Athlete of the Month: Lorena Ortiz

  • Where are you from? New York City
  • What is your profession? Yoga/Fitness Instructor
  • How long have you been a member at CrossFit 727 and what were you doing prior? CF727 member since opening and member of CF Enfuego in Land- O- Lakes since 2009
  • What motivated you to start? My ex husband introduced me to the box owners, loved the strong supportive community
  • Complete the sentence: I knew I was a CrossFitter when… I returned to the box 1 month after falling from a box jump and had a bad concussion.
  • Favorite WOD (if any)? Filthy Fifty,
  • Favorite Olympic lift (if any)? Clean and Jerk
  • Least favorite movements and why? Overhead Squats, Box jumps , mental block from previous injuries
  • What has been your biggest accomplishments? Pull-ups, took me 7 years. Still have a long way to go to be consistent but jumped that first hurdle
  • Goal(s) for the next few months? Continuing clean paleo eating and counting macros., running 4xs week and 5 consistent and good pull-ups
  • What helps you get through tough WODs? My early morning peeps, Caterina, Stephen, Phil, Kelley and that inner voice that tells me I can’t.
  • Any advice for newbies? Just get up and do it, no excuses, I’m 52 with a debilitating autoimmune disorder but never felt stronger, healthier and happier because of it. You make your quality of life!
  • What are your hobbies outside of CrossFit? Love yoga, reading, the beach, swimming and sailing
  • What is one fun fact about you? World History Junkie

Coaches Corner: Why do you CrossFit? by Jen Waite

Why do you CrossFit? For me, I always say it’s because of the community. I could hire a personal trainer and get just as good of a workout, but people don’t talk at gyms like that except to ask “are you using this?” It’s the people that keep me coming back, even on days I don’t want to.

We live in a world that is more connected than ever. Who remembers AIM, AOL Instant Messenger? It was a time before we were so digitally connected and tethered to our phones. We used away messages to let our those on our buddy list to know that we couldn’t respond to their instant message. They just retired AIM last week, which has made me nostalgic for it. For being so connected, as a society, we’ve never been so disconnected and, at times, lonely.

The ability to come into the gym and sweat together, share together and come together leads to real connections. Connections that I see go well beyond the wall of the gym. How many birthdays, holidays or milestones have you celebrated with your gym mates?

Everyone wants to be a part of something bigger than all of us, right? And being part of a gym that is open and accepting, where you see people stay and hang out after the workout, without rushing off, doesn’t exist at every box. Being part of a community has some very real benefits, namely accountability and borrowed motivation.

  • Accountability – we’ve all texted that friend to see if they were going to class; and I’ve received those texts too. Sometimes you help someone to be accountability and sometimes you need that little extra motivation.
  • Motivation – Speaking of motivation, we all have those days where we’re tired or mentally checked out and all we have to do is look around and be inspired!

We’re a tribe (or a “cult” if you’re outside the CrossFit world) because the interest and investment in each other extends beyond our WODify score. So why do you CossFit?

Athlete of the Month: Tom Williams

  • Where are you from? The great state of New Jersey on the Island of Stone Harbor
  • What is your profession? I help other entrepreneurs make their dreams come true by financing their business.  I also own a brewery which makes me smile when people love our beer!
  • How long have you been a member at CrossFit 727 and what were you doing prior? Since 2014 when CrossFit 727 opened and I wasn’t doing anything but running a few times a week prior
  • What motivated you to start? Midlife reality of knowing I needed to get fit and increase my mental and physical toughness and manage my blood pressure.
  • Complete the sentence: I knew I was a CrossFitter when… I felt no shame laying on the sidewalk on central.  I was hooked!
  • Favorite WOD (if any)? 12 days of Christmas..  Love those chippers!
  • Favorite Olympic lift (if any)? Push Press
  • Least favorite movements and why? Overhead Lunges because they show how bad my flexibility is and I just don’t like the movement.
  • What has been your biggest accomplishments? Staying with it when I felt like quitting.  Especially when it was Ryan and I 1-on-1 and I was really out of shape.  I still fear being rolled out by Ryan!
  • Goal(s) for the next few months? 4 days a week and RomWod daily to increase my flexibility.
  • What helps you get through tough WODs? Knowing I have been through them before and other folks hurting as well.
  • Any advice for newbies?  Don’t quit and stay with it.  I did and I was 43 when I started and out of shape.  If I can you can.
  • What are your hobbies outside of CrossFit?  Boating, Reading, and playing with the kids
  • What is one fun fact about you? I trained for Pogo Sticking for Guiness Book of World Records (Calves are proof)

Coaches Corner: Tips for Dialing in Your Nutrition by coach George Daicoff

Nutrition is important. Everyone probably knows it, however it seems to be one of the lesser discussed and understood aspects of fitness. We tend to focus more on learning/mastering skills, setting new PRs and surviving tough conditioning sessions. Those things are important as well, however nutrition is the base on which the fitness pyramid is built. In fact, in CrossFit’s definition of “World Class Fitness in 100 Words”, nutrition is the first of 4 bullet points. From the CrossFit Journal article “What is Fitness?”: “Eat meat and vegetables, nuts and seeds, some fruit, little starch and no sugar. Keep intake levels that will support exercise but not body fat”.

