What Do They Eat? - Kohlrabi Slaw with Grilled Steak

Monday, September 16, 2013

Tucker, Jess, Christian & Molly
This month I had the opportunity to share a sunny afternoon lunch with Christian and Jess Fox.  This dynamic duo are coaches at the CrossFit South Brooklyn gym that I frequent.  More specifically, Jess is the administrative director/coach and Christian (AKA Fox) is the director of programming/head coach at CFSBK.

Before becoming full time CrossFit coaches both Jess and Christian had entirely different careers. Jess was working for the City of New York within the Administration for Children's Services and Christian was a natural foods chef at a vegan restaurant.  The desire to make changes in their lifestyles led them to CFSBK.  Their previous form of nutrition also evolved.  Jess and Christian now follow a predominantly Paleo diet for about 80% of their meals.  Meat and veggies take center stage in their kitchen.

The day I went to visit the Fox's for lunch the menu was a colorful kohlrabi slaw with a perfectly grilled skirt steak served family style.  It will come to no surprise that Christian is the cook in the household; Jess participates as trusty sous chef.  (Yes, they make a great team in and out of the gym.)
Q & A with the Fox's:

What is a Paleo Diet?

The Paleo Diet is rooted in the belief that eating natural foods leads to optimal health.  These foods include game meat, fish, vegetables, wild fruits, eggs, and nuts.  The goal of the Paleo Diet is to consume the foods our ancestors did millions of years ago, before the cultivation of grains and legumes, and well before the invention of processed, packaged foods.

What is CrossFit?

CrossFit is defined as constantly varied functional movement executed at high intensity.  Basically we lift, run, jump, squat, pull, and push our bodies in a variety of ways at varying levels of intensity. The goal is to perform well at multiple modalities, not necessarily to excel at any one particular thing.

What do you love about CrossFit?

Chris:  Other than it being the greatest methodology I've yet to come across to build healthy humans?...
I love that I get to meet new people all the time and that I am a part of something that is positive and enjoyable in their day.  My job is also like play time. :) I work barefoot and in shorts for 9 months out of the year.
Jess:  From a training perspective, I love that the workouts can be changed and varied infinitely which means that I never get bored.  From a personal perspective, I love the community.  I get the pleasure of meeting and working with so many amazing people of various backgrounds.  My friendship base has grown exponentially since starting CF! 

It's awesome that you love your job! What do you do outside of work for fun/relaxing?

 We love to ride our motorcycles, surf, eat, drink, and entertain.
Jess:  Chris pretty much summed it up.  I also like to read but can't seem to find time to do that enough.

How important is your nutrition to you?

 Nutrition is the most important thing a person can use to improve their health.  The physical aspect of CrossFit can help you build muscle and become more athletic but without a solid nutritional base rooted in natural foods you will never be truly healthy.  You can't out train a shitty diet.  Sounds cliche but you are what you eat.  I've watched family members suffer the effects of long term unhealthy diets and I intend to do my best to influence those around me to be a little better each day.  One day at a time.
Jess:   For me, it was never a priority until I met Chris.  I was totally ignorant or perhaps a better way to describe my issue is that I was in denial that the food that tasted so good was bad for me.  I've learned that if I don't fuel myself with good, healthy, natural foods my performance in the gym and my appearance outside of the gym just isn't where I want it to be.
  • Kohlrabi is a globe shaped vegetable and is a member of the cabbage family.  
  • It comes in a light green and purple variety.  The light green are generally sweeter in flavor and the purple a bit spicier. 
  • It can be eaten raw or cooked, just peel the outside to get to the creamy white center.   Look for kohlrabi bulbs that appear fresh and that are less than three inches in diameter.  Large kohlrabi can be woody and tough.
  • Kohlrabi can also be cooked and eaten like other hearty greens. They're delicious braised with a bit of garlic and stock.
  • This versatile vegetable is a great source of Vitamin C.  1/2 cup gives you 70% of the daily recommended amount.
KOHLRABI SLAW                                   serves 4
Christian and Jess make a good amount of slaws for their meals.  Three great reasons -- they are simple, quick to prepare, and the perfect accompaniment to grilled meats.  Kohlrabi adds that satisfyingly, crunchy texture, similar to that of jicama but with more flavor.

2 kohlrabi bulbs, julienned
1 large carrot, julienned
1/4 small red cabbage, shredded
1 Tbsp cilantro, chopped
3 Tbsp mayonnaise
2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
2 tsp fresh lime juice
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper

1. Toss the vegetables into a medium sized mixing bowl.
2.  Add the remaining ingredients and toss well.

Note:  You can add or subtract a tablespoon of mayo depending on your preference of creaminess.
Christian seasoned the skirt steak with McCormick's Grill Mate steak seasoning then cooked it on the grill until medium rare (about 5-7 minutes on each side).
*If you are interested in CrossFit you can usually participate in a free "teaser" class at your local CrossFit gym to see if it's a good fit for you.   Find a CrossFit gym in your area! 


  1. This is both informative and adorable. Winning!

  2. Nice intro to Paleo! It's amazing just how powerful fresh, clean, real food is!

  3. Very very nice write up Susan!! :)) enjoyed this!


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