Open Season is Upon Us!


Congratulations everyone, you made it through Open Prep Season. That is definitely some of the most grueling work to get through-luckily, you won’t have to do again for about another year!

Now we all get to participate in Open Season! Open season is a TON of fun, it is all about those Open workouts which means the regular week programming is a little bit more laid back and focused on making sure you are at peak performance on Saturdays (or whatever day you perform the workout).

There are a few things to be conscious of when approaching the next 5 weeks. Primarily, take care of yourself! There is nothing worse than having a torn hand while trying to do 100 pull ups in the Open or bombing out of a long workout because you were dehydrated. Some big things to make sure you focus on are:


  1. Hand care! Shave down those calluses so you don’t rip!!!!! There are a million different methods of callus care on the market. The easiest is a pumice stone after you shower and then lotion at night. I know Coach Ashley swears by her callus shaver ( and I love my Sandbar (

  2. Nourish yourself! This should be year round but is definitely important if you want to stay ready to take on those long WODs. Make sure your intake of carbs, protein, fats, and micronutrients are high enough to support your activity levels. Many CrossFitters are busy individuals and it is really easy to forget to eat during the day-don’t let that happen! Also, be sure you eat enough around your workout times. Carbs and protein are necessary right before big workouts (although make sure it’s not too close to the workout, you don’t want anything coming back up) to help support high intensity training! If you are unsure about how much (or what) you should be eating talk to one of your coaches, hire a dietician, or look into one of the really cool online services that many CrossFitters use. Some that have great reviews are Renaissance Periodization, Avatar Nutrition, and Working Against Gravity.

  3. HYDRATE HYDRATE HYDRATE! This (along with adequate sleep) is one of the most overlooked part of athletic self-care. Here is a nifty hydration guideline to look over ( Remember, hydration matters throughout the day-not just when you are working out!

  4. Sleep! As mentioned above, this is one of the most overlooked aspect of recovery and  athletic self-care. Make sure you are getting enough sleep and make sure your sleep is restful-stay away from screens right before bed and make sure your bedroom is as quiet as possible. Let your busy brain power down.

  5. Mobilize! Make sure your range of motion is as good as it can be and you have control in your range of motion. Foam roll, stretch, come to Coach Sarah’s Durability classes, do those banded exercises you are always told to do. If sometime is hurting or doesn’t feel right-schedule a session with one of our in-house Physical Therapists, Fascial Stretch Therapist, and/or Massage Therapists! Don’t let an ache turn into an injury.

Whole30 Beet Dip

Homie Sarah is helping us kick off the start of Homeward's 2018 Whole30 with an awesome compliant recipe! (find out more about Whole30 here) This dip is a beautiful color and is chock full of vitamins that will help fuel your Open domination.

Beet Dip 

  • 3 Beets 
  • 3 Tablespoons Tahini 
  • 1/2 - 3/4 lemon juice 
  • Salt to taste
  • Black sesame seeds (optional)
  • Olive Oil 


  • Cook beets until tender - about 15 minutes in the pressure cooker.
  • Once cooked and peeled, place in blender with tahini, lemon juice, and salt. Blend till smooth. 
  • ***Leave out about half a beet for decoration.
  • Use  extra beets (cubed), black sesame seeds, and olive oil to decorate.

Member Spotlight: Jacqi Linville

Hello Homies,

Meet Jacqi Linville. Many of you already have because she has been with Homeward since we first opened! She is usually in the gym first thing in the morning with a smile. Jacqi is a great example of someone who manages to fit steady CrossFit in with a super busy work, school, and life schedule. She can be quiet (at least until you get to know her!) so be sure to stop by the 6am and say Hi!


Until I started answering these questions, I never really thought that much about it, but it's not so much the killer workouts (which this gym totally has) it's the people that keep me coming every morning to this gym. ~Jacqi

Age? 29

Occupation? Clinical Support Technician (basically a nursing assistant and unit secretary)

Where are you from? I am originally from south side of Chicago, Il. from a town called Oak Forest.

Have you played sports in the past? I grew up swimming competitively up through high school and then in collage started running.


How long have you done CrossFit? I started crossfit in May 2013 (I think?). So around 4 years.

How did you hear about CrossFit? When I was in graduate school in Boone, NC the local gym was starting to experiment with a Crossfit like class and the instructor mentioned that he was going to get certified to instruct actual Crossfit classes. So that is where I originally learned about the concept.


