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It’s that time of year CFB!  The Holidays are upon us, the renegade rowing league is this Saturday, and it’s starting to look like snow.  Are you prepared?  Did you get your shopping in early and get the gifts you want to give?  Did you register and train for the Renegade Rowing League?  Do you have the tools necessary to deal with all of the snow this year?  If you answered yes to these questions you’re prepared and ready to have some fun.  It’s a good feeling that instills confidence and excitement rather than doubt and worry.

Now, how do you want to feel after next week?  Do you want to have doubts and feel worried?  At that point you’ll be looking at the New Year and deciding on what Resolution to make and work toward.  Setting a goal for yourself and trying to be a better person is not easy.  You have to make changes and improve your habits and have a team to support you.  We all want to improve and be the person we see inside of our heads.  If you’re not prepared to start making those changes it will be a lot harder to accomplish.  Luckily you have a great community and team of coaches ready to help you.

In order to be prepared for the New Year and start living the life you want to live, I’d like you to sign up for the Whole Life Challenge with me.  I’ll be participating and challenging myself to live a better life and I’d like you to support me, just as I’ll be supporting you.  Let’s do it together and Get Awesome!  All you have to do is be prepared and sign up now!

Starting on January 17 and ending on March 14, we’ll work to better our health together.

The Whole Life Challenge is simply an opportunity to “try on” a better version of your health and fitness. As a team, we can earn points and lose points (hopefully we’ll earn more than we lose). And the prize is … Well, it’s who you are on March 14.  Get prepared now and sign up so that  you will be mentally ready to commit wholeheartedly when Jan 17 rolls around. 

I want you on the CrossFit Boston team. I want to bring our power in numbers. Together, I want to make all our possibilities real. Register early for the CFB team HERE to take advantage of the special rates and to lock in your commitment to your future healthier, stronger self.

If you’ve never participated in the WLC, check out this VIDEO.

Please reach out  to me or your coach if you have any questions! I hope you will join us on January 17th!

The Ladies throwing down at the First RRL in November!

The Ladies throwing down at the First RRL in November!

Other Important Info!!!

The Renegade Rowing League (think awesome indoor rowing race with fun people, mobility tools to demo, and a holiday potluck afterwards) is this Saturday at 8am!  Please sign-up here if you plan on having fun and throwing down with us!

Gym Hours for Next Week:

Monday, 12/22 – Regular Hours

Tuesday, 12/23 – Regular Hours

Wednesday, 12/24 – Closed

Thursday, 12/25 – Closed

Friday, 12/26 – 5pm Class Only

Saturday, 12/27 – Regular Hours

Sunday, 12/28 – Regular Hours

 

I feel like the question “why do we need to put a label on it?” is the purview of commitment phobic men in romantic comedies or friends in a sitcom storyline who’ve wound up in the sack together a few times. But I’m starting to feel that way these days – about food. Enough people ask “hey are you still Paleo” or wonder if I’ve gone vegetarian because I’ve opted for the quinoa black bean salad instead of the steak and potatoes. Or maybe if you’ve lost a lot of weight recently, and everyone wants to know what “diet” you were on. 

Here’s the thing though: why are we labeling it? Why do we need to be “paleo” or “vegan”. Because, want to know what my diet is? I’ll tell you: 

  • I eat oatmeal for breakfast. But sometimes I also eat bacon egg and cheese sandwiches from home, or the deli in my office, who makes the best ones around.
  • I try to mostly eat vegetables, grass-fed or humanely raised meat, and avoid additives I’m not familiar with. I definitely eat organic meat and dairy, but draw the line at produce because shits expensive yo.
  • I avoid grains, because diabetes is hard and I’ve found that’s the easiest way to control my weight. But sometimes I eat sushi and I have a soft sport for a good cheeseburger and fries.
  • I love beer but I try to keep it to Saturdays (but sometimes it gets into Fridays or Tuesdays, too. Hey, happy hour with girlfriends happens).

So, how do you classify that diet? Am I 80/20 paleo? Am I flexitarian? Honestly, I don’t even know. What I know is, i have energy. I feel good when I stick to this basic template (and go easy on the cheeseburgers and beer). I’m happy with my weight. I don’t need to count calories. So why label it? I’m happy. 

PS I think it’s the same with exercise. I wouldn’t say I’m a runner, or a CrossFitter. I’m certainly not a pole vaulter anymore (very sad sad face for that fact). I play tennis and golf occasionally, but I’m not a golfer or tennis player. What am I? Maybe I’m just active?

