Ride your bike to Definition for some extra calorie burning and keep it safe outside
Chocolate “Lara bars” (or balls)
1 cup walnuts (cashews or almonds work also)
1 1/3 cup pitted dates
3-4 TBS cocoa powder ( I like dark chocolate)
2/3 tsp vanilla
Mix in food processor or magic bullet
Roll into 1/2″ to 1″ balls or spread into brownie pan and cut bars
Keep in refrigerator
Literally takes 5 min and so good!
My nutrition journey started about 5 years ago. I was exhausted, apathetic and on the verge of depressed. People would look at me and tell me I looked tired or sad. And the worst part was that I was in pain. My stomach was constantly hurting. There was a throbbing, stabbing pain and I always felt bloated. I finally decided something was wrong with me and sought an answer. Numerous doctor appointments, ultrasounds, and even a colonoscopy later, no one could tell me why my stomach hurt. Then I realized not a single doctor had bothered to ask me what my diet was like. That’s when I decided to see a wellness coach. She was able to analyze my blood and urine tests, as well as my visual appearance. She urged me to take wheat and gluten out of my diet for 30 days. She had a strong suspicion that’s what was making my stomach hurt. Take wheat and gluten out? How would I do that? I was someone who thought pretzels and fat free chocolate pudding was eating healthy. So I started reading…a lot. After a very expensive trip to Native Sun to restock our pantries with food I could actually eat, I mentally prepared for what I thought was going to be the hardest challenge I would ever face. Not even a week had went by when my stomach started to feel better, the bloating went down, my energy levels increased, and I no longer had that sad, tired look. Keeping this up with out going crazy would be the hard part though. Salad every day? What else was there with out gluten in it- especially for lunch? It would take trial and lots of error before I felt like I had a good handle on this gluten-free thing- and do it affordably. Over the last 5 years I have tried the Zone Diet, the Paleo Diet, Advocare supplementation and cleanses, and juices cleanses. From these experiences I have compiled what I call my 10 commandments of eating (in no particular order of importance), and I try to follow this 95% of the time. This will be the first installment in my monthly nutrition tips and tricks. Keep in mind, this is what I have experienced and what I believe has worked for me- you may or may not agree, but I thought I’d share…
My 10 commandments of eating:
1. Eat breakfast everyday
2. Eat 4-6 hours after my last meal, or 2-3 hours after my last snack
3. Make sure there are always these 3 nutrients represented at each meal or snack:
- A carbohydrate (in the form of veggies or fruit)
- A lean protein (in the form of lean meat, Greek yogurt, eggs, etc)
- A healthy fat (avocados, olives, nuts and seeds, or the fat in animal meat or oils)
**This combination will ensure the meal or snack’s glycemic load doesn’t impact your blood sugar levels too greatly, thus avoiding a spike then a crash.
4. No processed flours- that includes bread, pasta, crackers, cereal and cereal bars, EVEN if its gluten free. And that goes for cookies, cakes, and other desserts of course
5. COLOR- your plate must have color. Green, orange, purple, red. Keep a food journal for 2 to 3 days. Look back over it and close your eyes to picture the food you ate. Is it a colorful memory or is it all brown and white?
6. No sugar. Unless it is coming from fruits (no more than 2-3 whole servings early in the day or for dessert) or dark chocolate…for my desperate fix
7. I try to make sure there is 12 hours between my last meal of the night and my first meal of the day- allowing my digestive system to do its job and then rest.
8. When drinking alcohol, red wine or clear liquor. No sugary mixers- only water or soda water, unless its fresh squeezed juice with herbs
9. Take the time to measure your servings. Do this for about 1-2 weeks, and you will have committed to memory what 1 serving of coffee cream is or what 1 serving of deli turkey is. This step is incredibly important.
10. Eat organic vegetables and grass-raised animals whenever possible. Have you ever seen the picture of the farm worker wearing a HAZMAT suit to spray to spray the crops? If it’s not okay to touch his skin, why is it okay for us to consume it?
TOUGH MUDDER OATH
As a Tough Mudder, I pledge that:
I understand that tough mudder is not a race but a challenge.
