25 Mar / 2015
Typically, I don’t endorse fast food. It’s generally of poor quality, low in nutrients and high in calories, fat, and carbohydrates. But sometimes you just have to eat and the only options are quick serve joints such as these. When I get stuck, there are my top go-to options. Remember that none of these are nutritionally ideal – most are still pretty high in sodium and can involve processed ingredients. But eating fast food isn’t about ideal nutrition, it’s about doing the best with what you have where you are.
1. The Burrito Salad
You can actually get this at a number of places – Chipotle and BoLoco for starters – which is why no restaurant name is included. Choose the salad option and top with vegetables, meat of your choosing (preferably grass fed/free range if offered), salsa, guacamole, and beans if you eat them. This will run you in the range of 400-600 calories and provide a filling lunch. The typical chicken salad at Chipotle will also provide 110% of your daily vitamin A, 94% of your daily vitamin C, and 23% of your daily iron needs.
2. The Jimmy John’s “Unwich”
The unwich is any of your Jimmy John’s favorites without the bread. My go to, the Beach Club, is 310 calories, 29 grams of protein, and 8 grams of carbs without mayo. If you remove the provolone too, you’re at 90 calories (in which case you should add something else or order it with half a slice of bread). Either way, you can also add an apple, banana, or yogurt from a nearby convenience store.
3. Sweet Green “Hummus Tahina” Salad or “Harvest Bowl”
While you cannot always assume that salad is the healthiest option (take most of McDonald’s salads), in this case they’re better than what you’ll find elsewhere. And there are now several Sweet Greens (or similar such places) in downtown Boston. My favorite is the mediterranean inspired Hummus Tahina salad (610 calories, not sure who much carbohydrate but with hummus, pita chips, and falafel in there, I would guess about 60 grams. Of course you can always ask those items to be disclosed or on the side) or the Harvest Bowl (685 calories). While neither of these is on the lower calorie side, quality makes up for it, and you can always save some for later (or share – Patrick is usually hungry enough to help me out when I can’t finish something).
4. Starbucks Bistro Boxes
Starbucks is my last ditch choice, but it usually works considering there’s almost one on every corner. Ranging from 270-480 calories, the bistro boxes are balanced and generally filling. The fruit and cheese one is generally my favorite, although all three get my relative thumbs up. As a bonus, they’re lower in sodium than the above options, with my favorite and the Protein Box ringing in at 470 mg (the Chicken and Hummus one is 580 mg). If you’re still hungry, Starbucks has a few other things you can pair these boxes with like bananas, Kind Bars (again, not ideal but not terrible), popcorn, or nuts.
Side note: should you stumble upon a Chik-Fil-A, I recommend you simply enjoy your breaded chicken sandwich or nuggets and waffle fries. You can eat vegetables later
What are your go to fast food meals?
23 Mar / 2015
22 Mar / 2015
Alright guys and girls. As promised, I am continuing my rant on grip. Last week I discussed how to approach a bar on the ground and why you should want to grab it differently. This week will be shorter, but no less important as we discuss what happens when the bar goes overhead.
To briefly touch on what I discussed last week, grabbing the barbell with purpose and vigor establishes control of the bar. With this minor adjustment, when the bar begins to move, magical things happen unbeknownst to you. The radial tension from grabbing the bar tightly will “radiate” to other parts of your body and generate more torque and control. This makes moving the bar and weight seem just a little bit easier.
Now another reason why we want to grab the bar tightly. When/if the bar needs to go overhead, do you want it to be in your fingertips, or do you want to have a solid grip on the bar where you have control of the bar versus the bar having control over you? My thoughts exactly. So what I’m really trying to convey is a better sense of control. If you start with this:
then you’ll end up looking like this:
But if you start like this:
then you’ll end up like this:
That’s right! World-class. I did say magical things would happen didn’t I? But seriously. Doesn’t it look like he’s got control? Give it a shot. Remember that it takes a lot of practice to make something a habit. That includes gripping the bar correctly. Keep practicing and it’ll become second nature eventually.