So what do you all think? Am I being the nutrition version of Barney Stinson, or do  I have a point going here? 

 

Photo c/o Bryan Kennedy 

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So I know I’m not the one who normally talks about food, but I was browsing the interwebs and stumbled upon this article. It’s a pretty short and interesting read. I think we sometimes reject others’ perspective because of our preferences and preconceived biases. I challenge you to read this with an open mind, regardless of whether you adhere to the paleo diet/lifestyle or the “see-food” diet (like myself as of recently). I know that food is a pretty sensitive topic for most people, but we must realize that science is constantly changing our working knowledge of what, when and how we should eat for both general health & fitness and performance. Does this stir-up any visceral emotion/reaction in you? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

http://www.iflscience.com/health-and-medicine/palaeolithic-diet-and-unprovable-links-our-past

54062182It is only the third week of September, and yet so far I have seen the Pumpkin Spice Latte return early, pumpkin cookies, pumpkin muffins, pumpkin beer… you get the idea. And don’t get me wrong, I like pumpkin thinks – pumpkin pie is a classic Thanksgiving staple, pumpkin beer is one of my favorite parts of fall (although if you guys could wait until it was actually a little cool, that would be great -I do not want to drink pumpkin beer in a sundress. End rant), and pumpkin seeds toasted with a little bit of salt and cinnamon are the best fall snack. And pumpkin is pretty good for you, as it is:

  • High in key vitamins like vitamin A, C, and B complex
  • Low in calories and fat but high in fiber and antioxidants
  • Rich in minerals the body needs like copper, calcium, potassium, and phosphorous
  • Seeds are a good source of heart healthy fats
  • Seeds are also high in zinc (important for wound healing and immune system strength) and iron

Pumpkin Spice V. Pumpkin

The thing about pumpkin is, it’s not all that delicious raw. It usually needs some salt, sage, or other herb, or on the flip side some cinnamon, sugar, and/or pumpkin pie spice, which is made of cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and allspice to make all the delicious pumpkin-y things we love. Which is totally fine – I have no problem with pumpkin muffins, pumpkin pie, pumpkin soup, or roasted pumpkin because they actually CONTAIN PUMPKIN.

Pumpkins!

 

My philosophical beef is with the pumpkin posers – most importantly the Starbucks “pumpkin spice latte”. The PSL contains espresso, steamed milk, whipped cream, pumpkin pie spices atop that whipped cream, and pumpkin coffee syrup, which contains pure cane sugar, water, natural flavors, citric acid, sodium benzoate, potassium sorbate (to preserve freshness), and caramel color. Of course I don’t know what these “natural flavors” are, other than that natural flavors are generally any product of or derived from spices, herbs, vegetables and other things found in nature. So, the only pumpkin thing about the PSL is the pumpkin pie spice on top of the whipped cream, and maybe some derivative of pumpkin or pumpkin pie spices hiding under that “natural flavors” moniker. The PSL is also 380 calories and 49 grams of sugar for a 16 ounce serving. Ouch. 

As for pumpkin beer, that’s somewhat in the gray area. According to Beer Advocate, some brewers hand cut pumpkin and drop it in the mash, or use pureed pumpkin, and most brewers use the pumpkin pie spices. It seems other brewers may opt for flavorings instead of real pumpkin. 

Get Your Pumpkin On The Right Way

There are lots of delicious and healthy things to make with pumpkin. I have a pumpkin soup recipe that I love making every year. There is a whole Pinterest thread dedicated to paleo/primal things one can make with pumpkin, and as a bonus, roasting the seeds after you’ve used the rest of the pumpkin makes a very tasty snack (there are too many great recipe variations to link to just one, so Google it yourself). Just remember:

  • Make it with a real pumpkin
  • Avoid adding too much sugar

What pumpkin-y things do you like to make?

Photo 2 c/o Jeremy Seitz

55928950_6a535def18_zI’ve heard a couple of people over the past few years talk about cutting out carbs and sugar to such an extent that even the usually neutral fruit was eliminated. I’ve heard people reference bananas and grapes as “very high in sugar”, and something to be avoided. Now we all know sugar is the opposite of awesome for you and that cutting back on carbs and sugar can produce weight loss. But do you really need to cut the bananas to achieve or keep a healthy body?