I challenge all of you to strongly consider running with the Definition team. We will be hosting workouts to help get everyone ready so don’t think you will be doing this on your own. Even if you do not feel like you are ready to run with us I challenge you to try some of the workouts to see what the obstacles are like.
I put team work and camaraderie before my course time.
This challenge is not for time. Yes, as a competitive person myself this may be the hardest part of the oath but having done a TM before I understand this may be the truest part of the oath. Without your team there are some obstacles that you cannot complete, Berlin walls are hard to scale and you will have no one to carry for the wounded warrior carry. Also, running 10-12 miles alone isn’t exactly the most fun activity out there. The best part of this challenge may be the camaraderie you feel with the other runners – you realize very quickly you are all on the same team (and they are wondering what the heck they are running this for as well hehe).
I do not whine- kids whine.
Whining is one thing that will get you nowhere in life – and that holds true in the TM. It is hard, you will be exhausted, and seeing those electrical wires or ice water ahead makes you want to quit. Let me tell you though, you DO NOT want to waste energy whining! Go back to the first part of the oath
I help my fellow mudders complete the course.
Never leave your fellow mudders behind because you want to go faster than they are or because one of them got hurt. This not only goes for your personal teammates but everyone else running as well!
I overcome all fears.
It is not fun to run through fire, electrical wires, jump from a 2 story ledge into ice cold water, or scale 10-12 foot walls. Whatever your fear is trust me you will encounter and conquer it in this run and you will feel absolutely incredible after you do!
I am more than excited to start putting 100% into my training so come May 18th I will be ready to kick some Tough Mudder butt! Within the next 6 weeks I will be incorporating different types of training into my usual strength routine so that I have the strength to power through the 25 obstacles throughout the race. Also I will be upping my cardiovascular training so that the 10-12 miles will feel like nothing. After not putting my all into training for my last Tough Mudder I can assure you that I will not be caught off guard this year!
Ask your trainer about new workouts or come speak with me if you have any questions about the Tough Mudder! Let us know if you want to sign up and well get you on our team =) I hope you all get interested in challenging yourself!
This video gave me chills- check it out and get pumped!! http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=azQbiz2vm_Q
Posted by Megan
Megan’s Grocery Shopping/ Eating Habits:
My motto as far as food goes is – eat when you’re hungry and indulge a little! Let’s be serious, life is too short to count every single calorie that goes into your mouth (not to mention that is close to impossible); but as long as you eat when you’re hungry, until you’re satisfied, and give in sometimes – you should have no problem keeping on track with your diet. I keep a food journal and knowing that I am going to have to write down everything I have eaten makes me second-guess those french fries or bowl of ice cream (word of advice- it only works if you are honest about what you are eating). I always make sure I have snacks with me so that I can eat when I get hungry that way I avoid overeating when I do get around food. When I grocery shop I tend to start in the produce section so I fill up my cart with lots of fruits and veggies first, that way when I get closer to the oreos and ice cream I already have a cart full of good food and am less likely to buy those things. I also make sure to buy plenty of lean proteins like chicken, turkey, and fish. I do eat breads and pasta but try to keep the servings small. Organic food is not a thing of mine, I don’t think it’s any different nor do I want to spend the money on it.
To sum it up- eating healthy is not rocket science! Food is not the enemy; it doesn’t kill you to have a few French fries or a dessert as long as you don’t go crazy. If you happen to slip up at a meal and eat badly just make it up at the next meal. Happy eating!
When shopping for groceries I try to stay on the outside walls of the store…meaning I try to buy things that tend to spoil faster. Such as Veggies, Fruits, Meats, Eggs, Trail Mix and maybe a little Almond Milk when needed. By doing so I tend to stay away as much as possible from all the processed foods…but it does happen on occasion! If I do I try to hold out till the weekend or a designated day. It helps hold me accountable. Another thing I really try to stick with is portion size/control…I feel by watching my portions I can still enjoy some of the bad stuff every once in a while like potatoes and pastas. For the most part I’ve just cut out all pastas, starchy carbs, and definitely bread. Instead I opt for a lettuce wrap in place of bread for my burgers, lunch meat, or really anything sandwich like. When it comes to what I buy in terms of organic vs. non-organic, lets face it, in a perfect world I’d buy everything organic but lets face it, its darn expensive!! So I do my best and buy organic when I can but just buy good healthy things instead of the processed stuff. I also like to change it up and try different methods of eating/fasting to see what works best for me. A couple of my favorite ways are the Daniel Fast w/ a few added proteins and the paleo method. My motto if I have one would just be to eat healthy, watch how much I eat, and make sure I’m eating to sustain/maintain my activity level.
