04 Mar 2015
I have written two meal plans in my 5 years as a dietitian (excluding hospital menus, of course). I wrote the first one because I thought it was a good way to expand what I was able to offer, and help people in a different way. The second one was more of a diet template, written for a friend. Based on my experience with the first one, I decided this was not something I wanted to offer. Why?
For starters, it’s a lot of work if done right. There are numerous factors that determine the best diet for someone to follow, including:
- Past medical history
- Current lifestyle
- Client goals
- Diet history
- Fitness capabilities
- Dietary preferences
When creating a meal plan for 30 – 90 days (the length of time I usually see them offered), you need to make sure they are meeting their calorie goals, getting all the right micronutrients, eating foods they like at times convenient to their lifestyle, all while making sure there is flexibility because life happens. I just wrote the first draft of May’s CFB programming, and that was a walk in the park compared to writing a 30 day meal plan. I spent about 10 hours doing this, which makes it either expensive for the client or not that profitable for me. The only way to make money off of a meal plan is to create something completely generic at a couple of different calorie levels and sell it to as many buyers as possible.
Second, buying a meal plan is like paying the smart kid in class to do your homework for you. You might pass algebra that month, but what happens when you can’t rely him anymore? If I write out everything you should eat for an entire month, you will see results if you follow it. But you won’t gain much else, like knowledge of how to read labels, find recipes, plan your own meals, adjust your diet based on goal and lifestyle changes, etc. Meal plans make you the client reliant on me for guidance. I don’t want anyone relying on me. I don’t want to give you a fish, I want to teach you how to fish.
My point is, if someone wants to sell you a meal plan, think twice. Sometimes, meal plans can be useful (as discussed below), but all too often “gurus” out there sell you the nutrition and fitness tools that work for THEM. And while they may work for you in the short term, ultimately you want to find what works for you long term (and be knowledgable enough to make adjustments on your own with occasional guidance from a professional). Imagine what the gym would be like if coaches only programmed what worked for them, ignoring the needs and wants of our community. I can tell you there’s be a lot of running and pull ups in May (OK there is a good amount of running in May but that’s because it’s finally going to be WARM out!).
Sometimes, Meal Plans Can Help
I feel like I can’t conclude without pointing out a couple of the times meal plans are pretty useful. If someone is completely new to healthy diet and exercise, a generic hypocaloric diet (providing fewer calories from food than is burned by exercise and metabolism) can be a beneficial kick start. A one week sample plan can help someone starting a new specific diet – like gluten free, paleo, or vegan – to understand what a healthy version of that diet looks like. They can also be helpful for someone following a complex clinical diet, like the renal diet.
What do you guys think of meal plans?
02 Mar 2015
Hey guys! Just wanted to provide a little insight into my thinking behind the programming in March. As I had alluded to in an earlier post, this month’s programming is nostalgic for me in that it reflects the mystery that was CrossFit back when I joined in the Fall of 2009. I remember reading the main site and thinking, “What the heck is all of this? What does it mean?” In any case, as I’ve discussed with many of you, I begged, borrowed, and stole much of this programming from the main site and I’m pretty pleased with the results. What it is is a lot of classic CrossFit: Couplets, triplets, chippers, and a couple of devilish pieces inserted to spice up life.
What happened to all of the strength programming? That is an excellent question. It’s there, but there’s much less of it. If you want to get super-strong, there’s always Coach Mike Gillette’s “Strength Challenge” programing, which a number of you have joined and enjoyed enormously.
In other news, congratulations to everyone who took on the CRASH-Bs this weekend. I heard some pretty epic stories of erg domination! I had a great time up in Maine with some awesome CFB folks and got to see a city that was not, ironically enough, blanketed in five feet of snow.
By the way, a big THANK you is in store for CFB member, Nigel C., who was kind enough to buy a new PA/speaker system for the gym. He did stipulate a condition of its use though, and that was that he is allowed to b**** and moan about whatever music the coaches play through the system. If you see him, give him a good slap on the butt and a word of thanks. He’s also accepting donations to help him defray his costs.
In any case, I’m glad February is over and I’m looking forward to killing it in the gym in March. By the time you read this, I will have finished 15.1!
