My brother sent me some info this week on Splenda. You know the made from sugar, tastes like sugar sweetener. My dirty little secret is I use one packet in my coffee daily. It’s a guilty pleasure of mine and I look forward to my cup of joe each morning. After reading these research findings- I’m going to have to find an alternative…
- Research Review: Is Splenda safe? This review points out that relatively low amounts of Splenda (100mg/kg/day) may cause weight gain and at moderate levels (300mg/kg/day and up), it has adverse effects on your gut, affecting both levels of gut flora and proteins.
- Splenda’s Many Secrets: Gut Flora Destruction, Side Effects This review suggests that Splenda negatively alters gut microflora in rats and may limit the bioavailability of drugs and nutrients.
- Splenda, Sucralose Artificial Sweetener, Could Affect Body’s Insulin Response This one talks about Splenda’s effect on the body’s responses to sugar (glucose) — which could thereby affect diabetes risk — despite the fact that it has zero calories.
Listen To This
The Hidden Plague with Tara Grant - Tara Grant, author of The Hidden Plague, stopped by to discuss a very common tongue twister of an autoimmune skin condition (HS) that no one is talking about, and how she was able to put it into complete remission by healing her gut with an autoimmune paleo protocol.
(29:45 – What Splenda does to your gut bacteria…and your weight!)
Yesterday’s soccer game was so thrilling and even though the USA team lost to Belgium, I am still in awe of how awesome our players are. I had no idea how awesome soccer players are in general –great athletes and amazing to look at too. That’s a great combination for sure. I love when world sports’ teams compete –it brings out our national spirit. Everyone rallies together and cheers the team on. It’s unifying and exciting and it was much needed especially after the SCOTUS ruling in favor of Hobby Lobby this week that clearly divided the country.
It was definitely tough getting up this morning for my Power Boxing class. I am enjoying it but it’s hard on my body at 6A, especially after a tough and hot yoga class yesterday. One thing I have begun to notice while boxing is the variety of intensity found among the boxers. There are a ton of newbies that are still not comfortable really beating the crap out of the heavy bag. At least I think they are newbies — I wonder how much benefit they are getting when they don’t hit hard or really move during the workout time. My feeling is that you are there to work – so go as hard as you can. Maybe that’s as hard as they can go but I doubt it — I think it’s as hard as their mind allows them to go. This is really where the CrossFit training and mentality serves me really well. I go at full intensity when it calls for it — and I don’t quit and I am finding that a lot of people outside of CF don’t necessarily subscribe to that.
Have you had a chance to read this NYT feature: Is Obesity Ok?. It’s such a touchy subject that is tied to so many emotions that it’s tough to really get to the heart of it. The health implications of obesity are not OK – but obese people are worthy of respect and kindness, just like everyone else out there. But does respect mean you don’t show sincere care for their well being and talk to them about addressing the issue? Obesity is a public health issue and causes a whole host of other health issues. Sometimes honest conversations can sting even though it’s coming from a place of concern, but that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t happen.
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Today’s yoga class theme was all about listening to your body which was quite timely as I have been following an interesting discussion in a Master’s CrossFit Group (+40 years old) all about feeling like you need a break and adrenal fatigue.
Here is the post that started the very active discussion:
It’s the first time since I started CrossFit over 2.5 years that I feel like quitting. Since I became menopausal, I’ve had to deal with one issue after the other. The most prominent is adrenal fatigue. My body has said “enough!” Thankfully I’m able to do my best to follow the suggestions from professionals. Just a few days back I received more discouraging news so I feel like throwing the towel in. I sure hope I don’t stay in this place too long. Anyone else out there having this experience?
I think this happens to a lot of folks actually and may be the reason behind my recent break from CrossFit. I was starting to really struggle through the workouts – my body was unusually sore, and I just lacked the energy and motivation to really push. I also was gaining weight and losing interest in something that at one time was the source of so much fun in my life.
I think we are conditioned to ignore certain signs and feelings – the attitude of pushing through the pain or suck it up. There is an element to that in life, but there are also tell tale signs when it’s something more than simply needing a push. It’s the time to quiet your mind and really pay attention to what your body is trying to tell you. If you love something and gradually you start to see your enthusiasm for it die down — stop and take a look at what’s going on. Chances are there are signs that will lead you to figure out what’s going on. But you have to stop and listen!
