Eat Train Prosper

Jenn Ryan: Going From Good to Great | ETP#53

January 25, 2022 Aaron Straker | Bryan Boorstein
Eat Train Prosper
Jenn Ryan: Going From Good to Great | ETP#53
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Today we have a very special guest and friend on the podcast by the name of Jenn Ryan. Jenn is highly sought integrative health and nutrition coach, RN, and 5-time CrossFit Games athlete. She joins the podcast today to talk about her evolution as an athlete, what it takes to stay on top, listening to your body and how important recovery is for longevity. Jenn provides a lot of takeaways during this conversation together.

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https://strakernutritionco.com/nutrition-coaching-apply-now/

Done For You Client Check-In System for Online Coaches ⬇️
https://strakernutritionco.com/macronutrient-reporting-check-in-template/

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https://paragontrainingmethods.com

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IG | @bryanboorstein
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[aaron_straker]:

Happy Tuesday, everyone, welcome back to another episode of each train. Prosper today, we have a very special guest and very special friend on the podcast. By the name of Jen, Ryan. I'm going to have Jen to introduce yourself quick. and then we're going to jump in into our weekly updates,

[jenn_ryan]:

I' so happy to be here. Uh, so I'm Genan. I am a nurse. I'm a health and wellness nutrition coach and I am a cross athlete. I guess you could call me Um. I have a hard time calling myself an athlete still, but I suppose most people many people still love me for that. Um, yeah,

[bryan_boorstein]:

It's probably time just to accept that you're an athlete.

[jenn_ryan]:

I don't know. I don't know. Yes. maybe,

[aaron_straker]:

and uh, brand you when to kick us off of the updates.

[bryan_boorstein]:

Yeah, for sure before we get into updates. Though everybody should know that Uh, we have a bit of a history with General Ryan and Um. And she was a a coach at the gym that Aaron attended and that I owned Uh. for for many years she was an athlete for us, and Um. she's only gotten better over timee. So this episode is super cool for all of us to be able to reconnect, but also for uh, for the world to be able to learn about Jen in our audience, which now has actually transitioned to a bit of a of a different audience than than where we were when we were working together. So, um, so that's all super cool and I know you'll have some context to add in there as well, strik her. so I didn't want to steal the fire there. But but uh, but, but you didn't even mention that in the intro that we all know each other, So I think it's important that everybody that everybody know that you know. Um, yeah,

[aaron_straker]:

It is. it is important to know that and and I will of take over really quickly.

[bryan_boorstein]:

yup,

[aaron_straker]:

Introduction. Genine was my introduction into the nutrition space and nutrition coaching space, so there are a few people right, and that obviously Brian is one right. I. I've talked about this on the potcast a few times. People who were like instrumental on what my life has turned into in Gen. Ryan is probably the biggest to be completely honest. Without Gin, there would be no Striker nutrition company, there would be no eat train Prosper and before we get started, I guess Ja. I just want to extend how grateful I am for your friendship and everything you taught me and still continue to do. and I'm just very very appreciative.

[jenn_ryan]:

Oh, thank you. that's awesome. You're going to make this old lady cry. I just it's very exciting.

[bryan_boorstein]:

I think, didn't you cry on Barbll shrubs when you were around there as

[jenn_ryan]:

I. I did. Yeah. Yeah, I did it. Yeah,

[bryan_boorstein]:

well, amazing,

[jenn_ryan]:

there's just so many cool emotions and you don't think about like. even in my introduction it's like I don't know how to introduce myself and I don't know. Like what I, I'm not sure exactly I'm I'm feel like I'm so many things and i, but I don't know what I actually identify as. And so I think being able to identify as someone who's just hopefully had an impact on people is super cool. and like when I hear you say that errand it's really cool and like when, like teammates of mine or other athletes at the gym say that it's like it's cool because you don't know of everything that you're doing, and I get emotional. Not, but it makes me happy for other people, I think is like the craziest thing to know that like you don't know exactly what you're doing. but um, knowing that you're having like impact on people's lives, It' just really freck and cool. It's like fucking amazing. So anyhoo, that's why I get emotional. It's not like about you saying that about me. It's just I hear that from people and it's just it's cool to know where people like W. how you're affecting people. When you're not sure you are, you know. So, so that's all I going to do to get like tried. Because it just makes me really happy that Um, other people get you know, are just getting to do what they love, Uh to do in their life and finding it so early on super cool.

[bryan_boorstein]:

hell,

[jenn_ryan]:

So

[bryan_boorstein]:

Yeah, well, well, that's

[jenn_ryan]:

okay,

[bryan_boorstein]:

all truth, so I love that,

[jenn_ryan]:

sorry.

[bryan_boorstein]:

Um last seven days, guys. I just got back from Mexico yesterday. Um, it was an. It was. It was an okay trip. Um, So so I. I. I. If you guys followed my stories, you would have seen you know hash tags like relocation, not vacation, Um, things like that. So it's really just the way it is with kids. And and you know you try to keep a positive perspective and you realize that you know you're still going to be caring for kids and you don't have the amenities that you have at home. You don't have child care. Really, you're just in this like crazy new place and they're four and there two and they just want to go explore everything. and you know, always run in the sand and throw sand and run away and try to drown themselves in the ocean. And like this is just what you deal with when you go on vacation with a four and a two year old. So um, so it wasn't relaxing at all. It was actually extremely stressful, and Um, and now I'm back from not vacation, and uh, and my, my son's school is closed for the week because six kids and three teachers have coveed, so um right back into the fire. Here I am, but it's all good. Um, and I have no complaints like we're here. I'm just happy to be in my own bed again and have our structure back in some ways, and I even got to train quads this morning, going to have to hit upper body later, but at least I got half of it done and now we get to talk to Jen, Ryan, So it's all good things here.

[aaron_straker]:

I give my quick update and then we jump in a g. So I really don't have much of an update. I had govin. literally. So what's funny is last week on the podcast when we were recording with Mike. I'm sitting here and I just feel different. Maybe it's like a little headache you know, and it sounds really really like stupid of me, but I feel good so often. I kind of forget what it's like to not and I in. Is that a headache? Like why? I just of feel weird and then like an hour or two later it hit me like oh, erarin, like you're getting sick And it's just been so long. You forgot what that felt like as it was coming on and then by like you know, Tuesday evening I was in full blown

[bryan_boorstein]:

Mhm,

[aaron_straker]:

on the couch. Like ready to die, type of thing. Um, and then yeah, I've been sick with covet since Uh last Tuesday, and then it was until about Saturday. I felt Um, started feeling better and now I'm just literally in my like you know, quarantine period post, until I can like you know, go outside and go to the gym and stuff like that and running out of food. And then, other than that, the other last little strange thing is, my weight continues to drop day over day. Even though I've had now had Saturday Sunday Monday of full days of eating, my weight continues to slide and I'm like I was one eighty seven point three this morning. I haven't wait.

