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Categorized as: Blog

Smoothie Moves

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Nutrition tip by-VICTORIA VEST

If you are anything like me your body loves the energy you get from a little pre-work out carbs and with the right amount before a metcon, I feel like I can crush any programming that comes my way! Most people though, including myself, hate the feeling of having a full belly and trying to do burpees. So what’s the solution to proper nutrition but not feeling weighed down? Liquid carbs! Try a delicious fruit smoothie before your workouts. I recommend a small banana, some berries, and coconut water. Stay away from fruit juices that are high in sugar since those can create a major sugar crash and have the opposite effect. ENJOY!

Recover Your Muscles the Right Way

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By-AMBER MEDINA VASQUEZ

MUSCLE SORENESS HACKS – Top recovery techniques for DOMS (Delayed onset muscle soreness) and inflammation

 

STAY HYDRATED

This doesn’t mean just while you’re working out or right after. Staying hydrated means getting the proper amount of water into your body every single day, throughout the day.

FOAM ROLLING

Shown to be one of the best form of post-exercise recovery to prevent or reduce DOMS within 48 hours after exercising. Foam rolling (myofascial release) can replicate a massage for a fraction of the cost.

COMPRESSION GARMENTS

Compression clothing and accessories may reduce exercise-induced muscle damage and inflammation pre, during or post workout.

ACTIVE RECOVERY

Active recovery light movement such as swimming, walking or stretching can help improve blood flow in muscle tissue to reduce muscle lesions and pain after exercise. 

COLD WATER IMMERSION

This method has been shown to help with exercise induced soreness and inflammation tremendously, especially DOMS depending on the temperature. This method could also assist with blood flow/circulation. Using an ice bath or very cold shower can do the trick!

WARMTH OR HEAT

Using a sauna or steam room can also help heat up and relax muscles while pulling additional toxins further from the body.

PRE/POST WORKOUT MEAL

How you fuel your body before and after intense exercise is highly important. Choose 1-2 servings of complex carbohydrates (fist size) and 1 serving of lean protein (size of palm) pre and/or post exercise. Adding supplements such as BCAA’s, amino acids and/or glutamine have also been proven to be beneficial.

 

Diet Plans-Down to Basics

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Blog by-VICTORIA VEST

We all strive to live a healthier lifestyle-we all have some ideal physic in mind, some sort of fitness goal we ultimately want to reach. However, we also know it’s not necessarily all that simple. They say “abs are made in the kitchen,” but with all the diet plans out there these days who even knows what that ends up referring to anymore? What exactly am I even doing in the kitchen?? To clear up some of this confusion, let’s break down three common diet plans: keto, macro counting, and paleo. Hopefully, this will narrow down which one might be best for you!

KETO

I’m sure we’ve all seen on the cover of recent health magazines the “keto diet”. But what exactly is it? This diet is based on the idea of minimal carb and high fat intake. The increase in fats with minimal carbs forces the body to get its energy source from the fats. How does this work? Well, typically carbs in food are converted into glucose and sent all over the body including the brain. If we take away carbohydrates our body then goes into a state where our liver converts into ketone bodies and the ketones replace glucose for our main energy source. This is referred to as ketosis. So what is a major benefit of being on the keto diet? It has been shown to reduce insulin levels and blood sugar levels in addition to restricting carb intake.

MACRO COUNTING

There’s also the popular phrase “if it fits your macros” or seen the hashtag on a gym rat’s Instagram #IIFYM, but macro counting diet has been proven to not only work for those training to be the next Mr. Olympia. Macronutrients are the three categories of nutrient we get our energy from not just for exercise but for our everyday lives. These three energy sources consist of protein, carbs, and fats. This diet suggests your protein intake be from chicken, turkey, lean beef, and eggs; your carbs come from leafy greens, fruits, and grains; and fats from coconut oil, olive oil, avocado, and almonds. Macro counting consists of tracking your intake of these three within your daily caloric intake, ultimately resulting in making overall better food choices! For example, if we allotted ourselves to have 2,000 calorie day we couldn’t just eat 2,000 calories worth the hot Cheetos. We need proteins too! Counting your macros also offers nutritional benefits besides picking the right foods, such as portion control. And the best part about this diet plan is that its totally customizable to each individual! A typical macro diet would start at 2,000 calorie diet, 50% carbs, 25% protein, and 25% fats. Adjustments would be made to fit your age, activity levels, and ultimate goals. So what’s the best way to get started on a customized macro diet just for you? Research suggests seeking out a professional nutritionist or you can even use an online calculator or the very popular app “My Fitness Pal”.