 

Fruit vs. The Rest Of ‘Em

There is a fundamental difference between the sugar in fruit from the sugar in grains, baked goods, and sweetened beverages: FIBER. Yep, that fiber – the “gluten free” of the 1990’s. The thing is, fiber (along with protein and fat) modulates the rise in blood sugar following the consumption of sugar. (If you don’t recall the glycemic index, this should refresh your memory). Basically ,eating sugar alongside fiber slows the uptake of sugar by the body, thus lessening the insulin required to deal with it all at once. That burst of insulin needed to deal with the flood of sugar is what leads to insulin resistance. 

There is also the point that the sugar in fruit is 100% natural and not added in or processed in any way.

photo-2The bottom line is, human beings still need carbohydrates to survive (yes, I know some people can function in ketosis. But that’s a lot of work and sounds pretty miserable to me. Right now I am talking to the 99% of people at the gym who want to be healthy without going bananas – pun intended). And whole foods like fruit, starchy vegetables, and the occasional unprocessed whole grain or plain dairy product can be a great source of those needed carbohydrates. Bananas make a pre WOD breakfast, grapes and watermelon are deliciously hydrating after a workout, and I find apple (with a little PB added) to make a satisfying snack. (Side note: I have warned about eating too much fiber before a workout in the past. The beauty of fruit is that while it has some fiber, it doesn’t have as much as green vegetables or fortified cereals or bars, so most people can generally eat some within 30 minutes of a workout and not experience any discomfort). Although, obviously, I wouldn’t recommend eating 10 bananas at the same time. 

So basically – keep eating fruit guilt free. It’s almost peach season. 

What are your thoughts on fruit? 

Photo 1 c/o Chuan Chew

The Renegade Rowing ClubFirst things First!  Congratulations to all competitors at the 2014 CRASH-B Indoor World Rowing Championships last Sunday.  CrossFit Boston and Renegade Rowing had a total of seven athletes compete for their personal best performance over 2,000m on the Concept2 Indoor Rowing Machine.  All of our athletes either met or achieved a new Personal Record (PR).  I got a chance to cox many of them, basically sit behind them and motivate them to push harder, and everyone executed their race plan just as we had practiced all winter long.  Overall the experience of racing hundreds of the best rowers from around the world was awesome.  I’d say they definitely  achieved 7 or 8 minutes of Glory!

 

Here are the results:

David Porter 7:35.6

1797406_586393424770135_310530241_nThor Helgason 7:18

Jodie O’Malley 8:29.3

Terese Holm 8:14.1

Bob Ezzell 7:50.4

Nick Anderson 6:35.8

Andrew Morrissey 7:03.3

 

Have you ever used a Partner for Mobility?

The CrossFit Boston Renegades will be hosting a Partner Mobility Seminar run by our very own Kapil Khimdas at the end of March!

Here are the Details:

Saturday, March 29th,

11:15am – 12:00pm Partner Mobility Seminar

12:00pm – 12:45pm Paleo Potluck

 If you would like to join in the fun,

sign up here: CFB Renegades March Event

 

Who want's some partner mobility?

Who want’s some partner mobility?

Have you ever dreamed of Running Up Mt. Washington?

Well now you can!  A group of runners from CrossFit Boston will be teaming up to conquer Mt. Washington this Spring.  If you decide to register and join them, sign up under the team name “CFB United”.  Sign up at – mountwashingtonroadrace.com

Comment with what you plan on doing!

Howdy CrossFit Boston!

 

Breakfast Cups with Sausage and Broccoli Slaw

Breakfast Cups with Sausage and Broccoli Slaw

How’s the transformation challenge going?  Have you been able to keep all of your nutrition points?  One thing that has helped me keep all of my points throughout the week has been prepping enough food and snacks for the whole week on Sunday afternoon.  Below are a few meal options I put together for Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner this week.  I also make sure to have bananas, apples, cashews, figs, grapes, and plantain chips ready for when I need a little snack or pick me up in between meals and post training.  If you’d like step by step directions and pictures for these recipes I’ve passed them on to Alex Black of Wicked Good Nutrition to include in her recipe and nutrition plan package.  There’s lots of awesome stuff in there, so if you need some new ideas to keep things fresh be sure to check it out.  Just shoot her an email or drop in to her sessions on Saturdays at 12pm.

 

Three varieties of Chicken Salad loaded with veggies and pistachios.

Three varieties of Chicken Salad loaded with veggies and pistachios.

Looking forward to seeing how everyone has transformed in a few more weeks.

 

Keep up the great work!

 

-Coach Pat

Shredded Taco Chicken for Lettuce Wrap Tacos!

Shredded Taco Chicken for Lettuce Wrap Tacos!

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