[bryan_boorstein]:

You hate seeing below one ninety.

[aaron_straker]:

God, no, I literally haven't weighed this little since you. You guys did that like nutrition challenge at the gym and I sandbgged it because I wanted to weigh more right Dallas, two thousand and twelve.

[bryan_boorstein]:

Yep, I remember that. Yeah, you, you gain like thirteen pounds in a couple days, right. Yeah,

[jenn_ryan]:

I like. Yes, I remember that. Oh my god.

[aaron_straker]:

Yeah, it's been like literally like nine ten years since I've weighed this little.

[jenn_ryan]:

Oh, wow,

[aaron_straker]:

Um, and it's crazy to me and I was like. I don't know. I'm just going to wait it out and then see and just continue to eat like my appetite and sus back. But it's a strange that it continues to slide. So like you know, we kind of talked about previously. Like who knows the Co. It's just weird and

[bryan_boorstein]:

yeah,

[aaron_straker]:

your body does weird things. That's it.

[jenn_ryan]:

that's it. I just had just had cove. No big deal.

[bryan_boorstein]:

what are your seven days like these This past week. you were at Wa paza

[jenn_ryan]:

Oh yes, So last seven days, um high stress, which is not something I enjoy anymore, Um high stress, low sleep. Um, so last Tuesday, I left for Miami to go to Water Plaza, got in there at ten forty five at night, which three hour difference was only seven forty five here in San Diego, but still it's really tiring. You know what I realize, and I don't know if you guys have as well. I'm

[aaron_straker]:

Ssssssssssssss.

[jenn_ryan]:

sure you have. So I left San Diego at one o'clock, but you get to the airport at like eleven, thirty, eleven forty five. So you're inside for that long, right like? I didn't get back outside again Until let's see. I had

[bryan_boorstein]:

Mhm.

[jenn_ryan]:

to go through the Miami airport get my rental car. I probably did not walk outside again until eleven thirty at night, So you know, and I used to notice

[bryan_boorstein]:

Hm. they twll out yet.

[jenn_ryan]:

this when I worked my twelve and half hour ships in the e r, too, where you're just inside so much with that artificial light it, it makes me so groggy and then, especially like on a plane. Same thing. I just felt so groggy and uh, I just I hate that feeling of those long flights like that, rightte, so um, anyhow,

[bryan_boorstein]:

Mhm.

[jenn_ryan]:

So then yes, I competed at Waa Paulusza on an elite team of three with two wonderful young women in the sport. Uh one is nineteen and the other one is twenty six. Um, So for those of you who don't know listening, I'm forty two and um mo. I was definitely the oldest uh female out there. I believe there is one other woman who's actually my master's category who I think is a year younger than me. Um, uh, Anyhow, so uh y out there on that elite team of three. Oh, trying to hang with the young kids as up, but it was really great. We had two events each day. Thursday Friday, Saturday, Sunday, The way wanna pleaseuse, it does it. Of course, because you're in downtown Miami on the bay, and they have so many different Um categories going that it is a very long day. you know, like a briefing at like ten thirty or eleven thirty. Then your first event is a couple of hours later, and your last event like two of the nights. I think we went at like eight p. M. So then you're finishing watching the next heats, and then you're getting back. We got back to the air, B and B sometimes like nine, nine and nine thirty, so like five, six, five nights and six nights in a row of not going to bed Tiil between eleven and one A M. it was. I usually like to get to bed between nine thirty and ten and sleep a solid eight and a half to nine hours. So um, yes, at least we did get to sleep in. But like you guys know, like our bodies are on these these certain clocks right, And so you know, Um in the a B and bes, you know, they just have like the white blind, so the sun comes through anyways, And when your body sees that light it's like I'm ready to wake up so ooh, I kind of was feeling like garbage yesterday and then even this morning I got up and I was like I'm going to need about three more nights of recovery.

[bryan_boorstein]:

Yeah, it doesn't not happen as quickly as it did in your twentiesh.

[jenn_ryan]:

Uhuh, No, for sure, and my body has not even beat up. I didn't feel it. feel like the workouts like beat you up. It's just this schedule right that

[bryan_boorstein]:

Yeah,

[jenn_ryan]:

such a schedule change. So yeah, yeah, it's been my last seven days, so

[bryan_boorstein]:

how did you guys do?

[jenn_ryan]:

we finished eighth overall. I think there was thirty eight to forty teams in the elite team of three, So yeah it it was great. Um, we had a good time. Uh, lots of learning experiences as always.

[bryan_boorstein]:

Yeah, for sure was this like? So I remember it was maybe a couple years ago and cross or something, they had some sort of event where I think it was two or three nonmasters. And then you had to have like a Masters on the team. Do you remember anything like

[jenn_ryan]:

Oh, that was grid g. Rememberm it was grid league,

[bryan_boorstein]:

Okay, Okay, so this wasn't that way you were actually competing Like Okay, Okay, so this wasn't that way you were actually competing Like

[jenn_ryan]:

I think. yeah, or

[bryan_boorstein]:

because you were just that good. because you were just that good.

[jenn_ryan]:

um. Yeah, Well, so we got. We were very blessed, my team in the Invictus team. We won the West Coast Classic the semi final to qualify us to games. And so if you want us, I, so that what a plus. it does do a qualifier. Um to get you into the Lete team of three, but you also um. they also invite Um, some teams. So they invited they invite individuals, and then they'll invite some teams. So they invited the top ten teams from the games, but we finished nineteenth only because I had a frac, a displaced fracture of my hand from someone who pushed me into a guard rail at West Coast Classic, where we still went on. where I competed in four more events and we still took first place. So you can't hold the old lay down. But anyways, I feel we would have been top ten, but anyhow you can't, you can't say that, so anyhow,

[bryan_boorstein]:

Yes,

[jenn_ryan]:

uh, but because we won West Coast Classic, we got an invite. Um, so you know you don't want to like go in there and be like, Oh, we shouldn't have invited you. and so I, I felt that we held our own. Um, even though we didn't have to do the qualifier, which was nice because I was still coming back like rehabbing, right like getting myself back Cause I wanted to take time off after the games and we can talk about recovery and

[bryan_boorstein]:

Mhm, Mhm,

[jenn_ryan]:

things like that later, but I was like, Oh, I don't want to have to these qualifiers. you know, but uh, we, we did. We were very blessed since we won to got the invite and so Britw was like, Hey, you want to do this team with me? And so I was like, Okay. I will.