I’ve also got an announcement to make. Monday and Wednesday this week @ 4:3pm will be our new Strength Class. Next week and in the weeks following, it will be on Monday and Thursday… same bat time… same bat channel. This class is for all Strength Challenge participants as well as any member who wants to do the class. The programming will be different from what is on the Blog and will coincide with what the Strength Challenge is doing. You can choose to do the entire programming that I have written for them, or we can modify it. I will be coaching these classes just like any other class. The programming may run longer, and at that point, the extra work is to be completed on your own, or you can call it a day. It’s entirely up to you. You’ll get a chance to see what a day of the programming looks like and get in some heavy lifts. I hope to see a bunch of you there! Until next time…
15 Power Snatch
20 Mar / 2015
It has been a great week of training in the gym. Nice to see some faces that have been away this winter getting after it. Mother Nature is still playing some games with us with the weather variability. She’ll settle down soon. I hope.
Fire It Up! Fire It Up!
The PR Bell was ringing this week. Nothing gets me more pumped than when I have an entire class hitting new lifetime personal bests in a lift. It is truly electric. Each person just starts feeding off of the other’s previous attempt and by the end of the session, everyone is moving weight that they never thought they would be able to move.
Meet Justine A!
Please welcome Justine to Our Crew! Justine is in the picture above on the far left. She has been training with me privately since December and just recently began training in our group sessions. She is awesome!
When Justine is not training with us here, she is a Wushu practitioner. Wushu is a form of Kung fu that has developed into a sport and is regulated by the International Wushu Federation. There are two disciplines: forms and sparring. Justine participates in forms. Think rhythmic gymnastics with Kung Fu Panda kicks and swords. AWESOME RIGHT! Justine is training with us to continue advancing in her sport.
Justine is also a Foodie. Audrey, you and her need to get together. You will usually see Justine in our 5:30pm class and be sure to introduce yourself to her and welcome her to Our Crew.
St. Patrick’s Day
Thanks to those that rocked out in great spirit for St. Paddy’s Day on Tuesday. The winner of the $15 Starbucks card is…Audrey H! Audrey was decked out head to toe in green with shamrock headband. Congratulations Audrey! (Her pic can be found on Instagram, I have yet to figure out how to save an image from there!)
SFH – This Saturday Get Some Deals and Save Some $$$$
Will from Stronger Faster Healthier is going to be visiting with us again on Saturday from 9-12. He is going to have a table set up for all to sample products. If you have never used any of SFH’s protein or fish oil, this will be your chance to try before making any purchases.
I personally LOVE the FUEL. FUEL is their anytime, everyday protein and I mix it with some frozen berries, greek yogurt, chia seeds in my blender to make a delicious smoothie.
Any purchases or orders placed this Saturday ONLY, you will receive 10% off your purchase.
Here is this upcoming week’s programming:
21 Handstand push-ups
500 meter Row
21 Weighted pull-ups
15 Handstand push-ups
500 meter Row
15 Weighted Pull-ups
9 Handstand Push-ups
500 meter Row
9 Weighted Pull-ups
In teams of two, complete as many rounds as possible in thirty minutes of:
Average body weight back squat, 15 reps
One partner working at a time.
15 Power Snatch
Shoulder press 1-1-1-1-1 reps
Push press 3-3-3-3-3 reps
Push Jerk 5-5-5-5-5 reps
15 calorie row
15 deadlifts 135/95
15 wall balls
Complete as many rounds as possible 20 minutes of:
15 GHD Sit-ups
15 Back extensions
Post rounds completed to comments.
21-15-9 reps for time:
Deadlift 225 lbs
Handstand push- ups
How’s it going CFB?
I must say it’s been awesome seeing everyone attack these reverse benchmarks like “Narf” and “Reverse Elizabeth”. Keep throwing down and finding that high intensity. The results are showing!
Today I wanted to offer up some reading from the Huffington Post:
Take a look and think about how you’re rowing in your pre-class warmups. Are you making any of these mistakes?