PALEO

Lastly, lets talk about the very popular Paleo diet. This diet is based of the idea that our bodies were meant to consume the same foods that were consumed during the Paleolithic era. These foods consist of lean meats, fruits, veggies, seeds, and nuts; essentially the foods the were hunted and gathered. This diet also restricts any foods that were brought about through farming such as dairy, legumes, and grains. The idea was that when the farming era began and brought these foods into our diet it created an imbalance in our bodies. This imbalance came from our bodies not being able to adapt to these new food items, also known as the “discordance hypothesis”. This hypothesis stated that the imbalance in our bodies from legumes, dairy, and grains lead to obesity, diabetes, and heart disease. So what foods are allowed/forbidden on the paleo diet? This diet suggests we eat fatty fish high in omega 3s, lean grass-fed beef, cage-free chicken and eggs, fruits and leafy greens. It forbids grains such as wheat, barley, and oats; legumes such as beans, peanuts, and peas; dairy products such as milk and butter; and lastly refined sugar and highly processed foods.

No matter which diet plan you decide is best for your lifestyle, it’s important that we minimize our intake of anything with a label! Labels indicate ingredients instead of whole foods. Whether you decide to stick to Keto, macro counting, paleo or any other plan, clean eating is the key. Eating whole foods with no added ingredients will lead to a longer life, lower your risk of heart disease, and prolong your ability to live a independent life.

Talk Organic to Me

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Blog by-MELISSA JUDNICH

ORGANIC. What does it mean? Should you be eating organic? Is it “healthier”? These are questions that we as fitness professionals answer weekly. Recently, I overheard a conversation in the produce section of a grocery store between two individuals and it made me realize a lot of people who eat “organic” don’t even know what it really means. These two ladies (I assume they were sisters) were arguing over the one not wanting to buy organic, and the other one insisting on it. Finally, the one that didn’t want to buy it because it was more expensive asked, “Why should I even buy organic? What does that even mean?” and the other lady had NO CLUE! I could hear her frantically coming up anything she could think of, and they were all completely wrong!

 

So, to make sure this doesn’t happen to you, we are going to guide you through what it means to be organic and to answer whether or not it is “healthier”. First, what does it mean? The term organic itself simply means that the products’ soil doesn’t contain any synthetic fertilizers or pesticides, are not genetically modified, and animals that we use for organic meat were raised in their natural behaviors, were fed 100% organic feed, and were not administered antibiotics or hormones. In processed foods, organic has a couple of different qualifications. They can not contain any artificial preservatives, colors, or flavors. However, there are some exceptions to this rule such as lectin and pectin. For companies to receive the USDA Organic Seal the food must contain at least 95% organic contents. For a company to say, “Made with organic… ” The item only has to contain 70% organic ingredients however, it still must be made without any GMO’s.

 

Is “organic” food healthier? Not necessarily. While organic means that the ingredients inside of it are not made with any nasty chemicals, the animals were treated correctly, and there are no genetically modified ingredients (which are all great things) it doesn’t automatically make whatever you are eating healthy. For example, you will notice that there is organic boxed macaroni and cheese, bread, frozen meals, and even Oreos. Those items are still unhealthy for you due to several other factors including almost zero nutritional value, sugar, and bad fats. In regard to produce and meat, organic doesn’t necessarily change the macronutrients or nutritional value but it will give you peace of mind that your food doesn’t contain other unwanted junk.

 

Now you can assess if you should be eating organic by asking yourself these questions:  Do you care if your food is made with pesticides? Are you concerned about genetically modified ingredients? Do you not want to consume other antibiotics and hormones? If you answered yes to any of the above it might be a good time for you to make the switch to organic. Yes, it will cost more now but in the long run, I bet it is worth the investment to know what isn’t going into your body.

 

Member Spotlight-Barry Nelson

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Barry joined Shifted three years ago and says that at 60 years old, CrossFit has unequivocally helped him be in the best physical shape of his life.  Prior to CrossFit, Barry ran ultra endurance races ranging from 30-100 miles in length. One of his highlight runs was from the south rim to the north rim of the Grand Canyon and back which was about 44 miles in 16 hours.  

