Archive for September, 2011

Creativity and Exercise

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The Creative Brain On Exercise

For artists, entrepreneurs, and any other driven creators, exercise is a powerful tool in the quest to help transform the persistent uncertainty, fear, and anxiety that accompanies the quest to create from a source of suffering into something less toxic, then potentially even into fuel.

For more than thirty years, Haruki Murakami has dazzled the world with his beautifully crafted words, most often in the form of novels and short stories. But his book What I Talk About When I Talk About Running (2008) opens a rare window into his life and process, revealing an obsession with running and how it fuels his creative process.

Remember…

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This is not Fred Flinstone – The Paleo Diet

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Paleo diet or ‘caveman’ diet gains traction despite controversies; ‘This is not Fred Flintstone’

 Could Paleolithic man hold the key to today’s nutrition problems?

A growing number of adherents to the so-called “caveman” diet contend that a return to the hunter-gatherer foods of the Stone Age — heavy on meats, devoid of most grains — could alleviate problems like obesity, type 2 diabetes and many coronary problems.

The Paleo diet movement is backed by some academics and fitness gurus, and has gained some praise in medical research in the US and elsewhere even though it goes against recommendations of most mainstream nutritionists and government guidelines.

Loren Cordain, a professor of health and exercise science at Colorado State University, said he believes millions in the United States and elsewhere are following the Paleo diet movement, based on sales of books such as his own and Internet trends.

“It was an obscure idea 10 years ago, and in the last two to three years it has become known worldwide,” Cordain, one the leading academics backing the Paleo diet, told AFP.

“There are at least a half-dozen books on the best seller list that are promoting this,” he added.

The underlying basis for the Stone Age diet is a belief that homo sapiens evolved into modern humans with a hunter-gatherer diet that promoted brain function and overall health. Backers say the human genome is essentially unchanged from the end of the Paleolithic era 10,000 years ago after evolving over millions of years.

“It’s intuitive,” Cordain said. “Obviously you can’t feed meat to a horse, you can’t feed hay to a cat. The reason for that is that their genes were shaped in different ecological niches.”

He said peer-reviewed research has shown the Paleo diet better than the Mediterranean diet, US government recommendations and diets aimed at controlling adult diabetes.

A Well-Balanced Meal? I Don’t Think So…

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I was driving home this morning and listening to the radio. A McDonald’s commercial came on talking about updates to the Happy Meal. The Happy Meal will now include fries AND apple slices for a ‘well balanced meal’. Isn’t that fabulous!!  Now come on — if you are going to sell it, don’t add in the crap about well balanced meal. You and I know fries don’t make it balanced at all.  The things marketers will try — words in fancy combinations don’t make it any more or less true.

Last night, while watching Tv before bed – I took my Lacrosse Ball and rolled out my back and shoulders. The past week, I have had stiffness and general soreness all around them. As much as it hurt, it felt great and afterwards I could totally feel the difference. I am telling you — GET a LACROSSE ball today!!

I woke up to heavy fog and humidity, which for an asthmatic = hard to breathe weather and of course we had to run!!

Warmup
25 Double Unders/150 Singles
10 OHS
10 Whirly Birds
10 HSS
10 Cobras
10 Front, Back, Around (With your arms)

Skill
good mornings
gymnastics (kick to handstands, handstand leans to help you get used to shifting your weight for handstand walks)

WOD
5 rounds for time of:
400 m Run
25 Good Mornings
25 Sit-up (abmat)s
23:06

Not my best showing. I had issues with breathing this morning and the thick foggy air and Good Mornings seemed like torture. The prescribed (RX) weight is your body weight and I did 65lbs. I sure as heck didn’t think I could handle my body weight, doing 25 reps of good mornings. To compare, I did 50 Good Mornings at 45lbs during Saturday’s workout. I couldnt walk normally for days –my hamstrings were Yelling!! I can imagine what the next day or so will bring after today’s torture.

