In this video we sit down to discuss Marlo's story.
In terms of Marlo's body composition she has:
-Kept her muscle mass the same even with the weight loss.
-Lost 12.5% body fat
-Lost 5.5 inches off hips
-Lost 3.5 inches off waist
But she also gained so much more than that:
-She gained control over her food choices.
-She says she has a much better mood overall
-She says she now looks forward to activities with friends
-She needs to get a completely new wardrobe (in a good way!)
Marlo has been one of the most disciplined people I've ever worked with, and I'm so proud of her and her progress. Keep up the great work Marlo!
- Hey guys, Robby here from Crossfit South Bend, today I'm here with Marlo, who is just about to finish her six months of one-on-one nutrition coaching. So Marlo, thank you so much for being here today.
- Thank you.
- So, first thing we're gonna talk about is Marlo's progress. So we have her most recent InBody scan here. Marlo basically since her first scan, has lost about 35 pounds, which is crazy. It's amazing. Her muscle mass has basically stayed the same at 61 pounds. And then, she dropped 12.5% body fat. And in addition to that, she lost 5.5 inches off her waist and 3.5 inches off her hips. So, congratulations, Marlo
- Thank you
- Fantastic job. So, tell us a bit about what food and health and life was like before you started the program. What made you interested in this? What were you eating before this? Tell us what life was like during that time.
- During that time, prior to doing all of this, I spent a lot of time trying to eat healthy, but not having the correct information to be able to do that. So, I think I was doing a lot of the things that people think are healthy, but then when you really drill down into whatever the ingredients were, or how it was prepared and things, it's really not. So, a lot of yogurts in the mornings and things like that, and salads, but there was always the more frequent cheat days than not. And it was the 'Oh, well I had a really stressful day,' 'so it's okay for me to have a couple of cookies.' 'That won't hurt anything.' So, I think a lot of people fall into that. Where we're trying, but we don't have the knowledge base to really see the results that we want to have.
- Absolutely. So, tell us a little about the journey. You've been doing this for about five months at this point. Tell us about transitioning to real whole food, and then the whole 30. Tell us when your end's been like.
- Well, when I started the nutrition coaching, I think we did about, we started officially in June, so, it was a couple of months of me prepping myself, and prepping my kitchen, to be prepared to have the tools in place necessary to succeed. I cleaned out my kitchen probably way before I needed to, just because I knew I wouldn't be able to dive in just like eating what I was eating and then suddenly the very next day, not eating that stuff. So, it was a couple of months of prep work. And then I honestly had a serious talk with myself the night before I was officially going to start because I wanted to succeed. So, I made sure that I was ready to go. And so that talk with myself was about 'it's 30 days.' 'You can do this for 30 days.' But then the journey itself, it was tough at times. Different social occasions, a lot of families, mine is no different, with the rewards for food and family dinners, always having two or three desserts to choose from, and things like that. So, it was definitely an up-and-down sort of thing. In the beginning, lots of energy. I felt that initial rush of being able to, the positive results, and then when I started to see the results, and not just feel them, that kind of pushed my motivation to another level to continue.
- Absolutely. Yeah, just for context guys, Marlo voluntarily decided after doing her first Whole 30, to do a second month, which has just been like, that takes tremendous will power. And, it's been a huge boon in terms of how much progress you've made. So, we talked a lot about scale victories and percent body fat, and you've lost a ton of weight, and you said before we started filming that you needed to get a whole new wardrobe essentially.
- Yes I'm in the process of purchasing a whole new wardrobe.
- So, tell us a bit about the non-scale victories. You're mentioning the energy before, things like recovering from workouts, mood, cravings, tell us about other things that improved in your life.
- The biggest piece, for me, is my overall mood and affect. I, at time, have to push myself through bouts of depression. I am not one to take medication, so I don't take medication for that. And, over the course of the last several months, I have felt my overall mood, my stress level, and all the things that I would battle, to do certain things in my life, has gotten much easier. And that, I think is, for me, one of the most positive outcomes of this whole thing. Because I knew at times, I just didn't want to do things. And I would push through that, and I would do them, but I wouldn't necessarily enjoy them as much as I could. And now, it's like, I'm the one whose calling my friends, to be like 'Hey, let's go do something', or that sort of thing. And so I am overjoyed with that, that feeling.
- That's fantastic. That's awesome. So, one of the main points of our program is does someone feel like, after the program's done, they can do it long term? Do they feel like they can make this a sustainable thing? Having done this, how do feel this will be in terms of making this a life-long baseline that you can refer back to and make the foundation of your healthy eating?
