Sunday, December 27, 2009

Awesome Paleo London Broil Recipe

Just wanted to share this with you guys. Jack and I made this tonight and it was amazing!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

PR in Sucking

I got the title from Dori; but the truth of the matter is after 2 weeks off, I do suck. I know it will come back but talk about a downer. Everything and I mean everything is harder. Even sit-ups I had to scale back from the 35 lb weight to 22.5. I can hear Mandy in my head giving me shit for typing this (so Mandy, there is no need to lecture me). Yes, yes, I am proud that I can do weighted GHDs but the fact still remains.... I lost strength. My goal for next year is to not get sick. And to become a badass.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Food Rant

At present I have three jobs. Two of which I love and one that is made tolerable by listening to books by way of MP3s. I have joked and said that this job has made me well read to. My recent books of choice have mostly revolved around food. I have listened to two Michael Pollan books, one Berry Sears book and most recently a book written by Barbra Kingsolver.

There is a thread that weaves through all of these books, eat food. Michael Pollan states that we, as Americans, have ventured away from this notion. We now eat food like substances. We have come to believe that better living through chemicals is gospel. A perfect example of this is Kraft Macaroni and Cheese. The ingredients in traditional macaroni and cheese are: eggs, salt, flour, water and cheese (curdled milk of sheep, goats, or cow). The ingredients in Kraft Macaroni and cheese are: wheat flour, niacin, ferrous sulfate, thiamin mononitrate, riboflavin, folic acid, salt, whey, milk fat, milk protein concentrate, sodium tripolyphosphate, calcium phosphate, milk, yellow 5, yellow 6, enzymes, and cheese culture.

The absurdity of our western eating habits hit Florida at the end of the 2003-2004 tomato growing season. For those of you not familiar with the Ugly Tomato, let me clue you in. The Ugly tomato is an heirloom variety that is, well… less than photogenic. At the end of the 2003-2004 growing season the Florida Tomato Committee refused to allow these amazingly delicious tomatoes to be sold outside of Florida. The Florida Tomato Committee felt that the Ugly does not meet its rigorous standards, which are based on size and shape, but not taste. They claimed that the Ugly was too misshapen and would damage the reputation of the Florida marketplace, resulting in millions of pounds of tasty tomatoes wasted.

The beauty of Durham NC is the ease of ability to buy local. You could eat at a different restaurant every meal Monday through Friday and never hit a chain restaurant. Even if you venture into large grocery Chain store you can buy bread from the locally owned and operated 9th Street Bakery. Or buy milk and ice cream from a farm on the outskirts of town. You can buy coffee from the local roaster Counter Culture. These may seem like small things but by buying these products you are helping people in your neighborhood make a living, and more than likely eating healthier. The fast food nation that we have become know as is not who we really are. When people from other nations are asked wheat is American food, the answer will inevitably begin with a Mc. Is that our heritage? I hope not. I have family that live in several corners of this country and when I think of eating with them it does not include a Styrofoam container. When I am with my grandmother that resides in Connecticut, I envision lobster, clam chowder and streamed muscles. When I am with Nanny in Gainesville Florida it is fried chicken, gravy, and casseroles. There are amazing foods from all corners of this country: Navajo fry bread, seafood gumbo, and apple pie. We have a wide variety of food in this country that is a beautiful amalgamation of the people who live here.

Monday, November 30, 2009

The Winner is:

The CW-X bra. It is comfortable. I can breathe. They stay put.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Can you teach a Rhino new tricks?

The Rhino in question is me. I am trying very hard to run the way Greg tells me I should. I am a heel striker. Heal striking is bad. Today I went for a 2 mile run with Rich. He ran in his 5 fingers and I ran in my Chuck Taylors. I was not heel striking. If you heel strike in Converse it hurts. While Rich has very little issue running in the appropriate manner, I sound like a Rhino coming. THUD, THUD, THUD! He tried very hard to get me to run in a softer manner. Honestly, it is like putting ballet shoes on a rhino... you still hear: THUD, THUD, THUD.

Sports Bra Part II

So I bought 2 sports bras today. I discovered that Title 9 carried both of the bras I was interested in trying which made it convenient. They also have a kick ass return policy. If you do not like what ever it is you buy for any reason you can return it with in the first year, no questions asked. Sounds good to me.

The first bra I bought is called the Frog bra. I do not know why. This is what their right up says:

The Frog Bra
This pullover bra got the highest rating from our largest breasted testers, and these women have tried every bra. Most bras are made of knitted fabrics that give, not control. But our bra is made of a stretch woven fabric, plus a whopping 32% Lycra. Whew!!! As one of our testers said, "It's almost like not having breasts at all. Well almost." Warning: major masher bra. 45% cotton, 32% Lycra, 23% nylon.

It was recommended by 2 of my fellow Crossfitters.

The second bra is a bra by CW-X. I have a pair of their exoskeleton tights. I love the tights so I figured I should give this a shot too.

This is what they had to say about this bra:

Three Blessings Bra
When it comes to sports support, this bra is a threefold blessing. Blessing 1: a four-layer, 5 point support system gives you that "no-move" kind of compression. Blessing 2: with three layers of power mesh, this bra actually breathes, aaahhhh. And blessing number 3: an adjustable back hook closure means you'll be able to get it off without that postworkout struggle. The 3 Blessings has made believers out of all our largest-breasted testers. 80% Coolmax, 20% spandex. Best for a D or DD looking for a bounce-free bra that breathes.

I should get the bras in a week or so and I will report back then.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Sports Bra

I am, and have been for a while now, in search of a good sports bra.

Here are my requirements:
1) Supportive - I do not want to move
2) Flexible - This is a big one. I want my rib cage to be able to expand fully.
3) No Chaffing - this become a huge issue when you are running for multiple hours.

The one I have been using works for requirement 1, but fails on 2 and 3. Friday nights WOD consisted of running and front squats. I could not breath. I finished the WOD and then had to unhook the damn thing so I could breath again. I could be wrong but I think breathing is important. It becomes even more important when you are trying to run and lift heavy things. (Side note: I PRed on my front squat.) I used this same bra in the Disney Marathon. The worst pain I had after the run was from the strawberry it gave me on my back where the seam is.

I can not use the low impact sports bras that you buy at Target or stores like that. Well, I can use them but I have to wear 2 at the same time which makes requirement 2 out of the question. This is because of my chest size. It isn't huge but it needs a bit more support than that.