[bryan_boorstein]:

Yeah,

[jenn_ryan]:

So y.

[aaron_straker]:

I think that's a perfect segu, kind of into what I wanted to talk about. First genin with you specifically is kind of longevity, um, and longevity in the sport of crossfiit, right, uh, so that's like the real part of the conversation I want to have, but obviously it'll apply to a little bit more broader of a scope, and I want also makes sure recover. like some maybe myths with that

[jenn_ryan]:

Yeah,

[aaron_straker]:

and then some truth and what I think is really really cool. And I want to kind of preface this for the listeners, because I know what you will pick up on from what gene at is General will not talk very. she won't. She will like downplay yourself that she's like, not quite as bad ass as she really really is. and I really just kind of want to reader A, or kind of put out the point that like Jeni is still, you're still setting P. Rs. you're still setting strength P. Rs. You're still actively getting better after. Like how long have you been doing cross Fiitch In how many years?

[jenn_ryan]:

I started in June of two thousand nine.

[aaron_straker]:

So we're on thirteen years right. eleven years.

[jenn_ryan]:

I think I, I think so. Yeah, something like that.

[aaron_straker]:

Okay, So somewhere like eleven to thirteen years? something like that. but you're still like still like you. Just set a back squat. P a couple of months. Did you not

[jenn_ryan]:

Yeah, I did. Yes,

[aaron_straker]:

okay at? Well, you

[jenn_ryan]:

Anna Fron squad P, R, and yeah,

[aaron_straker]:

were forty one. Then you're forty two. Now okay, so that's

[bryan_boorstein]:

double. p, R.

[aaron_straker]:

what I want to talk about, Write multiple trips to the games in in recent

[jenn_ryan]:

don't forget that front. Sc.

[aaron_straker]:

years, and still continuing to get better. So just like take us through some of your things for longevity, and then some of the myths and truths. Um that you have found that people sometimes mix up with longevity.

[jenn_ryan]:

Yeah, longevity, um, I think it's so important to understand that even though the sport is getting more and more competitive, Um, and I think this is with probably any type of sport they try to get into Um. You, you still have to give your body time to recover, no matter what age you're at. If you don't, if you want to make sure that you can mitigate uh, injuries and nagging um, like aches and pains, right th, they're going to happen in sport. And even if you're someone who uh is is training for aesthetics, um, or anything, No matter what sport you're doing, things are going to happen to you, right we? We can't just eliminate aches and pains and maybe injuries, Um. Because being active, no matter what could you know, you're breaking down the body. No matter what rate, every form of exercise you're breaking down the body. And if you're not allowing yourself adequate time to recover, it's going to catch up with you no matter what age you're at, and this does start to happen as you get older. So one of the the big blessings I suppose for me was that I have almost always had uh, the like a nurse a job as a nurse, And so I would work, you know, twelve and half hour shifts in the e r. for a majority of the last twelve years, So dogs crazy, Uh, for the majority of the last, you know, twelve or thirteen years I was working as a nurse in the e r. Um. There were a couple periods of time where I worked less shifts, but for the most part I worked at least two shifts in the e, r, Um, a week, sometimes three, so I had to take rest days. I would see so many times of people posting that like they had to go into the gym on day six or day seven because Hey team, no days off right, but I firmly believe that my longevity in the sport, and like mentally and physically is because I actually was forced to just have to take days off. and Um, that has been really helpful It. It, really, of course, walking around the e r for that long, maybe wasn't off. but I wasn't Beng clanging and banging on my body right, like running it down. So that's a big piece of it for longevity Is just knowing that, no matter what you're doing, all forms of exercise are essentially breaking your body down right, so you have to allow the body to build back up. Um, that was a big part of it. Another piece of longevity. Uh, would be that you know, keeping stressers down and I, I have to make it known that you know I. I. I don't have kids right, so Um, I don't have the added stresser of children and someone else's schedule. So it is a big piece of it because I'm able to mitigate stress in that way and I, I do think that has helped play a role in my longevity because I am able to mostly focus on myself. Um, but I, I've certainly been able to work with many people who have you know, one, two, three, four kids and they are able to manage this. but it. I, I think it has to be put out there that. I. I. I'm not going to overlook that and say that that's been a piece of it for me, right, Um, another piece of longevity is that, Um, I can't tell you the last time I tried to die it, you know again, there's so many people in the sport that Um

[aaron_straker]:

Ssssssssssssss.

[jenn_ryan]:

tried to look a certain way while doing crossbit and performing at a high level and training five, six even seven days a week, two times a day, and Um, it's it's really hard when you see people in the way that they look not to wa to look like. That, and you think you have to die it down, and this has changed over the past few years. But like we've already mentioned, I've been in it for a long time, and I know so often back from when I started all the way through. I don't know fifteen, sixteen, seventeen, like people were eating so little and training so much that people got burnt out right. And so you know I was very blessed to in. I think two thousand fifteen to start working with Uh, someone who immediately you know, helped me learn how to train for performance and being a smaller athlete anyways, Um, I, I always wanted to get stronger and bigger, So for me it was never really about dieting or E. undereating. It was like I need to eat more all the time, and I'll be honest, that's probably another big part of my longevity and recovery, is that, Um, you know, my body composition has surely changed. It's taken a long time. I was never thel, always the leanest athlete, but over the years I put on a lot of um muscle and a lot of s, uh size. but my weights. You know, When I started across it in two thousand nine, I was a hundred and fifteen pounds, and by the time I came out to crosspit P B in December, two thousand and twelve, I was one thirty five. Um, I'm I never got any bigger than that and I'm currently like one, twenty seven to one thirty Is where I fluctuate too. but uh because I, I never really dieted. Um, I had slow body composition changes and and I, I was okay with that. I. I wasn't okay with it, but I had to be. um. and um. I think I played a huge role in my longevity Is that I was eating like some of the males in the sport know

[aaron_straker]:

and I want to. I' glad you. You just said that be cause. I wanted to in that ginger shaer size. Right How tall are you? five? three,

[jenn_ryan]:

five by two.