- I feel much stronger since doing the second month. Coming off of the first 30 days, I felt confident and felt that I was much more educated than I had been. But I still felt like I was still battling a lot of the cravings and feeling weak at times, not as strong as I wanted to be coming out of the first 30 days. So that was my big push for doing the second 30 days. Now, I do feel much more confident that I will be able to sustain this for longer periods of time. I don't foresee myself ever not falling off the wagon when it comes to certain things, but I do feel much more confident being able to sustain and, if necessary, come back to it if I've fallen off the wagon too far. That I will be able to pull myself back, because just having that knowledge base now is so much, so key to the success.
- Awesome, that's fantastic. So, last question is, if you could talk to Marlo six months ago, or to someone who might be in your situation today, whose unsure whether they could eat this way, or has similar work obligations and things like that, what would you say to someone whose thinking about taking the plunge but isn't quite sure in hindsight?
- First I would be honest and say, 'it is a challenge'.
- Absolutely. But, two, it is not insurmountable. Having your assistance was super beneficial, being able to tap into your knowledge base and the questions that were asked, so I would just drill it down to, you can do it, do it, do it, do it. Avail yourself to the opportunity to improve your health, because, yes, it's a challenge, but in hindsight, it wasn't something that was so, it wasn't terrible. It was a challenge, but it was not terrible. And if folks are, I don't want to say, as lucky as me, but I felt like I was seeing results fairly quickly which helped keep that momentum going. So, do it! That's what I would say.
- Yeah, and I just have to say, from my end, as a coach, you've been one of the most disciplined people I've ever worked with. You've done a fantastic job of sticking with things for your goals. And I am super proud of the progress you've made. And I think you've done an excellent job.
- Thank you, thank you.
- Alright guys, that's Marlo's story. Thanks so much for tuning in. We'll see you next time.
Depending on when you read or watch the news meat will either kill you or it won't. Alcohol is both good for you and bad for you. And low carb is the best thing ever except when it lowers your life span.
Welcome to the wonderful world of nutritional studies, and the sensationalism that surrounds them.
It's no wonder people are confused about what to eat and what's good or bad with all the misinformation and sensationalism out there.
Here's what you need to know about nutritional studies. There are two main types of nutritional study: epidemiological and double-blind placebo controlled, and both have major limitations.
Epidemiological studies are generally conducted on thousands of people, over long periods of time, and involve food surveys. There are so many problems with this type of study it's comical. These studies do have some use, but it's very limited.
-First, this type of study can never prove that one thing causes another. It can only show that two things are correlated. For example, increased ice cream consumption and shark attacks are highly correlated, but one does not cause the other. The thing they have in common is the summer months. So, when a study says meat will kill you ask yourself if meat is causing the adverse outcomes or is it correlated with negative outcomes. There's a gigantic difference.
-These studies rely on people remembering what they ate anywhere from 6 months ago to the past 5 years. Do you remember what you ate a month ago? Exactly. These surveys are notoriously prone to error because of the difficulty of food recall.
-Healthy and unhealthy user basis. People who are healthy tend to say that why engage in more healthy activities on their survey, whether they do or not. Unhealthy people tend to say that they engage in more unhealthy activities, whether they do or not. This clouds the results.
Any time you see a study that says it involved more than a 1000 people that's generally a dead ringer for an epidemiological study, and the best that study can show is that two things are correlated not that they cause each other. Always be skeptical of the claims of these studies. Again, all they can show is that two things are correlated not that one caused the other.
The other type of study, namely the randomized-controlled double blind placebo study is the gold standard of research. However, it's really hard to do when it comes to food (as opposed to pills) because most people don't want live in a metabolic ward for 6 months and eat the same thing. These studies tend to have way fewer people like 50-200 and they're generally shorter because it takes a lot of money and time to run them. These studies can establish causation, but they're very hard to do in terms of recruiting people, funding them, and doing them over the proper length of time.
Does this mean we can't learn anything from nutritional studies? No. But we need to be crystal clear on what these things can show and what they can't show and we need to avoid falling for the sensationalistic media hype that blows the results of studies completely out of proportion.
So, the next time you hear that beef will kill you or eggs are the devil, please view those claims with the appropriate level of skepticism and see what the data is to back up those claims.
In this interview we sit down with Coach Carl. For those of you who don't know Carl here are a few facts about him.
-He is co-owner of CrossFit South Bend
-He is our head Strength and Conditioning Coach.
-He runs all our high school/college athlete programs
-He is a former Rugby athlete and current Rugby coach
-He is on staff with Power Athlete HQ (If you don't know what that is, check it out. It is one of the top Strength and Conditioning programs out there)
-(As of the time of this posting) He just got married to his wife Emily.
In this video Carl tells us:
-What eating was like for him growing up
-His personal evolution when it comes to healthy eating
-What he currently eats on a daily basis with concrete examples
-What he's learned from years of being a Rugby athlete and coach
-What his favorite off-plan foods are
-His favorite special occasions to eat off-plan food.