So here is my plan: I am going to try several sports bras and report back. If you have any suggestions, please tell me. I have already been told to try the Frog Bra from Title 9.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Taylor Lautner

Here is a Men's Health article on Taylor Lautner work out.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Food Inc

I just watched the documentary "Food Inc". It was an amazing movie and I highly recommend it to everyone. If you do watch it you should check out the extras. You will learn that Chipotle is a restaurant worth supporting.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

CrossFit Booty"">

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

A strange kind of competitive

I very rarely find myself feeling competitive. Mostly, I am just stubborn. I decided, I am going to run a marathon. Sure, I can not run a mile; but this book says I can work my way up to it in 6 months. The Disney Marathon is in 8 month. I will do that one and will get a kick ass metal for it to boot (it is a gold Mickey head). I got a very bad case of bronchitis that lasted 2 rounds of 10 days worth of Antibiotics, but damn it I paid $135. I ran it a month later. I was really slow but I finished. When I hit the 25 mile mark I wanted it to be over so I ran as hard as I could for the last 1.2 miles. The greatest thing about the Disney marathon is the 26 mile mark. When you hit that sign you have to round a blind corner and there is a gospel choir that sings "Hallelujah" when they see you come around the corner. I shit you not. I almost had to stop because I started laughing so hard, but you can see the finish line from there. That made me push on.

I digress... I find that when I do get competitive, it is aimed at boys. I think we all at Crossfit have someone we focus on. Someone that we look at and think, I am going to be faster than him/her. My person is Andrew. This is no surprise to Nagle. He started it. I think it is a good thing. It pushes you to try harder than you thought you could. One might think, I am going to die, but look if I just try a little harder or push a little longer I might just beat Nagle or hell look I am close to Jack, crap PUSH THROUGH!

Even with the competitive aspects to Crossfit there is still this overwhelming supportive nature too. It reminds me of one of my earliest memories of my friend Tamara. When I was 5 I was scared of the high dive at Riddle (the University that both of our parents worked at). Tamara climbed up to the top with me, held my hand, and jumped off the 5m spring board with me. Side note, Tamara was 4. She truly is badass.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

For Mandy

Pumpkin Paleo Pancakes

Pumpkin Paleo Pancakes - (2)5 block meals
2 eggs
1/2 cup canned pumpkin
1/2 cup almond butter
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 tablespoon Agave

2 tablespoons chopped pecans - topping
2 tablespoon real maple syrup - topping

Coconut oil - for the pan

12 extra egg whites to bring the protein up 35 gms/person
oz of berries to bring the carbs up to ~45 gms/person

Mix everything - sometimes that nut butter is clumpy
The recipe above makes 2 good size pancakes.

~from paleo zone blog

Muscle Failure, Road Burn and a JackAss

So people keep talking about muscle failure. It is very sick, but I was jealous that I was not achieving muscle failure. I think maybe I thought I wasn't working hard enough. I like to work hard it makes me feel strong. So anyway, muscle failure is when your muscles say WTF I don't think so in the middle of some activity you are doing repeatedly. I hit muscle failure the other day. We were doing "dyanmic" push ups - seriously I think there is a better name, maybe you are effing crazy push ups - and I couldn't push myself up anymore. I mean like really, my head said come on Melinda - woman up and do it - and my body said I don't think so. It was pretty cool. I think this has happened lots of times during my cfit time, but I just didn't know it had a name. So is this a good thing or bad thing? Does it mean you are reaching the target you are supposed to reach? I don't know, but it did make me feel slightly bad ass.

So back to those freakin dynamic push ups - I still do pushups on my knees for the most part because I can get the full range of motion this way. I practice during my warm up doing big kid push ups, but never really do I do them in a WOD. Anywho - the dynamic ones you had to push yourself off the ground once you push up. I don't know where my head was this day. I couldn't do simple math calculations to figure out 80% of my deadlift, couldn't get my station set up - does this happen to you guys? Just sort of mentally check out a crossfit? Sometimes I feel like an idiot - like I checked my brain cells out at the garage door. Sorry - back to the push ups. So I decide I'm going to do the dynamic push ups on the black mat, on my knees. I practiced during the warm up - no probs. About half way through the first round, my knees were like hello, whats going on. Second round - knees were saying we don't think this was a good idea. By the last round, knees said you dumb ass you are going to pay.

Pay I did. 'Member road burn when you fell off your bike or fell down roller blading. You don't do that either? Damn - guess I'm clumsy. Well, I got road burn. Bad. On both knees. So I get home and check it out a little closer. There are pieces of black mat in there. And hair. EWWWWWWWWWWWWW. Out comes hydrogen peroxide into the wound. First pour - not so bad. I guess it took just a few seconds for the pain to reach my brain - I blacked out a little and saw stars and wavy lines. I mean, holy hannah - it was rough. Its still rough several days later. And painful doing nothing. And hard to explain to dirty minded party goers when you are wearing a skirt. But I digress... So the moral is, set up and forethought are important aspects of crossfit - don't you think? Example: lifting - a strong set up can make the difference between success vs. failed attempt. Same thing with what Dunsey says about thinking about how long it might take you - set it up in your head. Mentally prepare. Also, I must do real push ups now.

Finally, good people of bullcitycrossfitters, I leave you with a tale of the jackass. Now most people at crossfit durham are wonderful, kind, supportive badassess. They support you on your OWN journey to being a badass. But occasionally, you come across an ass who thinks his journey is more important or more badass. I do substitutions, I scale and I am totally OK with that. I want to ask the jackass who makes snide remarks and jokes about those that scale - did you walk before you crawled? Well if you did, then you are just a real badass and I will eat my words. But if not, get over yourself and support your fellow badasses wherever they may be on their journey. We'd really rather you be a BADass than a JACKass.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Box Jumps

I just recently moved to the big girl box. I was still nervous today about incorporating them into a WOD that was not a chipper. I did them in a WOD last week but I was able to knock them all out at the start of the WOD when I was still fresh. Today was 3 rounds of 5 min each AMRAP of 3 cleans, 6 burpees (I hate burpees), and 9 box jumps. The thing that I feared the most, missing the box, happened 3 times. Guess what. I did not die. I didn't even get hurt. I do think if it had happened on the open box it would have been worse.... So, I will stick to the solid box. It is nice when you do something you are scared of and then it isn't bad.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Crossfit Goals

I read through the Level I and II Crossfit fitness goals. I can do all of 1 except for the pull-ups. Very annoying! I am also capable of doing a lot of the Level II things, but not all. I can not run a 7 minute mile. I was very proud of my recent jump to 8:40. For a long time I was stuck at 9:30. This 7 minute mark has kind of bummed me out.

