Goals: What motivates you?

This summer we want to help you achieve your fitness goals. To get you moving in the right direction we have “Goal Sheets” available for you to use. We would love for you to hang them up so we can continue to work on them over the summer. Please ask us if you need help or if you have not received your sheet yet.

We also want to know what motivates you to achieve your goals. It could be one would or a long description, but please feel free to share your driving force!

What is Crossfit

Your body was designed to move – in many different ways and with varying degrees of intensity. But move it too often in the same way, and your fitness goals can be stopped. Your body will adapt and plateau. 

Stars and Stripes CrossFit uses innovation, science and physical rehabilitation techniques to design customized strength and conditioning programs that feature constantly varied movements performed at high intensity for varied periods of time. Every workout is different. It is not only the movements that change, but also the length of time. We train you to be ready for anything – whether it is working intensely for 5 minutes or continuous movement for 30 minutes. 

You will learn to work hard and pace yourself for constant movement so you can get the most out of each workout and everyday life! 

Stars and Stripes CrossFit emphasizes functional movements that you likely do in your everyday life. By performing these movements at high intensity, you’re not only increasing your strength and stamina, but improving your endurance and overall body health at the same time, while minimizing the risk of injury due to improper form. 

Stars and Stripes CrossFit: Real Training for Real Life 

The Whole 30 Challenge

What is the Whole30®?

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 fertility issues) that medication hasn’t helped? These symptoms may be 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. Cut out all the psychologically unhealthy, hormone-unbalancing, gut-disrupting, 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 metabolism, systemic inflammation, and the downstream effects of the food choices you’ve been making. Learn once and for all how the foods you’ve been eating are actually affecting your day to day life, and your long term health. The most important reason to keep reading?

This will change your life.

We cannot possibly put enough emphasis on this simple fact—the next 30 days will change your life. It will change the way you think about food, it will change your tastes, it will change your habits and your cravings. It could, quite possibly, change the emotional relationship you have with food, and with your body. It has the potential to change the way you eat for the rest of your life. We know this because we did it, and tens of thousands of people have done it since, and it changed our lives (and their lives) in a very permanent fashion. (Need convincing? Just read some of our stunning testimonials.)

– See more at: http://whole30.com/whole30-program-rules/#sthash.Y8eHvsC6.dpuf

The Whole30 Program Rules

Yes: Eat real food.

Eat meat, seafood, eggs, tons of vegetables, some fruit, and plenty of good fats from fruits, oils, nuts and seeds. Eat foods with very few ingredients, all pronounceable ingredients, or better yet, no ingredients listed at all because they’re totally natural and unprocessed. Don’t worry… these guidelines are outlined in extensive detail in our free shopping list.

No: Avoid for 30 days.

More importantly, here’s what NOT to eat during the duration of your Whole30 program. Omitting all of these foods and beverages will help you regain your healthy metabolism, reduce systemic inflammation, and help you discover how these foods are truly impacting your health, fitness and quality of life.

  • Do not consume added sugar of any kind, real or artificial. No maple syrup, honey, agave nectar, coconut sugar, Splenda, Equal, Nutrasweet, xylitol, stevia, etc. Read your labels, because companies sneak sugar into products in ways you might not recognize.
  • Do not consume alcohol in any form, not even for cooking. (And it should go without saying, but no tobacco products of any sort, either.)
  • Do not eat grains. This includes (but is not limited to) wheat, rye, barley, oats, corn, rice, millet, bulgur, sorghum, amaranth, buckwheat, sprouted grains and all of those gluten-free pseudo-grains like quinoa. This also includes all the ways we add wheat, corn and rice into our foods in the form of bran, germ, starch and so on. Again, read your labels.
  • Do not eat legumes. This includes beans of all kinds (black, red, pinto, navy, white, kidney, lima, fava, etc.), peas, chickpeas, lentils, and peanuts. No peanut butter, either. This also includes all forms of soy – soy sauce, miso, tofu, tempeh, edamame, and all the ways we sneak soy into foods (like lecithin).
  • Do not eat dairy. This includes cow, goat or sheep’s milk products such as cream, cheese (hard or soft), kefir, yogurt (even Greek), and sour cream… with the exception of clarified butter or ghee. (See below for details.)
  • Do not eat white potatoes. This is somewhat arbitrary, but if we are trying to change your habits (chips and fries) and improve the hormonal impact of your food choices, it’s best to leave white, red, purple, Yukon gold, and fingerling potatoes off your plate.
  • Do not consume carrageenan, MSG or sulfites. If these ingredients appear in any form on the label of your processed food or beverage, it’s out for the Whole30.
  • No Paleo-ifying baked goods, desserts, or junk foods. Trying to shove your old, unhealthy diet into a shiny new Whole30 mold will ruin your program faster than you can say “Paleo Pop-Tarts.” This means no desserts or junk food made with “approved” ingredients—no banana-egg pancakes, almond-flour muffins, flourless brownies, or coconut milk ice cream. Don’t try to replicate junk food during your 30 days! That misses the point of the Whole30 entirely.