Should everyone have the same diet? Yes (and no)
This is actually going to be a two part series. In this video I'll make the case that there is a solid general foundational diet that everyone should be eating from a health perspective, namely real whole food.
In the second video I'll explain where there can be legitimate variation on this base foundational diet of real whole food.
What's the base foundational diet that everyone should be eating?
Real whole food. What's real whole food?
Quality protein, vegetables, healthy fats, fruits, nuts and seeds, herbs and spices.
Why should they be eating this way?
From a historical perspective, it's just an objective fact that while different cultures have eaten things at different places and times they all were eating 100% real whole food.
-They were all eating some animal protein
-They were all eating some plant material
-They were all eating some healthy fat
-Also, none of them were eating Cheetos, pizza, or soda.
Forget history for a second, let's just look at the nutrient contents of foods. From a nutritional perspective, it's just an objective fact, from a health perspective, that certain foods have more nutrients than others. If you compared all foods based on their content of things like Vitamin A, iron, zinc omega-3s,etc. the winners in every single category would be things like:
-Animal protein (especially organ meats, like liver, and seafood).
-Vegetables (not legumes, not grains, but vegetables)
-Not a single solitary Cheerio, Cheeto or Pepsi would even come close to making the list.
From a macronutrient perspective, it's just an objective fact, from a health perspective, that there are certain things that are true about humans. We're not pure carnivores like wolves, but we're also not pure herbivores like cows.
-We're omnivores and as such we need some protein, some veggies, and some healthy fat, not just only one of those three things.
So, while there are definitely a number of differences in what people ate across cultures and times there is 100% an objective fact of the matter about a foundational human diet for human beings that is based on real whole food, nutrient-dense foods, and a balance of protein, carbs and fat. In the next video we'll discuss where legitimate variation can come in.
Today we are going to talk about the following question, should everyone eat the same things? Should everyone have the same diet, or the same nutrition protocol?
This is actually going to be a two part video, in this video I'm actually going to argue that people should be eating roughly the same thing, from a health perspective. You'll see what I mean by that, it ends up being very broad. In the second video I'm going to argue that people actually should eat very differently.
So, you might be wondering am I just really contradicting myself? Well you'll see, hopefully, that I'm not contradicting myself. Rather, what I'm trying to argue for I that from a broad and general perspective there is an objective fact of the matter about what human beings should eat, and what nourishes us. That being said, from that basic objective foundation there's a tremendous amount of variation in which human beings can both survive, and thrive. That's what I'll talk about more in on the second video.
In this video let's talk about whether human beings should basically eat the same thing? Again, we're talking from a health perspective, no a religious perspective, or an ecological perspective, or financial perspective. Those are all interesting in different perspectives, but we're talking about from a health perspective.
Sometimes you'll hear the claim made, well you know these people in this culture they eat that. Those people in that culture they something entirely different, therefore there is no one universal human diet. Well to a certain extent that's certainly true. That's one of the ideas of variability that I'll talk about in the second video. But truth be told if you look at pretty much all traditional cultures, all of the blue zones on earth, these super longevity sites where people are people are living 100 plus years. If you look historically at hunter gathers, there is an objective fact of the matter about generally speaking what they're eating.
Generally speaking what they're eating is the thing we've been advocating for in all of our videos. Namely real whole food. Food that you could grow or hunt. Food that you can cook. Food that does not come in a bag, a box, a package, or a bar, or something like that. These traditional cultures were not eating highly processed seed oils. They were not eating Cheetos. They were not eating pizza. They were not eating cookies. Generally speaking, every single one of them has some kind of animal protein in there in some quantity. They have tons, and tons, and tons of vegetables. They have lots of fiber. They have traditional, and healthy fats.
Now you can run this all the way to different extremes, right? The Inuit have this super high protein, high fat diet from a sort of seal, and whale blubber. Then on the other side you have The Catawbas who have a super high carbohydrate diet of different starchy tubers, and things like that. But at the end of the day what they're all eating is real whole food. The macronutrients might differ, and the micronutrients might differ, but those things are the same. From, kind of, a historical perspective there is an objective fact of the matter that we are all eating real whole food.
Don't even worry about the historical perspective for a second, let's worry about micronutrients. There is an objective fact of the matter about what micronutrients humans need. We need certain micronutrients, like vitamins A, D, E, K, C, all the B vitamins. We need certain minerals, like potassium, magnesium, zinc, and iron. There's certain things that we can't synthesize that other animals can. Vitamin C for example, we can't synthesize that on our own, so we need to get it from the diet. We need certain omega 3 fats.