What made you take the plunge? I had run a full marathon in early May of 2013 and knew that I couldn't keep up the distance running if I wanted to keep healthy knees, so I looked up Crossfit gyms and saw that one had opened up at University Mall. I called and talked with the owner and the next morning I attended my first (of many) 6 am WODs.

What has CrossFit done for you?  Crossfit has allowed me to meet so many great people from all different walks of life. Some that have become lifelong friends. It has also helped me manage my stress through both working out and just having people to talk too. I never realized, until I started coming to a smaller gym, how nice it was to just have someone ask you how you are or even say "hey" when you walk in.

What is your favorite movement? What is your least favorite?

 Jacqi and her brother!

Jacqi and her brother!

  • Least Favorite: Overhead squat
  • Favorite: Double Unders

What is your favorite Crossfit moment? What is your least favorite moment?

  • Favorite: Whenever my brother and I are together (he lives in Albany) we either try out a crossfit gym that is local to the area or come up with our own WOD for that day and workout together.
  • Least: I think having really fun member's move away, always makes me sad.

What would you tell others about CrossFit? Do not knock it till you try it.

Why CrossFit Homeward? The amazing coaching staff, owners, and members. I think the family like and supportive environment that this gym provides makes it feel like a second home.

What are your interests outside of CrossFit? I love to cook and drink coffee. I am currently finishing up nursing school and excited to start a new career path this coming May (this consumes most of my life right now).

Sarah's Butternut Squash Soup


This is Sarah

She is a nurse, CrossFitter, Brazilian Ju Jitsu-er, and a fantastic chef! 

Sarah has agreed to help us prep healthy, unique, and delicious recipes to help us meet our goals, and impress in the kitchen! Her debut recipe is perfect for Thanksgiving feasts and is really easy to prepare but looks like you were in the kitchen for hours.

Sarah writes:

This is one of my favorite soups and it's great for time of the year -- super easy and tastes wonderful. 


  • 1 medium butternut squash 
  • 1 onion
  • 1 can coconut milk (I use the reduced fat one from Trader Joe's)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger powder (or you can grate some fresh ginger)
  • 1/4 teaspoon coriander
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg 
  • salt, black pepper, and crushed red pepper to taste


  1. Cut the butternut squash in half and remove seeds
  2. Bake for about 20-30 minutes or until soft when you poke it
  3. Sautee diced onions with spices (everything but the crushed red pepper)
  4. Put sauteed onions in blender. 
  5. Wait until butternut squash is cool and scrape it using a spoon. You can also peel it if you'd like but it makes it harder since the skin is a little softer after baking.
  6. Add the butternut squash, and the coconut milk to the onions in the blender. 
  7. Poor into pot and add more salt and other spices as needed. 


You might need to heavily salt this soup :)

Feel free to play around with the spices once it's poured in the pot. Leave the crushed pepper till the end so you don't over do it -- you may even opt out of it

You don't have to add the entire can of coconut milk, especially if you like your soup creamy. Or feel free to add more than one can! You can also add some water as you're heating it up.

Coriander and nutmeg are totally optional! So don't stress if you can't include all the spices!

Second Family Fit Program

Second Family Fit (SFFit) is a program funded by the Second Family Foundation. SFFit is housed inside of CrossFit Homeward and many Homeward coaches and members work with the program as coaches and mentors. Find out more about this awesome program that helps improve the lives of our community's at risk youth below!

"The Second Family Fit (SFFit) program challenges middle and high school students to set and achieve fitness goals through exercise. Youth work out in small groups twice per week with trainers and are faced with the continual choice whether to quit or persevere to achieve their fitness goals. During SFFit sessions the youth also set goals in other aspects of their lives including nutrition, school, and relationships where the same ongoing choice whether to quit or preserve is faced. On days not in the gym, they are given “homework” to keep exercising and work on achieving their additional goals." (

The Second Family Fit program teaches at risk youth the importance of grit. This program is run by Second Family Fit, Holly Kunkel, and Kendra Knowles. This program is housed inside CrossFit Homeward.