These are the 10 general skills:
1. Cardiovascular/respiratory endurance - The ability of body systems to gather, process, and deliver oxygen.
2. Stamina - The ability of body systems to process, deliver, store, and utilize energy.
3. Strength - The ability of a muscular unit, or combination of muscular units,
to apply force.
4. Flexibility - the ability to maximize the range of motion at a given joint.
5. Power - The ability of a muscular unit, or combination of muscular units, to apply maximum force in minimum.
6. Speed- The ability to minimize the time cycle of a repeated movement.
7. Coordination - The ability to combine several distinct movement patterns into a singular distinct movement.
8. Agility - The ability to minimize transition time from one movement pattern to another.
9. Balance - The ability to control the placement of the bodies center of gravity in relation to its support base.
10. Accuracy - The ability to control movement in a given direction or at a given intensity.

Lets see where I fall shall we...

1. Endurance - Hmmm, I ran a marathon in January, so I will give myself a check on this one but I still need to work on it.
2. Stamina- I really do not understand the difference between this and Endurance. On Friday we did 325 squats, I did not get out of breath but around squat 270, I fell on my ass because I hit muscle failure. I got up and was able to go again but my left quad did ask me what the hell I thought I was doing. I told it to shut up and got up and continued squatting.
3. Strength- No (note to self: hang out with Mandy more, maybe her awesomeness will rub off)
4. Flexibility- Check, I can touch my toes and do a back-bend among other flexible stuff.
5. Power - Again, not sure I understand the difference between this and strength. Solution must be to hang out with Mandy more.
6. Speed- Sort of but needs work, Half check
7. Coordination- Massive fail. Should watch Daniel to hone this skill
8. Agility- Fail. Again, study Daniel.
9. Balance- I am okay at this, half check
10. Accuracy- Fail

4 out of 10.... This badass thing is going to take a lot of work.

Dori and Bea Inspired

After Dori posted the link to T Storm's page I read every post on her blog. She is f@#%ing hilarious. Dori has convinced me to enter the Carolina Fitness Challenge in December. The conversation went like this.....

Dori: "Are you competing in December to be the strongest person in North Carolina?"
Bea: "I have no chance of winning."
(Dunsmore walks by)
Bea: "She is the fittest person in North Carolina" (I point at Sarah)
Dori: (looking somewhat disappointed by me) "So, you should try anyway!"
Sarah: "You totally should."
Dori: "We can train together"

Needless to say, I am training for the fitness challenge. This is partly because I do not want to disappoint Dori and partly because Dunsmore told me to. Jack is suppose to be telling me what to do,which in itself is intimidating. Anyone that does not know Dori's husband, Jack does not understand the crazy shit he come up with. So, Monday begins Dori's and my quest to be a badass.

I even made bracelets for us.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

TStorm Becomes a Badass

So this is a blog by Thera Storm at CrossFit Coastal. She's pretty funny and she blogs about her quest to become a badass. I, too, would like to be a badass, but she's totally gotta an advantage with a name like TStorm. DWiggen is so not a badass name.

Saturday, October 3, 2009


I do not know why jumping on a box is scary at all, but it is. Images of bruised shins seem to float through the head right before you make the leap. This past week was the week of PR jumps. It ranged from people finally getting the nerve to jump on the 12 inch box to Jack's 53.5 inch jump. (I stole this picture from Lindsay's Facebook page, thank you Lindsay.)I went from jumping only on the 12 inch box to the black one with 3 plates on top making it 25 inches. If I did not see Daniel and Ollie jump on something that was around the height of the picture above I would not believe it. It truly was impressive. The thing that I found the most interesting is how much more one is capable of then one thinks. It just takes that first Lemming to get the entire heard motivated. Thank you Jack for being that first Lemming.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Fight Gone Bad

Yesterday was the Fight Gone Bad Fund Raiser. Sadly I had a wedding, so I was not able to participate in the festivities. I did however, do it today. I would not say I kicked its butt. I did do it Rx for the first time (it was only my second go at this evil work out). I wanted to get the same score as my first attempt just with more weight and a higher box. I did not reach that goal but I was close. I did reach my fund raising goal. Thank you to all of those who helped out. The big news is that I actually jumped on to the 24 inch box today. Next jumping goal... the pull-up bar. Oh, and Happy Birthday Ollie!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Marinated Pork Chops with Asparagus and Peaches

2 pork chops (3oz chop for 3 blocks and 4oz. chop for 4 blocks). Chops should be about 1.25 inches thick.
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar or beer
1 tbsp. brown sugar
1/2 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 clove garlic, minced

Trim fat from meat. Place chops in a plastic bag set in a shallow dish. For marinade, combine beer or apple cider, brown sugar, worcestershire, chili powder and garlic. Pour marinade over chops and close bag. Marinate in refrigerator for 6-24 hours, turning occasionally. (You don't have to marinate it that long, I didn't and it was still good, but it would probably be better if it had time to marinate).

Place chops in saute pan with marinade. Brown on each side. Then cover and cook 4-5 minutes until cooked all the way through.

Lightly steam asparagus so still crisp.
Place steamed asparagus in saute pan and pour some marinade from above over the asparagus.
Slice a peach and add to the asparagus.
Saute for a few minutes to allow flavors to meld.

12 asparagus spears equals one block of carbs. 1/2 the peach equals one block.

You will need to add fat to this meal.

Italian Cauliflower Tort with Turkey Bacon

1 cup egg substitute
6 whole eggs
4 oz. parmesan cheese
2 heads cauliflower
1 cup corn
4 tsp. dill
2 tsp. parsley
salt and pepper
4 slices turkey bacon (each slice is 6 grams can find this at Whole Foods. Most turkey bacon only has 2 grams protein, but most of the ones at Whole Foods seem to have more).

Preheat oven to 350.
Cook bacon and set aside.
Cut cauliflower into small florets and steam until tender. Pour cauliflower into glass casserole dish.
Beat the eggs in a small bowl and mix in all remaining ingredients.
Crumble turkey bacon and add to egg mixture.
Pour egg mixture over cauliflower and bake for about 30 minutes.

Makes 10 servings. Each serving is 2 blocks protein, 2 blocks fat and 1 block carb.

Lean Eggs and Ham

Try this delicious breakfast recipe for a change from the usual eggs and bacon. Serves 4. Each serving is 3 blocks protein, 1 block fat and 1/2 block carb.

2 whole eggs
6 egg whites
1/2 cup 1% milk
1/3 cup chopped chives
8 slices deli ham (8oz)
1/2 cup shredded low-fat cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 350. In a bowl, scramble eggs, egg whites, and milk. Add chives and stir to combine.

Spray muffin tins with cooking spray. Line each one with a piece of ham and then divide egg mixture evenly among the cups (you should have 8 muffin cups total). Place in oven 15-20 minutes

Top with cheese and cook for 5 more minutes.

