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Turn2CrossFit Culinary Ninja Seminar

February 14 2024 – Nick Massie

Turn2CrossFit Culinary Ninja Seminar
Turn2CrossFit Culinary Ninja Seminar

Thank you to Tony and Heather Turski for opening their gym and their hearts to host my most recent Culinary Ninja Seminar! 

This year marks one decade of my friendship with Tony and Heather and my life has improved because of them with each passing year. One thing I like about them is that they attract people of a similar caliber.

I never tire of meeting their friends or members of their gym because they are all equally amazing people.

People like this guy...

Paleo Steve's Firehouse Chorizo and Egg Burritos

We hadn't held a Culinary Ninja seminar since November of 2018, so I was interested to see what this new iteration might look like.

Instead of doing the nutrition talk and the cooking class all in the same day, we separated them out to Friday night nutrition and Saturday cooking.

This allowed me to bring fresh energy to each discipline. 

On Friday night, we opened with my illustrated poem, "Ode To Paleo". We then took a break for a quick cooking demo where I taught the group how to make a quick vinaigrette. We then used it to dress a salad, which we paired with smoked brisket, sweet potatoes, and some fresh pickled veggies.

Here's the board after the poem:

Ice Age Meals Culinary Ninja Ode to Paleo Poem

With the nutrition seminar, I set out to teach each person something new, but the main goal is to keep things simple by reminding them of what they already know.

Things like:

  1. You are what you eat.
  2. Eat your veggies.
  3. Stay away from the poison prevalent in the center aisles of the grocery store.
  4. Discipline is the root of all good qualities.
  5. Consistency is key to any lasting change.

We learned about calories, macronutrient percentage calculations, how to read a nutrition facts panel and what a macro prescription might look like for a guy named Wally.

I did my best to pepper in motivation of all sorts and sent people off better than I found them (with full bellies and lots to chew on!).

Turn 2 Tony Culinary Ninja Seminar t Shirts

On Saturday, we built out the "gym kitchen" and cleaned and organized things until the ninjas arrived.

This was our first time at Turn2CrossFit, so I asked for everyone's patience as we figured out the flow of the new location. One of the cool changes that we made was to have a convection oven on site for cooking lunch and for roasting off everyone's lasagnas.

Traditionally, we would send the ninjas home with lasagnas that still needed to be cooked in their home ovens. Offering this service onsite was a bonus. Besides, the Lemon Pepper Chicken we ate for lunch turned out bomb!

Ice Age Meals Culinary Ninjas Doing Ninja Things

We got to cooking right away and everyone did an amazing job. 

The goal of the lesson is to expose people to basic cooking techniques that they can apply to any ingredients. I encourage them to practice often because improved knife skills will make their time in the kitchen more efficient and enjoyable.

Some of the ninjas had taken this course 8-years-ago in San Diego, but there were a lot of new faces that made me smile. Each person brings their own flare to the kitchen as each skill level is different. 

We knocked out the lasagna while we cooked lunch and then took a break to eat.

Ice Age Meals Culinary Ninja Lunch

The wall out back lent itself well as a bench for sitting while eating. It also delivered an amazing picture I titled "Ninja Lunch". If you look closely, I got a thumbs up from Lynn (3rd from the right). 

While we all wanted a nap, we got right back to work and started cooking chili.

The afternoon flew by as the lasagnas cooked in the oven. We applied many of the techniques learned in the morning to the afternoon session.

Things like:

  1. Mise En Place
  2. Clean As You Go
  3. Total Utilization
  4. One Step All
  5. Sense Of Urgency

Ice Age Meals Culinary Ninja Three Amigas Flags Overhead

In the end, this group of people turned out as I described at the start. Everyone pitched in to wash dishes, fold up tables, clean the floor, store utensils, wash towels, etc...

It was a whirlwind of a few days and the mission was accomplished - Feed The People. 

My hope is that the ninjas received both physical and spiritual nourishment and that they carry out my charge:

"Be doers, not hearers only." James 1:22

It's easy to stall.

It's easy to mean to do something.

It's easy to get books and study.

It's easy to go to a seminar for a weekend.

But, in the end, we must be doers.

Day-in and day-out, I encourage you to make slight improvements toward the person you want to become. 

"Inch by inch, life's a cinch. Yard by yard, life is hard."

Thank you again to Tony and Heather for opening their hearts, their home and their community to help me carry out my mission to help people...


We'll be doing it again in May, so if this sounds fun to you, don't delay!

Your Pal,

Paleo Nick

 (Hat's off to the new ninjas!)

Ice Age Meals Hats Off To The New Ninjas