Again, when you look at that entire list, all the vitamins, all the minerals, the phytochemicals, the omega 3's, and you look at the top foods that have those things, guess what? It's all real whole food. It's meats, veggies, healthy fats, fruits, nuts and seeds, earthen spices. You're not going to see Pepsi at the top of that list. You're not going to see a candy bar at the top of that list. You're not going to see any of those types of things. You're not going to see canola oil at the top of the vitamin A list, or the manganese list, or even anywhere on the list. So, when it comes to micronutrients as well there is an objective fact of the matter about the fact that we, generally speaking, need real whole food for the purpose of health.
If you look at it from a macronutrients perspective ... Micronutrients are those vitamins, and minerals, and omega 3 fatty acid. If you look at it from a macronutrients perspective in terms of proteins, and carbohydrates, and fats there's a certain objective fact of the matter about our human biochemistry that necessitates eating a number of different things. Now of course there have been multiple different cultures that have survived on different balances of these things, but we all need some of these three different things. We are not obligated carnivores. Say like a wolf, or something like that, where they can utilize all that dietary protein for different needs in their boy. We're not pure herbivores either, like a cow. Where they have two stomachs, and can convert plant matter into all the necessary things they need.
We need some protein, and typically we need some of that protein, all though not all of it, to come from animal sources. To rebuild muscle tissue. For hormone production. For neurotransmitter production. For all sorts of different things. We need some carbohydrate, the brains preferred fuel is glucose. We need some of that for our body to function. We need some of that for high intensity activities. We can't store very much of it, but we need some of it for high intensity activities.
Then we 100% need healthy fats in there as well. The number one energy source for the vast majority of what you do on a daily basis comes from your fat in take. Actually you know, that's what your body should be using to fuel the vast majority of what you do. So, we need some proteins, some carbohydrates, and some healthy fats. We can not survive on carbs alone. We can not survive on protein alone. Fats really the one we could come closest to, but even that gets a little bit hairy.
So, both to survive and thrive, there is an objective fact of the matter about the fact that we need this real whole food as a baseline to survive. When people say that they're in different cultures, that they're eating different things, and therefore there's no one true human diet. Well to a certain extent that's true, but it depends on what you mean. When we're talking about the broad outlines of what everyone should be eating for health the answer is real whole food. Meats, fish, eggs, seafood, veggies, healthy fats, fruits, nuts and seeds, herbs and spices, things of that nature.
From a health perspective we do objectively need those things. But within that there can be a whole ton of variation. In the next video I'll talk about that variation. All right guys, thanks so much for turning in. See you next time.
Is there a healthy ketchup that tastes good? I think I might have finally found one: the new ketchup from Primal Kitchen.
Now, taste is subjective, but whether something has healthy ingredients or not is a matter of objective fact.
In the case of Primal Kitchen here are the ingredients:
Organic Tomato Concentrate, Organic Balsamic Vinegar, Less than 2% of Salt, Organic Onion Powder, Organic Garlic Powder, Organic Spices
There's not a single solitary bad ingredient in the product. Pretty much all ketchups, even natural ones, have some form of added sugar but this one does not.
Furthermore, compared to any other healthy ketchup I've ever tried this actually tastes pretty good. It's sweet and not too vinegar-y. Not sure how they pulled it off but this is a good tasting ketchup that is Whole30 approved, keto, Paleo, gf-free, sugar-free, and that I have no problem saying is healthy (not just less un-healthy).
So, if you're looking for a good tasting healthy ketchup this could be the one for you.
*** I have no financial connection with the Primal Kitchen. I just happen to like this product.
In this video we sit down with Jesús. Jesús did an amazing job with our one-on-one healthy eating program.
-He lost 26lbs in 3months
-He lost 6.5 inches off his waist
-He lost 2.5 inches off his hips
-He dropped 9% body fat in 3 months all while maintaining muscle mass which is hard to do.
He did all this while:
-While traveling 60-70% of the time
-While being involved in a job that involves taking people out for dinner and drinks A LOT
-While not really working out much at all
-Saying no to a $68 shot of Papi Bourbon while at one of his business dinners to stick with his goals
In terms of non-scale victories
-Just from changing his diet Jesus noticed that he was not sore at all when snowboarding whereas he used to be really sore.
-His skin also improved a lot. Used to have a lot of bumps on his biceps and triceps and now those are gone.
-Digestion was way better
Jesús we're so proud of your and all of your progress! Keep up the great work!
Is eating less always a good thing?
Put simply, no.
Because we live in a society of overweight people and excess processed food consumption, we tend to think the less you eat the better.
But, more often than not, I'll see people under-eating relative to what they need, and it's sabotaging their weight loss and health goals. Not only are they not getting enough micronutrients and calories, but what they are getting is harmful to them.