If you’d like help or you think there is room for improvement in your rowing, grab me next time you’re in the gym and we’ll get you fixed up.
Have a great day and fingers crossed for more warm weather!
18 Mar / 2015
In light of events in the news last week, I need to take a minute to address the ethical dilemma that seems to be plaguing my professional organization (The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics).
Last week, it was reported in the New York Times that a new “Kids Eat Right” seal would be appearing on Kraft Cheese Singles. This was also riffed by the Daily Show, who noted “It turns out the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics is an academy in the same way this is cheese.” Great. To add to my embarrassment, this morning, my mom texted me a picture of an article in her home newspaper (the Fort Lauderdale Sun Sentinel) about how nutritionists paid by Coca Cola have recommended mini Coke cans as a “healthy snack” in a number of blogs/articles during American Heart Month. You can see a photo of the article and my color commentary on Twitter. Her caption for the photo was “I guess there are unethical dietitians”. Ya think?
Did the Academy Have Anything To Say For Themselves ?
After much outcry (and plenty of it from dietitians inside and outside the Academy), yes. The “official explanation”is essentially that Kraft Foods contributes funds to the Kids Eat Right campaign, which “was launched to support public education projects and programs that address the national health concern of obesity among our children,” earning them the seal. In a vacuum that explanation works, but of course in real life anyone with half a brain knows that putting the logo of the professional organization for dietitians on a “food” that cannot even legally call itself real cheese (notice it is labeled as a “pasteurized processed cheese product”) will lead many consumers to believe the product is endorsed by nutrition professionals and thus healthier than it actually is.
Aso for the Cola article, the Academy isn’t really to blame for that. That one falls on the individual RDs (although they do take a good deal of sponsorship dollars from Coke, that’s a topic for another day).
Why Am I So Mad?
Because this is both embarrassing and unethical. Actually, the cola thing is beyond unethical. I spent 5 years in college and an intensive supervised practice internship learning about fundamentals of science (chemistry, biochemistry) and nutrition, how to use nutrition to treat and prevent disease, how to counsel clients, to communicate information, and how to interpret and incorporate scientific evidence into my practice. So for someone who has done the same to accept money to tell the American people that a beverage composed entirely of chemicals and high fructose corn syrup is a healthy snack is beyond unethical. Essentially, these “professionals” are using their credential to perpetuate the bad information – and help sell a product – that has had a hand in destroying a number of peoples’ heath and driving chronic illness to record highs. Think about all the quality of life lost to diabetes, obesity, and heart disease (among others) over the last 20 years, and the role soda and junk food has played. Then think about a credentialed health professional promoting some of those products. Almost inconceivable.
The Good News?
I’m not the only one who is upset. Many dietitians feel strongly that the Kids Eat Right seal should be repealed. There’s even a petition on Change.org that has over 4,000 signatures and a hashtag #RepealTheSeal with over 1,000 tweets since the news broke last week.
Why Am I Telling You This?
I hope many if not all of you view me as a credible nutrition resource, and I wanted to let you know that I don’t support unethical and deceptive practices in exchange for sponsorship dollars. When I make recommendation about what is a healthy snack or how to choose supplements, I am making it based on the available scientific evidence and my experience. I hope you’ll continue to trust me, even if there are a few bad apples in my profession.
15 Mar / 2015
Surprise! I know… it’s been a hot minute. Well I’ve got some things I hope to address (or shall we say readdress for some of us). Today I only discuss one though. And this is how you “handle” the barbell. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen this error, addressed it (notice I didn’t say fix it?), and seen dramatic changes in how the ensuing movement is performed.
Let’s first take a look at what I’m talking about. Here is a picture of “poor” handling of a barbell.
What you will notice is that it kinda looks like I’m not really sure if I want to handle this kind of weight. It looks like I’m just going through the motions of lifting weight versus believing that I can do whatever I want with this weight.