Makes four servings, each serving is equal to two "muffins."

Wednesday, September 16, 2009


This is a second attempt at this blog post. My last attempt seemed to really upset some people. This blog was not created to cause strife. So, this is my do-over. Monday night was the affiliate training. After the WOD we joked that about Sarah's amazing lack of photo coverage. For those of you unfamiliar with the awesome Dunsey, she won 2 events and came in second in 1 event. There are lots of references to her but little to no actual photos. I told her that could be easily rectified; she just needed to dye her hair blond and get a boob job. Presto, a media darling. We said this jokingly but unfortunately it is true.

One of the things I love about Crossfit Durham, is the atmosphere. The emphasis is on the work out, not what you look like. This is suppose to be the over all focus of Crossfit. Hell, there are even t-shirts devoted to it. My favorite is "Dude! Are you watching yourself curl?"

I am not alone in this feeling. A friend of mine said today: "One of the main reasons I picked Crossfit was because it seemed like a gym were males and females could just "work out" without the superficialness of some larger gyms, where people are just there to "pose" if you will...and the fact that if you go to other gyms and lift heavy weights as a female you get very strange looks."

I do understand the pride that goes along with making your body look and feel better. If you have made yourself a brick house and want to flaunt it, by all means, flaunt it. My issue is not with the appreciation for the amazing bodies that some women and men have worked amazingly hard to get. My problem lies in the lack of appreciation for people who work just as hard but do not have the magazine cover image. There is a great NY Times article that demonstrates that amazing things come in all sorts of packages.

As for the Crossfit games next year.... I plan on rectifying the lack of Dunsey coverage by going out there and taking a ton of photos of her myself.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

I love Melinda

Tonight I eavesdropped on a conversation between Jack and Greg. I was not doing this intentionally, but they started chatting right next to where I happened to die after tonight's WOD. The gist of it was this: It is easy to forget how badass you are. We spend a great deal of time around fellow badasses. Being around these amazing people makes us forget that we too have come a long way. My mom would refer to this as the top 1% effect. My mother is usually talking about academia but it is basically the same thing. When you spend all of your time with the Ivy League crowd, you forget that you are indeed intelligent too. You tend to compare yourself to those around you and not the general public.

I fall prey to this in Crossfit too. It is ridiculously apparent when I am doing the affiliate training. I think to myself, I suck. I was so much slower than everyone else. Of course everyone else includes Mitchell, Sarah, and Ollie. Greg pointed this out tonight. He reminded Jack and me that if you were to pull the average Joe off of the street, you would kick his ass (I am paraphrasing).

One of the most kick-ass people that I know at Crossfit is Melinda. She has stuck with it through pain and all. She has just figured out other ways to complete the WODs. Mostly she rows instead of running (which I think is much worse). The point is she has not given up. I know this about her but just like I think I suck compared to Mitchell, she thinks it too. The funny thing is that I can see it in her and completely miss it in me.

So, good people of Crossfit, try to remember you are awesome.

Sunday, September 13, 2009


Today involved a great deal of running. I don't mind running but I am not a big fan of doubling back. Instead of running the 400 twice to make an 800, I decided to run around the block that loops behind the building. I thought that it would be close enough to 800. It also had the added bonus of more shade. I looked up a few of loops on Google maps when I got home. This is what I came up with:

The green line is 1032 meters, or just a bit over 1 k (32 meters).
The red line (my sub for 800 meters today) is 973 meters.
The blue line is 1.04 miles.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Uber Crossfit

Friday I started the affiliate training. I was not going to do it originally because, honestly I do not think I would have a shot in hell at making it to the games. Jack and Dori convinced me to go anyway.
First of all, the "warm-up" is a WOD in itself. We did: 20, 15, 10 super wall balls (the have to go up higher than the top mark) and double unders. I am HORRIBLE at jumping rope, so I did 3 regular hops for every double under. I would like to believe that if I bought a Buddy Lee jump rope that his wonderful jump roping skills would some how pass through the jump rope into me; but I know that is not going to happen.... sadly.
I digress, the first WOD was: 3 rounds for time of 10 back squats, 10 jumping squat things, and 10 pull-ups. I went with only 85lbs on the back squats because my butt still hurts from the 150 lunges we did the other day. The jumping squat things consisted of performing a squat and then a leap into the air from said squat. These jumping things are the worst things on the planet. No one should leap into the air from a squat. Whoever thought of those should be shot. If I had a world of my own I would outlaw those. You sir, that is a lovely air squat you are performing, now come out of it appropriately and do not even think of performing any frog like motion. I used the blue band on my pull-ups and attempted to kip. Thank you Landy for your help the other day. I truly believe I will have it some time soon.... I did this WOD in 5 something.
The second (or third if you count the "warm-up") WOD was: 5 rounds for time of Row 250, dead lift your body weight plus half (this is absurd and I think only Mitchell is capable of such silliness... and Mandy, but Mandy has been bitten by a radioactive spider or something so she does not count). Finally, you finish it up with burpee box jumps. I had to modify a few things but I finished in 15:49.
I know I sound negative in this blog, but I love it. I have never been athletic. I was on the swim team and track team in high school but I was always last and really sucked at it. The other night I did several WODs with some of the best people at Crossfit Durham and did not absolutely suck. In fact I was downright okay. You might be rolling your eyes and saying, "Bea you need to stop beating yourself up." But the truth is, I'm not. I am really proud of myself. Sure, I was wiped out afterward, but so was everyone. I am in better shape now than I have ever been. I am stronger and healthier. I use to be thinner but I was kind of weak.
I am well aware that Crossfit is not for everyone. It is hard, you will hurt afterward, and you may even think very bad thoughts about whoever came up with those squat leaping things. I on the other hand love it and the people I do it with. It has made me stronger, happier, and honestly, a little proud of myself.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

my first blog post is a doozy

Are any of you other ladies not sure what to make of this flap about oral contraceptives reducing gains in lean muscle? While the initial study came out sometime in mid-April, links to articles about it continue to crop up (I’ve seen it a lot recently, in places other than just and I’ve always struggled a bit to figure out the take home message. There is something about the whole business and the implications that some article authors are trying to make that really bugs me, so here comes a mini-rant complete with some dorking out. You’ve been warned.

The general gist of the study is as follows: Researchers took a small sample of “relatively healthy” 18-31 year old women and looked at how oral contraceptive users (OC) and non oral contraceptive users (non-OC) compared when exposed to a “whole body resistance program” (I’m thinking Nautilus machines here). After 10 weeks, OC users saw statistically significant smaller gains in lean muscle mass in comparison to non-OC users but overall strength gains weren’t significantly different.

