Recover Faster and Stronger by Following Simple Daily Practices

We workout. We get sore…maybe even feel exhausted at times. We cannot take for granted the importance of a few daily things. Did you catch that…DAILY. If you drink the appropriate amount of water after a goods night rest tomorrow to start these practices, don’t expect to feel a change instantaneously. Practice these following things diligently for 2 weeks and let’s see how you feel a the end.

DRINK WATER & SLEEP Drink at least 96 – 128 oz of water throughout the day! More on days you workout! As for sleep, try to get 6-8 hours. If you can’t get that all at once, A lot can be said for a 30 minute nap. Can’t fall asleep, download the “Relax” app on your phone that does a guided relaxation practice that can be programmed to 15 minutes! These two things will help restore resting length of your muscles, energize the body, and will support nutrition absorption and filtration of the excess crap in our system.

MOBILITY is key to our CrossFit program. Not only to improve positioning in our lifts and get stronger in our gymnastics practice, but it also to restore proper resting length of our muscles! When we are consistent, daily aches and pains of our joints can reduce that would also become aggravated during our workouts. Take advantage of stretching on your floor at the end of the day each day and see your lifts go up and rowing get faster!

POST WORKOUT We need proteins and carbohydrates. When you workout, you are tearing and stressing muscle fibers and burning through stored carbohydrates to produce energy for you to work. So you need to replenish your energy source with more carbs (fruits, veggies, whole grains, etc.) and then rebuild muscle with protein. If you just take in protein and no carbohydrates, then your body will synthesize the protein and have to use it to renew your energy source and your muscles will be left hanging. When that happens, your muscles get tight, knot up, pull on our joints more and make us feel…in a simple word…”shitty”.

ZONE DIET & SUPPLEMENTS – Matt Chan Video on programming your Zone Diet

  • We will be having a Nutrition class may 30th at 7:00pm writing people’s Zone Diet and talking more about it if you want to try!

This is Next Level stuff. If you have been practicing the CrossFit motto “Eat Meats and Vegetables, Nuts and Seeds, some fruits, little starch and no sugars.” that can serve as a great starting point, but ultimately leaves us with questions: What is the right serving size? When do I need to eat my meals? What should I get in my post workout? How will I meal prep all this? FOOD IS FUEL and just like an engine, we need to make sure we are getting the right fuel at the right time.

Supplements Keep it simple to start. Take a Multivitamin and Fish Oil (6g/day).

Fish Oil is an anti-inflammatory (Omega 3’s) and this is going to be helpful for those CrossFitters who also eat paleo (nuts, grains, starches, meats, eggs) as those things are pro-inflammatory. Along with helping your muscles out, Omega 3’s from Fish Oil will help improve cariovascular function, nervous system function, immune health, memory and mood issues.

BE CONSISTENT.

Does your Diet Keep Falling off Course? Here are 3 Ways you Can Build Better Habits

meal prepIt can be hard to not only make the right choice on what we should be eating, but also to stay consistent, keep it cost affordable, meet your timeline…the list can go on when we talk about barriers to having the best diet. Considering this, there are some basic things we can do to make sure we are getting enough of the right stuff in your diet.

1. HAVE A PLAN You have to know yourself if you want to make changes to your eating. What are your current habits? Do you grocery shop? Do you just eat on the go? Kids? Work? Cost? Answering these questions and budgeting out what you want to spend on food are going to be huge pieces to knowing what barriers exist and how you can plan to avoid bad practices.

For instance, if you have limited time and options during the week to eat healthy or have access to healthy food, then you need to do MEAL PREP. Pick a 2 hour chunk during the week where you can chop up veggies, fruits, cook some meats in build and then parcel them out among tupperware so you don’t have to stress during the week! Make it fun and food prep with a friend! You may also find meal prep is a great way to save money!

2. SHOP THE EXTERIOR OF THE GROCERY STORE the best way to know if you are getting the right foods is to shop the exterior. The meats are our protein needs, veggies and fruits and bulk whole grains give us those good carbohydrates we need and the bulk nuts and seeds sections round out our Paleo or whole foods diets in the best way! Take these foods home and immediately prep them for the week!

This is also a great time to practice grocery shopping based off of a weekly menu so you can better estimate quantity and get the freshest foods!

3. SUPPLEMENTS Our goal is to get a balanced diet of 40% carbohydrates, 30% Protein, 30% fats and within that breakdown, we need the right fats, lean meats, complex carbs and more and supplements can be a great way to get your body primed for our workouts! Start with a multivitamin and a lot of people are lacking a good quantity of protein so check out a Progenex sample for a quality product and a good price!