Peace and bacon grease,
15 Feb 2015
Here are the HRs for tomorrow, Monday, 16th:
7am – 7:30pm
12:00, 4:30, 5:30, & 6:30
We’re going to have to cancel that 3 PM class after all. The back lot is impassable without an SUV/4WD vehicle and the Jump On In/dance studio/boxing gym is totally unplowed so we can’t even park there. We will re-open tomorrow morning.
15 Feb 2015
Looks like things have cleared up. We should be go for a 3:00 PM class, with open gym availability until 5:30 PM. In the event that the back alley is not passable, I’ll let you know here.
Whoa. Just went out there and it’s a bit crazy! I guess this storm is legit and definitely did not miss us. I’m sure we’ll open at some point today, just not for the 9:30 class. Check back around 1 PM for more news.
Peace and bacon grease,
14 Feb 2015
Hey guys, I’ll be posting about the 9:30 class/gym opening time at around 7 AM tomorrow morning. Based on what I’m reading, the 9:30 class is unlikely. However, it’s looking like things should be getting better in the afternoon. If I were a betting man I’d bet that we’ll be able to be open in the afternoon. If we’re going to open in the afternoon, that news will come around 1 PM, and we’ll be open for 2.5 hours from the announced open time, probably from 3:30-6 or so. I know this is less than ideal, but it’s Mother Nature. When I find a way to control the weather, I promise to use my powers for good, not evil.
I normally like to write my own blog posts, but I saw this post by Eat This, Not That, and it was so damn perfect I had to just re-share it here. The article highlights six foods we normally think are “healthy” (OK, maybe four, because I know you guys knew all about the Egg Beaters and grains), and what we should eat instead.
In the article, ETNT targets:
- Dried fruit
- Low fat PB
- “Made with” whole grains
- Ett Beaters
- Skim milk
- “Protein packed” foods (ok, you should know about the one too, because I already wrote about it)
Read the full article. Anything missing from the list?
***We will resume our normal class schedule tomorrow.***
Who’s ready for spring? I am! I can’t wait to see little baby rabbits like this in the gym!
This weekend, I attended my Level 2 certification course and it was great. As I look back on the last five years of CrossFit Boston, I’ve gotten a little nostalgic about my early days of CrossFit. Since Coach Neal is giving me the opportunity to program for the month of March, I’m going to let that nostalgia creep into the programming for the month. My goal is to do a whole lot less but hopefully do it a whole lot better. Think simple couplets and triplets, heavy days, and SMMFs.
Tomorrow, a bunch of us guys are going to get our meditation on at the 6 PM beginner meditation class at the Cambridge Insight Meditation Center (331 Broadway Cambridge, MA). I’m planning on getting there at 5:45 to get prepared for some serious zen! So far, we’ve got Crosby, Erik, and potentially Josh accompanying me.
What else do we have to share? Send me updates at [email protected]!
Peace and bacon grease,
02 Feb 2015
Congratulations to all of the first-time competitors at Saturday’s throwdown. You guys showed real heart and perseverance! Also, congrats to Evan and Brian, our big winners! Most importantly, THANK YOU to all of our awesome judges. Saturday would not have been possible without you!
MARK YOUR CALENDARS! The next throwdown will be on Saturday, April 25th from 10 AM to 1 PM, and the spring fling will be that same night. While I suggested that it might be an individual throwdown, enough people have expressed a preference for a team throwdown that I’ve decided it will be another team one.
Here are some other features:
• In order to qualify to win, teams must be male/female
• It will be fast-paced like this past one, with *maybe* an extra 20-25 minutes of rest built in, so be prepared!
• It will feature a max lift, one teamified classic CrossFit WOD, and an EMOM elimination round
• The WOD standards and rules will be published at least a week before the throwdown and athletes will be responsible for knowing them before they arrive
• In order to participate, teams will be required to register with a judge
• Athletes will be required to claim and set up their own equipment — Equipment will be available on a first-come, first-served basis and lack of required equipment will result in disqualification from the Rx division
• There will be a twelve (12) team limit and four alternate team slots in the event that any team(s) drop out, first-come first-served
• Registration is open and will close on April 18th at 7:59 PM
It’s going to be awesome. Register here!
Peace and bacon grease,