Obstacle Races and Member Spotlight

As the Homeward community gets ready to cheer on our competitors during Festivus (10/14 at CF Broadreach) and the Triangle Invitational (10/21 & 10/22 at CFRTP), I wanted to let everyone know about competitions that exist outside of the CrossFit world. CrossFit is powerful because it helps prepare the body for all sorts of different physical challenges.  If you are looking for ways to test your CrossFit muscles outside of the box, then obstacle races may be just what you are looking for!

Recently, Homeward members Sarah Snow, Sam Snow, Scott Carrol, Sarah Mikati, and Logan Perkins participated in a race called the Rugged Maniac and had an awesome time!

The Rugged Maniac is a 5K (or a little over 3miles) run with tons of obstacles to navigate to help break up the run. Sam and Sarah definitely plan on competing again next year and would love to have some company while going through obstacles like mud crawls, fire hurdles, and slides. They even gave us a really cool coupon code that will greatly reduce the cost to participate.  

The coupon code is: NC2018

It expires 10/18 so sign up fast at:


In addition to Rugged Maniac races, there are Spartan Races to consider participating in. Spartan races are similar but have a larger variety of distances to run so you can choose 3 miles to a full marathon with different amounts of obstacles! Find out more about Spartan Races here: .

Homeward member Dan Tullis recently ran a Spartan Race and demolished some goals using the strength and skill he developed at CrossFit Homeward! Dan set up a personal training session early in his CrossFit days because he was struggling with rope climbs and wanted to be sure to complete the rope climb obstacle in his next race. He is great to coach because he takes the instruction from coaches and practices the technique constantly until they are mastered-he is not the type to get frustrated and quit and that patience has paid off! In his last Spartan Race, he conquered the rope climb event and is about to compete in his very first CrossFit competition on Saturday 10/21 at the Triangle Invitational. Find out more about Dan in our very first member spotlight below:




Principal Software Engineer at Itron, Inc.

Where are you from?

My father was in the Navy so we moved several times within California, but I grew up mostly in San Diego. Later I lived in Austin before coming to North Carolina.

Have you played sports in the past?

Yeah, I played football and ran track through high school. Since then I've picked up tennis.

How long have you done Crossfit?

Almost 8 months now.

How did you hear about Crossfit?

Even though I'd "heard" of Crossfit, I didn't really know anything about it until observing the Crossfit housed inside a gym I joined back in November of last year.

What made you take the plunge?

I made a commitment to be healthier in November of last year. Unfortunately, right before thanksgiving, so that was hard. I enjoyed watching the high intensity and explosive movements of Crossfit and thought I should try it out.

What has Crossfit done for you?  

These workouts have made my entire body stronger. I've done two Spartan races this year and there was a huge improvement between the two. The first race was just after joining Crossfit Homeward and I had some difficulty with some of the obstacles. Two that stand out in my mind are the rope climb and the "atlas stone carry".  I almost made the rope climb, but ultimately had to do the 30 burpee penalty.  I finished the "atlas stone carry" but I felt my hamstring might pull while lifting it. Just last month I did another Spartan race and yelled out in excitement at the top of the rope then found the "atlas stone carry" almost a trivial exercise.

What is your favorite movement? What is your least favorite?

I get excited when we do hand stand pushups now. The first time I attempted them in a WOD, I could not do any. So, my wife and I practiced them every night for a while. I don't know what my max effort is, but I did do 14 strict unbroken the other day. I'm pretty happy with that right now.

Squatting with weight above my head is still an uncomfortable movement for me. I haven't figured out the best way to work on that on my own.

What is your favorite Crossfit moment?

I am enjoying the camaraderie of working with a team training for the Triangle Invitational tournament occurring later this month.

What is your least favorite moment?

Waking up so early for the 6am class, but that really is what works best for my schedule.

What would you tell others about Crossfit?

That you can scale to your skill and comfort level. While there are some movements I push myself pretty hard on, there are many that I am purposely progressing much slower at until I build the right technique and strength.

Why Crossfit Homeward?

Originally, I chose to visit Crossfit Homeward due to the different types of community events (tournaments, durability, ...) on the calendar. I was hooked during the first visit. The people, the space, and the equipment are great. Love the space for the sled push and also a new second rig that has monkey bars! Best of all, there are some crazy motivated and inspiring people there!

What are your interests outside of Crossfit?

My wife and I take weekly Lindy Hop lessons and go to many of the regularly scheduled dances in the area. I volunteer as a board member for the Triangle Swing Dance Society. If anyone would like more information or would like to go with us, please let me know.


