24 Apr 2015
Since we have a throw down coming up this weekend – and presumably a few more this summer – I thought this old post on what to eat when you’re competing would come in handy. I believe this was posted around the Open last year. Share your competition fueling plan in the comments!
Before The WODs
Before a workout, your body should have a topped off fuel tank. This means you should have enough glycogen (the body’s stored form of carbohydrate) stored as well as some more readily available from food. In general, pre workout meals or snacks should be:
- Enough energy to prepare you for the workout without leaving you hungry or with undigested food in your stomach
- Low in fiber and fat
- Higher in carbohydrates
- Moderate in protein
Meals low in fat and fiber will allow your stomach to empty in time so you can avoid stomach discomfort. The carbohydrates will top off glycogen stores (which is important, since the body relies on glycogen rather than fat stores for energy during shorter CrossFit WODs), maintain blood sugar levels, and provide energy. Protein will help you avoid hunger. In addition, it is important to be hydrated before exercise. The recommendation is that athletes drink 2-3 milliliters of water per pound of body weight at least 4 hours before working out to hydrate and get rid of any excess fluid (Rodriguez et al 2009).
After The WODs
Post Workout/Recovery is the most important time, as it is the time when your body reaps the benefits of all the hard work you’ve done. During the workout your body burns through your stored glycogen, you lose fluid to sweating, and muscle tissue is broken down. Recovery is when you can replenish your stored glycogen, replace lost fluid, and rebuild damaged muscles.
We used to think the precise timing of recovery was very important, advising that within one hour of a workout you had to have 30-60 grams of carbohydrate and15-20 grams of protein because this was during the time your metabolism was most active. The consensus was that eating right after the workout improved muscle strength and hypertrophy. However now we know that eating within this window is less important than previously thought (Schoenfeld et al). So, as long as you eat a good, nutrient rich (read: lots of vegetables and fruits) meal with protein and carbohydrates, and maintain an adequate calorie intake throughout the day, you will continue to build strength and fitness.
What To Eat
Try to eat something that not only provides these nutrients but also provides vitamins and minerals. Research has shown that chocolate milk may be a good recovery option because the milk provides calcium and magnesium, two minerals important in muscle contractions, and potassium, which is an important electrolyte lost in sweat. Other good options include a veggie omelet with fried plantain, sweet potato, or wheat toast and grilled steak with roasted vegetables.
20 Apr 2015
It’s just a few short days until our next throwdown! Please arrive with your judge no later than 9:15 Saturday morning so everything can move smoothly. So I have the following people listed as teams:
Evan S. & Brian L.
Tolly T. & Cissy Y.
Natalie K. & Nigel C.
Omri L. & Linh N.
Brian W. & Matt E.
Shannon F. & Courtney S.
I know there are two or three more teams that have signed up verbally, but I forget who they are. Just email me at mickeygrrrouse at gmail dot com with who your team mate is and I’ll get it set up. Remember, people who have participated in the past get first priority before the at-large gym community. If you want to participate but need a partner, email me saying you need a partner and we’ll set it up.
Please remember that every team needs to provide its own judge, so if you haven’t done so already, secure that person and reply to this email to let me know who it is. Teams will not be allowed to participate without a judge.
You will be responsible for setting up your station, educating your judge on movement standards, and warming yourself up, so please make sure you (and your judge) arrive no later than 9:15 to get all of this stuff done. We will begin promptly at 10 AM and hope to be done by 12:15 or 12:30. There will be no score updates between rounds, just at the end.
Peace and bacon grease,
Hey guys, after a short hiatus, we’re back on for Afternoon Tea this Sunday at 4 PM. Brian “Angry Beaver” W. will be in charge of programming the session, but we talked about doing a longer WOD like EC followed by a shorter WOD like Grace. Currently, there is only one entry on the EC board, so we’ve all got a chance to get on the board!
Here is another one of the 4/25 throwdown WODs:
30 Mar 2015
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
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.