There is something about the massive proliferation of these findings that is bugging me, though, and it is partly that I can’t find the full study online and there are some general research issues that aren’t addressed (I’ll list the 2 main ones for the sake of brevity):

  1. Sample selection (my impression is that the sample was NOT random assignment, e.g., “you go on OC, you do not go on OC” and that instead they found current users and non-users to test) – oral contraceptives are not for everyone. Many women try OC and find that, no matter the formulation, the hormones in OC and their bodies are just not friendly, so they switch to a different method of birth control. If there are underlying physiological differences that influence the decision to use a certain form of birth control, these might also influence how the body responds to exercise.

  2. Were they all on oral contraceptives with the same hormone composition? Again, something I haven’t seen anything about. Triphasic versus monophasic, the type of hormones in the pill – all of these could affect the outcomes.

Where I really start to get irked, however, is the generally implicit, but at times explicit*, message that women who are interested in improving their fitness performance might consider switching birth control methods…because nothing helps you meet your fitness goals like an unintended pregnancy. While this might ultimately be something to think about for women who are pursuing sport as a career, it's extreme for those of us who just want to improve our levels of fitness in general. When I think of “fitness” it is more than just “how big are my muscles?” – it is a general quality of life issue, and I know a lot of women who would take a little less muscle mass for the overall improvement in quality of life that they get from oral contraceptives (hormonal control that reduces mood swings, acne, pain, etc.).

From a Crossfit perspective in which strength is more important than body composition—we aren’t trying to win physique contests (or at least I’m not) but we ARE trying to lift heavy things—this suggests that maybe oral contraception doesn’t have a huge influence on overall performance, or at least not the type of performance we are measuring. And even if it does hinder performance slightly, those of us on OCs can at least take solace in research that finds that oral contraceptives significantly reduce exercise-induced delayed onset muscle soreness (aka DOMS).

* The best part of the summary that noted “…young women who are trying to build muscle mass may want to choose another form of contraception” was the accompanying photo:

Weightlifting: you're doing it wrong.

Friday, August 28, 2009

squishy makes you stronger

According to the Mayo clinic if you perform one legged squats (aka pistols) on a squishy surface, like a pillow, you will work up to 13 % harder.

The Overhead Squat Test

The Overhead Squat Test
When your body is in perfect balance, it stays aligned when you squat. But your workout, job, and poor posture can all cause you to develop weak or tight spots that restrict movement. To identify those areas and fix them quickly, take this test every 4 weeks.

How to Do It
Stand facing a full-length mirror with your feet shoulder-width apart and pointed straight ahead, and your arms raised overhead. Squat three times. Don't overthink this: Simply bend at the hips and knees to lower your body straight down. Hold the pose at the lowest point in your third squat and take note of your body position at the checkpoints highlighted on the next page. Repeat the test with your profile to the mirror.

If your arms move forward...then your chest and latissimus dorsi muscles are tight, which often leads to ailments of the neck and shoulders.

Fix yourself: Lie on the floor with a foam roll under your lats. Glide your body up and down, pausing at tender points for 30 seconds. Repeat for your chest. Stretch your lats and chest, and add the squat to row to your workout.

Cable Squat to Row

Stand at a low-row cable station, holding the handles with your palms facing each other. Take a few steps back. With your arms straight, squat down. Stand up as you pull the handles to the bottom of your rib cage. Do 10 repetitions.

If your knees move out...then your hips and lower back must compensate for that imbalance, which means they'll fatigue faster and may even strain during explosive sports movements.

Fix yourself: Use a foam roll behind your hips, pausing at tender points, and stretch your hips and hamstrings. Add the cable soccer kick to your workout.

Cable Soccer Kick

Attach a foot strap to the low-pulley cable of a cable station and stand with your right hip to the weight stack and the strap wrapped around your right ankle. Keeping your leg straight, sweep it across the front of your body as far as you can while rotating your foot inward, and then return to the starting position. Do 12 reps with each leg.

If your knees cave in...then your outer thighs are weak and your risk of injury to an ACL (knee ligament) may triple, say researchers at the Cincinnati Sports Medicine Research and Education Foundation.

Fix yourself: Roll your inner and outer thighs over a foam roll. Stretch your inner thighs and add the lateral tube walk to your workout.

Lateral Tube Walk

Loop resistance tubing around your ankles and slide it up your legs until it's above your knees. Stand with your knees slightly bent and your hands on your hips. Keeping your abs tight, sidestep 12 to 15 times to your right and then 12 to 15 times back to your left.

If your upper body leans far forward...then your calves are tight. This may seem odd, but consider: Tight calves impede your ankles from bending, so your torso shifts forward in an attempt to maintain your base of support as you squat. But this throws off your center of gravity, making it harder for you to produce power during any activity.

Fix yourself: Glide your calves over a foam roll. Stretch your calves and hip flexors, and perform the Swiss-ball cobra.

Swiss-Ball Cobra
Lie facedown on a Swiss ball with your abs drawn in and your arms hanging down, holding light dumbbells. Raise your arms up and back until they're in line with your body, and pull your shoulder blades down and together. Return to the starting position and repeat for a set of 10 repetitions.

If your lower back arches excessively...then the fronts of your hips (your hip flexors) are tight and your abs are weak. Tight hip flexors shorten your stride, making you a slower, less efficient runner.

Fix yourself: Use a foam roll on your hip flexors and outer thighs. Stretch your hip flexors and shore up your core with the plank.

Assume a modified pushup position, with your forearms resting on the floor. Your elbows should be under your shoulders and bent 90 degrees. Keep your body straight and rigid for 10 seconds, rest for 20 to 30 seconds, and then repeat for a set of 10.

If your feet turn out...then your outer calves are tight. This reduces your ability to produce force when you're running and jumping.

Fix yourself
Lie with the outside of your calf on a foam roll and glide up and down, pausing at any tender points for 30 seconds. Stretch your calves twice a day, and add this twist on the standard calf raise to your workout.

Calf Raise with Inversion

Hold a dumbbell in your right hand and stand on your right foot with your toes angled slightly inward. Rest the instep of your left foot across the back of your right ankle. Rise on your toes as high as you can, then descend. Do 12 reps and repeat with the other leg.