So what are the downsides of eating too little?
1. Not getting enough nutrients like Vitamin A, magnesium, and omega-3s. Nutrient deficiencies can lead to excess cravings.
2. It can lead to blood sugar crashes because you're not getting enough in the macronutrients to stabilize blood sugar.
3. Unhealthy psychological relationship where you view food as something that's to be avoided rather than nourishing
4. You won't be able to have enough energy to exercise or to recover properly from exercise.
5. Your body starts to go into starvation mode if you consume less than 20% of your calorie needs on a regular basis and not burn.
In general if you're a female eating less than 1500 calories a day and if you're a make eating less than 2000 calories a day you're probably eating too little.
How do you determine your calorie needs? Check out the following video.
Today we are going to talk about under eating.
You might be surprised to hear us talk about this. You might think, "Oh, well the scourge of the modern world is that people are overeating and under exercising." And obviously to a certain extent, that is certainly the case. Whereas food, quite a long time ago, used to be very scarce, and we weren't very sedentary, we'd need to go work for food, or go out and hunt for food. Now we're very sedentary. A lot of the time we don't exercise, and we tend to overeat.
But I will tell you what. I see very, very, very often when people come in to see me, when we actually calculate what they're supposed to be eating in terms of calorie needs, or protein needs, or carb needs, or fat needs, or all taken together, a lot of people are actually under eating. So it's this combination of them eating too much in the way of bad stuff, and not eating enough total. That's a horrible combination.
Now obviously, you wouldn't want it to be the case that they're eating too much of the bad stuff and whole lot of it. But at the same time, one of the things we will see over and over again is that people are under eating, and they're actually sabotaging their weight loss and health goals.
You might be wondering, "What's the problem with under eating? Isn't eating less good? Isn't that an unqualified good that everyone should be trying to do anyway?" Well, not necessarily. There's some things that don't admit of just going to the extreme. Working out is good. But that doesn't mean that working out seven days a week, three times a day is better, right? So there's a happy medium, there's kind of a balance point. Same thing with eating less. We don't want to gorge ourselves and be gluttons, but at the same time, we don't want to starve ourselves.
So what are some of the downsides of eating too little? Well, number one, when we go to food quality standard number one that we talk about all the time, not getting enough nutrition. Not getting enough nutrients. Vitamins A, D, E, K. Minerals like calcium, magnesium, potassium, zinc, iron, things like that. So you just become nutrient deficient, and because of that, your body craves more food, and you end up kind of binging and eating things that you shouldn't. So you're not getting adequate nutrients to support your body's function.
Blood sugar roller coaster. If you are taking in too little in the way of nutrition, your blood sugar's gonna be on this kinda roller coaster throughout the day, where your hormones like cortisol are gonna need to come in to balance things out. And this is gonna cause you being hangry, hungry plus angry, having your blood sugar dysregulated, having your stress hormone, cortisol, be dysregulated. That's not good either.
It's gonna lead to an unhealthy psychological relationship with food, where you tend to view it has harmful rather than nourishing. [inaudible 00:03:04] something to be avoided.
And when we talk about exercise and performance, you're just not gonna perform that well. And you're just generally gonna feel tired, and not have enough energy, won't be able to recover.
So under eating is not a good thing. People assume because overeating is bad that under eating must be okay, and it's not. So you need to determine what your caloric needs are. So I did an entire other video on that that you guys can check out, but let me just use an example here to indicate how you very well might be consuming way too few calories.
As I mentioned in that other video, there are a lot of different ways to determine calories, but let's just use a super simple one to show how probably a number of you watching this are probably eating too few calories.
One of the ways I mentioned in that other video to calculate calorie needs was a very simple back of the envelope calculation. Where you would do, you'd basically multiply a certain number of calories by someone's body weight. So let's say we have 100 pound person, someone who's super, super light. If they wanted to maintain that weight, they would multiply their weight time 17 calories per pound, you'll eat 1700. If they wanted to lose weight, they would multiply that times 14 calories, which would be 1400 calories. And if they wanted to gain weight, they'd multiply their weight times 20.
So think about that for a second. We're talking about 100 pound person, most people watching this are not gonna be 100 pounds. That's really, really light. And we're saying that for them to maintain their weight, they would need to intake 1700 calories. And even if they wanted to lose weight, 1400 calories. So those of you out there that are eating 1100, 1200, 1300 calorie diets, that is way, way, way, way too little in the way of calories for you. And especially if you're working out, especially if you're working out. We haven't even factored that into the equation yet.
If you're working out, and you're aggressively hypocaloric, it can actually thwart your goals, it can actually make it so that not only do you not lose weight, but in some cases, you can actually gain weight, because your body slows your metabolism down so much that it's just trying to hoard whatever it gets.