The process of a negative feedback loop in nature. I am sure we are all familiar with the concept by another description, you have a river and you remove the plants from the bank and so the river washes away the soil and permits more water to flow and wash away more plants, soil, etc. This is analogous to the pain/dysfunction cycle in the body. Something happens that we don’t fully understand and so we brace ourselves. In doing so we stop moving as much, and things become impeded, they hurt more. So the process continues until we reach a place one day where something snaps or we never return to fruitful movement. Then a more severe injury occurs one day when we are moving the simplest of objects.
When people ask me about the benefits of massage this is one of those things that is difficult to describe because positive change is occurring in every part and system in the body. It is a lot of small changes everywhere that make the experience. The therapist’s intention is much more than "fixing" someone. It is to guide them back through the dysfunction (that negative feedback) to establishing and understanding what they are experiencing. If someone is experiencing lateral knee pain, I would be remiss to simply work on them without them hearing something about how and why that pain is occurring.
The usage of myotherapy extends far back into our past. As the development of technology progresses so does the understanding of the effects and need for specificity of technique. Among the many prominent thinkers is the work offered by the now passed Ida Rolf. Now Dr. Rolf contributed a great deal to the field of knowledge in body work, examining things from her biochemical perspective and using a holistic eye to appreciate the many layers of transformation that occur in movement and in the context of a massage or structural session.
Massage does many things, too many to effectively list here. Today’s focus is on the changes occurring in the pliability of connective tissue in movement and massage.
Think back to time spent in your kitchen. Now, we have all made a good chicken broth, some of us have made a meat based stock. What differentiated the two is the presence of dense connective tissue, bones, etc. When reduced to its more basic components the function of each strata becomes more apparent. When you cook a stock then place it in the fridge over night something magical happens. The layers separate and several things form. Usually on top is a layer of greasy fat and other fatty compounds, then comes a translucent jelly. That jelly is the ground substance and the dissolved solids of the connective tissue. If you examine that jelly in your hands you will notice how smooth it is, how well it lubricates and how quickly when heated it returns to liquid.
There are some mechanical properties you can observe simply by playing with your food. These exist in vivo to a less transitory extreme. By that I mean they change but to a lesser or slower degree. As we exercise the dense connective tissue melts, literally changing physical state. The same thing happens in a "rolf" type massage (is occurs in other massage modalities but to a varying degree and not as specifically).
With enough heat the jelly base (hylauronic acid, water, solids) would dissociate and we are left with is a pliable and maleable substance that both maintains structure and lubricates. In the body through the pouches and tissues the fibers of the connective tissue help to segment and offer a more permanent structure. In the case of a stock on the stovetop, that complex straining mesh has been broken down and there is little to keep fluid from freely flowing.
Now, the connective tissue never becomes a proper liquid “en vivo,” it is more of a chemical colloid. In that changed state however, nutrients/oxygen can permeate what was formerly a largely solid mass – hylauronic acid, collagen, elastin, reticulin and to a smaller degree fibrin.
Since the pliable tissue is now freely moving; the force moving through the body gets transferred to solid masses or adhesion and congestion in the body. In the case of acute injury, this microscopic tug of war is contraindicated (discouraged) in the case of a chronic injury or dysfunction is it likely the best thing for it. Hence if you attend physical therapy they have you do exercises in the formerly injured area.
As we move we massage ourselves. As the joints move, relative pressures change, and muscles press on each other. The self massage is not occurring as specifically as a therapist would induce but some of the benefits cross over. In the case of the synovial joints where circulatory permeation is occurring to a lesser degree (hence the very white color) we depend on movement – in the case of a massage or actual exercise to migrate nutrients in and out of the joint.