CrossFit is a wonderful method to get in shape for everyone, however a 20 something year old is very different than a 40 year old athlete. The body has had twenty more years of use and for some, abuse. There are lots of physical and chemical issues that come a long with aging that there is NO way to compete on a truly equal level. CrossFit is full of young kids and it’s important for the Master athletes to keep their ego in check and realize that the only person they can equally compete against is themselves. But what happens is you see that young whipper snapper pushing through – kicking ass and your inner voice starts to speak louder, demanding you step up. You have to train that voice to shift perspective and push for progress. For me – I have to remember to stop and ask myself a few questions: Am I having fun? Am I learning? Is it working?
For me, the right thing is to take a break from CrossFit and the programming at the gym I was at – try some different approaches and find my inspiration and passion again. I hope this encourages you to take time daily to quiet your mind and listen.
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During yoga class yesterday, Tori, our instructor, talked about coveting someone else’s place in the world – or more specifically coveting what someone else has can somehow degrade or cancel out what you have. A Zero Sum Balance. In Yoga practice, looking at others in the room and wishing you could be as flexible as they are somehow means you aren’t doing as well. I am sure each of us can think about situations in our lives where we do this…
The fitness community is a perfect example – how come my belly isn’t as flat as the person next to me? Or, “That girl lifted 250# and I can only lift 200#.” Why do we think that someone else’s achievements and gains mean we aren’t as good? Isn’t there room for everyone – and who gets to define what success means to us? We are all on our own track and are as varied as could be. Why are we consumed with keeping up with the Jones’ and think that one person’s success means we are somehow not as good?
It also goes a long with body image…as my friend Foxy says, “There’s an ass for every seat.” Who gets to decide what is the ideal body type or because someone weighs less than you, it means you aren’t as worthy of love and attention? We shouldn’t focus on what our neighbors are doing, unless they are in trouble or need help. Easier said than done, I know.
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Power Boxing 1 hour
What I have discovered over the course of the past month or so and mixing up my fitness routine is I was/am burned out from strength and conditioning training. I think the one year mark tends to be the time when I start craving something different. With that in mind, I have decided to stop going to Highbar CrossFit and try some different classes and gyms in the area to see if any trip my trigger.
I’ve learned a lot at Highbar when it comes to strength and conditioning training. The hardest part of leaving is leaving the friends. They are the reason I am able to get my butt up in the AM and go workout. But as I said, even that was not inspiring me enough to go and that’s was how I knew for sure I was suffering from burn out.
The burnout was starting to seep into other aspects of my life — I’ve been feeling uninspired overall. What I realized is that my morning workouts were no longer fulfilling the need they once were and it was throwing off my day. This past week, it became clear what I craved was change. Not only change, but also more cardio – I am not going to lose the weight I have gained without adding some serious cardio in addition to switching up my diet. I think my nagging shoulder issues were signaling to me that need to back off a bit from heavy lifting. I am still going to make sure I have some strength and conditioning in my weekly program, but not 5 times a week.
- 10 Ways To Take Care Of Yourself When You Are Suffering From Burnout
- What happens when you get burned out?
So, if you are keeping count – I have been a member at CrossFit Impavidus, Highbar CrossFit and have tried out Cycleluv in Leesburg, Flow Yoga, and Title Boxing. As a part of this exercise, I am going to write about the experiences in a future blog post, so everyone in the area can gain the benefit of my exploration.
And the other thing I need to work on is regaining my perspective. Perspective about working out and how my fitness goals fit in with my overall life. I tend to go all in — I have said it before, I don’t half ass anything and as I have found out time and time again, not everyone gets that and/or approaches their life in the same way. When I start to get bogged down with anxiety and wrapped up in behaviors that steer me away from my goals, I am learning to step back, breathe and reset. Sometimes the process takes longer than it should but practice makes better!