CrossFit Impavidus is closed on Saturday for a special charity event they are doing — so I am thinking of taking it easy tomorrow and Saturday. I can tell my body is tired and may be trying to tell me to take it easy. This is a good opportunity to do that — take a long weekend and do some general stretching, mobility and get outside but not do actual high intensity movements. Rest can be just as important as exercise at times — this may be one of those times.

A Mini-Pain-Miracle Ball – The Lacrosse Ball

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Today has been busy so I am just getting to my blog now — at almost 7p at night. Not my normal routine that’s for sure — I want to make sure to talk about rolling out your sore muscles and the main tool I use. I am sore, often. Crossfit is known for that — constantly varied movements is one of its fundamental philosophies. I also tend to have tight shoulders. One trick I learned from CrossFit is go out and buy a Lacrosse ball or 2, or 3 —

It’s related to the concept of myofascial release — rolling out sore used muscles. You probably have seen people use those foam rollers and the benefits they offer — Here are some blog posts from CrossFit Invictus to give you an inside look at ‘how they roll‘. Now let’s talk about how a lacrosse ball is related and how it really is a miracle ball. At Livestrong, read point #3. It’s a mini pain ball to help you get rid of your sore muscles. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE lying on it and rolling it over my back right between my shoulder blades. It’s so painful but in a good way and when you are done, you can feel the difference almost right away.

I love it so much I bought a bucket of them and passed them out at work — it is a mini-pain-miracle ball!!

Warmup
10 Whirly Birds
10 OHS
Relay Race
spring
crab walk
broad jump squats
bear crawl
inch worms

Skill
Cleans

WOD
20-15-10 reps of:
Cleans 75lbs
Ring Dips
time: 7:36m

Worth Fighting For

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I feel somewhat better although I am still working things through and it is showing up in all sorts of ways. I am beyond exhausted and at times – feel weepy. A good side to having to deal with this stress, I have gotten some great support and advice. My community of friends, in real life and on this blog, have taught me how important asking for support is. Holding in whatever is going on in your life only eats away at you from the inside — that’s not leading a fit and sore life! Focus on intentions and your long term goals — harder said than done. But I am dealing with it in the way an adult should deal with the situation, head on without trying to seek revenge or to hurt someone. I don’t have time for that kind of crap — life is too short. I keep going back to Scott’s cancer — that’s the kind of shit that’s worth fighting for – that means something.

Today’s workout was the kind of WOD where you just groan. I am still sore from Saturday’s Filthy 50 – with particular thanks to those good mornings for making my hamstrings scream. When the coach first of all agrees with how ‘bad’ this WOD is and has super sore hamstrings too — you know it’s not all in your head. Oh well — no excuses.

Warmup
800m jog
10 good mornings
10 OHS
10 Push ups
10 Ring Rows
10 Kick to Handstands (no wall – 2s hold)

Skill
Thrusters
Handstand Walks (with spotter)

WOD
20 AMRAP
12 Thrusters (65/45)
10 Pull ups

20m is a long time — I did the 33lb bar and used a band for my pull ups.
total: 9 rounds +12+2

Gluten is Bad News Folks

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Gluten: What You Don’t Know Might Kill You

The Dangers of Gluten

A recent large study in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that people with diagnosed, undiagnosed, and “latent” celiac disease or gluten sensitivity had a higher risk of death, mostly from heart disease and cancer. (i)

This study looked at almost 30,00 patients from 1969 to 2008 and examined deaths in three groups: Those with full-blown celiac disease, those with inflammation of their intestine but not full-blown celiac disease, and those with latent celiac disease or gluten sensitivity (elevated gluten antibodies but negative intestinal biopsy).

The findings were dramatic. There was a 39 percent increased risk of death in those with celiac disease, 72 percent increased risk in those with gut inflammation related to gluten, and 35 percent increased risk in those with gluten sensitivity but no celiac disease.

