Rant: I've received some questions about supermarket vs. local meat lately so here's some info: Brace yourselves...I'm over the top...
Supermarket meat is from animals raised in a CAFO (Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation). They are kept in extremely tight/cramped quarters and fed corn/corn byproducts of other corn product processing waste and are supplemented with antibiotics and hormones - placed directly into the food. Every animal gets this diet . The science behind the antibiotics is based on the fact that the animals wil die because of this environment, sooner or later. The science behind the hormones is to maximize the size of the animal so it can be harvested at a profit before it gets sick and dies. All CAFO meats contain hormones and antibiotics and are then irradiated before coming to us because they contain fecal matter from the CAFO (i.e. standing in their own shit all day long and lots of it!) - that gets passed directly on to you as the consumer Tasty, huh?
Also, cows have stomachs called rumens - the rumen is a series of chambers that are meant to process grass, NOT CORN. The corn diet makes them ill and they can only live on this diet for about 14 months in which time the hormones in the corn make them grow to a slaughterable (my made up term...sorry) size. The fats from these animals have a high Omega-6 ratio (from the corn and not the ratio that our bodies need) not a high Omega-3 ratio (from grass and the omegas that we need to thrive) Indeed a messed up food system. There is also abuse of these animals that is never seen by the consumer yet it certainly exists from the CAFO to the slaughterhouse. They stand around in their own manure all day long being fed a diet that they aren't even designed to eat. The slaughterhouse - well, one can only imagine...
You must read The Omnivore's Dilemma by Michael Pollan. Vital information for all Americans (other countries don't do it this way - our food is industrialized and this is a broken system)...I tell folks who say they can't afford healthy meats that they can pay for it now or pay for it later in terms of their health...Buying animals in bulk from local farmers is cheaper and better for all of us and our local growers/local economy. Education of consumers on this subject could potentially turn our food system around...something has got to change...
You can go on looking at USDA inspected Choice and Prime cuts (all CAFO meats!) with all of that lovely marbling but that fat is totally unhealthy for us - yet it commands top dollar from the consumer...
I won't even go into the hog operations - you'll have to read about that in the book - sickening...
Get your garden going and meet your local farmers...stop making excuses for eating crappy food...or at least try to shop for locally grown foods a few days out of the week.
This is a vitamin-packed salad from my good friend, Dee, and if you're craving a little dairy, you can add the ricotta salata...it is really tasty after marinating overnight...
Lacinato Kale and Ricotta Salata Salad:
3/4 to 1 pound lacinato kale (also called Tuscan kale) or tender
While the Paleo Diet enjoys a lot of attention these days, folks need to be careful about food selections if they are still trying to lean out. I spoke with a client about this yesterday and thought it was worthy of a post. If I were to give the presciption for nutrition while still trying to shed some stubborn fat, it would be:
-Lean meats: poultry and lean beef
-Fish and shellfish
-Loads of leafy green vegetables - lemon juice for dressing
-No sugar - including booze
-Some nuts and seeds - emphasis on some - not a meal replacement
-Little fruit - berries (not strawberries), apples are good options but they still contain sugar so be careful!
-Quality fish oil
-Vitamin D3 in a sublingual form (liquid under the tongue for best absorption...)
-A couple of doses of Apple Cider Vinegar in warm water each day (2 tsp.)
-Quality sleep - 8 or 9 hours each night
-Keep stress levels to a minimum - practice yoga and or meditation daily
Here is an article from Robb Wolf's site on Paleo labeling...
I can't emphasize enough the importance of gut health. Most illnesses are borne here yet so many of us don't take care of our guts properly. Eating a Paleo diet is just one way. Probiotics are another essential element to health and vitality. Bragg's Apple Cider Vinegar is a great source...here is a post from CrossFit Crown City...I couldn't have said it any better than this. I was starting to catch a cold on Sunday morning...a few shots of water with a couple of teaspoons of Bragg's throughout the day and I was totally fine by Monday afternoon...pretty amazing stuff! You can purchase it at Kroger, Eats, Oasis and Annie Kay's...
From CrossFit Crown City...
There are few things that have as big a reputation for being a cure-all as apple cider vinegar (ACV). It is one of those miraculous elixirs that can fix just about anything that ails you. No…seriously; it’s remarkable. So as we are slowly crawling out of winter’s cold and flu clutches, we may still have a need for a little ACV. To begin, let’s look at what makes ACV so potent and some of the common remedies that are associated with ACV.
