Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Mental Prep & Competition

One of my favorite performance coach blogs to follow is Fletcher Fitness.  She is all about the mental prep for competition as well as a day to day healthy lifestyle.  She is a strong believer that "the same way you cannot out train a bad diet, you cannot out train a bad mindset."

We all have had those days in a workout when we just mentally were not there and it makes a huge difference.  Whether you are going for a big lift, or a slow strong yoga practice focus is key.  If your mind is wandering, or you go into your training/practice/competition already defeated then you probably are.

Here are her 5 Powerful Mindset Tips:

1. Be a constant optimist full of possibility
*rid complaints, negative words/thoughts/actions

2. Focus only on what you can control
*don’t spend energy on factors out of control

3. Meditate
*simply spend quiet, alone time sorting through your thoughts & emotions or being still in prayer

4. Surround yourself with people who really encourage you towards your goals.

5. Have fun, be fun, implement fun… very often.

Much easier said than done, but trying to implement these on a daily basis.

In other news... hard to believe that its been over a week since my team crossfit competition.  Test your metal was a great event.  My team placed 3rd after 3 WOD's.  The top 5 teams went on to compete in the final championship round where we finished 4th.  Not too bad for our first team competition.  Everyone from crossfit aspire did amazing, it was a great community atmosphere, everyone cheering each other on, and seeing so many people do things that they didn't think they were capable of.
 Go Team BEE SPIRE!  This was right before the start of our 4th WOD (Championship Round)

Prepping for another competition this weekend, Crossfit Summer Classic in Philly.  Looking to go have a fun time hanging out with other crossfitters/friends why we exercise and watch other amazing exercisers :)  

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Don't Fear FAT!

Here is just a quick list of fats that you can reference...

Okay first lets talk HEALTHY FATS

Which to heat (saturated fats): 
These are non-animal sources of fat, go for organic and unrefined forms when possible
Coconut Oil
Palm Oil

These are animal fats.  Try to go for pasture-raised/grass-fed & Organic sources when possible.
Schmaltz (chicken fat)
Lamb Fat
Duck Fat
Full Fat Dairy
Eggs, Meat & Seafood

Which to use cold (unsaturated fats):
try to go for organic, extra virgin, cold-pressed forms

Olive Oil - best choice
Sesame oil
Nut oils (walnut, pecan, macadamia, almond)
Whole Nuts & seeds (including nut butters & seed butters)
Flaxseed Oil (try to keep this limited)

these are man-made aka not real food

Saturated (unhealthy) Fats:

Hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils
Man made trans-fats (things like "buttery spreads" example: Earth Balances, Benecol and I Can't Believe Its Not Butter)

Unsaturated (unhealthy) Fats:
highly processed and oxidized by either light, air or heat.  It is never healthy to consume oxidized oils

Canola Oil (also known as Rapeseed oil)
Corn Oil
Vegetable Oil
Soybean Oil
Grapeseed Oil
Sunflower Oil
Safflower Oil
Rice Bran Oil

For a really cool chart on Fats that you can print out and keep handy check out Balanced Bites Useful Guides




Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Paleo Pantry (Part 1)

When I switched to a real food diet (paleo) I noticed that my fridge and freezer were packed and my pantry was almost bare.  Previously my pantry was filled with oatmeal, flax seed, chia seeds, organic canned soups, cans of beans, rice, olive oil, sesame oil, brown rice vinegar, grain or rice based cereals, amaranth, brown rice pasta, whole grain pasta, nutritional yeast and I am sure other weird "healthy" things.  After cleaning out my pantry of grains and processed foods and replacing it with things that I would use on my real food diet the shelves looked empty. 

This is actually a good sign.  We should be eating foods that do not have long shelf lives because of added preservatives or a refining process.  Real foods usually need to be refrigerated or frozen and need to be eaten much sooner than "fake food" like things I mentioned above.

However, there are a few things that you should keep on hand in your Paleo Pantry, here are a few that I usually keep stocked up on...

Coconut Oil: (obviously) good for sauteing/roasting veggies, topping on sweet potatoes or even adding to coffee :)

Coconut milk (this is the whole foods brand): add to coffee, use for baking (takes the place of milk), topping for fruit (paleo ice cream), or throw in the crock pot with any kind of meat you choose and mix it with Curry paste (pictured below)

 like i was saying mix this little jar with a can of coconut milk add meat and put in crock pot, cook on low for about 6 hours = amazing! (check ingredient labels, stick with Thai Kitchen brand)

 Canned salmon and sardines from Trader Joes.  Wild caught, add to salads, use to make salmon cakes, or eat for breakfast with sauteed spinach.  Try to aim to eat some type of seafood at least 2 times a week!  Omega 3!  

 I sprinkle this on eggs or veggies usually at least once a day, great source of iodine!  

 Some great seasonings: No-Salt Seasoning from Costco, 21 Seasoning Salute from Trader Joes and Everyday Seasoning from Trader Joes.  They are all a great mix of seasonings that can be added quickly to any meal for flavor.  Add to chicken before grilling, throw on top of veggies before or after cooking.  Mix in with Olive oil and vinegar for a great salad dressing.

What are some staple items in your Paleo Pantry?

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Demystify Paleo

There are some myths out there about what exactly a Paleo Diet is (if you want to call it a diet, because we all know diets don’t work)  So lets get a few things straight when it comes to this idea of “Eating Paleo”

1.  No one is trying to make you into a caveman.  You can still drive a car and use your iPhone!  Okay so maybe cavemen did not have a long lifespan but that is not because of their food choices it is because of their lack of antibiotics, harsh living conditions, and abundance of predators.

2.  This is not a carnivorous diet.  Yes you will be eating high-quality sources of meat, but you also will be eating a TON of plant matter both veggies and fruit.

3.  Paleo diet is high in fat!  The fat you eat will NOT clog your arteries because fat all by itself is not the culprit of clogged arteries.

4.  You don’t have to be carb-phobic.  You will have adequate sources of carb’s needed for a healthy lifestyle. 

Paleo is not that radical.  UNLESS you consider eating nutrient-dense, unprocessed food radical? Which might just be the case in today’s packaged, processed, microwave dinner, drive-through, low fat, chemical enhanced, fake food era.  (now that sounds more radical to me)

(reference It Starts With Food by Dallas & Melissa Hartwig)