Check out next week’s blog on FISH OIL!!!

Most importantly, be kind to yourself. Health is a process of ups and downs and it is important to do what we can one day at a time.

The Perfect Shoe for CrossFit is…

…I don’t know! But that is GOOD NEWS because there is such thing as the RIGHT shoe for you. If you are a lifter, crossfitter, shin splint recover-er or whatever, we have narrowed the search down to a few options which may help you take your health and CrossFit career to the next level!

Perhaps you are thinking those running shoes with the pinky toe holes are the love of your life and there is no other shoe you’ll need, but the simple truth is a lot of shoes are built for one purpose. Running shoes are designed for forward monostructural movements and as we all discover in CrossFit, we have weightlifting, gymnastics, lateral plyometrics, and so much more that a “cross trainer” will be better suited for the variety of work we have in class.

What we need is a shoes that is light for running and cardio work, flat for weightlifting, and have strong soles for rope climbs, sled pushes and other “grippy” movements. With that said, keep your running shoes for running and take a look at these options for when you take your next class and want to be ready for everything.

 

Nanos and Metcons: Classic CrossFit Shoes

We must be prepared for “Constantly varied functional movements performed at high intensity”. Two of the most popular shoes used among CrossFitters are Nano’s by Reebok (for the OG’s), and Metcons by Nike (the new ‘cool kids’). Nano’s are slightly softer, and add a little more cushion, while Metcon’s are more similar to a lifting shoe in the sense that they have a firm sole. Again, both of these shoes will best prepare you for a daily workout, but it is up to you to seek a shoe that feels best for you. There will be some trial and error and if you can’t swing the cost, then find a shoe that meets those same listed suggestions we mentioned. Start in the “Cross Trainers” Department of any general shoe store.

  • – NOW – We are going to totally throw you for a loop! If you have been CrossFitting for a bit and want to tap into Olympic Lifting Shoes or more sport specific shoes, here are some things to consider:

Olympic Lifting Shoes

Weight lifting shoes are designed with a heel ranging from a ½” to a 1 ½”, and a strap running over the top. Unlike running shoes, lifting shoes were designed to resist compression and withstand heavy impact. The heel in the shoe allows athletes to stay upright and get lower under the bar. Because lifting shoes cannot be compressed under pressure, it allows the athlete to have more stability in their upward drive. Running shoes on the other hand are designed for absorbency; so if you are trying to lift in running shoes you can see how that creates a problem. If your upward drive becomes absorbed due to your shoes, then your ability to lift heavier weights decreases.

Now, there are a lot of shoes out there great for lifting; for example Romaleos. Romaleos are great for someone who plans to solely lift in their shoes. Ultimately it boils down to personal preference so, try a few pairs out and then make a decision.

The CrossFit Lifter

A lot of people switch from lifting shoes to cross training shoes depending on the workout, however Reebok designed a shoe for a bit of both; the CrossFit Lifter. According to Reebok the shoe was designed to be fit for any WOD, claiming the shoe is a perfect balance for lifting and agility.

A shoe is just like all the other equipment in the gym; we need to pick the best pair for ourselves, take good care of them, and replace them once they are worn down.

~Jessica Brearley and Joshua O’Donnell

4 Mobility Exercises You Should Be Doing EVERY DAY!

“I PR’d my couch stretch” is probably not a phrase you hear as often as “I PR’d my back squat”, but does that mean it’s not as important? Mobility is a vital part of Crossfit and health.