Monday, August 24, 2009


Today is Monday. Monday usually means a two WOD day. I go to the regular WOD at 6 which is followed by the endurance WOD at 7. Today, however was different. Dave decided to make today a two for the price of one WOD. This ment I did 3 WODs today. I was not alone in this crazy endeavor. I had 6 other friends that did the same. I would love to say today was a special and that I am normally just fine after a work out; that making dinner is no big deal. Honestly, I always hate making dinner after a work out. This is easy to throw together and healthy to boot.
It is mixed greens with poppy seed dressing, rotisserie chicken, sliced peaches, and feta. When you are not being paleo, you should give it a shot.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Calcium: The "Miracle" Mineral

This is an article by Annette Kornblum. I found it on the Discovery website :

For years, women have been told to bone up on calcium to prevent osteoporosis, a gradual thinning of the bones, but now this so-called miracle mineral is also being touted for its potential to promote weight loss, relieve depression and anxiety associated with premenstrual syndrome, control high blood pressure, and ward off strokes.

As new evidence points to the elevated role of calcium in preventing disease, it makes sense to get enough of this vital nutrient each day, especially as mid-life approaches. Experts say there is literally no body system that doesn't benefit from a healthy dose. Here's how it stacks up:

Calcium and Weight Loss:
When Dr. Robert Heaney, a calcium expert at Creighton University in Omaha, recently examined the health records of 575 women, he was astonished at the results. "We were looking at mid-life weight gain and found that women with the highest calcium intakes didn't gain weight and those with the lowest did," Dr. Heaney said.

Similarly, at the University of Tennessee, Michael Zemel, Ph.D., reported that because calcium plays a key role in metabolic disorders linked to obesity and insulin resistance, a diet low in calcium literally stockpiles fat cells while higher calcium diets depletes them. Dr. Zemel discovered that a high calcium diet released a hormone which sends signals that are read by the body's fat cells to lose weight.

A two-year Purdue University study in West Lafayette, Ind. that involved 54 women ages 18 to 31, found that women with a daily intake of at least 780 milligrams of calcium showed no increase in body fat or lost body fat mass during a two-year period. Women who averaged less than 780 milligrams of calcium gained weight during the same period.

Both exercisers and couch potatoes seemed to benefit unless they consumed more than 1,900 calories daily. All researchers said that dining on calcium-rich dairy products such as milk, cheese and yogurt achieved greater weight loss than leafy green vegetables, nuts, beans and supplements.

Calcium and Premenstrual Syndrome:
Susan Thys-Jacobs, an endocrinologist at St. Luke-Roosevelt Hospital's, has found that calcium supplementation can relieve the physical and emotional toll of PMS by almost 50%. At least half of the 497 women she studied who took 1,200 mg. of calcium supplements experienced fewer mood swings, depression/sadness, anxiety/nervousness; breast tenderness, bloating and other aches and pains. The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Human Nutrition Research Center in Grand Forks, N.D. reported similar results after studying 10 women with PMS who spent half the study period on a daily diet containing 600 mg. of calcium, the other half upped to1300 mg. Women on the high calcium diet were less irritable, weepy, and depressed and averted backaches, cramping, and bloating.

Calcium and Blood Pressure:
In some people, an increase in calcium consumption can help control blood pressure without anti-hypertensive medication. A 13-year study by James Dwyer at the University of Southern California School of Medicine found that consuming 1300 milligrams of calcium a day reduced hypertension risk by 12 percent compared to only 300 mg. a day, while subjects under age 40 reduced their risk by up to 25 percent. Dr. Lawrence Resnick, a professor of medicine at Cornell University Medical Center Hypertension Center, emphasizes that the benefits are most pronounced in hypertensives who are salt-sensitive, such as African Americans.

Calcium and Cholesterol:
Dr. Margo Denke, associate professor of internal medicine at the Center for Human Nutrition at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas found that a high-calcium regimen reduced levels of total cholesterol by six percent and slashed "bad" LDL cholesterol by 11 percent. So-called "good" HDL cholesterol levels remained unchanged.

Calcium and Stroke Prevention:
A 1999 Harvard study reported that calcium supplementation protects against stroke in middle-aged women. In the ongoing Nurses' Health Study, 85,764 women, ages 35 to 59, reported that the mineral was tied to a 32% lower risk of stroke among those with the highest intake of the mineral. Women taking at least 400 mg of calcium supplements had a 12% lower risk of ischemic stroke (the type caused by plaque buildup in blood vessel walls). Dietary calcium, especially in dairy foods, reportedly reduced stroke risk, as did potassium.

Calcium and Osteoporosis:
Osteoporosis strikes more than seven million Americans, mostly women, with another 17 million at serious risk of developing fragile bones that easily collapse, a crippling curving of the spine, and hip fractures. Research shows that boosting calcium intake can halt bone loss, especially when combined with vitamin D, which enhances its absorption.

Calcium and Colon Cancer:
Calcium may protect against growths that become malignant in those prone to colorectal cancer. Dr. Martin Lipkin, a professor of medicine at Cornell University, who first discovered the link between calcium and colorectal cancer, stresses that both calcium-rich foods and calcium supplements will produce the same beneficial effects.

Calcium and Pregnancy:
According to Barbara Levine, director of the human nutrition program at the Rockefeller University, calcium supplements can help ensure the health of the fetus and improve bone mass of the mother. In a study of hypertensive women, Levine found that adequate calcium levels and Vitamin D improved pregnancy outcomes.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Paleo Recipes

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

So is it the kool aid?

So I humored you all and went to see the ortho about this hip. Xray was good. MRI was good. No cancer. No stress fracture. Maybe a labral tear.

Thats good news Melinda. Why yes, yes it is. But I still hurt. But that is not the point of this post. PT will take care of that perhaps.

The point of this post is to ask other crossfitters their opinion about people who dismiss the power of crossfit and its effectiveness over other training methods for people of all shapes and sizes - young and old.

My ortho basically said fat people shouldn't run. That maybe crossfit was not the right program for me. And have I tried the elliptical? Stationary bike? Swimming? Why don't I do spinning? He basically also said that old people should not run. And that what is good for the military may not be good for people over 21.

So I am sitting there fuming because after losing 85 pounds I'm still seen as fat and unable to train like an athlete. But again, that is not the point of this post.

I told him I would keep crossfitting thank you very much. And I will sub rowing.

I mean, this fat old crossfitter is doing just fine after 7 months. In fact, I'd venture to say this fat old girl might be more fit than skinny joann-blow from down the street who uses the elliptical to train.

And P.S. 35 is so not old!!!!

So is it the cfit kool aid that makes us think cfit is so wonderful? Or is it really wonderful? What do you say other than go google crossfit (which I totally did - told him it would help him with his triathlon training)?