According to the good folks at Earth Clinic: “From the extensive feedback we’ve received over the past 8 years, the reported cures from drinking Apple Cider Vinegar are numerous. They include cures for allergies (including pet, food and environmental), sinus infections, acne, high cholesterol, flu, chronic fatigue, candida, acid reflux, sore throats, contact dermatitis, arthritis, and gout. Apple Cider Vinegar also breaks down fat and is widely used to lose weight. It has also been reported that a daily dose of apple cider vinegar in water has high blood pressure under control in two weeks!”
Eh, how’s all that possible? Apple Cider Vinegar has a remarkable array of compounds that are born of the fermentation process. Again, referencing Earth Clinic, “Apple Cider Vinegar in itself is alkaline because of its “ash” content, which means if the apple cider vinegar was burned, what is left over becomes ash. When you check for the pH of that ash and dissolve it with water, the content is alkaline. Whenever our body digests anything, it undergoes oxidation, which is similar to burning and the end result is that you can determine whether the end product was alkaline or acid. Apple Cider Vinegar has anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, and anti-viral properties, primarily coming from the malic acid and acetic acid portion of the vinegar. Apple cider vinegar acts as a buffer in the body because the acetic acid reacts with base or acid compounds to form an acetate, therefore rendering them chemically bioavailable for the body’s utilization. Additionally, Apple Cider Vinegar can reduce the toxicity of certain compounds by converting the toxin into an acetate compound, which is less toxic. This is why they are ideal for insect bites and certain skin allergies. While Apple Cider vinegar in itself is considered alkaline, a chemically pure vinegar (acetic acid) is neither acid nor basic forming as it leaves no ash as the entire portion, when burned evaporates completely.”
The most common way I have used Apple Cider Vinegar is in a small spray bottle when I feel a sore throat coming on. And with a three year old and a nine year old, it seems as if every day is an adventure in new germs. So I keep a bottle of ACV on hand for a few quick sprays to the back of the throat and that appears to help stave off any infections.
It is very common for us as coaches to get asked the question "how do I get better at ...?". The simple answer is quite frankly to "practice", whether that be pull-ups, jump roping, snatches, etc. The concept I'll introduce today is known as "greasing the groove". Without getting too wrapped up into the science behind the concept, you quite simply just pick an exercise (let's roll with the push-up) and perform it several times throughout the day. First you need to establish how many push-ups you can perform in a single attempt. You will want to calculate about 75% of that number, and that's how many push-ups you will perform each time you perform a set. Next find a place to perform the push-ups (living room, next to your desk, empty room at work, sidewalk, etc.) Finally you will need to perform a minimum of 3 sets and no more than 10 spaced out as much as possible throughout the day. An example might look like this:
Jennifer: max push-ups: 16, 75% of 16=12
6:27 AM- set of 12 waiting for her coffee to brew
7:00 AM- set of 12 after getting out of the shower
11:00 AM- set of 12 in the corner of her office while taking a work break
3:00 PM- set of 12 next to the water cooler to show off in front of her co-workers
5:27 PM- set of 12 while waiting for her 5:30 PM CrossFit class
7:56 PM- set of 12 during commercial break before Final Jeopardy
So let's jump on it folks! Let me know if you have any more questions about "greasing the groove" and encourage friends, relatives, and co-workers to join in on the fun!
NO 5:30am or 6:30am this morning due to inclement weather...
Be sure to check out our new and improved retail area! We've put up new shelving and added some items to our inventory. Fish oil, jump ropes, mobility bands and fresh beef are just a few things that we will regularly be carrying. Marilyn Griffin, owner of Griffin Farms and provider of our grass-fed beef, will be adding to our selection of cuts in the next few weeks. We'll be offering a few kinds of steaks, ground beef, stew beef and some roasts.
Try putting a roast in the oven on 200 degrees with some stock and seasoning (a heavy duty pan made of cast iron works best) and let it slow cook for 4 or 5 hours. The meat comes out super-tender and flavorful. I picked up an extra cast-iron pan (made by Tramontina) yesterday from Tuesday Morning for just $35 so you don't have to shell out $150 for Le Creuset if you don't want to.
We will also be getting in some new t-shirts very soon for Spring and Summer...
Stefanie and Bryce have started a blog, eat.stretch.lift. and it is great! We encourage you to check it out and take advantage of their funky recipes and yoga wisdom. They have several recipes posted and here is their latest...thanks for sharing with CFBB! Looking forward to the Swedish style roasted sweet potatoes recipe...
