Monday, April 23, 2012

The T.M.I. Post

We have just started Week 2 of our Paleo Challenge and so far my team is kicking BUTT! Only one week done though. That was the easy part, like doing a WOD with 6 rounds. Round one through three are okay. Somewhere mid-round (or week) 3 or 4 is starts to feel never ending. But it's all down hill and easy as paleo-quiche once you hit week 6.

So reading the first week's food diaries allowed me to get to know my team a little better. So now I'm going to start asking, "how do you feel". How do you know if you feel funky because you're basically in the middle of a sugar detox or if your body dislikes broccoli? How can you tell that? Experience. Trial and error. Above all, patience! Also though, don't be afraid to ask!

Starting a new dietary plan can be spooky. You dont know what to expect really and what happens if it doesn't work? And no one likes to feel crappy, what if this plan makes you feel crappy? But knowing really IS half the battle and that's why you have a team and an experienced team leader on your side. Any 'oddity' that comes up you can immediately figure out how to handle. You can identify, adapt and move forward.

Don't you worry about if a question may be TMI for me. I would like to help you tweak your diet if you're experiencing bouts of diarrhea or constipation. You can't improve your health if something like that is holding you back! It also helps to be able to ask someone a question and hear, "oh dont worry, that's normal and nothing to be worried about." Or maybe, "okay, do this instead." It's good to know, to feel assured that you're on the right track right? The only way you can improve your health is to be open to change and it certainly helps to have someone around that can give you confidence to keep going and to stay the course that you are on.
So how have you been feeling?
Are you sleeping better or worse?
Are you ravenous at night or are you satisfied after dinner?
Are you ravenous in the AM or not at all?
Do you feel strong? Or weaker?
Do you feel bloated or gassy?
Are you more/less thirsty?
Are you craving Gatorade?
Are you craving sugar? Or just....something?
Is your stomach grumbling? Or has it STOPPED grumbling?
Do you feel woozy? Or alert?
Are you getting menstrual cramps worse/less?

If ANYTHING has changed or is changing you can discuss it with me. I want you all to get the most from this challenge that you can. If you aren't sure what something new means, then ask me or one of your other coaches!

Best of health,

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Lettuce Pisses Me Off...

Don't get me wrong, I really like vegetables. I even like the lesser appreciated veggies like brussels sprouts, beets and collard greens. The funny thing is, I really like salads at other people's houses and out at restaurants (I'm not including the taco salad in the fried taco shell here as a salad!), but as soon as it comes to home? Nope. Not happening. It bugs me to have it in my fridge. It annoys me because it never fits in any of my normal bowls. Lettuce pisses me off, and I'm not really sure why.

For the next six weeks our CrossFit box is running a Paleo Challenge (ie teams of eleven people support each other as they all eat strict clean Paleo for 6 weeks to see how their bodies and performance changes). I'm not technically in the Challenge as I'm one of the team leaders but I'm taking this opportunity to eat clean again. Eating clean for me really means just removing cheese and wine, so I've set myself some separate goals all involving salad greens.

My goals for the next 6 weeks:
1) Eat raw salad greens with at least one meal per day, five days a week
2) One day a week eat all raw vegetables and fruits.
3) Each week try a new leafy green/source. Ie I can't eat Foxy Lettuce for all 6 weeks...puke.

So to get started? RECIPE TIME!!!!!!!!! The following recipe is for a salad dressing. The bacon and shiitakes give it substance and the balsamic vinegar's usual tang gets mellowed out a little by heating it up. You end up with this lovely caramel colored, sweet, smokey and salty dressing that is magic on tomatoes. Hope y'all like it!

(Disclaimer: I did not make this up, I wrote it down out of some garden veggie magazine at B&N and can't remember which one, nor can I find it. If you know, let me know so I can give credit where its due!)

Warm Bacon-Shiitake Salad Dressing
(serves 2ish so the recipe said)

2 Tbspn Bacon grease (drained from baked bacon)
2 Tbspn Olive oil
8oz (about 8 mushrooms) Shiitake mushrooms, sliced
6 Green onions, chopped (or 4 Tbspn chopped onion)
1 Garlic clove, minced
8 Tbspn Balsamic vinegar
4 slices Bacon, chopped/crumbled

In a sautee pan, put the grease and oil, heat over medium heat. Saute mushrooms for 1-2 minutes, add onions and garlic and continue to sautee until onions are cooked. Not so long though that garlic browns. Turn burner to lowest setting and stir in vinegar and the crumbled bacon. Warm through and pour over salad.

I poured this over a whole head of Boston lettuce with sliced tomatoes and it was fantastically good. Sadly, the picture I took didn't do it ANY justice. Just trust me, this will make your kitchen smell fantastic and will make your mouth happy.

Cheers to Paleo and Salad Greens!!

Monday, April 9, 2012

Making a Come Back...

It seems like in the last two months everyone has been beat up by something. People were coming down with all sorts of silly combination illnesses including flu-like symptoms, bronchitis, pink eye, strep throat etc. I myself was taken out of the work force for nearly 3 weeks due to a fever that turned into strep throat,  turned into dual earaches, turned into dual pink eyes. In addition to viral/bacterial infections it also seems alot of people were having surgeries or getting out of casts that kept them out of the fitness loop for months.

Going from 60 to zero and then being kept there for weeks or even months can mess with your head, not to mention your body. So what do you do? My first bit of advice is, "don't beat yourself up." It's easy to finish your first workout back and feel hopelessly weak and out of shape. It's easy to be mad at yourself for not feeling as fit as you once did, but lets face it, right now you aren't as fit as you once were. Yup, reality is a nasty little fish that bites you on the ass when you're skinny dipping.

You can't build a house on an imaginary foundation. Finding out how un-fit you now are is pretty crucial in knowing how to get started again. At our CrossFit we erase all of your 1-rep Max numbers and best times to wipe the slate clean and to give you a fresh start. You are now free to do work without feeling like you're working in the shadow of past achievements. You are free from feeling like your best effort isn't good enough until it matches what it said on the board.

Before you took a hiatus, you must have spoken with a new kid at least once. They said, "ugh, I feel so out of shape. I couldn't even do one thing in that workout as Rx." How did you respond to them? Now you're on the receiving end of that advice.You're the new kid, but with AWESOME form. One or one hundred scaled workouts doesn't make you hopeless, each one is just a point on a time line. More of a fit line. So plot your point and move on.

I didn't do a workout for almost three weeks. My first attempt at a workout and I did one round, 36 total reps in a CrossFit Open WOD, went home and took a 3 hour nap. The next workout back included a near-cry during and a 2 hour nap after. Only three weeks out of the gym and I still needed to slowly work my way back up to where I had been before.

Think again about that new kid. They didn't do any excercise before coming to your gym and now they're so excited they want to come every day even though they can barely roll out of bed in the morning. Did you tell them not to come in? To go away and not come back till Thursday? You remember hitting a WOD well 4 times a week, but now that's you! Getting back into it often requires easing back into it.

I like to remind myself that I got sick because I hadn't been listening to my body's needs. I pushed too hard for too long and got wolloped. But whether you were sick, injured, on vacation or otherwise removed from action, you can absolutely get back what you've lost. Don't concern yourself with where you were and how much you could lift. Focus on what you can do today. Ease back into your regimen and listen to your body when it says to back off. It will also tell you when you can floor it :-)

Yours in health!