Good Paleo/Zone Blog

Tuesday, August 18, 2009


A few weeks ago Rich fell victim to this. I maybe incorrect in assuming this, but I think we (Crossfitters) are especially susceptible to this. I say this because most of you seem to have the same attitude that I do. I personally am hard headed and driven. If I take a day or two off I feel like a slacker. Then heaven forbid someone tells me I can not do something, I will work harder to prove that person wrong. (Telling me to scale back Dave, will just make me more detemined and a little annoyed) All though I think this is a good quality, and can lead to injury.

After my marathon, it took me all of 24 hours to decide I was going to do it again. I was and still am determined to get a better time. You are suppose to take a month off of running after, I didn't. The result of my hard headed nature... stress fractures.

So, what are the signs of overtraining? They are:
  • Insomnia
  • Achiness or pain in the muscles and/or joints
  • Fatigue
  • Headaches
  • Elevated morning pulse
  • Sudden inability to complete workouts
  • Feeling unmotivated and lacking energy
  • Increased susceptibility to colds, sore throats and other illnesses
  • Loss in appetite
  • Decrease in performance
Rich had 7 of these. The final symptom being the increse susceptability to illness. I do not think I got sick because I was overtraining. I think I got sick because I live with him. I do have to say though, after taking a week off for a cold; I am better at pull-ups. I would not recomend it though. Yesterdays WODs were anything but easy.

The solution is simple... rest. You can check to see if you are overtraining by monatoring your heartrate. Take your pulse upon wakening before getting out of bed for several days to establish a baseline. Have a easy or short workout if your morning heart rate is greater than 5% of your baseline. Take the day off of training if your morning heart rate is greater than 10% above baseline.

Friday, August 14, 2009

frozen okra is on POINT.

Paleo/Zone Dinner:
1 c. cooked okra (seasoned to taste)
1/2 c. grapes
1/2 c. mashed butternut squash
3 oz. roasted chicken

awesome dinner! i've never made okra before...and i was surprised by how tasty it was. I just seasoned it with a tiny bit of olive oil, sea salt, pepper, garlic, and some random other spices and tossed it in the oven at 425 for 12 minutes (i shook the pan a couple times just to move it around). its awesome! and easy! and cheap!

yaaaaa day 5 of paleo/zone!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Barry Sears Speaks at CrossFit Seminar

Why I have issues with the Paleo hype

When ever any of my friends or family get excited about a subject, I want to learn as much as I can about it. So, let the research of Paleo begin.
First of all though, I will tell you the way I eat (most of the time). I do not eat Zone or Paleo. The approach I started to follow for the last few months is that laid out in the book "In Defense of Food". It is a simple set of rules to follow. Those rules are: Eat food, mostly green, not too much. What Pollan (the author) means by "eat food" is that we eat a lot of "food like substances," not real food. We as Americans consume things that are no longer the products of nature but the products of food science.

This philosophy is not too far from the Zone diet. It just isn't measured out. Paleo also follows the rule of eating natural, which is good. I credit this way of eating with my increased energy and my lack of tummy issues. If I had not greatly reduced my grain intake I would have never figured out that I have an intolerance to barley. I definitely needed to up my protein intake. I would go days with out eating any meat at all. I could eat nothing but side items and be happy. Hell, I could live off of mashed potatoes and soft rolls and be content. I would be sickly and would eventually die of scurvy but it would be a happy death.

So, why don't I buy the Paleo diet? First of all, I ave issues with anything that claims to solve all of our ailments in a single bound. web site claims that it can help:
Arthritis and Joint Pain
Autoimmune Diseases
Cholesterol and Blood Chemistry
Fitness and Athletic Performance
Headaches and Migraines
Inflammation, Arthritis, and Joints
Intestinal Disease and IBS
Menstrual Cramps
Multiple Sclerosis
Prader-Willi Syndros

Then there is the contradiction with its claim that we need to eat more meat and to stay away from grain (like rice) entirely to be healthy and all of Asia. The Asian approach is to use meat more as a garnish then the main event. In fact the Japanese have often been sited as having the healthiest diets on earth. Japan’s population has the lowest level of obesity in the developed world and people tend to live longer than any other country.

Then there is the latest study to come out in the Archives of Internal Medicine. They found that "the consumption of red and processed meat is associated with a modest increase in overall mortality, as well as cancer and cardiovascular mortality in both men and women," says study researcher Rashmi Sinha, PhD, a senior investigator at the National Cancer Institute. These were not people who ate all red meat. These were average American ages 50 to 70. The study advises an average daily limit of about 19 grams (0.7 ounces) of red meat for women, or 25 grams (almost an ounce) for men. Why do I bring this up you ask, because they tend to dismiss vegetarians and vegans.

Most vegetarians, as Dori said, do it for moral reasons. I know that I do not eat cows, sheep, pigs, octopus, etc. for that reason. It is just an added perk that it appears to help my health.

So, what do I take away from my research? Just eat smart. You know what you should and should not eat and a box of Kraft macaroni and (pretend) cheese with a Big Mac isn't it.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Barry Sears is Paleo

Interesting article by Robb Wolf about the Zone and the Paleo diet. Robb Wolf kind of pisses me off sometimes because he can't seem to write an article without attacking vegans. I just don't get his beef with vegans since they're generally vegans for moral reasons not nutritional reasons, and as an ex-vegan who still feels guilty eating meat, I kind of take offense, BUT other than that his articles are pretty good.

Barry Sears IS Paleo!!

I receive a lot of email from folks asking a variety of questions. Two questions tend to about send me over the brink: “How many blocks should I eat?” and “should I eat Paleo or Zone?” Both questions are troubling for several reasons but it’s actually the later question that just slays me and, is in fact, the causative factor FOR question number 1. You see, Barry Sears, The Zone, everything the man and the diet represent, are steeped in evolutionary biology. That folks, (Level 1 Cert crew teaching nutrition…) is paleo. For some damn reason CrossFit HQ (or elements so of it) can not wrap their minds around the concept that the basic premise of the paleo diet, that nice bit of writing from World Class Fitness in 100 Words: “…Eat meat and vegetables, nuts and seeds. Some fruit, little starch, no sugar…” is in fact everything that Barry Sears talks about in the Zone! Sometime ago I received confused emails from people who attended a closed to the public gig in which the HQ lecturer, when asked “What about paleo?” responded “Paleo is pseudo science and the individuals who purport it’s methods are pseudo scientists…”