Crossfit without mobility is like forgetting to wear your pants to work. Sure, you got to work quicker, but now that everyone is staring at your underwear you are starting to feel a little uncomfortable. Same goes for mobility – by skipping it you started the WOD quicker, or got home from the gym earlier but eventually your body will begin to feel uncomfortable. Without mobility our body cannot be the properly greased machine it so desires to be. We will run fine for a while, but long term Crossfit without mobility exercises can create a decrease in improvement or worse, injury.
Add these 4 mobility exercises to your daily gym routine to see flexibility and recovery improvements. Coaches can often tailor mobility exercise to you specific needs so don’t forget to consult a coach if you have questions!
Banded Hip Extensions will improve our hip flexors and anterior pelvic rotation. The Banded Hip Extension should be done for 1 minute each leg x 3. Once you have done this and feel you flexibility has improved then you should switch to a proper and upright Couch Stretch. The Banded Hip Extension is beneficial for people suffering from low back, hip flexor and potentially knee pain.
bandedhipextension
Toe Elevated Hamstring Pulses can alleviate low back pain. This movement is very beneficial for a variety of areas including; hamstrings, glutes, calves and ankles. Do this movement 30 times each leg x 3. As shown in the photo, place your foot on a plate, and begin small pulses only extending through your natural range of motion that will increase through the sets.
Pancake Splits are best after a workout, but if you are only able to do them before that is ok too. Pancake splits against the wall increase hip abductor flexibility which will allow for more flexibility in squats, allowing you to push your knees out farther while squatting. Do this stretch for 2 minutes.
Mwod_Starret_Pancake Split
The Twisted Cross is a pectoral stretch. This type of mobility with help the interior rotation of your shoulder. The Twisted Cross can help improve movements like the Snatch or lifts with front rack positioning. twisted cross
Give these a try and be cautious with all the movements. Only do what your body can handle, and talk with one of our coaches if you have questions. Commitment to mobility, means we can play every day and move without pain!
By: Jessica Brearley & Coach Kyle

Don’t Be A Cookie Monster

wall_decal_quote_balanced_diet_is_a_cookie_s

The photo above sounds great for my taste buds but maybe not my well-being. In last week’s post we talked about a Paleo Checklist. It is the idea of having a well-rounded and overall healthy lifestyle. One topic we covered explained the importance of balance; balance in life and in our diet.

We talked about treating Paleo Desserts like any other dessert. While almond flour and coconut flour are great substitutes, they are also very high in fat and processed sugar – two things our bodies will store as fat if they cannot be used as energy. But what we also talked about is enjoying life, which is why we want to share the best cookie recipe with you today, and remind you to treat these cookies just like you would for any other diet – have one! Keep in mind; eliminating processed food is extremely beneficial to our health, however if we create a bad relationship to food with overconsumption then we are ignoring the true issues at hand.

Now that we have this great reminder, we figured you were all ready for the best Paleo Cookie Recipe.

COOKIES!!!

Ingredients:

1 ½ cup almond flour

¼ teaspoon baking soda

¼ teaspoon sea salt

2 tablespoons coconut oil (melted, not softened)

½ teaspoon vanilla extract

¼ cup maple syrup

1 whole egg

½ cup Enjoy Life chocolate chips

Directions:

Mix together your almond flour, baking soda, and sea salt in a bowl. In a separate bowl mix together your melted coconut oil, vanilla extract, maple syrup and egg. Mix wet and dry ingredients and add chocolate chips. Cover and store in fridge for 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 350F. Place cookies on non-stick cookie sheet, or apply oil to cookie sheet to avoid sticking. Roll cookie dough into even sized balls and line on cookie sheet. Place in over for 5-7 minutes, remove and flatten top with spatula, then place back in the oven for 3-5 minutes.

Let cool and enjoy in moderation!

Authored by our very own Jessica Brearley

The Paleo Checklist: Making a “Diet” into a Lifestyle Change

Changing the way we eat creates energy gain and weight loss, which are both great accomplishments. And, while it feels great to start seeing changes in the mirror you may still feel the stresses of everyday life, because no one can change that right? Well, that is where we say – wrong! Eating whole foods is a very important part to being healthy! But, Paleo teaches us to be whole beyond the kitchen. In order for you to assess your Paleo lifestyle we have created a Paleo checklist. Plus, who doesn’t love a great checklist?

Laugh. A Paleo lifestyle means more than just what you eat. In order to live a Paleo lifestyle you need to let go of the things you cannot control, and prepare for the things you can control. Stress hormones are very detrimental to our health, so when you can laugh – laugh loud! And if you have the ability to eliminate a stressor in your life, than we encourage you to do so!

Balance. “Here have a cookie, no have ten, it’s Paleo!!” Does this phrase sound familiar? Balance is important in and out of the kitchen. In this case, just because something is considered Paleo does not mean it should be consumed in copious amounts. A copious amount of anything is bad, including almond flour cookies. If it is a “Paleo” dessert, treat (pun intended) it as you would any treat – just have one!

Drink. No, not alcohol (ok well maybe sometimes, but see above about being balanced). Drink water.. and tea.. and broth. While we do encourage drinking a good amount of water, we also encourage you to drink water in other forms. By adding homemade bone broth and tea to your regimen you are able consume water, and nutrients. Check out the recipe below for an easy broth.