Over the last three years at Shifted, Barry has learned to scale his workouts (with the help of all the Shifted coaches) to his abilities. He says that the programming is so varied daily and that the variety has increased not only his overall strength, but has improved his mobility as well.  Barry says, “The great thing about Shifted is that they work with ALL athletes to keep their workouts within their abilities, yet the coaches are extremely encouraging to push us to levels that we didn’t think we were capable of.”

Barry’s typical day looks like this: I wake up around 4 am every day, I have to have my coffee time before heading to Shifted. I workout at the 6am class then run home for a quick shower and a visit with my wife Maile and our dog Walter before heading off to work by 8:15 am.  I see patients at my chiropractic practice until 6:30 pm and then head home for dinner and Netflix/HBO with Maile. I try to be in bed by 9:15 pm so that I can get up and repeat M-F. 

Barry says that staying motivated to get to the gym can be challenging as we age and that there are definitely days when he asks himself, “do I really want to go to the gym?”  Then he thinks over the days’ workout and tells himself to just get in the car! He says, “Once I arrive at Shifted it’s like a whole new attitude! Chloe greets me good morning and I see the 5 am class finishing up their workouts and I know it was a great decision that I came!”  

 

Barry’s favorite movement is thrusters. His least favorite movement is anything on the rig.  He says the gymnastics movements are especially challenging for him, but he enjoys working to improve them. 

When asked what he loves about Shifted, Barry responded with, “First and foremost is the highly skilled/trained coaches! They go over every movement, every day no matter how many times they’ve gone over it in the past.  They will never sacrifice form/technique for more weight. The coaches are always encouraging and watching you during the workouts to be sure that you are safe. I can’t thank all of the coaches enough for helping me achieve my goals and making me feel like I’m getting personal coaching!  Lastly, I love that Shifted has such a close community feel. Maile and I have made so many close friends through Shifted. Everyone,and I truly mean everyone, at Shifted is helpful, encouraging, and supportive.”

Barry’s advice to anyone nervous about trying CrossFit is, “Don’t try and keep up with anybody in the gym. Start where you are, and workout within your abilities.” 

Tis the season to eat in season!

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Blog by-CHLOE FOLENA

You may or may not have heard the phrase “seasonal eating” being used in the nutrition community . If you do know what eating seasonally means and all the positives that are tied to it, kudos to you. If not, that is A-okay because you’re in the right place. This is going to be a short overview of why choosing to incorporate produce grown in-season is beneficial and how you can start doing it. 

Let’s talk first about why seasonal eating is an important concept to be aware of and the benefits that come from it. 

  • When you eat produce that’s grown seasonally in or around your area, you’re getting food that is FRESHER  (think farm to table). There’s no shipping across the country or world, so you’re getting your food faster and cutting out the time that it sits on transportation (and gets old and icky) to get to your supermarkets. So not only is it fresher, but it’s taking up less harmful resources to get to you, meaning its better for the environment. AND the fresher your food is, the more nutrients stay stored within it, which is better for your body. 
  • Another thing to keep in mind is that the less distance it takes your produce to travel, the more you know about the product, i.e. pesticides or chemicals used, farm conditions, ect. That also means you have a better understanding of where your food is coming from, something a lot of people nowadays don’t ever even think about.
  • Seasonal produce also tends to be LESS EXPENSIVE, which is amazing because a lot of healthy options and alternatives to cheap fast food tend to get a little bit pricey. Keeping produce locally and seasonally sourced keeps the prices down, your wallet happy, and your body getting all the good nutrients it needs.

Now that we’ve gone over just a few of the reasons you should try seasonal eating, let’s get into HOW you go about doing that. What produce is even “in season” anyways? Well, here are some of the fruits and veggies that are well sourced in the US each season:

~SummerArugula, asparagus, bell pepper, cauliflower, corn, cucumber, eggplant, garlic, radishes, spinach, zucchini, tomatoes, apricots, blackberries, blueberries, cherries, figs, lemons, limes, melons, mulberries, nectarines, passion fruit, peaches, pineapple, plums, strawberries

~FallArtichoke, beets, bell pepper, broccolini, brussels sprouts, butternut squash, cauliflower, celery root, chard, corn, eggplant, fennel, garlic, mushrooms, parsnips, potatoes, pumpkin, radishes, rutabagas, spinach, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, almonds, apples, chestnuts, cranberries, pears, persimmons, plums, pomegranates, raspberries, tamarillo, tangerines

~WinterBeets, broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, carrots, celery, kale, leeks, onions, parsnips, potatoes, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, radishes, rutabagas, turnips, citrus, kiwi, pomegranate

~SpringArtichoke, asparagus, broccoli, fava beans, fennel, kale, peas, leeks, radishes, rhubarb, turnips, avocado, blood oranges, grapefruit, kiwi, pineapple

If you want a more specific guide to what’s seasonal in your area, there’s a great website (https://www.seasonalfoodguide.org/california) where you can search for produce by state and specific time of year. Super cool!