This is ground-breaking research that proves you don’t have to have full-blown celiac disease with a positive intestinal biopsy (which is what conventional thinking tells us) to have serious health problems and complications–even death–from eating gluten.

Yet an estimated 99 percent of people who have a problem with eating gluten don’t even know it. They ascribe their ill health or symptoms to something else–not gluten sensitivity, which is 100 percent curable.

And here’s some more shocking news …

Another study comparing the blood of 10,000 people from 50 years ago to 10,000 people today found that the incidences of full-blown celiac disease increased by 400 percent (elevated TTG antibodies) during that time period. (ii) If we saw a 400 percent increase in heart disease or cancer, this would be headline news. But we hear almost nothing about this. I will explain why I think that increase has occurred in a moment. First, let’s explore the economic cost of this hidden epidemic.

Undiagnosed gluten problems cost the American healthcare system oodles of money. Dr. Peter Green, Professor of Clinical Medicine for the College of Physicians and Surgeons at Columbia University studied all 10 million subscribers to CIGNA and found those who were correctly diagnosed with celiac disease used fewer medical services and reduced their healthcare costs by more than 30 perecnt. (iii) The problem is that only one percent of those with the problem were actually diagnosed. That means 99 percent are walking around suffering without knowing it, costing the healthcare system millions of dollars.

And it’s not just a few who suffer, but millions. Far more people have gluten sensitivity than you think–especially those who are chronically ill. The most serious form of allergy to gluten, celiac disease, affects one in 100 people, or three million Americans, most of who don’t know they have it. But milder forms of gluten sensitivity are even more common and may affect up to one-third of the American population.

Go Heavy!

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I will make this a good week for me — let go of fear, act like an adult with the best of intentions. No more losing sleep, being weepy, trying to rationalize situations in my head.

I started it off with a great workout — it was a heavy lifting day. Some people don’t understand why you need to do strength days. It’s to get stronger — because it’s about strength AND conditioning.

Warmup
800m run
10 good mornings
10 OHS
10 Push ups
10 Ring Rows

Skill
Back squat

WOD
Back Squat
5-5-5-5-5 – I didn’t get heavy enough because my heavy back squat should be over 195#.
83,113,133,143,153
Tabata Push Ups
Total 71

I have the oddest song in my head this morning — by the Backstreet Boys.

It’s all related –Mind and Body

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How I Stopped Judging Myself

The key is being aware of how you treat yourself. We are usually our harshest critics. Once you are self aware, you can at least begin to address the issue. It’s the same with working out. Body awareness is key to being more efficient and effective in your workouts. See how it’s all related –mind and body.

“As I became more and more aware of how often and how harshly I judged myself, I finally made the connection: Disapproving of myself led to needing others’ approval. As long as I was treating myself so badly — not only by judging myself, but also by giving myself up to please others and by not attending at all to my own feelings and needs — I desperately needed others’ approval to feel that I was okay.

This was a huge awareness for me. I realized that I wasn’t approval-dependent because there was something flawed and defective about me, but because I was treating myself so abusively. This was something I could do something about! I finally realized that, while I could not control how others felt about me and treated me — even if I was “perfect” — I could control how I felt about myself and treated myself.”

Junk Food is NOT cheaper!

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Is Junk Food Really Cheaper?

THE “fact” that junk food is cheaper than real food has become a reflexive part of how we explain why so many Americans are overweight, particularly those with lower incomes. I frequently read confident statements like, “when a bag of chips is cheaper than a head of broccoli …” or “it’s more affordable to feed a family of four at McDonald’s than to cook a healthy meal for them at home.”

This is just plain wrong. In fact it isn’t cheaper to eat highly processed food: a typical order for a family of four — for example, two Big Macs, a cheeseburger, six chicken McNuggets, two medium and two small fries, and two medium and two small sodas — costs, at the McDonald’s a hundred steps from where I write, about $28. (Judicious ordering of “Happy Meals” can reduce that to about $23 — and you get a few apple slices in addition to the fries!)

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