Exercise. Run, lift, swim, bike, crossfit, stretch. Don’t stop there.. Go hiking, skiing, snowboarding, climbing and play – play frisbee, basketball, soccer, and football. The list goes on! No matter what your lifestyle may be, find an activity that gets your blood pumping and your endorphins kicking. Enjoy the ability to utilize the body you have!

If you get anything out of this post this is what we hope: Fuel your body and don’t sweat the small stuff – enjoy life with whole foods, hard work and having fun!

Now here is that broth recipe I promised!

If you do not have chicken bones you will need to make a whole chicken, which is super easy!

Whole Chicken:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Place chicken in a roasting pan, and season generously inside and out with salt and pepper. Sprinkle inside and out with onion powder.
  3. Stuff chicken with lemon slices and fresh herbs of your choice. (Basil, Thyme, and Rosemary are my fav).
  4. Bake uncovered 1 hour and 15 minutes in the preheated oven, to a minimum internal temperature of 180 degrees F.

 

Now the Broth:

  1. Remove all the meat from the chicken and store for later.
  2. Put the remaining body (bones, fat and stuffed herbs/lemon) in a large pot of water.
  3. Add salt, pepper and dried herbs – the amount will vary on your pot size. You can taste test so it isn’t too salty or bland.
  4. Bring to boil for 10 minutes, then let simmer on medium for 2 hours. Cool, remove bones/fat/herbs/lemon and jar!

 

Blog post by: Jessica Brearley

 

Party like a Caveman in 4 Easy Steps!

Paleo Challenges and food restrictions can be challenging while trying to be the social butterfly you are! In order to be successful in your health you will need to adapt, luckily we humans are really good at adapting. Now, keep these 4 things in mind so you can party like a caveman. And remember just because you aren’t eating certain foods doesn’t mean you should avoid parties and social events.

#1 Fill that Barbaric Belly – Before you go to a party.. eat! And don’t just have a snack; eat a full meal that satisfies any cravings you may have. Follow it with a big glass of water. Staying satiated and hydrated will help you avoid eating unhealthy party appetizers.

#2 Pack a Snack – Bring snacks you can eat. So many people have food restrictions these days’ people don’t usually care when you whip out a bag of carrots or piece of chicken. Seriously, I have brought chicken with me to the bowling alley. Side snacking usually goes unnoticed, and if they do notice most will respond with “hey, give me a bite.” If you think this option sounds odd don’t let that stop you; you can always leave the snacks out of sight but it’s better to be prepared then choose something unhealthy!

#3 Take the Cake – In some cases, where outside food is prohibited (like your mother-in-laws dinner parties) we run into what I like to call Paleo persecution. For some reason some people are offended towards food restrictions. In cases where turning down a piece of cake is rude, simply take the piece of cake. Just because something is on your plate doesn’t mean you have to eat it. You avoid offending the host, and then you don’t have to spend the next 30 minutes arguing why their gluten free cake still doesn’t fit in your Paleo lifestyle.

#4 Recon the Menu – Every good caveman knows their surroundings before they take charge. Before going to a restaurant read their menu online, and know what you are going to order. Creating a plan will help you be more successful then winging it.

BONUS!! Craving junk food? Eat a piece of bacon, or two.
Now get out there and party like a caveman ya wild animal!

*Recipes from Wednesday’s potluck.

Slow Cooker Beef and Broccoli Recipe

Robbin Thomas

Ingredients

* 1 lb. boneless chuck roast, sliced into thin strips

* 2-3 cups fresh broccoli florets

* 1 apple, thinly sliced

* ½ cup coconut aminos

* 1/3 cup raw honey

* 3 cloves garlic, minced

* 1 Tbsp tapioca starch (optional)

Cooking Instructions

  1. In a slow cooker, combine together the beef stock, coconut aminos, honey, garlic and sliced apple.
  2. Add the beef to the slow cooker and stir.
  3. Set slow cooker to low and cook for 4-5 hours.
  4. When the time is up, combine the tapioca starch with some of the liquid from the slow cooker in a small bowl. Pour it back into the slow cooker and stir well.
  5. Add the broccoli and cook for another 30 minutes.

 

Dump Ranch Dressing

Blend together with an immersion blender for 1 minute, the following ingredients:

* 1 egg, at room temperature

* 1 cup light olive oil

* 2 tbsp lemon juice

* 2 tbsp red wine vinegar

* 1 tsp salt

* 1 tsp pepper

* ¾ tsp onion powder

* ¾ tsp garlic powder

* ½ cup full fat coconut milk

 

Roasted Veggies

Ingredients:

* Peppers

* Zucchini

* Broccoli

* Sweet Potatoes

* Asparagus

* Any veggies you want!