It's really, really important that you are eating adequate calories for what you're trying to do. And just in general, if you go below 20 percent of what you need calorically on a daily basis, your body will tend to go into this kind of starvation mode, and it will hoard calories. It will hoard the food and the energy that you've consumed.
You really want to make sure that you're intaking enough calories. So how do you determine this? Well, I'll put a link in the video. I'll put a link in the description below to that other video. You can come in and see us, and you can do an in-body scan, and we can determine your calorie needs for you. There are online calorie calculators. But generally speaking, if you're someone who skips breakfast and then has a yogurt and a couple handfuls of nuts, and then has a salad for dinner, you're probably eating way too little.
Just do a little accounting, maybe, with something like My Fitness Pal, or come in and see us here at the gym, and figure out your calorie needs, and maybe that could be the key to getting you to not only feel better, but perform better, and maybe even reach your weight loss goals.
In this video we sit down with coach Mitch to talk with him about what he normally eats, his relationship with food, and his advice for those trying to change their dietary habits for the better.
Mitch's story is unique for a number of reasons:
-He's a member of CFSB's full-time coaching staff
-He recently got engaged
-He is one of our top athletes in the gym
-He is training to go to CrossFit Regionals
There are a lot of great insights to be gleaned from what Mitch has to say about how he eats.
In this video we talk about:
-what Mitch typically eats
-what he grew up eating
-his favorite off-plan items
-how he navigates social situations
-how to eat healthy while training for top performance
Robby: Alright guys, Robby here from Crossfit South Bend. Today I'm here with coach Mitch, and we are going to be talking about Mitch's relationship with food. So Mitch, first of all, thank you so much for being here.
Mitch: Thank you, I feel like I'm in Batman's layer almost. This is like a privilege, this is great.
Robby: Appreciate it. No windows, yeah, completely cordoned off. So Mitch, the first thing I want to ask you about is, tell me what food was like for you growing up?
Mitch: Growing up it was probably your classic American lifestyle. It's a bag of chicken strips that we preheat the oven, or a Tombstone pizza. Having my mom being a full-time worker, she wasn't at home all the time, so usually it was us kids fixing our meals initially, and then when she'd get home she'd usually cook us some kind of meal that is closer to what I'm going to show you guys here in a little bit, but for the most part it was frozen foods, veggies out of a bag, thing like that.
Robby: Okay. And then when did you start getting interested more in healthier nutrition, when did that transition happen?
Mitch: So the biggest thing, it was actually brought on through fitness. After high school I was no longer playing any sports, so I wanted to fill my time with some sort of activity, and luckily my brother-in-law helped influence my fitness lifestyle. So I started working out in a gym, and then I realized, "Oh crap, I can't really get away with eating this stuff anymore, especially if I want to get to this kind of PR." Or whatever the case may be. So I just had a roommate at the time, who lived a very similar lifestyle as me, and he helped show me the ropes on how to meal prep so to speak, and I just blossomed from there. And as the years have gone on I look back like, "Damn, was I really eating that stuff back then?" And I'm sure five years from now I'm going to be like, "What the hell was I thinking at Crossfit South Bend?"
Robby: Okay, awesome. So tell us a little bit about what you typically wat now, what your food looks like, and I see you've brought some food in, what these typical meals are?
Mitch: Yeah. So with me wanting to be on the performance side of my fitness routine, wanting to compete, things like that, you definitely have to fuel your body or else you're going to crash energy wise, or your body's just not going to recover. So the things that you guys have taught me is really, really make sure that you're putting good quality food into your body day in and day out. So luckily I have a significant other who is also in the same mind frame, so we usually do our meal preps together on Sundays, and on Thursdays if we're running out of food by the end of the week. So usually that's a three or four hour process that we spend on those particular days, and I generally eat about four to five meals a day, as crazy as it sounds-
Robby: That's awesome.
Mitch: And this is how it is. So generally, it's going to be all broken down from a macro standpoint, like I have my numbers that I follow, and I try and stay within that range as best I can, and I generally try and eat every two to three hours, as long as my work schedule allows me to do that. But yeah, for instance, I have a cup of oatmeal with some chopped up apples in there, and some crushed almonds to give it a little extra crunch, and then I have egg whites mixed with white onions and broccoli, and that's a go-to meal for me for breakfast.
Then before my workout, probably an hour or two before that, I'll have six ounces of some kind of beef, or maybe even chicken, just depending on what we have, some green veggies, and some rice, because that seems to be a carb that really sits well with me. I feel like I get a good energy from it, it doesn't really make me feel bloaty or anything like that, and I didn't realize how important that was until I started to really follow my diet and started noticing certain foods were making me feel less energized, or more sluggish, things like that.