This quote from Pat Sherwood is one of my favorites about fitness and CrossFit. It helps me reset my perspective and carry on…
“The goal is to get fit, make it the best hour of your day, stay safe, turn up the music, high five some people, and blow off some steam. So remember that. Relax. Have fun. Work out.” -Pat Sherwood
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Title Boxing : 5 MENTAL AND PHYSICAL BENEFITS OF BOXING
Happy Monday folks! It seems like everyone in my house has been battling a bug the past few days – coughing, achy and cranky. And today’s Highbar workout had running in it — and yes, it did cause a coughing fit. It frustrates me to no end that my lung capacity is limited when I work out and today was a perfect example. After the 400m run, I was coughing so much that I couldn’t do all the pullups/lunges I needed to.
I recently read that Olympic athlete Apolo Anton Ohno has asthma. Around 30 million Americans have EIB (Exercise Induced Asthma) and think what they are experiencing is a normal part of working out. Imagine doing endurance based work and your chest tightens up, you can’t catch your breath and you start having coughing fits — your lungs can’t get enough oxygen and you start to sound like Darth Vader because you are grasping for air. Yeah, that’s what happens to me while I am working out. The most endurance based activities I do, the better I feel though and since it’s the start of spring – I plan to focus on more cardio work so my lungs will get used to it.
- The Athlete’s Guide to Exercise Induced Asthma
- Why Do So Many Winter Athletes Have Exercise Induced Asthma
Whether it’s a physical ailment like asthma, extra weight to shed, nutrition or physical – we can always improve and get better. I came across this post from Chef, owner/coach at CrossFit Rubicon. I thought it was good enough to share this AM about starting with the basics — diet, training and sleep before buying into other ‘fixes’.
“Supplementation? Lacking in some vital nutrient? then supplement. Additional supplement choices? the protocol is easy and straightforward: Add ONE and ONLY ONE supplement to your current consistent regimen. If you see or feel a marked improvement in strength, recovery, speed, endurance or general sense of well being in 30-60 days? Keep it. If not? You don’t need whatever it is and should save your $$. Feel like trying another supp? Do the same but ONE CHANGE AT A TIME. The crux of the biscuit is this: if your diet, training and/or sleep are at best irregular and inconsistent, there is no supplement that can help you perform better than getting your fueling, training and recovery act together. Nothing can supplant determined consistency in the work. Do. The. Work. The rest is theme music.”
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- Life Lessons: Taking Things Personally.
Yesterday’s workout: Flow Yoga
So instead of my usual Highbar CrossFit class this morning, I slept in and went to a hot yoga class instead. I have mentioned recently that my shoulders have really felt tight and I am just generally feeling a bit out of balance. I was thinking last night that it’s been almost six months without a break from CrossFit. I usually find myself taking some sort of vacation trip for a week or so during any six month period and use that as a good solid rest period. I haven’t done that this time –and add to it some extra stress that. I am starting to feel the effects of burn out, which, in the past, has been addressed through some solid rest.
The extra stress was the reality of getting laid off from my job in a less than ideal way and adjusting to a new way of life. And as great as this new life is, including how well it’s going – it still means change and has shifted my entire way of life.
Which brings me to the point today - In this morning’s yoga class, Christina, the instructor, chose Change as the theme to talk about. Change is a reality of life yet it’s something that many of us fear. It happens each and every day – Winter changes to Spring changes to Summer changes to Fall. Change is a constant in each of our lives.
During this last period of change, after being upset and angry, I consciously decided to go with it. I reminded myself how every time something out of my control has happened, it has led me to a better place. It may not be the place I had in mind or even better at first glance- but it got there. I learned something. I made progress. I grew. And I end up looking back with sincere appreciation. And thinking like that has allowed me to let go of the fear and embrace change. I needed it.
Fear can hold us back from heading down the path that we are meant to be on and once we see that – change becomes a lot less scary.
Christina said “If we are never off balance, how will we ever know to readjust.“
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1 hour of Hot Yoga
Here we are — well into March. In fact, you could say that we are nearing the end of March. Spring is in the air and what happens? Snow. We got snow and it snowed all darn day. This year’s winter has been really odd in Northern VA. I have lived here since 1996 and don’t remember it ever being so extreme — spring like one day, super frigid cold the next, snow and ice, and more and a lot of snow. Mother Nature needs to be put on some mood stabilizers for sure!
