Posts tagged Health/Nutrition

Getting Back On The Horse

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KettlebelI’m back and I wish I could say I felt refreshed and raring to go this Monday –but I don’t.  The last few weeks I have felt seriously run down and all I have wanted to do is stay under the covers in my bed and sleep.  I honestly don’t think I have felt this way in a very long time and am not sure if it’s the long winter, a lack of focus on my nutrition, some stress at work that I am experiencing, or the medication I am taking for a leg infection I am trying to get rid of.  Or heck –maybe it’s all of them combined.

I have seemed to lost my mojo –and I am sure many of you that seem me day to day wouldn’t know it but it’s true. I haven’t felt much motivation for many of the things I used to and am on the hunt to figure out how to bring it back.

My friend Brittany and I were laughing because I have a light box, I exercise like crazy, I have a happy family – great husband and kids, am financially sound –Life is pretty darn good. I have a wonderful community of friends that I can call family – both my parents are alive and thriving, my five brothers and sisters are all doing well. I mean come on –what the heck do I have to be down about? See what I mean? Makes no sense….

There are some things going on that are throwing me out of balance though and the universe keeps reminding me of them and I start to make changes towards what’s needed but then revert back. I think I really need to tackle it once and for all — and make the change. I know I am being cryptic but it’s kind of a touchy subject and political so I don’t want to blast it out here. Those that are close to me know the situation and have been the ones at me to just do it! It’s about embracing confidence and getting out of the fear loop.

Ok – enough of that!

I am starting a 30 day Nutrition Challenge today with CrossFit Impavidus –not only starting it but helping run it as well. I need to refocus because I am about 10#s heavier than last year and my clothes are not fitting like they used to.  I will keep you posted with how it’s going.

Warmup
600m jog
DROM
Mobility

Skill
Deadlifts

WOD
1 RM Deadlift 250#

10M AMRAP
Mini Cindy

  • 5 Pull Ups
  • 10 Push Ups
  • 15 Squats

7 Rounds

 

Resources to Start your Paleo Journey

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Diets are HardJust looking into Paleo? Or doing a Whole Life Challenge for the First time? Here’s a good group of resources where you can begin your research…

Yesterday and today’s workouts were the type where you wonder if they were even a good idea to attempt:

Saturday

For Time: (partner workout)

  • 1 mi Run
  • 100 Wall Balls 10 lbs
  • 800 m Run
  • 200 Push-ups
  • 400 m Run
  • 300 Air Squats

Post total time – 27:33

Sunday

For Time:

  • 1m run
  • 11 Box Jumps
  • 11 Thrusters 65#
  • 11 Burpee to Pull-up
  • 11 Power Cleans 65#
  • 11 Handstand Push-ups
  • 11 Kettlebell Swings 2/1.5 pood
  • 11 Toes-to-Bar
  • 11 Deadlifts 135
  • 11 Push Jerks 65
  • 1m Run

Post total time. 37:16

 

Kids and Health: The Decline of Good Nutrition and Fitness Programs in Schools

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Kids: Get them Moving & Eating Healthier. They will Learn More. Guaranteed!

Physical Activity

During my training as a CrossFit Kids coach, we really dived into how much research is available regarding how exercise and physical fitness helps kids learn. Getting kids to move throughout their day is vital to their learning. So when I hear about schools cutting or lessening recess and gym time in schools it makes no sense at all.  it’s PROVEN that having kids move will help them learn, which is why they are at school in the first place. We want them to do better, learn what they are supposed learn, develop the important skills to help them succeed in life.  We know that the two biggest health threats to our kids today are Type 2 Diabetes and Obesity – and we know that both can be lessened and managed with proper diet and exercise –but yet we don’t put an emphasis on either of these in our schools. It’s the #thingsthatmakeyousayhmmm…. 

Here are some articles that go into some of the harm that comes out of cutting recess and gym time:

Nutrition standards

They are starting to make changes in the lunch offerings at the schools – but there is no concerted national effort to really make changes. When I do a Google search, I see articles about specific schools pushing through changes but nothing that sweeps the nation.  From time to time, I meet my kids for lunch at their cafeteria and man –what they call a salad – iceberg lettuce, a few shreds of lettuce and maybe, a non-appetizing tomato. That’s a salad!??  In the tinest bowl and of course rich, high fat, high caloric dressings available in abundance.  

