join you in your efforts to attain that goal.

Josh did this sort of thing a year ago. He wanted to mediate daily, so he did a challenge with one of his friends. They had to mediate for 10 minutes a day, every single day, and the person who broke the pattern first had to buy the other a very expensive bottle of whiskey. They ended up both going for several months without missing. The challenge is over (Josh WON!) but now they are both in the habit of meditating.

Here’s what Steve Kamb, writer for Nerd Fitness has to say about forming your dream team…

1) FORM YOUR SQUAD: You need a few good men/women (or self-aware robots) that are interested in taking up this cause with you. If they don’t know what you’re talking about, have them read this article: Start a Facebook group, text chain, Slack group, whatever you like with 4-5 of your friends or coworkers that you know are interested in living healthier lives. Your group should be at least 3 people, but I find that 5-6 is the sweet spot for participation.

2) Determine the ground rules. Your goal here will be to come up with a series of challenges that can be done anywhere, at any point in the day, in less than 5 minutes. This might depend on the healthiness and level of fitness of your group members.

Here are 5 examples:

  • “Went for a mile walk this morning before work.” with a picture of your feet on the pavement. Everybody else in the group then needs to share a photo of themselves completing their mile walk before noon.
  • “Just did 20 air squats in my cubicle, last one to do 20 has to do a lap around the office. “Oh yea? Just did 25, cute that you could only get 20 done though!”
  • “Took the stairs up to the 16th floor, you can’t use the elevator for the rest of the day or you owe everybody 5 bucks.”
  • “Did 10 push ups waiting for the bus to show up, second person to report in has to do 11, third has to do 12, fourth has to do 13, last has to do 20!”

Think of things that are challenging for your group, but done in a fun way. I would recommend something like: you can only declare one rule per person per day, 3 rules per day for the group at the most, and you can’t have more than one rule in an hour.

The point isn’t necessarily to exhaust each other or make the challenge brutally difficult, but rather to get you to increase your “Actions Per Day,” (aka increase the number of healthy choices you make in a day) as we’ve seen the higher the number of APD people take, the more likely they are to be fit!

4) One-up, make fun, repeat. If you can’t make fun of your friends, what’s the point? Feel free to groan loudly at the person who did the task, and make fun of them as well – whoever makes the declaration gets to pick it. If they do it, you can one-up them by completing an extra rep or climbing a floor higher…someway to outdo them.

Feel free to use the following terms in your insults as you text back and forth throughout the day when you outgun your friends:

  • Scruffy-looking nerfherder
  • Scalawag
  • Cotton-headed ninny muggins
  • Ragamuffin
  • Amoeba
  • Hooligan
  • Asshat

After all, what other name is there when you you wake up at 6:30, only to have text already in the group:

  • “Already walked a mile today. Walk a mile before work or you owe $5 to [stupid cause].
  • “Walked a mile, did 5 push-ups. Ain’t no thang. Hey Mike you’re up next.”
  • “I hate you asshats. Just did the mile, and 10 push-ups. Ugh.”

Here’s another list of tasks and ideas you can use in your squad:

1) Add points, keep track of them month to month. Keep it simple. Everybody gets a column on a spreadsheet, complete your mission, you get a point. Most points at the end of the month wins the pot.

2) Add accountability. The quality of your squad race here will be largely dependant on the participation of the group. You need to have people that are invested, and the best way I’ve found to do that is to make people pony up cold-hard cash. Have everybody in the group contribute $50. Any time somebody misses a challenge, $5 of that money gets split amongst the others.

Diabolical? Donate that $5 to the charity that person hates the most!

3) Pick fun, healthy missions that your friends will loathe (but still do!), and then return the favor on the next day. Quick fitness challenges are fun, but you can expand it to include nutrition or even fear-based challenges too if you want to double down on the healthiness.

  • “Eating an apple you can’t use the vending machine at work or you owe 5 bucks! (nobody will like you for this one, muahahahaha) Just asked my boss for a raise, you have to do something that scares you within the next 48 hours! Report back with your results.”
  • “Push-up challenge: as many in a row, right now, wherever you are. Get whoever to record you. You have 30 minutes.”
  • “Climb all the stairs in the building you’re currently in, no matter how many floors. Take a photo next to sign in stairwell. Better hope you’re not in the Empire State Building!”
  • “Actually made my own damn dinner tonight. You have 48 hours to actually make yourself a meal – microwave pizza doesn’t count…needs to have at least one vegetable!”