[aaron_straker]:

five,

[jenn_ryan]:

Y.

[aaron_straker]:

two, five, three. Okay, I'm five eleven. I'm generally around a hundred and ninety two hundred three pounds. not this week, but Je and I will compare food, and it's generally as eating, if not more, at least the same amount of food that I eat, even though I'm literally obviously much much larger. Her. but her training schedule so demanding the volume, the frequency. it is a very, very big part of it. Jene could put her numbers into any fucking nutrition calculator in the world, and it would massively unders what she should be eating and what she currently is eating for to perform like that, and I really just wanted to make sure we stress that to people out there listening who do follow. You know, intense crossbit training

[jenn_ryan]:

Yeah, I. yeah, I think that that is probably that and stress mitigation, you know is uh, one of the biggest parts of the longevity piece. So Um, because it keeps you mentally going too right, it tires your body out to be training so much and then not having that fuel come in and not seeing and feeling the performances and the gym change. Um. And if you are, you're you're just you're operating on on. you know, your own bodies likeas all and and everything that's pumping out And that starts diploma at a certain point For people. You know, if you' not giving it fuel, so that's a huge piece.

[bryan_boorstein]:

those are. Those are great perspectives. I love that you started with the days off one, because I feel like that really is like the most important one. almost

[jenn_ryan]:

Yeah,

[bryan_boorstein]:

like the fact that the crossiters out there and Aaron raised his hand during that and I. I also can co the same that Er and I both kind of almost used exercise as a way to validate eating more food, and that we would exercise more and then we eat more food and exercise mores, like

[aaron_straker]:

Ssssssssssssss.

[bryan_boorstein]:

repetitive cycle, and Um, and it ended up being like team, No days off. Basically like we were taking you know Sundays off every now and then or something along those lines, So Um, so I think that that's massively important. Um, I think you also just have like a genetic proclivity, probably for resilience, partially becausecause you're a female, but also just you as a person like you, seem just a very resilient human and your body is is very responsive to that. Um, you mentioned earlier, eight to nine hours of sleep a night. Um, so that's obviously something critical too. Is that like been the case? you know for a decade now that you're just consistently getting that type of sleep?

[jenn_ryan]:

No, so this is also really important. Remember before it came out to crossp, P B in December, two thousand twelve, starting in two thousand nine. Right when I started cross Fiit, I had graduated nursing school. Um, I was twenty nine at the time and I started on night shift. So, for the first three and a half years, Um, before I moved out there of doing cross fit, I was also working night shift, Um, and

[bryan_boorstein]:

Yeah,

[jenn_ryan]:

boy, when I didn't resign a nursing contract and I came out to California within the first week of being like a day walker. I called it the The fog and the I was like Holy crap. I am a whole new human and I started sleeping more, even though coaching hours were off a little bit right, but um, I, I, My everything started to change. It was crazy, Um, my body composition started to change. I was able to do and push a little bit harder. so performance was different and just mood motivation. brainfog. It all changed now then when I started. Um, you know, back to like nursing after moving out here, you know, I would work the eleven am to eleven thirty p. M. shift, so I might on some nights of the week, not get the full, like, Uh, a eight hours. I probably was, maybe sometimes six and half to

[aaron_straker]:

Ssssssssssssss.

[jenn_ryan]:

seven, depending on if I could sleep, but Um, over time it really became important that I was sleeping more and more Last September. I went back to work at the hospital after being off for a year, and I had to start back to night shift and Um that was really hard. Uh, that was very hard. So I was night shift

[bryan_boorstein]:

H.

[jenn_ryan]:

for a while, and then days, and then mid shifts, and then up until Um, this past, Uh, about a month and a half two months ago, when I just went back to just um. not working at the hospital. Uh, it was. It was much different and I could feel it on my body, but ever since games, Uh, this past August, I really made it a point that I would get like eight and half to nine hours of sleep, except for maybe the nights that I was working until eleven thirty p M. But then I would really try to make myself sleep in, so it wasn't always that much, but I have felt a major difference, Um. the the differences in like lab work, Um, the differences in the way my body felt over the last year, going back and having a disrupted sleep schedule working nights is very. It made it very clear to me that I, I could make the decision for my health, or I could make the decision for you know, uh, you know what do I want to do Right? and to me, I have this path, this route where I um, love and enjoy my health and wellness, coaching, Um, and making my own schedule, getting to bed and getting the amount of sleep I need, and that to me is you know, the proof was in the pudding, Um, so I, I had a lot of factors determining that, and Um, I. Know a lot of people don't have that, so we. we kind of have to remember what people have the capabilities to do. but um, having that choice has helped a lot in like longevity, and just making things much better for me.

[bryan_boorstein]:

the circadian rhythm piece is huge. like during the the night shifting is shi. I mean, I literally couldn't imagine you yourre testament to you know, the brain fog that lifted and all that

[jenn_ryan]:

Mhm.

[bryan_boorstein]:

stuff. So that's awesome. Um, go ahead and I want to ask about something a second.

[aaron_straker]:

Okay, so I just w. I want to start shifting the conversation to around like that twenty fifteen time frame, Jen, but Brian, if you want as your question

[bryan_boorstein]:

One more quick question.

[jenn_ryan]:

Yeah,

[aaron_straker]:

before, Yeah,

[bryan_boorstein]:

Can you uh, just talk about that period that you took off after the games be cause you said you took time off after the

[jenn_ryan]:

yeah,

[bryan_boorstein]:

games and I'm really curious about that

[jenn_ryan]:

so this past year, Um, so many other years I've been to the game since two thousand Seventeen, and many of those years a week later I would be ready to go back in the gym. I remember in I, Ca. I think it was two thousand seventeen a week later. I came back from the games, hopped into the competition class and invictus. They were on a streke cycle. I hopped in and pired my dead lift. Who the fock does that? In their right mind, you know what I'm saying,

[bryan_boorstein]:

right, right,

[jenn_ryan]:

And then I remember like the year. The next year I did the same thing and jumped in and I remember doing this interval work and I was on the ground and I was just like question, like, Why am I doing this to myself A week later like

[bryan_boorstein]:

right, right,

[jenn_ryan]:

I just peaked, but you know, and so I have gradually gotten smarter and this past year I got really smart. Um, I took time. Mostly. I was sort of forced to. I mentioned before I had the displacelay fracture like a boxer fracture in my hand since June eighteenth. Um. but I couldn't take time off to really let it heal because I was going to compete at the games. Um, and I knew my body was worn out. I was stressed from it from the year. Um. and so I. I purposely decided, especially after getting some lab work done in late May. Um, that I was going to get more tested again, but I wanted. I. I knew I needed a longer off season this year just to decide what I was going to do about healing my body, and like mentally physically, emotionally physiologically. so I took

[aaron_straker]:

Ssssssssssssss.