WOW! Better than half of my Crossfit Nutrition Certification is pseudo science! That’s a bummer. Strike one for CrossFit Nutritional offerings. Strike two was delivered this past weekend when Dr. Barry Sears gave a seminar to a large group of avid CrossFitters. Kelly Frankson attended the seminar and was kind enough to allow me to link to her notes. What we find is that Sears is practicing Pseudo Science just like other scientists like Cordain, Eaton, Eades and, well, me. Sears talked at length about genetics that are mismatched for our current environment, the need to return carbohydrate and essential fats BACK to Paleolithic levels. It’s a pretty serious situation if myself, Loren Cordain and Barry Sears are all practicing pseudo science! How long until Dean Ornish or John McDougal will lead the vegan charge for HQ. Those guys are definitely NOT paleo, so they must be of credible scientific pedigree…

Of Weights and Measures

There is a common bit of “wisdom” that is shot around the CrossFit world that goes something like this: “No one will ever reach elite athletic performance without weighing and measuring food…”. Interestingly however, few of the top finishers the CrossFit Games weighed and measured. Would they do better WITH weighing and measuring? Sure, I think you need to keep track of your chow at some point if you are going to affect some additional changes above what a food quality (paleo) approach will provide. But THAT is not the statement, nor the sentiment. Despite defying logic AND the actual stated nutritional hierarchy within Crossfit (don’t piss in your gas tank) the order of operations out of HQ is NOT food quality first (paleo), weighing and measuring second. It’s weigh and measure, whatever you have on hand and THAT will guarantee your ultimate success. It’s an interesting proposition that is proving itself to be completely false. Laura Demarco was an ardent Zoner (weighing and measuring) using VEGAN foods. She had ass-kicking performance but she did one simple thing (always nice in science) she shifted her food from grains to paleo carbs and her proteins all became animal based (paleo). You know what happened? She saw remarkable IMPROVEMENT in her performance. For her it mainly focused on strength (former 1RM DL was 275, current 5RM DL 285!!), but the results are stunning. The only change was a shift in food quality. I have dozens of stories like this. Apparently, food quality DOES matter.

Back to the Barry Sears seminar, Dr. Sears, the developer of the Zone…DOES NOT RECOMMEND WEIGHING AND MEASURING. HE RECOMMENDS FOOD QUALITY FIRST. He makes the point that WAM may be more trouble than it’s worth. For the vast majority of folks I work with that is absolutely the case. When we shifted AWAY from weighing and measuring in our clinical practice our clients got far better and more consistent results. Wacky things like reversing autoimmune disease, something that weighing and measuring beer, Pringles and beef jerky will not accomplish. Which reminds me, I’ve received quite a number of emails about the nutrition lecture at given Level 1 cert. The gist of the lecture is that a well-known athlete weighs and measures his beer, Pringles and beef jerky. He kicks ass (he is about 23…wait till 10 more years are on the odometer), so this is what you should do too. The best spin on this I can provide is this is a method of portion control. Being less diplomatic, I’d say people paid good money to attend that cert and the nutrition portion was a failure. We can and should do a hell of a lot better than that. As a Fitness company I cannot figure out why a general policy on eating is not “Eat the best food you possibly can, as often as you can. Slice it and dice it into the proportions that help you to reach YOUR goals”.

I’m NOT trying to make a paleo cult, I am encouraging people to TRY things and then report back what works. In the mean time I’ll be developing a t-shirt that says “Paleo Diet: Pseudo Science Since 5-million BC”.

breakfast/lunch: paleo/zone style

So...paleo/zone is pretty tasty in the morning.

2 eggs (fried up in 1 tsp olive oil)
1 slice turkey bacon
1 1/2 c. strawberries
3/4 c. blueberries

That is one bangin' 3 block breakfast.

ps- this applegate farm turkey bacon that I bought talks about using bacon as THAT is my kind of relaxation... :)

AND for lunch:

3 oz. baked chicken thigh
1 c. carrots
1 1/4 c. snow peas (or whatever they are called)
1 peach

3 block lunch-- easy.

With meals like this, I might just stick to this whole paleo-zone thing for the next 5 weeks. Happy eating!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

A few interesting findings

I found a few articles siting scientific studies that I thought were interesting.

Good news for Sarah; British researchers found that milk does a better job than water or sports drinks at rehydrating the body after exercise. This is because milk has more electrolytes and potassium. If you add chocolate, it gives the milk a perfect balance of carbohydrates, protein, and fat for speedy muscle recovery.

If you are having muscle soreness after a work out (and who isn't) you might want to drink some coffee. University of Georgia scientists revealed that consuming caffeine (equal to two cups of coffee) after exercise reduces muscle soreness more than pain relievers can. Caffeine blocks a chemical that activates pain receptors.

For all of you in the endurance class (myself included) might be interested to know that drinking cold water before and during exercise can help improve your endurance. The consumption of cold water may be the most direct way to reduce core body temperature, so it takes you longer to heat up and slow down. In a British study, cyclists who drank about 30 ounces of a chilled drink in the half hour before riding in a hot, humid environment, and smaller amounts as they rode, were able to bike 23 percent longer than riders who downed lukewarm liquids.

Although they might not be viewed as favorable carbs by the Zone people, these are two fruits that you will want to eat. Papaya and pineapple are loaded with bromelain and papain. These enzymes not only help break down proteins for digestion but also have anti-inflammatory properties to speed up your post-workout recovery.

Then finallly a study from Mandy's favorite place; Australian researchers found that cyclists who took fish oil for 8 weeks had lower heart rates and consumed less oxygen during intense bicycling than a control group did. The fatty acids in fish oil need to become incorporated into muscle and heart cells to have an effect, and that takes weeks of consumption. So, either take fish oil pills each day, or try to eat fish rich in fatty acids multiple times a week to see similar results.

Saturday, August 8, 2009


The founders of this blog were spending some quality time together today and Mandy said she was worried about her last post. I personally think she is being silly worrying about this, but just in case, let me clarify what she meant. She (or any of us really) by no means thinks it is bad or lame to scale your WOD. If you can not do a movement because you do not have the strength to do it or you are injured in some way, DO NOT DO IT. If you need to modify what the WOD is for your fitness level; do not be ashamed to do so. We all have to start out some where. Your fitness level will improve with work and time. I actually, just learned yesterday that in the past 4 months I have upped my bench press by quite a bit. Bea/Kiddo you say, but we don't do that at Crossfit. That is true and why I think it is so awesome. For a year and a half I worked on the bench press and never got above the bar. Four months at Crossfit and I have more than doubled the weight I can press and I have not done that lift once. In my mind this proves that the functional movement approach is far superior to isolation. The point of that tangent is: keep at it and you will improve. You will get stronger but you need to take the steps to get there. I started at jumping pull-ups and have moved through the bands. I still can not do kipping pull-ups yet; but I know they will come. Now that we have cleared that up, if you can do the movement and you take short cuts to improve your time, you are an ass.