Sounds like fun, right?! Read the whole awesome article here.

You don’t have to go it alone. In fact, you probably shouldn’t if you want to actually see some results.


SOFLA. Summer. Showdown. DO IT! Register here TODAY!


the opposite

We made a trip to Barnes and Noble yesterday so Josh could pick up a copy of Ryan Holiday’s The Daily Stoic. 

The book is broken up into the months and days of the year, allowing you to read a different meditation from Stoic philosophy every day.

Josh became interested in Stoic philosophy years ago and I’ve gone along for the ride. It’s a hell of a way to look at the world and live. I’m incredibly grateful for being introduced to it.

Today’s meditation is freaky. Freaky in the sense that I have been thinking about this very thought for eight days. How do I know it’s eight days? Because we made a pretty big decision last Sunday, June 18th, exactly eight days ago.

The decision we made, while I won’t go into details, was about our financial state of affairs. We’ve made some pretty important shifts for the betterment of our family.

The meditation is exactly what I’ve been working on for the last eight days, and I find it both powerful and exhilarating that Josh put this in front of me this morning.

Generally speaking, my addiction to Seinfeld hasn’t done much to make my life all that more interesting or better. But for the last eight days, I have been repeating a line Jerry says to George in an episode called “The Opposite,” using it as a tool for change. I know the episode like the back of my hand and I know the line verbatim, which allowed me to really understand the concept (my addiction finally serves a greater purpose!). Jerry says to George, “If every instinct you have is wrong, then the opposite would have to be right.” George goes on to do the opposite of everything he normally does, making his life 10x better.

Now I’m not quite George Costanza, but I do have some poor habits that I knew I needed to change. In fact, I needed to do the exact opposite of what I was doing in some cases. So I felt like this was a good tool. Perhaps.

Then Josh put this in front of me this morning…

June 26th

“What assistance can we find in the fight against habit? Try the opposite!”

— Epictetus, Discourses, 1.27.4

“Viktor Frankl, the brilliant psychologist and Holocaust survivor, cured patients suffering from phobias or neurotic habits using a method he called ‘paradoxical intention.’ Let’s say a patient couldn’t sleep. The standard therapy would have been something obvious, like relaxation techniques. Frankl instead encouraged the patient to try not to fall asleep. He found that shifting focus off the problem deflected the patient’s obsessive attention away from it and allowed them to eventually sleep normally.

Fans of the TV show Seinfeld might remember an episode called ‘The Opposite’ where George Costanza magically improves his life by doing the opposite of whatever he’d normally do. ‘If every instinct you have is wrong,’ Jerry says to him, ‘then the opposite would have to be right.’ The larger point is that sometimes our instincts or habits get stuck in a bad pattern that pushes us further from our natural, healthy selves.

Now you shouldn’t immediately toss out everything in your life — some stuff is working (you’re reading this book!). But what if you explored opposites today? What if you broke the pattern?”

I had goosebumps when I read this. I couldn’t believe what I was reading. And yet part of me could believe it. I have been shown, time and time again in my life, that once you decide something, really and truly decide something, the universe starts aligning with your intentions, carving a path for you, allowing for the decision to become a powerful, unstoppable force. It reminds you that you are doing a good job, that you are moving the right direction, that you should trust your decision, because it was a great decision to make.



Early Bird Registration for the SOFLA Summer Showdown is OPEN! We have multiple for divisions for female, male, and co-ed teams of two. It’s going to be WAY TOO MUCH FUN to miss! Register here TODAY!


calling all 65+ guys and gals

Okie dokie. Are you ready for the coolest program SOFLA has ever done?

We thought so!

If you are 65 years old or older, or know someone who is, and want to make a huge, positive impact on your health and overall fitness, then all you have to do is become a LEGEND.

Welcome to the SOFLA Legends Six Week Program, where our masters-aged men and women can come and thrive.

Want all the juicy details? Just click here, and make sure to forward this to those folks in your life who want to make some positive changes in their health but just aren’t sure where to go or what to do.

Oh. And if you’re not sure if CrossFit is right for our masters-aged guys and gals, just watch Harvey. I bet he’ll change your mind 🙂

Cheers to lifelong fitness!



It’s SUMMER! Join us for some F-U-N on Sunday, August 6th from 9am to 1pm at Deerfield beach for our SOFLA Beach Day! We’ll be just north of the volleyball courts. Bring your family, friends, beach toys, and cold beers and let’s have ourselves a good time!