From the CrossFit Journal – “What is Fitness?”

Dialing in your diet is tough. It requires a lifestyle change as it is not a one-time per day event like working out. You have to be mindful of how you are fueling your body throughout the day. Everyone is also different – some people will respond to minimal changes and others may require a stricter approach. Also, some athletes’ digestive systems/bodies may not agree with certain kinds of foods. Let’s take a look at three broad levels of how we can improve our diets.

Cleaning up your current diet

Here we are not going to focus too much on quantity of food consumed or macronutrient balancing. The big idea here is to focus on quality and make better choices when grocery shopping. One of the best strategies when shopping for food at the grocery store is to avoid shopping in the aisles and focusing on the perimeter of the store. Typically, most of the highly processed, preservative added, artificial ingredient laden foods can be found in the aisles. These foods can be spotted by looking for the ingredients list. If there are ingredients listed that you cannot pronounce or need Google to find out what they are, you probably do not want to fuel yourself with these foods. Foods that we want to focus on are lean meats, fresh or frozen vegetables, low glycemic index carbohydrates (oatmeal, sweet potatoes, etc.) and healthy fats (avocados, nuts, and their oils).

Try a designed diet focused on food quality first rather than quantity

The two diets that we are going to touch on here are the Paleo Diet and Whole30. Both are diets that focus on the kinds of foods that you can and cannot eat and are very similar. On the basic level, the Paleo Diet is to eat in a manner that mimics our hunter/gatherer cave dwelling ancestors. Mostly lean meats, fruits, vegetables, and healthy fats – from nuts, seeds, avocados, oils and meats – will be on the menu. The idea is to abandon the modern diet – eliminate dairy, grains, and legumes. If it was available to cavemen, then it is probably okay on this diet. Similarly, the Whole30 diet focusses on ditching the processed foods, dairy, grains, sugar, artificial sweeteners and alcohol. The Whole30 diet is designed to reset your metabolism, improve hormonal balance and reduce inflammation by eliminating foods that have been linked to disrupting these things. You would follow the diet for 30 days then could slowly re-introduce items that are not allowed by the diet to see how they affect you.

Track Quantity along with Quality

Here we will take a look at a couple of options that will take into account the quantity and macronutrient balance along with the quality of foods consumed. In second part of CrossFit’s definition of nutrition – “Keep intake levels that will support exercise but not body fat” – we notice that it is also a good idea to control the amount of food consumed. CrossFit recommends the Zone Diet. In a very short, birds eye definition of the diet, you will eat about 5 times a day with each meal/snack being balanced between protein, carbohydrates and fats. Quantities of food are broken down into “blocks” depending on their nutritional density. For example, 1oz chicken breast = 1 protein block. Depending on your body type/size, you will be allocated a certain number of blocks per day. If you are allowed a 4 block meal, you will eat 4 blocks of protein, 4 blocks of carbs and 4 blocks of fats. Another option is to look into a full diet template such as RPStrength. Templates are tailored to your goals (weight loss or weight gain for muscle building) and based on your starting weight. They break down each meal by the amount of macronutrients needed for each meal. Balance of protein, carbs and fats fluctuates meal to meal based on the timing of your workout – morning, noon, afternoon, evening. This option is good if you like a structured diet where you will know what and when to eat based on when you exercise and level of exercise.


  • Start small – drink less soda and replace with water, skip the artificial creamer and sweetener for your coffee – small changes over time do make a difference
  • Find a friend to do a 30 day diet challenge– you will be able to keep each other motivated and accountable
  • Trial and Error – each person is different with different situations (kids, working odd hours, etc.) – find what works for you
  • If you tend to eat out frequently or your culinary skills are not up to par, consider healthier pre-made meals such as Cornerstone Nutrition which can be ordered online and will soon be delivered to the gym!
  • Consider batch cooking meals and portioning out for the week – it is a lot easier to forgo takeout food when you know you have a meal in the refrigerator ready to go



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