Something to keep in mind is that farmers markets and local collectives that sell farm fresh produce will always have locally grown, in-season products. A fun activity to do with friends or fam is to visit your local farmers market to get some seasonal produce you might not have considered before and then make a great, healthy meal! 

 

Sources –https://www.seasonalfoodguide.org/why-eat-seasonally

                –https://www.thefarmproject.com/blog/lets-get-seasonal/

                –http://theeverygirl.com/how-to-eat-seasonally/

 

In the Raw or All Cooked Up?

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Blog by-AMBER MEDINA VASQUEZ

We hear all sorts of opinions on how to prepare our foods, veggies especially. A big question that comes up when preparing vegetables is “Is it better to eat them raw or can I cook them and still get all the good benefits?” Well, here’s a little run down of what the difference really looks like.

Benefits of Cooked Vegetables

Cooking vegetables can make the cell walls less rigid, which makes it easier to absorb certain nutrients and digest food better. Compared to raw carrots, cooked carrots, for example, have more beta carotene, an antioxidant that can be converted to vitamin A and improves bone, eye, and reproductive health. Skip the kale salad and opt to cook or lightly steam your kale instead — it contains the compound isothiocyanates, which blocks your body from using iodine (which it needs!) Other vegetables that have beneficial nutrient value when cooked are: Spinach, mushrooms, eggplant, asparagus and red bell pepper. 

Benefits of Raw Vegetables

Water-soluble vitamins such as C and B vitamins are often lost during the cooking process. Minerals like potassium, phosphorus, calcium, magnesium, iron and zinc may be reduced by up to 60 to 70 percent. Glucosinolate, the sulfur-containing nutrient in broccoli that may help fight cancer, is also decreased when the vegetable is boiled. The amount of nutrients lost during cooking depends on many factors including preparation cooking methods and duration of cooking. So veggies in their raw form will give you the highest nutrient level. 

Cooking and Preparation Methods to Retain Nutrients

Choose cooking methods that reduce the time that vegetables are exposed to heat to reduce nutrient loss. Steam and microwave produce to reduce cooking time. Once picked, raw vegetables begin to lose nutrients. Store vegetables in the refrigerator and only purchase the amount you can use in a few days. Try produce that is local and in season to obtain the most nutrients.

The Bottom Line

Regardless of how you prepare them, vegetables are full of fiber, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals that help sustain your health. Because there are benefits and disadvantages of cooking your vegetables, you should prepare them in the way you are more likely to eat them. Fill half of your plate with fruits and vegetables to reach the recommended five to ten servings of both each day.

 

More Zzz’s Please-Sleep Longer to get Stronger

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Blog by-VICTORIA VEST

Have you noticed lately that sleeping has developed a rather negative stigma? It feels like if you sleep more than 7 hours you’re expected to feel guilty and people who sleep less than that tend to brag about how productive they are on such little rest. Well dream away friends and feel guilty no more! Recent studies have found that sleep is actually the most crucial aspect of recovery, whether it be high intensity training or simply an overly stressful day at work.

 

Every time we exercise we actually are creating microscopic tears in our muscles. When we sleep, these tears are actually repaired, recovered, and rebuilt to be even stronger (according to Dr. Grayson Winderum PT, DTD, CSCS). However, if we do not get the proper amount of rest, our muscles aren’t given enough time to recover and rebuild.  

 

Our sleep cycle is made up of five stages.  These stages last about 90 minutes and then repeat themselves throughout the evening. Human Growth Hormones (HGH) begin to rise around 30-45 minutes after we fall asleep, beginning in stage 3 and then on to stage 4 of our sleep cycle. HGH is crucial for our body in that it regulates the rate of our metabolism. this amino acid produced in the pituitary gland of the brain, is not produced and released until we reach our deepest level of sleep, which is why getting a full night’s rest is so important for recovery.

 

Do you watch nightly reruns of your favorite tv show or scroll through your instagram till your eyes feel heavy and you finally fall into dreamland? Well, according to the “International Review of Neurobiology”, when we expose ourselves to bright lights like those from our smart phones or tv screens, we actually awaken our brains and make it more difficult for ourselves to fall asleep. Studies have also shown that if we do somehow manage to drag ourselves into the gym on minimal sleep, not only do we typically cut our workouts short from lack of motivation (do to lack of shut eye!), we actually falsely perceive our workouts as being more physically exhausting. In other words, we just can’t even! 