One last and final rule: You are not allowed to step on the scale or take any body measurements for the duration of the program. This is about so much more than just weight loss, and to focus on your body composition means you’ll miss out on the most dramatic and lifelong benefits this plan has to offer. So, no weighing yourself, analyzing body fat or taking comparative measurements during your Whole30. (We do encourage you to weigh yourself before and after, however, so you can see one of the more tangible results of your efforts when your program is over.)

The Fine Print

These foods are exceptions to the rule, and are allowed during your Whole30.

  • Clarified Butter or Ghee. Clarified butter or ghee is the only source of dairy allowed during your Whole30. Plain old butter is NOT allowed, as the milk proteins found in non-clarified butter could impact the results of your program. Refer to our Butter Manifesto for more details on the milk proteins found in butter, purchasing high quality butter, and how to clarify it yourself.
  • Fruit juice as a sweetener. Some products will use orange or apple juice as a sweetener. We have to draw the line somewhere, so we’re okay with a small amount of fruit juice as an added ingredient during your Whole30… but this doesn’t mean a cup of fruit juice is a healthy choice! Refer to your Shopping Guide for clarification.
  • Certain legumes. We’re fine with green beans, sugar snap peas and snow peas. While they’re technically a legume, these are far more “pod” than “bean,” and green plant matter is generally good for you.
  • Vinegar. Most forms of vinegar, including white, balsamic, apple cider, red wine, and rice, are allowed during your Whole30 program. The only exceptions are vinegars with added sugar, or malt vinegar, which generally contains gluten.

– See more at: http://whole30.com/whole30-program-rules/#sthash.Y8eHvsC6.dpuf

How to earn points at Stars and Stripes CrossFit for prizes during your 30 Day Challenge…

Earn 1 nutrition point per day for 100% compliance to the Whole 30 Program Rules (available online or at the box).  These points will be tracked through the use of a Food Journal that must be brought to the box and checked by a coach.

Earn 1 point for exercise.  This includes CrossFit classes and activities outside of class (yoga, running, biking, etc.)

Earn 1 point per day for getting at least 8 hours of sleep.

Earn 1 point per day for entering your workout in Track My PR.

Earn 1 point per day for commenting on a blog post.

Earn 1 point per week for posting a recipe on our blog or facebook.

Prizes will be awarded based on point totals at the end of the challenge. There will be one grand prize winner.  The coaches will select this individual based on who embraced the challenge the most, also taking into account the degree of transformation, exercise points, and participation in group activities.

There will be a tally board with every participant’s name posted in the gym.  If your name isn’t there, please write it down! 

There will be “extra credit” points available throughout the challenge!  These opportunities will be posted when they occur.

Things to keep in mind . . .

You do not have to take measurements or weigh yourself at the beginning of this challenge.  However, measurable results are important, even if you just keep them to yourself.

            Feel free to set goals!  Write them down!  Share them with others!

Most importantly, have fun and don’t hesitate to share with everyone how you are feeling and what is and isn’t working for you.  We are all here to help each other!

Good Luck!  If you have any questions, just ask!

Why I Got Into Graphic Design

My story goes like this… I was studying television communications here at Specs Howard. The year was 2008 back when Lady Gaga had burst onto the scene with her first album. It was a time of shutter shades and spray tans. A time where I had no direction and no ambition of what I wanted. A boat adrift upon the sea. Specs Howard was a anchor of sorts giving me some direction and some motivation. I had been attending the school and looking to get into work with local media. I was interning with 95.5’s Mojo in the Morning early and leaving to slice lunch meat for the afternoon elderly shoppers. I also began interning for Specs Howard’s marketing team. My manager was a petite woman named Shelly, who had an innocent look on life and caring heart for everyone she met. Along with Shelly in the marketing department was a group of guys who loved to have a good time and create stunning videos. Josh, John, and Greg rounded out what would be called the “Street Team” We would travel around metro detroit and shoot videos for local radio and television stations. I was tasked with staring and editing the videos, and while editing I would need to create stills and graphics to move the story along. I soon discovered I was intrigued by graphic design. So I fell in love with this craft. In the marketing department we had a graphic designer, Jonathon. He would create stunning visuals with ease. I loved to watch him work. It just seemed so simple. However, when I was a newbie, nobody told me how hard this job really is. They all portrayed this cool guy who works with a computer and designs all day and gets paid. I haven’t held a job as a full fledge graphic designer, but I have create website, attire, swag, logos, print pieces, and all sorts of graphic elements. I came here to get a paper that says I know what I am doing. I am not sure why I felt I needed it. The more time I am here, I wonder that, but that is a topic for another blog.