Coffee Burgers from the Yoga Couple:
Inspired by the pub's breakfast menu, Stef and I have created our own recipe for a coffee blackened burger with no gluten and pastured eggs! The Underground has a breakfast burger that is rubbed with coffee and topped with an egg. The coffee adds a complex flavor and makes a really nice crust on the burger. Add the egg into the mixture and it's definitely a winner.
Burgers are something I take very seriously (Stef still barely eats meat, but this recipe was a big hit), and unfortunately when eating out, it's tough to get giant leaves of chard, kale, or steamed cabbage with which to wrap them in, so as usual we decided to take it into our own hands. With some local, grass fed ground beef from Griffin Farms (thanks CrossFit Blacksburg!) we got to work and made an awesome version of this great burger idea at home:
-1lb of grass fed ground beef
-Sliced mushrooms (as much as you like, we did about 1 large handful)
-1 minced clove of garlic
-2 jalapenos, diced
-1/2 yellow onion, chopped
-local, farm fresh eggs (1 for each burger)
-Avocado slices + salsa (or any other type of fixin')
-Large Dinosaur kale leaves to wrap (substitute any large leaves here - they said you can get these at Eats or Annie Kay's - Farmer's Market folks should be selling them, too...)
-1 tablespoon freshly ground coffee
-2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
-1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
-1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
-1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
-Form meat into four evenly sized patties
-Mix the spice rub and sprinkle onto meat
-Sautee veggies in a pan with about 1 tbl of oil
-In another pan (or on a grill), heat some oil or butter over a medium flame and add burgers, covering with a lid
-Fry the egg over medium (or harder or softer, depending on how you want it)
- When burgers are done, place on kale leaf with fried egg, veggies, salsa and avocado on top.
We paired these with some Swedish style roasted sweet potato (recipe to follow!) and a green salad.
How much quality sleep do you get? Are you a night owl, an early riser, or both? Do you regularly get 7+ hours of sleep per night?
Two articles on sleep were recently published that I found very interesting: The first by the BBC titled "The Myth of The Eight Hour Sleep", and the second is Robb Wolf's response to it. (If you don't know who Robb Wolf is, you need to find out!). Read the BBC article first, I promise they aren't very long.
I know I do better with 7 or 8 + hours of sleep per night in a dark room. The two blocks of sleep sound appealing, especially some of the ideas of what to do with the time in between!
Again, how much quality sleep do you get? Post to comments.
CrossFit is based extensively, if not exclusively, on functional movements. As daunting as learning to Snatch, Clean, Overhead Squat, Jerk, and Muscle-up, may be, especially never having heard of them, they, like the rest of the movements we perform, are movements that largely mimic and reproduce natural efforts like standing, throwing, lifting, pulling, pushing, climbing, and running. There is no circumstance of age, gender, stature, weight, or fitness level that reduces the need to be able to perform functional movements. This is not the same as saying that everyone should do Muscle-ups. When Muscle-ups are impossible, substituting Pull-ups and Ring Dips preserves the intended training stimulus and helps to prepare for the Muscle-up. Any weightlifting movement can be practiced and performed with a PVC pipe. It is our ability to modify and scale any movement that allows us to train the grandmother of three right beside our Navy SEAL candidate. The natural movements that we teach can be rapidly learned and performed by even the most novice student. It is important to remember this as you begin and continue your path towards a higher level of fitness.
The Jackie Finals on Saturday was a lot of fun, and there were some blisteringly fast times.
Congratulations to the winners:
Jialeou fastest and most improved woman - 8:28
Ben Lehmer fastest male - 6:50
Stephen G. most improved male RX - 10.36%
Boon most improved male Int. - 23.08%
Ish most improved male Beg - 16.37%
Daron 2nd most improved male RX - 9.68%
Along with the fast times and awesome improvements, there were some disappointing performances. Many participants could not uphold the movement standards, which proved very frustrating for them. Some athletes' times increased due to the strict movement standards.
The take-away from this experience is to make sure that you are moving through a full range of motion. Take the coaching you get in the box, and make the necessary changes to your movement. Sometimes that means taking a deep breath and exaggerating the range of motion, and other times it means reducing the weight. Do what it takes to meet the requirements.
Mobility Homework: Here's the page - do this before your training today if at all possible.