Both my kids bring their lunch — Nate is gluten free so I really don’t have a choice and HB prefers what I offer. Its not strict Paleo but it’s definitely healthier than what they can get there.

Reading this article about food workers attending the School Nutrition Association conference in Denver this summer — they offer some good tips and advice. 

A Colorado State University professor studied the dining habits of kids in Loveland, with an eye toward measuring ways to get them to choose healthier foods. Leslie Cunningham-Sabo, who photographed “before” and “after” pictures of kids’ lunch trays, found that kids eat more fruits and vegetables if they have lunch after recess, instead of before recess. She found that corn consumption went up when generic “corn” labels were replaced with colorful cards describing the vegetable as “mellow yellow corn.”

“Don’t put veggies in opaque containers or give them boring labels like ‘corn,’” Cunningham-Sabo told the lunch workers, showing diagrams of how to lay out a service line to encourage trips to the salad bar.

Another trick — just like supermarkets place impulse buys like candy and chewing gum by the checkout, lunch lines should place easy-to-grab fruits and veggies by their own cash registers. Her study saw cafeterias double their sales of fresh fruit when they placed it colorful bowls in a convenient place.

Think about the local school cafeterias – they certainly don’t spend a lot of time on presentation or marketing. Kids love marketing –hence it’s a multi-billion dollar industry and our kids want that sugary cereal or latest toy that breaks weeks after you buy it.  If you make an effort, it shows.  Those cafeteria’s don’t scream Fun to me! 

Whenever we go to a potluck or party, without fail –the stuff that is eaten & finished first is the homemade food.  People appreciate that it was made and not store bought.  A little effort goes a long way and our kids’ nutrition and health is more than worth the effort. 

Here are some related articles to get you thinking about ways to approach this with your own kids:

 

My workout this AM was about Sumo Deadlift High Pulls! Some people love em, some don’t. I’m in the middle — when I have my form great, they are great! I had a lot of issues with catching my breath this morning. This humid air is killing my lungs!

Warmup

  • 800m jog
  • DROM
  • Drills
  • Shuttle Run
  • 10 Pass Thrus x2
  • 10 Good Mornings x2

Skill
SDHP
K2E

WOD
20,15,10

  • SDHP (65#)
  • KTE

5:54 – I had to stop and breathe more than I would have liked!

 

Changes in the Food Pyramid

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Goodbye Food Pyramid, Hello Dinner Plate

The Obama administration is about to ditch the food pyramid, that symbol of healthy eating for the last two decades. In its place officials are dishing up a simple, plate-shaped symbol, sliced into wedges for the basic food groups and half-filled with fruits and vegetables.

The circular plate, which will be unveiled Thursday, is meant to give consumers a fast, easily grasped reminder of the basics of a healthy diet. It consists of four colored sections, for fruits, vegetables, grains and protein, according to several people who have been briefed on the change. Beside the plate is a smaller circle for dairy, suggesting a glass of low-fat milk or perhaps a yogurt cup.

 

Your work is making you fat

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Workplace Cited as a New Source of Rise in Obesity

Looking beyond poor eating habits and a couch-potato lifestyle, a group of researchers has found a new culprit in the obesity epidemic: the American workplace.

A sweeping review of shifts in the labor force since 1960 suggests that a sizable portion of the national weight gain can be explained by declining physical activity during the workday. Jobs requiring moderate physical activity, which accounted for 50 percent of the labor market in 1960, have plummeted to just 20 percent.

The remaining 80 percent of jobs, the researchers report, are sedentary or require only light activity. The shift translates to an average decline of 120 to 140 calories a day in physical activity, closely matching the nation’s steady weight gain over the past five decades, according to the report, published Wednesday in the journal PLoS One.

Today, an estimated one in three Americans are obese. Researchers caution that workplace physical activity most likely accounts for only one piece of the obesity puzzle, and that diet, lifestyle and genetics all play important roles.

Going Gluten Free

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Gluten-Free: The Low-Carb of This Decade?

The slant of this is annoying — that you shouldn’t go gluten free if you don’t have a health issue bc  you could lose out on vitamins. If you are eating whole, clean foods –that shouldn’t be an issue.

