Monday, June 27, 2011

Healthy Living Principle #3 - Think Seasonally

Flickr: All rights reserved by fatboydon
To follow up Healthy Living Principles #1 and #2, #3 is Think Seasonally. What does "think seasonally" mean?  When you are choosing your fruits and vegetables, choose the majority of what you're eating based on those foods that are in season where you live.  Some foods are in season "year round" so feel free to enjoy them year round When you eat seasonal foods, they are more likely to be locally grown (since the food is in season where you are) and picked closer to their peak of ripeness verses picked early and ripened with gas or have color added so that the food looks more appetizing.  When you are eating foods that travel less distance, and that are picked closer to their peak you are getting a more nutritious product, and increasing the nutrients for your dollar.  Another great thing about eating seasonally is that it tends to be cheaper: blueberries are less expensive in July when they are in season and you can get them from New Jersey (for those of us on the East Coast) verses in January when you have to eat ones that are imported from a warmer climate where they can still be grown.  On that note, foods that are seasonal and local travel less, so in addition to generally being more nutritious and less expensive they are also better for the environment (less travel to get to you) and can help support your local farmers.

How do you know what foods are seasonal, the easiest way is to go to a farmer's market, find one local to you today here and see what they have.  Most farmer's markets source their products from LOCAL farmers, which means that you'll be getting seasonal produce.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Crossfit Level 1 Certified

This past weekend I attended the Crossfit Level 1 Cert course, which was conveniently (for me) hosted by my local Crossfit Gym, Crossfit KoP.  It was 2 full days of learning technique, set-up, points of performance, common faults, how to fix faults, and lots of practice with PVC pipe.  It was a really great experience, and one that I needed to complete to move on to the next part of my health journey to be a Crossfit Coach.  In addition to learning a ton, doing a many reps with a PVC pipe it also reinforced all of the things I already know.  It was awesome when one of the trainers at the end told me "you move really well" after going over the break down of how to teach a push jerk: Jump, Jump with arms, Jump and punch the arms, pick up the stick/PVC and do it.

Aimee, Chloe, Mel, Spealler, and Me

The coaching staff was awesome and they schedule mixed lecture and then practice of technique which was good since as Crossfitters we didn't like to sit still too long.  It was a really great experience and it really made me appreciate the quality of the coaching staff at Crossfit KoP - those that attend, know that you have some really great a solid coaches guiding you!  The highlight of the weekend was two-fold, passing the test and getting my actual certification AND having the opportunity to load a bar with 145# and have 3 world class trainers disect my deadlift.  For those that don't work out with me I am notorious for rounding my back during deadlifts with anything over 130#s - which as was reinforced over and over again this weekend is the major thing that you need to have in line to complete that lift safely.  The combination of Andrea, Chiss, and Chris Spealler (yes the Chris Spealler) working with helped me really dial in my set-up and with some good coaching cues got me to complete the lift multiple times with no back round - success!  It was awesome and terrifying at the same time to have so many great Crossfit minds watching me and trying to make me better, and let me tell you I have not been doing this lift properly before because now 3 days later I'm still feeling it in my hamstrings and glutes!

Thanks Chris Spealler and Chriss and Andrea!

Personal Training from Spealler

 Now I've got a lot of deadlift cues to work on and the key to getting better is training the movement and practicing implementing the cues I learned.  So starting next week I'm going to add it as a weekly goal as another thing to work on at the gym, along with that other elusive movement I'm chasing, the muscle up.  Why am I not starting today...well that's because I've got the Philly Olympic Tri on Sunday and I need to be able to move through my swim, bike, and run.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Paleo in US News Report

Ok I'm a little late to the table on this, but I still wanted to share some of my thoughts.  US News released a report ranking the Best Overall Diets and the good news is that the Paleo diet is included on the list.  The bad news is that it's blink reaction to the list is that I want to see the ranking criteria.  Any study or report that includes the Slim Fast Diet and Medi Fast Diet (which feature consuming fortified supplements instead of eating actual food) on the list of the best diets automatically raises a flag for me. 

The Top 20 Best Diets....according to US News:
1. DASH Diet
2. Mediterranean Diet
2. TLC Diet
2. Weight Watchers Diet
5. Mayo Clinic Diet
5. Volumetric Diet
7. Jenny Craig Diet
8. Ornish Diet
9. Vegetarian Diet
10. Slim Fast Diet
11. Nutrisystem Diet
12. Vegan Diet
13. South Beach Diet
14. Eco Atkins Diet
14. Zone Diet
16. Glycemic-Index Diet
16. Medifast Diet
18. Raw Foods Diet
19. Atkins Diet
20. Paleo Diet

Monday, June 6, 2011

Healthy Living Principle #2: Eat More Vegetables

Healthy Living Principle #2: Eat More Vegetables.  Vegetables are loaded with antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals that are essential for health and optimal body function.  Everyone's diet could be better with the inclusion of a few more veggies, especially the leafy green kind.  Think about it, at how many meals and snacks do you actually eat vegetables?  When you do eat them, how much do you eat?  Do you eat the obligatory 2 pieces of broccoli so you can check the box on getting your veggies for the day?

Did you know that nutritionally greens are very high in calcium, magnesium, iron, potassium, phosphorous, zinc and vitamins A, C, E and K. They are crammed with fiber, folic acid, chlorophyll and many other micronutrients and phytochemicals. You don't have to eat them raw or cooked all the time; it's a good idea to eat a combination of cooked and raw vegetables. And eat what you like, try new vegetables and experiment with how to prepare them and learn how you like them. You may like carrots raw but hate them cooked, or you may think that brussel sprouts are gross and have memories of your parents forcing you to eat them before you could leave the table when you were a kid. But try a shredded brussel sprout salad or sauteed in grass fed butter and you could find that they are delcious.