Foodie Friday- Chili Cinnamon Pork Chops

Chili Cinnamon Pork Chops

This recipe is my favorite for when pork is on sale!  Pork chops are a great leaner cut of pork that you can make fit any macro schemes and is really easy to cook.  I adore using cinnamon with pork because the flavors complement each other really well and it helps satisfy my sweet tooth while doing Whole30.  Just be sure not to over cook the pork!  FDA has recently given medium rare pork the green light so undercooking it a bit is A-Okay. Give it a try and let me know what you think.


  • 2 large onions
  • 1/4 cup chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 2 cloves garlic, smashed or minced
  • 4 thick-cut OR 8 thin-cut boneless pork chops (about 2 pounds total), trimmed
  • Coconut oil, for brushing (do not use olive oil, it will burn. Refined coconut oil does not taste like coconut)


  1. Dice one onion, cut other onion into thin rings.
  2. Mix spices (chili powder through garlic) with diced onion and blend in blender or food processor until thick paste is formed.
  3. Rub pork chop with thick paste and let rest for ~10min.
  4. Rub thick caste iron pan or grill pan with coconut oil and place over high heat until almost smoking.
  5. Place pork chops on pan and fill spaces in between pork with the raw onion rings.
  6. Cook until pork starts to blacken (~3-4) and flip.  Cook another 3-4min.  Place on place to cool before serving.

Serve with roasted cauliflower, mashed/baked sweet potatoes or rice.

Foodie Friday- No Bean Hummus

Happy Friday!  Now that the weather is getting warmer and pools are opening up, all of the pool parties and cookouts are going to start up.  What to bring can you bring to fit everyone's restricted diets?  Especially if you are going through Whole30, you need something to snack on with your other no gluten, no dairy, no legume, possibly vegetarian friends.  I found a recipe not too long ago from Physical Kitchen that checks all of those boxes!


  • 1½ pounds whole carrots (about 6 large carrots)
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil, halved and divided
  • ½ head of small cauliflower, roughly 2½ cups
  • ⅛ cup tahini
  • ¼ cup water
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoons cumin


  1. Preheat the oven to 415 degrees.
  2. Line the whole carrots and cauliflower florets on a large baking sheet and coat 2 tablespoons olive oil.
  3. Cook for 45-55 minutes or until carrots and cauliflower are soft and slightly caramelized.
  4. Place all remaining ingredients, the other 2 tablespoons of olive oil, and roasted vegetables in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth and creamy.
  5. Store in the refrigerator.

Serve with various veggies, chips, or meats for dipping!  

Foodie Friday- Casein Hot Chocolate

Casein Hot Chocolate

This will be the last non-Whole30 compliant Foodie Friday until May 26.  So, I thought I would share my most delicious protein loaded dessert!  For those trying to up their protein numbers, this is a great way to sneak a whole lot of protein in at the end of the day and it tastes sinfully delicious.

For this recipe, casein protein powder works much better than whey or other types of proteins.  It has a thicker consistency and makes you feel fuller longer.  


  • 1-2 scoops Casein Protein Powder (chocolate flavor)

  • 1 T peanut butter (can change amount based on needed fat intake)

  • 1 cup milk (can use water, milk substitute or 1/2 milk 1/2 water depending upon your available macros)

  • 1/2 T cocoa powder

  • 1/2 T cinnamon 


  1. Place all ingredients in a blender.
  2. Blend until smooth.
  3. Place in microwave safe mug.
  4. Microwave 1min
  5. Stir.  Microwave additional 30s if needed.

Macros if made with 1 scoop casein and water:

Protein=30g, Carbs= 10g, Fat= 8g

Whole30 Clean Eating Challenge

Hello Homewarders and friends!  Now that Easter feasting is over and most of the candy has been eaten, it is time to start thinking about dietary changes to make sure all of your hard work in the gym can be shown off.  Homeward is hosting a Whole30 challenge for members.  For those of you who have not heard of the Whole30- it is a 30 day clean (and I mean SUPER clean) eating challenge.  There are many reasons to do the challenge and I will use Melissa Hartwig’s (the co-creator of the challenge) own words to explain some of said reasons:

Certain food groups (like sugar, grains, dairy and legumes) could be having a negative impact on your health and fitness without you even realizing it. Are your energy levels inconsistent or non-existent? Do you have aches and pains that can’t be explained by over-use or injury? Are you having a hard time losing weight no matter how hard you try? Do you have some sort of condition, like skin issues, digestive ailments, seasonal allergies, or chronic pain, that medication hasn’t helped? These symptoms are often directly related to the foods you eat—even the “healthy” stuff. So how do you know if (and how) these foods are affecting you?