Cooking Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350*
  2. Slice vegetables and put on a cookie sheet
  3. Drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper.
  4. Bake for 10 minutes, flip veggies and bake another 5 minutes or until tender.

 

Paleo Challenge Recipe: Chicken Pest “PASTA”

Chicken Pesto Pasta Recipe [paleo, primal, gluten-free]

Craving pasta? With the right ingredients we don’t have to miss out on the things we love. Although Spaghetti Squash doesn’t taste just like pasta it is a great alternative to some of our favorite dishes, like Pesto Pasta! If you get bored with chicken try seafood and get those awesome Fish Oils into your diet!

#FoodSelfies are encouraged, so after you try this Paleo Pesto Pasta don’t forget to upload a photo to our facebook page with your thoughts and any special touches you added to the recipe!

SHOPPING LIST:

  • 1 Medium Spaghetti squash
  • 1 Container of Mushrooms & 1 Onion (or sub for Veggies of your choice).
  • 2 Chicken Breast
  • Large Container of Basil 
  • Pecans (about a half cup)
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Sea Salt

PESTO RECIPE: Combine the following measurements into a blender and blend until smooth.

  • 2 Cups of packed fresh basil (cut the stems).
  • 1/2 Cup of extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/3 cup pine nuts or walnuts
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • Dash of lemon pepper – to taste.

PASTA RECIPE: Cook Spaghetti Squash (Heat oven to 375 degrees. Brush the inside of each half with olive oil and sprinkle with coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper. Place cut sides down on a rimmed baking sheet and put sheet into the oven. Bake for about 40 minutes, or until you can easily pierce the squash with a fork. Make sure you scrape out the seeds first).

While the Spaghetti Squash is cooking, dice up two chicken breasts, mushrooms and onions. Veggie measurements are your preference. Place in a lightly olive oiled pan and cook on medium until chicken is fully cooked, turn up to high for a few minutes to brown chicken. Once spaghetti squash is cooked scrape into a dish, combine veggies, chicken, and pesto. Add lemon pepper to taste and enjoy!

~Jessica Brearley

Q&A with Owner and Head Coach Josh O’Donnell

josh

First, a few facts:

Josh holds a variety of titles, he is a certified personal trainer through the National Academy of Sports Medicine, a spin instructor, a level one CrossFit trainer and a CrossFit Olympic weightlifting coach. He comes from a background in football, baseball and Strongman training.

 

What’s your background in CrossFit?

I started CrossFit 3 years ago. A friend of mine showed me a video of a few CrossFit athletes doing some workouts. It reminded me of workouts I used to do with my dad when I was training for football.

I loved the self-reflective competition and the fact that I could do something different every day: I could train outside, at a gym or in my garage. It made sense, it felt good and it felt hard. It’s what I needed.

Before that, I was struggling with drugs and alcohol at 310 pounds – it was the unhealthiest and unhappiest I’d ever been.

They say that there’s a physical development, but the biggest development in CrossFit is between your ears. That rang true for me.

 

What’s your coaching philosophy?

I want to learn about a person. I don’t want to just write down what their goals are; it’s important to me to take the extra step to understand why their goals are important to them.

For example, when someone says they want to lose 10 pounds, I want to know why. Or if they want to run a marathon, why?

I love getting to know why they want to do CrossFit, why they are coming in here every day and why they have their goals, because the better our connection is, the better I can train them.

 

Why Bellingham?

I learned a lot about who I am here in Bellingham. I have a lot of special memories of this place. I found my calling in CrossFit, I guess. In running this gym, I know that I can positively impact people and I want to do it in Bellingham. It feels like home to me.

 

What should people know about CrossFit?

A big part of it is the community. People come 15 minutes early and stay 20 minutes after. When you suffer through something with someone, you become tight with them.

I don’t want to say CrossFit will make you suffer… But because it’s so challenging, it builds strong camaraderie.

 

What role does CrossFit play in your life?

CrossFit is much more than a training method. It’s a lifestyle, as cultish as that sounds. Truly, it made me realize that anything i want to do outside of these doors  – physical, starting a business or otherwise – if I decide that I want to try it, I can do it. It’s really inspired every other aspect of my life and my relationships.

It’s a way for me to train, but it really builds up life in every aspect.