“Gluten-free” is fast becoming the “low-carb” diet trend of the 21st century, although only 10 percent of the people buying its foods suffer from the celiac disease, wheat allergy or “gluten sensitivity” that make gluten avoidance a medical-must.

The burgeoning gluten-free marketplace has been a boon to men and women whose good health depends upon keeping gluten out of their gullets.

…Celiac disease, also called celiac sprue, affects an estimated 1 in 133 Americans, many of them unaware that they have a genetic disorder in which the body perceives gluten in their food as an alien invader and launches an immune system attack on the intestines and other organs. Symptoms can range from diarrhea, abdominal pain, fatigue and headaches to malnourishment, osteoporosis, neurological conditions and in some cases, infertility and cancer.

Celiac sufferers must strictly adhere to gluten-free eating. Even a stray crispy crouton in a salad could be enough to launch an internal immune system siege that can sicken them.

Like those with wheat allergy, which can trigger hives, congestion and potentially fatal anaphylaxis, celiac patients must be vigilant about the contents of everything they eat. Offending foods containing wheat products include such surprising items as salad dressings, cold cuts, egg substitutes, imitation crabmeat (surimi), some herbal teas and licorice.

In addition to wheat, rye and barley, gluten can be found in exotic grains like spelt, kamut, faro and triticale. Even some oat products may contain traces of gluten picked up in the field or during processing.

With the addition of people suffering from gluten sensitivity, the market for foods once considered in the dietary fringe is expected to grow further. Packaged Facts predicts it could approach $5.5 billion by 2015.

 

Sugar- the most demonized additive known to man

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Is Sugar Toxic?

It’s so interesting to gain the insight and knowledge that science provides us around what we are trained to put in our bodies —

On May 26, 2009, Robert Lustig gave a lecture called “Sugar: The Bitter Truth,” which was posted on YouTube the following July. Since then, it has been viewed well over 800,000 times, gaining new viewers at a rate of about 50,000 per month, fairly remarkable numbers for a 90-minute discussion of the nuances of fructose biochemistry and human physiology.

Lustig is a specialist on pediatric hormone disorders and the leading expert in childhood obesity at the University of California, San Francisco, School of Medicine, which is one of the best medical schools in the country. He published his first paper on childhood obesity a dozen years ago, and he has been treating patients and doing research on the disorder ever since.

The viral success of his lecture, though, has little to do with Lustig’s impressive credentials and far more with the persuasive case he makes that sugar is a “toxin” or a “poison,” terms he uses together 13 times through the course of the lecture, in addition to the five references to sugar as merely “evil.” And by “sugar,” Lustig means not only the white granulated stuff that we put in coffee and sprinkle on cereal — technically known as sucrose — but also high-fructose corn syrup, which has already become without Lustig’s help what he calls “the most demonized additive known to man.”

Challenging Conventional Wisdom: Gary Taubes

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Gary Taubes on “Why We Get Fat”

Yes, Yes, Yes.  Eating the crap foods creates cravings for more crap food — and you are living in a vicious cycle.  That’s why I think eating a Paleo like diet is key. Cut out most carbs and eat whole, clean food —  not processed – you are good to go. Look into the science more and see what you think –

Taubes challenges the conventional wisdom that says if we just eat less and exercise more we will lose weight. He contends that carbohydrates – sweets, breads and fruit – and not fatty foods are to blame for our nation’s rising obesity rate.

We’re not fat because we’re gluttons with no willpower who sit around watching too much TV, he says. Instead, we become couch potatoes because we are getting fat by eating too much pasta and rice, and too many cookies. That diet brings on a vicious cycle of craving more of the same carbohydrates that sap our energy and pack on the pounds.

“It’s the most important issue in medicine today,” argues Taubes, a fellow at UC Berkeley’s School of Public Health. Being fat increases our risk of heart disease and diabetes, he says, as well as cancer and Alzheimer’s disease. Diets that require a steep drop in caloric consumption only allow us to drop pounds temporarily but are not a cure for obesity, he says.

…DeVane and Taubes agree that exercise alone is not the answer because people dramatically underestimate how much exercise is required to burn off pounds. And, Taubes says, exercise will just make you hungrier.