[jenn_ryan]:

the full week after games off, which I don't think I've ever done. I think I went into the gym that Friday. Kristen Holta, another very, um, an amazing individual games athlete was in town and she was taking a full week off and I went to the beach with her like three or four days, And I've not ever done that where I just literally relaxed. Didn't have a care in the world about trying to work out. I think we went into the gym that Friday and justed like a forty minute. Just move through things like to sweat and I was like Wow, this feels nice. And then the next week I kind of did the same thing like I would move. I. I did a little bit of bodyuilding stuff, but again, like I like style training, but again I couldn't hang from a bar. I wasn't supposed to pick up a bar bell. I couldn't do a lot with this hand yet 'cause I had put it through a lot at games, so I needed to let it heal and I understood that there was no rush right. There's no rush anymore to to heal An, or to to compete. Um, and get better. I, I needed to heal. So then I got another set round of lab work done, and you know this data is so important even for someone people like us who are inv. very in tune. We understand, but data is so important and I got these uh labs back and I thought Holy shit, jam. what have you been doing to yourself? You know, Um, it. It was not good and for people who look at me and they say like, How do you do it? You stay in it. you're you know, blah, blah, blah. It's like that's I am resilient, but there's a point where you can ignore things or you can look at the data and say I'm correlating this with what's going on and I, I need to continue to let things heal. so I, I took longer and I made it a point to make sure that I was going to, no matter what, At eight and a half nine hours sleep at night. I was going to pull back on my gym sessions. even though I. I was having Fomo, and I was seeing my teammates and other athletes hitting it hard to get better. I knew that I needed to take that time. so um, I, yeah, I was very strategic about that and you know, mentally and emotionally I feel so much better having done it. Um. It's a long season and uh, so that was

[bryan_boorstein]:

zero.

[jenn_ryan]:

part of it.

[aaron_straker]:

cool. Yeah, I think like, obviously from. I hope you know from everyone who listens to this. I always speak about data and helping that. Uh are leveraging that to to help make your decisions and stuff like that. And that's like a perfect. you know example right there that those those subjectivities, those fears, those emotions like pull on you. But when you have that data that's like, Listen, he, like, Uh, the data

[jenn_ryan]:

No,

[aaron_straker]:

doesn't lie. You know, so it's It's one of those things where it's like what you need and what you want are not always in

[jenn_ryan]:

Mhm,

[aaron_straker]:

parallel. cool. so Gen. what I want to do is kind of shift the conversation back to that like twenty fifteen. you know version of yourself. So you' I mean, you're good at crossbit, You are you know, like the the anchor of the individual, right, uh, or sorry, the the anchor the team of of the multiple times you're at regionals, you know with P. B, but I want to kind of go to like What started shifting you to be like you know, Go from Gen. Ryan of like the Twenty thirteen, twenty fourteen, twenty fifteen into Like How what you have become now Because there is a point. and and obviously, I hope you can speak to it better than I can. Were you just like you started making different decisions, and then your capability as an athlete really took off, And I think one thing you will talk about there that I hope is is confidence as well. but I mean, like you said you, you've been to the crossfit games now for five consecutive years, six consecutive years. And if you would have asked M me, you know in twenty fourteen. Like do you think your friend Gen go to games for six years in a row? I be like what, Gen. Ryan, No, why would you think that? But like here we are. You know what I mean.

[jenn_ryan]:

yeah,

[aaron_straker]:

So and I know that this is around the time that you started working with like a new nutrition coach as well, and back then like I mean, in like the bodyuilding world. Yes, it was hurt, but in like cross fit, I don't really think there were a lot of people doing it even when you started talking to me about a This is. This is a thing. You know that this is an avenue, so just want to to kind of take the conversation back there a little bit, and what some of the thought processes were in your mind, and then what you have done to become Gen of today.

[jenn_ryan]:

yeah, yeah, yeah, thank you. Um. You're right, con. maybe not so much confidence, but just a a singular goal and the confidence in what I was doing was going to get me there no matter what. And and I would stop at nothing. Uh, well, okay, thanks, but I, I would. I would do everything within my power to get to what I wanted. And so there wasn't a ton of balance right. I was balancing some things, but that that was it right. My goal was to go to the Crossbt games, and so I, I did. I had. Well, the basis started out, you know, with Uh b in a a v A that cross my P. B. Just all the confidence that they had in me. It was very. It was very catching for me like. Oh, they're confident in me amazing, so I need to be more confident myself and I'm going to put everything into this. And then I did. I started making shifts just to say, Okay, What's the next thing to get me to where I want to be? The next thing was. Um, you know hiring a specific. A coach rate someone who was outside of where I was, then. Um, because I'm not something like a a coach jumper, or you know anything like that? Uh, I like to stick with people for a while, And so I had a b and b coaching me for thirteen and fourteen

[aaron_straker]:

Ssssssssssssss.

[jenn_ryan]:

and then I was like Okay, what's my next thing? Where's another outside look right? Because I, I think that's very important as an athlete grows, and I was in that growing period. Um, what's What's the next step? Where where can I get a a leg up Right? And so Um, I hired Uh, Jason Light in from out at Crossbit, Milford? Um. And so he was coaching many other prospit athletes. He had been in the game for a really long time. very analytical like Brian. And so this seemed to work really well for me. So I started with individualized coaching and then I also hired a nutrition coach. I had heard about her. This Uh woman. She was a sports nutritionist. Um. I had heard about her from another Cst athlete and it was really amazing. I remember talking with Brian about it and it was really cool. In the past I was. I had jumped on board with the zone type diet and paleo, which I'm I. I don't know if Uh, any of the listeners are familiar with a lot of those, but you know you're youre You are with the zone, uh, wenging and measuring, Paying attention to quote unquote blocks. Paleo was not so much about wiging and measuring, Um, So I would eat. You know two perfect foods bars in a day, and like this massive shake that was like a thousand calories from Uh, it was like, remember, like the banana, peanut butter milk monkey roa. Oh, my gosh like I, but I, I was eating so many fats to fuel a glycolytic

[bryan_boorstein]:

Yeah, the Arctic Monkey Arctic Monkey up.