I was all prepared to get up this morning and head off for my usual workout but you know what? I am feeling somewhat burned out. My shoulders are smoked and I just don’t have the usual enthusiasm. To me, this is a clear sign that I need to scale back for a while. I may be overdoing it and not doing enough recovery work. This weekend was very intense physically for me and it may have finally made me realize that I needed to rest extra. So yesterday and today – I did some stretching and lacrosse ball smashing but that’s it. Hopefully my mojo will be back for tomorrow’s workout. I need my CrossFit!
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SNOW is what greeted me when I woke up this morning. SNOW is what happened mid-March – mere weeks before spring. SNOW is what made me cranky today. School was cancelled, gym was closed, and it’s cold. I am so over winter – it’s overstayed its welcome. I am all for seasons but it’s time for this one to move on. I need more sunlight, more outdoor activities, more warmer temps. Who is with me??
Next Sunday is Team Hoagie’s Heroes annual 5K Scope it Out Race to help raise awareness and money for Colon Cancer. Colon cancer is curable if detected early and there is no reason why we shouldn’t detect it early. Go to Chris4Life and find out more info about colon cancer, its signs and symptoms and other ways to be in the know. The colonoscopy is nothing compared to what you have to go through if you actually do have colon cancer – trust me. I had to witness Scotty’s diagnosis and treatment and it ain’t something you want to go through.
Now, let’s talk about the impending season change…
With spring is coming – or at least I am assuming it will be here soon, it’s a great time to reevaluate your goals. Many of us make a list of things we want to do at the beginning of the year and rarely check in with them to see how they are progressing. Spring means you can be more active outside, get some more Vitamin D, socialize with friends that you rarely saw during the winter. Do me and yourself a favor, take a few minutes in the evening this week and write down a few things you want to accomplish this season. Don’t jot down too many – just a few things that you have been meaning to do, or really want to do and work towards completing them or making progress towards their completion. It’s a great feeling to be able to feel the momentum that is created when you are moving towards goals you set for yourself.
Here’s a post I wrote earlier this year about Focusing on the process, not necessarily the goal that might offer some help:
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Video: Coca Cola: Security Cameras
It’s odd to say but Daylight Savings Time doesn’t really bother me. I woke up this morning in a pretty good mood and am not super tired. I wonder if that will last though…. hmmmm? I love getting an extra hour of sunlight to help lighten my mood. Let’s just hope that the whispers of snow aren’t true for this week. I have seriously HAD it with WINTER.
I am going to be super blunt here. I have totally fallen off the wagon with my eating and every time I snack or eat something that I know I shouldn’t, I feel bad about myself. Not bad enough to stop mind you. Over the weekend, I started being really honest with myself. I don’t feel good. Mentally and physically. And my hand eczema has returned with the re-introduction of eating too much dairy. My hands are an itchy, dry mess and they burn. I am also tired, my joints ache and when I see pics of myself, I think I look puffy. I have gained 10 pounds if not more since being laid off from my job too. I am not happy with all of that. What’s interesting is I am not alone – I have talked with and read about others feeling the same way. Maybe it’s partly because of the long winter we have had and it’s also because it’s way too easy to fall into old habits…
My friend Leah said it best:
I’ve learned it’s very easy to neglect your diet, and slip back into old habits. The more you pay attention to what you eat, the easier it is the feel good. I’ve really noticed how bad I feel lately and I know it’s all what I am eating. Time to feel good again!
A huge part of feeling good again is being around great people. This weekend, I went to my dear friend Liz’s baby shower. What a great friend she is to me – and I am so happy for her, her hubby and her daughter. I can’t wait to meet the newest member of her family in May! It was also a great opportunity to be with some of the amazing ladies in my life who inspire me and make me feel loved – Caitlin and Lani.
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3-Year-Old Girl (and Her Disney Princess Dolly) Donate Hair to Help Children With Cancer
I am really struggling with my workouts and in my heart of hearts, i know it’s diet/nutrition related. I am going to get on the ball and straighten this shit out…
- Pull Up Test
- Push Ups
- 1P Cleans
- Full Cleans
EMOTM 10 mins
- Pull Ups
- even min: Wall sits
- odd min: Planks