Here’s what I’m talking about. Does it look like I have a solid grasp on the bar? Or does it look more like I’m barely hanging on to the bar? Exactly! Now if that bar were to go overhead, what do you think would happen? Would you have full control of that bar? You’re right, probably not. (I’ll address overhead grip in another post, don’t you worry.)
Another reason you should want to grab that bar tightly: radial tension. When you squeeze the bar tightly, you activate other muscles in your forearms which activate other muscles further upstream, generating more power output. Sounds like a deal to me! Extra weight simply for grabbing ahold of the bar tightly? Yes please!
Here’s a picture of what this should look like:
Which one looks like it is going to be moved with intent? Good. Now go practice this EVERY. SINGLE. TIME you pick up the bar. I’ve got a feeling that you’ll be pleasantly surprised at how it affects your movement.
13 Mar / 2015
St. Patrick’s Day is next Tuesday and we are going to have a little fun with it. Let’s get in the spirit of the holiday that this city so enjoys! We are running two different mini contests. One of which is very simple and every one can easily participate. The second…requires a bit more on your part and the reward, in my humble opinion, is far more valuable.
Here are the details:
Contest #1: Wear your favorite green workout outfit during your WOD on Tuesday. Make sure that your Coach takes a picture with you (in the group) and posts it to our social media sites: Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram with the #whatsunderthekilt.
Each participant will be entered to win a $15 Starbucks Coffee Card. BONUS: If you wear a green VINTAGE CrossFit Boston T-shirt, your name will entered twice to win the $15 Starbucks Coffee Card and double your chances of being chosen.
Contest #2: Wear a Kilt OR any Tartan/Plaid design (SHORTS/SKIRTS/PANTS/KILTS ONLY – SOCKS DON’T COUNT) during your WOD on Tuesday. Make sure that your Coach takes a picture with you (individually) and posts it to our social media sites: Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. You then need to share it with your friends and family along with the #whatsunderthekilt. Tweet and post to @crossfitboston along with the #whatsunderthekilt.
The person with the greatest amount of likes/shares/retweets will win – 3 Personal Training Sessions with yours truly.
So, lets have some fun with this and I will have some Guiness on sight to enjoy post WOD.
Five rounds for time of:
115/75 pound Push-jerk, 15 reps
15 L pull-ups
Teams of two, one partner working at a time. Partition work as needed.
“Partner Eva in a Boat”
Five rounds for time of:
Row 1000 meters
2/1.5 pood Kettlebell swing, 30 reps
Three rounds, 9-15- and 21 reps, for time of:
95/65 pound Thruster
9-15-21 reps of:
Clean 135/95 pounds
1. Deadlift 1-1-1-1-1-1-1 reps
2. AMRAP 8
8 total pistols
8 deadlifts at 50% of day’s heaviest
5 DB Cleans, AHAP
10 DB Push Press
15 DB Squats
12 Mar / 2015
I believe that life is motion and learning. To live and survive, we must be able to move from place to place and interact with the world around us. In this movement and interaction lies an important opportunity, the opportunity to learn through experience. As a coach, teacher, and lifelong learner, I hope to guide people’s movements and interactions so that they may learn by experience and develop into contributing members of teams, communities, and society. This idea of life and learning through experience is the foundation of my ever-evolving coaching beliefs and the Journey that we take together.
Life is a journey, and the time we spend together in our gym is a way for our crew to experience the journey. Our mission is to develop a healthy community of firsthand athletes using general physical preparedness as a guide while allowing for specialization in things like rowing, weightlifting, strength club, obstacle course racing, mobility, or racing up Mt. Washington. As a member of our crew and our community, you get to build general physical preparedness and have fun playing and doing whatever it is that makes you feel alive. Life is more fun when you can continually improve and challenge both yourself and others. If there is anything that I or our crew of coaches can help you with please let us know. We’re here for you and we want nothing but the best for our crew.
Last but definitely not least, congratulations to all of our athletes that trained hard this winter and executed an amazing race at CRASH-B 2015, the World Indoor Rowing Championship. I had a blast coaching you and I can’t wait for next year! Here are some pics of our crew post race.