Safeway’s Simple Nutrition Shelf Tags – A Review

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A few weeks ago, I was contacted by Safeway to do a review of their new Safeway.com/Simplenutrition healthy options label system they were rolling out in their stores.  In their words: Safeway understands that shoppers want to make better nutrition for themselves and their families. But they also understand reading nutrition labels and wading through all the different sources of nutrition information can be time consuming and confusing. Fortunately, SimpleNutrition is here to help! SimpleNutrition is a new ‘at the shelf’ program that simplifies and personalizes grocery shopping so you feel confident about making informed food choices.

They offered me a gift card as a thank you for taking the time to visit their store and give my honest thoughts about it. Other than knowing there was a new label system they were using, I didn’t find out any more information, thinking it would be a better experience to go in ‘blindly’ and see if I could figure it out. Also, I am not familiar with this particular Safeway either, so it was a double blind experience. Here are my thoughts –

Here’s the Safeway in Ashburn, VA that I visited on a Friday late afternoon.  I walked into the store and headed to the produce area –which coincidentally, seems to be in the front of every grocery store if you haven’t noticed before. Anyone know why? Hmmm…

As I was going through the produce area, I didn’t notice anything out of the ordinary in terms of labels of the food.  Looked completely regular to me — so I headed on down a few aisles, again, nothing stuck out. I was beginning to think that maybe this particular Safeway was not using the new label system. So as I pushed the cart down a few more aisles and went to the frozen food section.

Now that my son, Nate is eating gluten free foods, I have had to become familiar with frozen breakfast items that he can eat and figured, maybe I will see these new healthy option labels there.  What I saw was a clearly marked ‘Organic’ label which I thought was great, but hardly a stand out. (See picture to the right)

I continued on through the aisle and came upon them – FINALLY! They look like little tabs hanging off the edge & right below the food item. They color-coded them along with its related word.  I saw Organic, Gluten Free, Low Sodium, All Natural & More! Once I got the hang of it and noticed them – I realized how much help they really were.  It helped me quickly identify the gluten-free items instead of having to look through and carefully make sure that the product I am getting is indeed what I think it is.

What I have been finding is that many brands have a healthy, organic version AND a healthy, organic but Gluten free option and other than a small little label on it – that says it’s Gluten Free, it’s hard to tell. This really did make it easy!

As I said, once I noticed them – that’s how I finished my shopping trip. Looking for these little tabs all over the store. They were up and down the rice & pasta aisle and I was able to find them in the frozen food area. I was able to scan this wall of mac & cheese options and find the ones that are gluten free quickly and easily.  That made me very very very happy!

The way this Safeway is laid out – the healthier options are integrated with all of the food — so I can see how these labels would really help shoppers quickly identify healthier options. Even the lower sodium spaghetti sauce had a healthy options label to help you find it easier.

So what are my overall thoughts about Safeway Simple Nutrition Shelf Tags?  Anything that helps people make better nutrition choices for themselves and their families is a step in the right direction in my book! I really liked how these tags stood out and were very readable.  So, for those shoppers already looking for healthier options — this makes it easy. One wish?  I wish it had the magic power to convince people to make a conscience choice to buy them…..

 

Please know that although Safeway did provide me with gift cards to thank me for my time, the opinions shared above are my own & were in no way influenced by them. They did not encourage me to write any particular review of my experience.

 

Car full of Groceries from Safeway!

Steve’s Original for the WIN!

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Last weekend, I tried a Paleo Krunch Bar from my friend Jason – and that was all I needed — it was Delish! Seriously, folks.

A delicious blend of coconut, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, almonds and honey, PaleoKrunch fits into your bag and can answer any snack attack. Perfect for people following Zone® or Paleo®

I went home and ordered a batch of them along with their Paleo Krunch cereal. I really miss cereal now that I am Paleo, but this cereal paired with coconut milk — perfect substitute. It’s like eating granola which is close enough for me.

 

In addition to being delicious, Steve’s Original gives back to the community in a really meaningful way.

15% of proceeds from PaleoKits, PaleoKrunch, and other Steve’s Original products go to the Steve’s Club National Program to help bring fitness, nutrition, and personal development to youth across the country – one kid at a time.

So while a bit on the pricey side – its good, high quality, paleo friendly food that not only meets nutritional needs, it also helps others. Steve’s Original for the WIN!

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