Strip them from your diet completely. Eliminate the most common craving-inducing, blood sugar disrupting, gut-damaging, inflammatory food groups for a full 30 days. Let your body heal and recover from whatever effects those foods may be causing. Push the reset button with your health, habits, and relationship with food, and the downstream physical and psychological effects of the food choices you’ve been making. Learn how the foods you’ve been eating are actually affecting your day-to-day life, long term health, body composition, and feelings around food.” (

So, if you would like to see improvements in one or more of these areas:

  • Body composition

  • Skin health

  • Digestive health

  • Inflammation

  • Athletic Performance

You should join us starting Monday, April 24 for 30 Days!  

The rules are simple:

Yes: Eat real food.

Eat moderate portions of meat, seafood, and eggs; lots of vegetables; some fruit; plenty of natural fats; and herbs, spices, and seasonings. Eat foods with very few ingredients, all pronounceable ingredients, or better yet, no ingredients listed at all because they’re whole and unprocessed.

No: Avoid for 30 days.

  • Do not consume added sugar, real or artificial.

  • Do not consume alcohol, in any form, not even for cooking. (And ideally, no tobacco products of any sort, either.)

  • Do not eat grains.

  • Do not eat legumes (this includes peanut butter).

  • Do not eat dairy.

  • Do not consume carrageenan, MSG, or sulfites.

  • Do not consume baked goods, junk foods, or treats with “approved” ingredients.

  • Do not step on the scale or take any body measurements for 30 days (do measure and weigh the day before you start so you have a good before and after measurement).

If you are interested, please comment below!

Foodie Friday- Farmer's Market Edition

Farmer's Market Freshness!

Welcome back to Foodie Friday!  This week, the recipes all have featured items from the local Chapel Hill Farmer’s Market.  If you did not know, every Saturday from 9-12, there is a local farmer’s market in the parking lot of the University Mall facing Estes Dr.  So hit up a Saturday team WOD and then grab some super fresh groceries from our local farmers!

In-season produce includes Radishes, Turnips, Kale, and Strawberries.  So, I decided to incorporate these into my Friday dinner.  Also at the farmer’s market is a variety of ground meats, yogurts, eggs, and cheeses.  I grabbed some ground sirloin for burgers on the grill and greek yogurt for a dipping sauce from a local farmer who humanely raises all of his livestock (because everyone knows, happy animals taste better).  I also grabbed a dozen Duck eggs while there, because ProTip: Duck eggs have more protein and iron than their more popular cousin the chicken egg.  This means, Duck Eggs=More Gainz.

To make the week easier for scheduling, I picked up ground chicken, ground lamb, and extra ground beef to make a bunch of 4oz patties to throw on the grill for later in the week for quick grab and go meals.  Easy lunch=1 premade pattie, salad greens, leftover roasted radishes & turnips.  Warm up and mix together with your favorite vinaigrette and enjoy!


  • Radishes and Turnips

  • 1 cup radishes, cleaned and trimmed, larger ones halved

  • 1 cup turnips, cleaned and trimmed, cut to size of the radishes

  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

  • 1 generous pinch of salt

  • pinch of black pepper

  • 1 teaspoon minced rosemary

  • 1 tablespoon honey (optional)

  • Dipping Sauce

  • 1/4 cup plain greek yogurt (fat free if you count macros!)

  • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard

  • 1 tablespoon honey mustard

  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice


  1. Radishes and Turnips

  2. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Grease a baking sheet with cooking spray.

  3. Toss radishes and Turnips with olive oil, salt, pepper and rosemary in a medium bowl to coat.

  4. Spread the radishes on the baking sheet in an even single layer.

  5. Roast for 30-40 minutes, stirring occasionally so they cook evenly and don't burn. Remove from oven when wrinkled and soft.

  6. Drizzle with optional honey and more salt directly out of oven, serve warm.

  7. Dipping Sauce

  8. Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and stir together until mixed.