Then usually about an hour or so after I work out I'll have this big, big meal. That's usually where I get the main source of carbs from, and that's usually a little bit harder for me to get all that through, because I'm a cow, I'm a slow grazer, if you will. So I could just sit there and just pile it in for and hour if I have to. Then I tend to have a home cooked meal with Stephanie whenever we get home from work, so that's our ritual, if you will.
Robby: Awesome. So, one of the things I like to do with these videos is, with Andrew last time we were talking about the fact that for him, his unique situation was he was a college student.
Robby: In your case, you are a competitive cross fitter, and working out multiple times a day, doing really hard programming. What sort of nutritional modifications have you had to make in the past few years, and what sort of things have you learned about the way you eat with all this stuff?
Mitch: The biggest thing that I've really learned more about myself is how much we're like a car. Legitimately, we're built like a car. Like we have to do our maintenance work, we have to fill our gas, we have to change the oil. Things like that, and I didn't realize how true that was until I started really making sure that I was changing my oil every couple of hours by eating food, and how skipping a meal and choosing to exercise versus eating, how big of a difference your performance can be with that, and not being in a set routine can definitely mess up your performance.
For me, I'm very lucky that I can work out at the same time, generally, every single day, and my diet falls into that schedule as well. But if things are very busy in my life, I might have to work out earlier or later, or maybe only get a portion of my workout in, but I do know that if I'm choosing exercise over food, I know that my performance is not going to be that good that particular day, or maybe even that week because of that decision.
So just learning how diet and nutrition is key, versus putting in a better workout. So that's probably been the biggest thing, and the most rewarding thing I've gained from doing this.
Robby: Awesome. So, we've talked a lot about good food.
Robby: Now, let's talk about what are your favorite off-plan foods? What do you like to do when you're nutritionally off-roading?
Mitch: So, none of my athletes know this about me, they would be totally surprised when I say this, but I love spicy food. Just kidding, they probably know that better than anything. Whenever I'm describing a workout, whether it's a long aerobic piece, I'm like, "Yeah, this is like your honey barbecue flavor workout, it's just super chill. Or you've got your mango habanero, that ghost pepper, that's the 500 max row. That's going to make you hate life for a little bit." So that actually stems from me actually loving spicy food. Put a plate of wings in front of me, just sit back and watch the show. Die hard pizza lover, I definitely could eat that at any point. But desserts, I blame my girlfriend for this, but she's really got me into Ben and Jerry's ice cream, getting the little pints and just destroying that, late at night sometimes. Luckily we haven't done that recently. We've been really dialed in with diet and nutrition, things like that, but if you put those three things in front of me it's game over.
Robby: Awesome. So, yeah, that gives us a really good sense of what your diet's like now. Do you have anything else you'd like to share with anyone about food, and things you deal with related to food?
Mitch: Yeah. I think the biggest thing, and I try and relay this to our athletes as well, is that, look, I get it, if you're invested you're going to commit 100%, things like that, but we have other priorities. Some of have family obligations, job obligations, there's other things that play into our day to day lives, and I think sometimes people get discouraged when they can't sit down three or four hours on a Sunday and meal prep their food for the week. And I think that instead of making small jumps, whether that's preparing one meal a week, or whether that's ordering Meals by Maura, hashtag throwing that in there.
Generally, making just a small step forward is still a step forward, that is a room of growth, and just start from there and build off of that if you can. It has to have meaning to you, you have to put value in it if that's something that you want to get towards and become. It can happen, just don't be so discouraged if you can't give 100% right off the bat. And luckily I'm very fortunate that with my job path, and the people I'm surrounded with on a day to day basis help promote this kind of lifestyle, and even with that being said, it's still hard. I still find times where it's like, "Damn, I have to meal prep today," or, "Damn, we've got to go get groceries." I understand, it is very challenging. Nothing is easy about this, but it's not just a diet, or a meal program, or anything like that, it's genuinely a whole lifestyle.
So I totally get where being discouraged comes from, but don't let that get the best of you. Just start one thing at a time.
Robby: Absolutely. Could not agree more. Well, Mitch, thank you so much for being here, thank you so much for sharing this food with us too.
Mitch: Thank you, Batman, I appreciate it, and I'm going to go eat.
Robby: Awesome. Alright guys, thank you so much for-
In this video we discuss alcohol and whether alcohol has any place as part of a healthy way of eating.