[jenn_ryan]:

sport rate and I was, I would eat carbs, but I was kind of afraid of it, so I was a higher protein like higher fat eater and I didn't even like Know it really, and this woman in particular had me start really changing. I was eating much lower fat, but really high carbohydrate, and I was like this is amazing and that those things, those keys really started to

[aaron_straker]:

Ssssssssssssss.

[jenn_ryan]:

change my performance and the fact that I now had specific structure, so I had structure to my day for my nutrition, which then allowed me to just focus on being the athlete and that right there is super important. I think I had a coach to tell me what to do in my training. I had a coach to tell me what to do in my nutrition, and I could just focus on my one singular goal, So those those things really transformed me. I really felt that going into the fifteen and sixteen season things were very much clicking. And um, you know, I competed at regionals in fifteen and sixteen as an individual, and that's when I decided that Okay, now I'm ready for the next thing and that's been the biggest part of my story is sticking with something for a while, trusting in the process so that I could build my confidence in that process and where I was at. So I stuck with specific nutrition. I stuck with a P. specific coach for programming, and then I was very confident in what I was doing there, and then I was ready to move on to the next thing to take me to the next level. And that's when I decided to Um. I switched gyms and started working or working out at a place called Crosspt in Viictus, which is a very well known. Um. You know gym in the the crosspit world and they've produced a lot of top athletes and a lot of top teams, which was a huge thing for me because I, I, I wanted to go team and so that change right there really ignited the next thing in me because I was constantly around athletes that were better than me and you know, right at that same level and had the same goals, And I think when you see yourself being able to compete with some of the people at that level, or you see where you can get. To that pushes you even farther. It makes you like build your confidence up even more. Um. Those were the key years. I think, fifteen through uh, early, two thousand, Seventeen for me,

[bryan_boorstein]:

Yeah, those. uh, it was. It was weird because in that moment when you left for Invictus, Andres, I were obviously like a little bit hurt by it, you know, Um, but it also let coincided with just kind of the demise of Anders and I and the gym, and like the whole shifting of the the guard type thing, so it really is like it was so fortuitously timed in that, like the separation from you in the gym, and and Anders and Ee, and all of that kind of happen simultaneously and you know, in retrospect, it's easy for me to look back. And just be like so happy for you, because that transition to invictus was clearly like the best thing for you as an athlete, but also for your career, like it helped you network with people and get in with people that could help propel your career and your business and coach you through becoming a coach online and stuff like that, too. So Um, if we can talk about that transition a little bit, and how you kind of developed your business, I think that'd be cool, too.

[jenn_ryan]:

Yeah, yeah, Absolutely. that was a a large part of it, too. Um. I had started nutrition coaching back when I was out cross, but P B, some of the personal training clients I had, I was um, coaching them in nutrition as well, And so I just continue to build on that and get more and more clients. And then when I went to Invictus, Um, you know I was able to speak with C. j, the owner,

[aaron_straker]:

nine.

[jenn_ryan]:

and you know, had coach of Invictus, and letting him know kind of what I did and Um, how I I worked with athletes. and at the time I was with Mostly you know, a

[bryan_boorstein]:

Sssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssss.

[jenn_ryan]:

active populations and athletes and just being able to let him know what I knew what I do for myself and how how I can help athletes. That was so helpful because he was looking for something like that for his athletes at the time, too, Because there were coaches coming up in the sport, Um, in the nutrition realm right. There were definitely a few coming out that were geared more towards performance, not just body composition and I, I, I believe one hundred percent that he loved what he heard and he lead'. Love that I practiced what I preached, and so that was wonderful for networking, because I got to work with someone of the top cross but athletes in the world, and I probably didn't take quite as much of advantage of it at the time, but you know, I was. Also, I was working as a nurse right at the time, but when I went to invtors, as which, I was a full time nurse, so I was working three, twelve an hour ships a week. Probably had about twenty. Um, you know, nutrition clients, and then I was training, you know, five days a week. doubles, and on, you know that was Um. So that was that was quite a lot. and so being able to work with many of those athletes, it was very helpful because it just then referrals just continued to come in. Right, and it just built my experience with more and more people. so the more people trust you and start to believe in what you're doing. That's that's so important. And when they see that you, the way you carry yourself in the way you practice what you're preaching. Um, I, I think that makes you a much more credible source too, you know, So that was? that was a big piece of it. Mhm,

[aaron_straker]:

One thing that I, I love that you just said that. I am glad he said, because it has been up like a kind of a corissn, of mine is so that people can see that you practice what you preach.

[bryan_boorstein]:

isssssssssssssssssssss. isssssssssssssssssssss. isssssssssssssssssssss. isssssssssssssssssssss. isssssssssssssssssssss. isssssssssssssssssssss. isssssssssssssssssssss. isssssssssssssssssssss.

[aaron_straker]:

I think that is something that's allowed me to be. you know, to have success with my coaching business, and I clearly with you as well, because especially for for now like you've become this like strong. you know, female force and you can see that like imagery from you. and I know there's especially with with you know younger girls coming into the sport and stuff like that that. It's it. It is like a pull towards you. Because they you, they can see that they would like to be like that too, and I just love that you know you are, because I know you. Obviously I've known you for for like you over almost a decade now, I guess, or maybe just over that That is true. And what they see is really who you are. And and I think that that's really really cool and it's like from my standpoint like I have just loved, like sitting back and watching you like grow into being this like bad ass games, athlete, and just being like stronger and stronger, and and doing all these really cool things, Because um, I remember those days you know, when you didn't have all this confidence and stuff like that, And it's just I,

[jenn_ryan]:

Mhm,

[aaron_straker]:

just, I guess I'm saying that I just love seeing it now, and what you've been able to do with it. It's been so so so cool.