As we cool down, we decrease the rate of activity to below the rate of recovery so we improve our state with each repetition. This allows the less desirable consequences of exercise to be reduced (eg post workout soreness) while we are still in this gelatinous state. As we cool down we begin to congeal, if we are drinking enough water, the water will become trapped in the different tissues of the body and reduce how solid or stiff the tissue will be.
A structural massage does not mandate pain, it is about overcoming the chemical bonds in the tissue and facilitating a relaxed neurological state. Less is more, it is about the quality of the contact. In many instances I hear from clients about how they were left sore and bruised – deep tissue massage is a basterdization of this kind of technique.
If I take my beef stock from the night before and microwave it, I only need the gel to melt. By heating up the stock for 20 minutes I only make the stock to hot to eat, I don’t make it any more of a liquid than heating it for 5. In fact frequently pain is something that encourages an antagonistic effect, when we experience pain we begin to brace to protect and rightfully so. Similarly to heating the stock, if your therapist is working on a congested area, they only need to increase pressure to overcome the pressure outside the cells (its osmosis, fluid flows to the lowest pressure area until pressure equalizes) at a certain point the channels on the cell wall through which fluid flows are maxed out, we can force any more fluid through those holes at a single moment without risking injury.
Dr. Rolf’s work was about overcoming the chemical bonds that impeded movement and posture in a very specific way. It was about encouraging fluid to migrate and “fuzz” to break up between the sliding surfaces of the body. In her work and certainly the education a structural integration therapist is given, the pressure is very specifically applied – we don’t overcome poor technique by simply mashing into the body harder.
If you take one thing away from this article let it be that there is no replacement for an understanding of the body, and that although each issue is unique – there are underlying principles that are still universal and there is hope. Also discomfort is ok in massage, pain is to be avoided. If you are shopping for a therapist for yourself and they are going to work on a painful area that is not currently injured it is a good litmus test if they can answer to you how and why that area is painful. If they can’t at least suggest cause, they probably don’t know enough to be taking on that responsibility.
- Frederick Preston LMT
My name is Frederick Preston. I am a recent transplant to Jacksonville from Gainesville, FL. I began my fitness training journey back in 2007 as a certified personal trainer through the National Strength and Conditioning Association. I have since continued my education to become a licensed massage therapist through the Florida School of Massage. I have sought through continuing education to radically diversify my approach and understanding in how I handle clients; I have learned things from the Ayruvedic Panchakarma to Charles Poliquin.
Fitness is a tremendous force in my personal and professional life. It’s unique among the different forms of wellness, in that it is truly accessible any where and by anyone. We are never without the kinesthetic experience or our bodies and it is something we often overlook in the rush of our lives. That is until something goes wrong. I believe in a proactive approach that doesn’t just prevent injury but learns to take advantage of the inherent joy present in the journey.
For me, fitness has been a tremendous anchor in my life and a barometer for how I am responding to other challenges in my life. It something that is always there from getting to know the city on foot, hiking mountains in the back country, tossing sandbags in a renovated horse stable, or doing crunches at a high end gym on the swiss ball. I see the pursuit of fitness as a conduit through which fears or courage can be realized. Like Jillian Lynn, the famed choreographer, I am someone that “Moves to Think.” I find comfort in the fact that I can strap on a pair of boxing gloves or pickup a set of dumbbells and put myself in a better place in ten minutes.
I love the benefits that a more intimate training studio provides because it allows the client to really address what is meaningful to them in terms of barriers to obtaining the growth they would like to see or getting and staying out of pain. An awful lot of people just beginning their fitness journey feel self conscious or don’t know where to begin. The nicest thing about a private studio is that it makes it easier to remember that we all start somewhere and that we are all part the community together. For all the cool exercises or modalities that we use as a practitioner, the real magic comes when we realize that biggest help is to just listen.
My message to my clients is always that no one is immune to the ups and downs of life and what is right for me is not necessarily right for you; and that success in reaching your goals isn’t just about having a good plan but about listening to what your body is saying, responding to challenges, and remembering to find renewed passion for what interests you.