 

So how do we finally put this problem to rest??  Here are some easy solutions to get more zzz’s:

  1. Regulate your sleep schedule-try to get to bed around the same time and wake up at the same time daily!
  2. Attempt to average 7-9 hrs of sleep so your body becomes accustomed to it.
  3. Give yourself enough time to unwind before bed time! Especially if you like to work out in the evening, don’t cut those workouts too close to when you’re getting into bed. 
  4. Listen to your body. If you feel like you need more sleep, you probably need more sleep! Don’t feel guilty about much needed rest.

 

Sources-Barbend.com

 

Life in Plastic Ain’t So Fantastic

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Blog by-AMBER MEDINA VASQUEZ

A topic and question that comes up frequently in our household is “How do we reduce our plastic consumption”? It seems that everywhere we go, our environment invites the opportunity to be enveloped in plastic!

From the cars we drive, cell phones, computers, shoes and clothes we wear to the foods and products we purchase, it’s inescapable. The long standing argument is how do we make a difference that will impact our planet and our health? It feels next to impossible and can become overwhelming to say the least.

Evidence is mounting that the chemical building blocks that make plastics so versatile are the same components that might harm people and the environment. And its production and disposal contribute to an array of environmental problems, too. For example:

  • Chemicals added to plastics are absorbed by human bodies. Some of these compounds have been found to alter hormones or have other potential human health effects.

  • Plastic debris, laced with chemicals and often ingested by marine animals, can injure or poison wildlife.

  • Floating plastic waste, which can survive for thousands of years in water, serves as mini transportation devices for invasive species, disrupting habitats.

  • Plastic buried deep in landfills can leach harmful chemicals that spread into groundwater.

  • Around 4 percent of world oil production is used as a feedstock to make plastics, and a similar amount is consumed as energy in the process.

Plastic is so resilient that even burying it deep within the earth doesn’t keep it from impacting the environment. Currently it accounts for approximately 10 percent of generated waste, most of which is landfilled. But, placing plastics in a landfill may simply be storing a problem for the future, as plastic’s chemicals often sink into nearby land, contaminating groundwater.

Plastic’s problems extend way beyond the human body. More than one-third of all plastic is disposable packaging like bottles and bags, many of which end up littering the environment.

Although most of us have been exposed to images of plastic necklaces around land and sea animals which is by now burned into the public eyes, ingestion of plastic fragments is much more common. Once inside, plastic can pack a one-two punch by both clogging an animal’s stomach and poisoning it with chemicals that have concentrated in the plastic. Chemicals are then transferred to the food web when other animals (i.e. humans) consume them.

More than 180 species of animals have been documented to ingest plastic debris, including birds, fish, turtles and marine mammals, according to the report.

Unfortunately, the impacts on wildlife suffers the same pitfalls as human health and there is already evidence that chemicals associated with plastics harm wildlife.

So, back to our original question-“How do we reduce our plastic consumption?” The answer is “one piece at a time.” It takes great effort and consciousness to suss out each item we purchase but we can each make a significant impact by at least trying to use less and less products involving plastic. The future of our health, our children’s health and planet are worth it!

photo from-World Wildlife Foundation

Beat the Heat-HYDRATE!

 

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Nutrition Tip by-MELISSA JUDNICH

You know it’s hot outside when you get out of the shower and you’re already sweating! Or when you hear the saying “It’s so hot you could crack an egg on the sidewalk and it would cook.” Are you prepared for the heat?

Due to the intensity of our work outs combined with this summer heat, it is so important that we are making sure we are hydrated and nourished properly! Here are some Shifted recommendations:

1. Drink 3L of water each day! That’s about 101 ounces. MINIMUM.
2. Add in a hydration supplement once a day such as Catalyte! Catalyte is our electrolyte supplement of choice because it doesn’t have any bad sugars, you know what’s in it, and it is a good quality product!

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3. Avoid sugary drinks such as Gatorade, Poweraid, Vitamin Water. DID YOU KNOW-in 16oz of Gatorade there is 30g of sugar?! Holy cow.
4. Make sure you are eating enough quality foods before and after class! Meat, fruits, vegetables, and some starch.
5. Know the symptoms of dehydration!

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