[jenn_ryan]:

thank you. Yeah, it's uh. it's been wonderful in regards to helping other people. Because, and it's not a business transaction for me, Um, you know there' so many, And now I, I am seeing so much out there and you guys can probably speak to this too. It's it's about business transactions. Like how many clients can you get and how do you get this? Um, and to me it's maybe to a fault. it's it's never been about that for me. It's so important the way that I'm touching people and helping like you. said the the younger people coming up, even the the women my own age who are like Whoa. I've never had someone like this like explain it to me or help me. And Um, that's what it's been about for me. Is showing that you don't have to continue following. Kind of what society has been telling us for so long and I, it probably comes from my own struggles, Right And so it's been amazing to get to like Walk the walk and show people like you know the way And that's that's been so so cool. It's y. You know you don't realize it when it's happening at the time. But looking back and now now it's it's really. it's it's great to get to do that and to continue to want to do it for myself. As changes happen,

[bryan_boorstein]:

and

[aaron_straker]:

What do you think Like where you are right now right? So like it's now. What is it? So? One thing that's really funny is I will completely forget what time of the year It is what seas? So I was like Okay, is it? are we com right after games? Are you in the middle of the season? So I was like looking at my calendar. Like what fucking time of them year? Is it? So with you where where you're at right now? Like take us through. If if you care to share, like some of the things that you're doing right now that are helping you one. I would imagine prepare for an upcoming season. Right it like a month a away, two months away. Is it March

[jenn_ryan]:

I think the open starts in like three a month. Yeah, four weeks. I think

[aaron_straker]:

okayt? so like take us through some of the things you're doing right now, like maybe where your nutrition is or just what you're what you're doing right now, to kind of prepare to to get into the swing of things fully like hardcore again.

[jenn_ryan]:

Yeah. so again, sleep is a huge part of it. Um. really focusing on that. A you know, somewhere between eight to nine hours. So that's a big piece. Um. in regards to nutrition, I try to keep my calories up there. Pretty high. People might be a little like. Well, what the heck? Um, I try to be eating somewhere around twenty, six hundred to three thousand. There's times where I go well over that, Um, and something that people will find interesting. Maybe is that I'm not

[bryan_boorstein]:

S.

[jenn_ryan]:

you know. uh, er, and you're you're so good at like you're very good at. Okay. here's my. Here's my numbers. For the most part, ra, um, I am someone who gives myself a bit of a range, Um, because it works well for me. And remember I've been doing this for a long time. Um, So when I say you know twenty six hundred to three thousand, sometimes over, maybe a little bit under, just depending, Uh, and people are like well, Jen, that's not well. That's that's super just random, right so general, but at the same time I've I've been doing this for a long time, and so I kind of know what my body needs, Uh during a specific time, so right now that's sort of where I'm at, depending on um, the training sessions and where we are now as we ramp up into preparing more for the open and Peking, remember it's not as much of a strength season and so this is more of a high intensity part of the year, so I'm going ver, you know, it's very glycolytic. So I'm really utilizing. Uh. We're doing a lot more high intensity where I'm I'm utilizing a lot more fuel at carbohydrate rate. And so then I also need to be able to recover because I do need to keep my strength up. and so uh, as I mentioned before is that I still have to remember recovery, you know, And so, uh, dieting and staying super lean. Isn't the the focus right now at all? It really can't be. And so um, that's why I do follow a more uh, high carbohydrate diet, Um, and I also love more protein, so I'm a little bit higher protein and carb um. athletes, and then fats are goingnna be a little bit a good bit lower. Um, So that's where I'm at right now in regards to nutrition, I definitely focus on food quality. However, with athletes it's going to be a bit different than your. I, maybe there', general population. Um, you know health and longevity. Sometimes we've just got to get those calories in, and that's very apparent in you know competition settings right this past weekend at like wa plza, um, and even moving forward in the season, just depending when I find that when the intensity really ramps up, the thought of food quality is just like. Oh, I cannot keep shoving these veggies in my mouth, or like, just plain white rice is like very bla to me, so I will incorporate some, you know, Um, baggless, uh, English muffins. Uh, you know I'm having like some soft shell tortillas. Um, you know pretzels. Uh, you know different things that it doesn't always correlate with, you know health and longevity. Um, sometimes I'll have some cereal. you know, and uh it's it's not what I would always suggest to everyone to always eat. But this time of year it's it's certainly about remembering this these next six to eight months. It's a very long season and you've got to be able to get that fuel in, and sometimes it has to happen quickly if you're doing two a days. Where your turnound is an hour and a half to two hours. And remember, Um, food takes a little while to digest, so I, I'm also, I'm focusing more this time of year on something quicker digesting in between. Whereas you know the last five to six months, even if I was doing two sessions, intensity might be a little lower and might go into the second session and the first hour hour and a half is just strength work. So it's okay if the food sits a little longer right, but now I'm I'm kind of like. All right. What's kind of go to get at me quick. you know. Um. So so that's where my nutrition is at? Um, I can stop there. Yeah,

[aaron_straker]:

One thing there that I wanted. Yeah, one thing I wanted to say there too is, especially when you were talking about that range for the liers out there, like Jen is not eating for body composition. That is a very big difference, right she'? like, Oh, sometimes twenty six hundred. Sometimes it's way over a thousand like Gen is eating to fuel performance and that is the important distinction there. and also you didn't say this, but I know it's something that we'veu you and I have you know off talk about in the pas in season. you've told me you will have sometimes a problem with you with you

[jenn_ryan]:

yes,

[aaron_straker]:

keeping your weight up. Your weight will will start to drop, so you have a unique problem that ninety nine percent of people listening to nutrition advice. not you know having type of deal. So I just wanted to add that cave out be cause. It's important that people understand that.