I completed this 12 mile, 24 obstacle race on December 1st and am now over the trauma and able to talk about it. Just kidding (kind of)- it was an unbelievable experience and an amazing accomplishment. When a few friends from college asked me to join their team I thought it was going to be great! I had never run 12 miles but figured that the obstacles would be spread out enough that I wouldn’t have to run more than half a mile at a time. Boy was I mistaken.
Walking to the starting line I felt butterflies in my stomach and was suddenly more nervous than I had ever been. To get to the actual starting line I had to climb an 8-foot wall, to prove that you are in for a tough ride even from the very beginning. Before the race we were stuck in a corral like situation like cattle waiting to be let free listening to some of the stories of people who had completed this race against all odds. A man in a wheelchair that completed EVERY obstacle thanks to his team mates, a cancer survivor whose husband was supposed to run in her honor had died a few months earlier in a car crash, and all of the wounded warriors who had run with prosthetic limbs and in honor of those that had fallen. In my wave I met a 74-year-old man and someone who was on his third run of the course THAT DAY.
The gun went off and the floodgates opened- I was not prepared for we were in for. I’ll just name some of the obstacles for you. Arctic enema (a tub of ice water you must submerge yourself in), electroshock therapy (electric wires hanging for the last 20 feet of the race), funky monkey (monkey bars over ice water), Everest (greased half pipe you must run up), and the list can go on and on. Having a team there for you is truly what helps you get through it, but honestly it felt like everyone running was on my team. Without the constant motivation from those around me I do not think I would have finished.
I cannot fully explain the feeling of crossing the finish line after almost 3 hours of 12 miles and 24 obstacles. As soon as I was done I saw my mom and broke down crying, I was physically tired and emotionally drained; but getting that orange headband and free beer was totally worth it!
Now I am extending out a challenge to you all – May 18, 2013 the Tough Mudder will be held here in Jacksonville – Melissa, John, and myself are putting a team together. I want everyone to seriously consider joining us- all levels welcome, trust me when I say that this is something you do not want to miss out on!
Check out the event at toughmudder.com and let us know! If you have any questions about the actual event and obstacles that I have not covered I will be happy to talk with all of you!
Thanksgiving Day Exercise Tips
Turkey Day has arrived and with that means lots and lots and lots of food. There is no doubt that we all will take in a few more calories than normal, but that doesn’t mean all that hard work you’ve been doing at the gym should stop. By performing a good workout session the day before, the day of, and the day after, you can help reduce the impacts the meal has on your overall health and fitness.
You’ve probably been planning and planning for this upcoming dinner and now you’ve been up at sunrise prepping the infamous turkey and side dishes, as well as playing host/hostess, but now you have a small window of free time…what should you do (besides wanting to rest), squeeze in a quick 20-30 minute workout, run, or walk. Time is of the essence on Thanksgiving so here is a few ideas you can do:
First off keep it simple…
Workout #1 Repeat Sequence X 3
10 Long Jumps: Do a long jump forward and then two small jumps backwards.
10 Push Ups: Kneeling or Regular
15 Sumo Squats: Wide stance with feet slightly turned out as you squat.
15 Burpees: Squat down, place hands on floor and jump out into a plank position. Then jump feet back towards your hands, then pop up into standing position with a jump up to finish it.
20 Bicycle Crunches: Lie on your back, bending your knees into your chest and hands behind head and crunch/twist your opposite elbow to your opposite knee while moving your legs as if you are pedaling a bike.
20 Mountain Climbers: Start off with regular, then opposite knee to elbow mtn. climbers, then mtn. climbers to the outside of the same elbow (change each round).
Sprints: Run fast and hard for 30 seconds then rest for 10, repeat X10
(Part 1-Rounds 5)
5 Push Ups
10 Sit Ups
(Part 2-Rounds 5)
20 Bench/Box Jumps or Chair Step Ups
30 Push Ups
If trying to cram in that workout session before dinner seems too difficult, then plan on going for a walk right after. It will help with digestion and burn off some of the calories you just ate. Be sure to invite everyone, and make it a family event or even plan to get outside and just play with the kids for a while.
Bottom line do what you can when you can and just get back on track ASAP and enjoy Thanksgiving Day and we’ll see you soon here at the gym.