The Top 3 WordPress Form Plugins

Whether you’re using them for lead collection, a means of contact, or registration pages, forms are an important part of your site. They help you manage leads and visitors more effectively, and – when done right – help to create incredible user experiences.

So, the question you should be asking is: What’s the best form plugin for WordPress? We’ve crawled through the list of over 9,000 plugins that appear when you type “form” into the WordPress plugin directory, to bring you 5 of the best.

You could just opt for the first one you see, but then you’ll probably miss out on some of the functionality and flexibility that come with alternatives. The plugins you’ll find below have been judged based on their effectiveness, user-friendliness, and ability to create a great looking form.

1. Ninja Forms

A powerful form plugin with a free version available for those who don’t need added features. Overall, a great form builder with a powerful interface, but the price starts to rise once you need access to its premium extensions.


One of the biggest advantages of Ninja Forms is that its free version is already incredibly well equipped to manage most form builds. Under the hood you’ll find integration capabilities, field control, and a translation service. Moreover, being free, you can download and install Ninja Forms on as many sites as you want.

If you’re looking for added functionality, Ninja Forms has established itself as a leading provider of form extensions. You can purchase modules for Salesforce integration, SMS notifications, and a campaign monitor.

Another advantage of Ninja Forms is its community. There to help and guide new users, it’s also comprised of a large number of devs who can help you to create custom functions easily.


Ninja Forms is a great plugin for versatility and, in general, is very easy to use. However, once you start working with action hooks and filters, the form builder can become very complicated.

Moreover, if you’re looking for specialist features such as Salesforce integration, you’re going to have to pay for it. But this is true with almost any form builder.

2. WP Forms

Another powerful form builder with some great functionality included for free. By far one of the most popular form plugins for WordPress, but also with additional fees if you require more.


You would be forgiven for thinking that WP Forms is the official form building plugin for WordPress – the name, the quality, and its simplicity. But it’s not. It’s just a really easy to use and well made form builder.

The free version is powerful and will suit most user’s needs, with paid extensions available for those who want to do more. Once you’ve installed the plugin, you’ll find geolocation functionality, form abandonment, conditional logic rules, the ability to connect the form for user-submitted content, login and user registration, and more.

WP Forms also come with the Surveys and polls add-on. We’ve found this to be an incredibly powerful and versatile add-on that allows you to easily generate interactive surveys and generate real-time reports. Highly recommended.


The main idea behind WP Forms is that it’s user friendly. To do that, it sacrifices some of the more complex form building features you’ll find in the other options listed.

Moreover, as far as free versions go, WP Forms’ free offering is powerful but lacks some of the versatility you’ll find in competitors like Ninja Forms.

3. Everest Forms

A form plugin designed to make creating forms as easy as possible with a drag and drop interface and some advanced functionality.


This might just be the simplest form builder for WordPress.  Everest forms allows you to create forms by dragging and dropping the elements you want, where you want. This makes the form creation process easy. Inside the form builder, you’ll find support for multiple columns, spam protection, multiple email recipients, and a huge array of possible form fields.

Everest forms also allows you to insert forms into your pages and posts by using shortcode – making page creation a lot simpler.

Everest comes with several form design templates to choose from, so you don’t have to start from nothing. You can also view form entries directly from your dashboard, instead of having to open the plugin every time.


Its drag and drop functionality makes Everest one of our favorite form builders for beginners looking for simplicity. However, that simplicity comes with the sacrifice of flexibility. There are some features you won’t be able to implement with Everest that you would with some of the alternatives on this list. Great for small and medium sized sites, but maybe not the right tool for bigger ones.

What Is the Best WordPress Form Plugin?

If you’re looking for the best free form plugin for WordPress, then we highly recommend either WP Forms or Ninja forms. Both of these offer powerful free versions that provide great form building options. Contact Form 7 is also a good option, but doesn’t quite make it into the our top pick due to not having a great UI.

If you’re looking for something easy to use, then we would recommend Everest Forms. The UI is great and the drag and drop interface makes building any form simple.