[jenn_ryan]:

yeah, yeah, I had a really hard time. Uh, you, going into the West Coast Classic last June and then leading in the games. I, I was well at. I was around that, you know that three thousand calorie mark and I could. I had a hard time getting my weight up over a hundred and twenty seven pounds. and um, you know, and it's not because I'm just trying to do that. I. I think a lot of people are just like. Oh, then I'm going to do agendaz, I. I was still losing. like maintaining that weight at three thousand calories, five two and a forty one year old woman like that's not very normal. That is not normal at all, you know, and I'm going to put that out there. I understand that, but Um, you also have to remember that I have worked on reversing myself and maintaining that for since two thousand fifteen, and I think that's an important distinction for women and men out there to know is I. I went through a time where I I felt full. I was like, oh man, like, I just I feel heavy. I'm so sick of stuffing myself right, but Um, performance in a sport is is very different than just you know, health and longevity and aesthetics, And now you know, For the past couple of years now I've been reaping those benefits because I, I can actually lose five pounds in a week, week and a half at just twenty four hundred calories, twenty five hundred calories

[bryan_boorstein]:

Hey,

[jenn_ryan]:

and again, for for some people some people, that's that's normal, but for a five, two forty, now forty two year old female, Um, at my weight, that's very strange and it's it's. Because I've my body has gotten so used to managing the the weight I'm at. Plus, I have a very high. Uh, for my my size, my muscle mass is is higher rate. but that was not always the case. I. Re. I had to work on that and I had to be okay with understanding that aesthetics was not always the goal. That doesn't mean I was like large right, remember I said I've never. My body weight's never gone over like one, thirty, four, one thirty five. but I did have to understand that it might take two or three years to get to that point and then you have to like maintain and reverse it down rightight. So that's such a key thing. And I, I think you guys talk about really focusing on that kind of thing. Um, too, is just understanding that it. It can take some time to get you where you want to be like these, Can't these aren't always quick turnarounds. These. I, I went through periods of time where I was like. Oh, I want to take off my shirt, but again remember I, I wasn't . I. I, just I. you know, we all have these things about our body that were like. Ah, you know, I I wanna look like that, but I, I stuck to the goal right. I stuck to the plan. I questioned my coach sometimes because I would be like. But why don't I look like those other girls yet? Right? And it was because I didn't give my body time to build that muscle. I didn't give my body time to build that core. Ra. Like sure, she could have dropped me down to like fifteen or sixteen hundred calories. you know, training twice a day, and then and then what? Um? Oh, that's great. You have sort of the body you want, but now you've great. See, later. You're never making it to the

[aaron_straker]:

M.

[jenn_ryan]:

crossbit games. you know. so, um, I, I think it's important to make note of that as well for both men and women that are listening. that I. I got to where I am because I believed in the process and I was very uncomfortable for a long period of time. but I've reaped the rewards. Um. you know from doing that,

[aaron_straker]:

I think what you're trying to say, Jan is, the grass is greener on the other side

[jenn_ryan]:

Yes, the grass is all. Yeah,

[bryan_boorstein]:

and that sticking to something will Re you the rewards or whatever cliche

[jenn_ryan]:

Yup, and it might take a. Yeah, it might take a year of you not being at the body

[bryan_boorstein]:

there is for

[jenn_ryan]:

composition. You want. It might take two years, but at the end of the day, how long have have people been trying to get to a body composition and not getting there Because there's

[bryan_boorstein]:

Mhm.

[jenn_ryan]:

changed. They, not. they're They're trying to like, not follow a specific process like ten times out of the year. Like every two months they're They're trying to go back and forth and um, I, I one hundred percent do not believe I'd be where I I am if I had done that. You know.

[bryan_boorstein]:

it is interesting, though, because you also do work with athletes or I guess non athletes like people that just want to improve

[jenn_ryan]:

Yep,

[bryan_boorstein]:

their body composition andthtics and you send people to my general programs, which I of course appreciate but, but it it's awesome that like you can use a lot of those principles that initially started in performance sport, and then as youve kind of continued your education and and your journey into just broad fitness. That, uh, that you found success working with body oriented

[jenn_ryan]:

yeah,

[bryan_boorstein]:

people as well,

[aaron_straker]:

cool. I know we are coming up on our time here, and I want to be respective of that, so Gen. Is there anything else you would like to share before we kind of get into? like wrap up stuff,

[jenn_ryan]:

oh, I'm trying to think I don't know. I'm better at answer it. I'm better at answering questions. then

[aaron_straker]:

anything, anythingf, we find anything else from you Ran

[bryan_boorstein]:

No, I talk about your business a little bit. Our life is like, Yes,

[aaron_straker]:

well, and that was my next question.

[bryan_boorstein]:

Yeah,

[jenn_ryan]:

oh

[aaron_straker]:

As again, please tell a roer you can find you an Instm, And if you are accepting new clients, I don't want to send a people a bunch. I don't want to

[jenn_ryan]:

yeah, oh

[aaron_straker]:

like Bombardi, if you are completely caped or something like that, so yeah, just give us more there, please.

[jenn_ryan]:

yeah, yeah. yeah. you can find me inigram at Uh, Genn, underscre underscore, Ryan, Um, my nutrition coaching, uh, business is lifeline performance, Um, I do work with many athletes, but the crazy thing is that's probably only about twenty five percent of my client, uh population. I have many people who are just looking to feel better. look better. Learn a ton of new habits and you know my combination of you know, being a nurse since two thousand nine and a coach for so long has really come together after especially the last year of working with someone named Travs zipper, on a Um and uh, integrative wellness, Uh, and holistic health coaching Um certification. So that has really brought everything together for me, and it's really really rewarding when I can do the things outside of the hospital that I want to be doing with the patients in there. And it's it's just married everything together for me. So Um, that's that's really the passion that I have right now, Um, and the route that my my coaching is going,

[aaron_straker]:

I love that for any of the lessers out there listening. If what, It's worth one hundred percent co, uh Gen is who I go to with things when I don't know. So Jen is a fantastic coach. I would recommend her for anyone.

[jenn_ryan]:

thank you. thanks

[aaron_straker]:

Anything else? Bri,

[bryan_boorstein]:

now it's great. Catch enough with you, I amm, really glad that we're all in a position to be able to get together and talk publicly like

[jenn_ryan]:

two.

[bryan_boorstein]:

this, superqual.

[aaron_straker]:

Yes, Ja. this was absolutely fantastic. I'm sure we'll have you on again in the future. Will talk something else, Maybe will Di dive

[jenn_ryan]:

Oh.

[aaron_straker]:

deep on something, So thank you for your time. Thank you for your friendship to both of you guys and everyone on the podcast listening. Brian and I will talk to you next week.

Introduction
Brief background of the Jenn, Aaron and Bryan history together
Longevity in the sport of CrossFit
The importance of recovering
Going from good to great
Practicing what you preach
Jenn’s approach for the upcoming CF Games season
Eating to fuel performance vs. aesthetics