One way to answer that question it to look at alcohol is in terms of nutrients, blood sugar balance, psychological addiction, etc. Viewed in that light there's no such thing as a form of alcohol that is a pure positive contribution to your health. All forms of alchohol are either a mix of good and bad aspects or just purely bad. For example, red wine does have antioxidants, but it also has alcohol, which is a known toxin so it's a mix of some good and bad aspects. Meanwhile, beer, doesn't really contribute anything positive to your health whatsoever and if anything negatively contributes in many ways (alcohol, sugar/carbs, grain-derived).
However, an important perspective to keep in mind is that there is more to health than food and more to life than health. So, while alcohol shouldn't be a staple of most people's lives (yes, a glass a day is probably too much), if it's a legit special occasion and it's a form of alcohol you really like you're probably okay to have it.
Tips for drinking:
-Drink earlier in the day
-Have a fattier meal to balance out the alcohol
-Be sure to get a good night's sleep the night before and the night after to make sure your body processes the alcohol in the best way possible
-Robb Wolf says "Drink enough to maximize your sex life, but not so much that you impact athletic performance" That's definitely one way to look at things.
Here's the hierarchy of alcohol from least bad to just plain bad (from the book Paleo Happy Hour)
-potato vodka, tequila, rum (not derived from grains, very little sugar)
-wine, gluten free beer, and champagne (not derived from grains, but more sugar)
-gin, vodka, whiskey, scotch, hard cider (derived from grains, have a few more carbs)
-liquers, dessert wines
-beer, wine coolers, pre-mixed drinks (e.g. Magaritas) (just bad news all around)
Today we're going to answer the question, "What about alcohol, can alcohol be a part of a healthy diet?" And just like anything else, you know nothing is either purely good or purely bad, it just depends on the context so we are going to give you some relevant considerations to keep in mind when deciding or not deciding to have alcohol. So I think it's always helpful to kind of frame things in terms of this system or framework that we've developed for categorizing foods. On the one hand, there's your green light foods, these are going to be the things that are, generally speaking, super nutritious, keep your blood sugar in line, they're antiinflammatory, they're not addictive, this is real whole food, right? So meat, eggs, seafood, fish, veggies, healthy fats, fruits, nuts and seeds, herbs and spices.
Things of that nature. So alcohol, I don't think there's a single form of alcohol that I would put in the green light category as something that you would have on a daily basis as contributing to your health and yes, that includes Red Wine. I'm a fan of what the developers of The Whole30 have said about this which is, "If you really want the benefits of Red Wine, just go have some Red Grapes, you don't need the Red Wine to get the health benefits of Red Wine." So there's not really a form of alcohol that's a green light food. Now the two other categories are these yellow light foods which are things that kind of have some good aspects and kind of have some bad aspects, and then the red light foods that are just pretty much, generally speaking, pretty bad for you. So soda, pizza, cake, cookies, things of that nature. So I'd say most of alcohol fits in either the yellow light category or the red light category. So before I get to which categories those things fall into with the particular types, let me talk about some general rules for alcohol.
So alcohol's one of those ones where, again, it's not a green light food, you do not need it to be healthy, you can go your entire life without a single drop of alcohol and be perfectly healthy. But I would also say it falls into the category of there being more to health than food and more to life than health. So sometimes it's a way to have more fun at a social event. Now you got to be careful with that, if someone's an alcoholic or they see alcohol as their only means to having fun, well that's not good. But a little bit here and there for an otherwise healthy person who's not addicted to it, that maybe lower their stress levels and thus contributes to their health and while alcohol might not have any nutrients in it, it could contribute to health in kind of that stress reduction way. But then we have to balance that with the fact that it negatively impacts sleep even though you might feel like you sleep better when you have alcohol, from an objective standpoint, you're actually sleeping worse and they've done a number of studies to show this.
So I think alcohol can be had in these contexts and can be something that contributes to other aspects of health but it's not a nutritious food. So one of my favorite sayings about alcohol comes from Robb Wolf where he says, "Drink enough to maximize your sex life but not so much that you diminish athletic performance." I think that's a pretty good teeter totter scale to try to balance yourself on. Another thing to keep in mind with alcohol is, generally speaking, if you want to minimize the negative impacts, try drinking earlier in the day. I know you might be surprised to hear that but that allows you to not have it impact sleep and try to have a fattier meal afterwards to kind of balance out the alcohol that you might be consuming. So I'm going to go through the hierarchy of alcohol here in just a second and this comes from a great book called Palio Happy Hour, which if you're interested, you should go pickup, but they kind of talk about the hierarchy of alcohol.
So before I go through the hierarchy, just make sure to make a distinction between what you hear and what I'm saying. So what you might here is, "Oh, Robby is saying there's a type of alcohol that's the best, that means I can have it every day." No, what I'm saying is that there are bad and less bad versions of alcohol. So the least bad version of alcohol would be things like Tequila, Rum and Potato Vodka. Why? Because they are not derived from grains and they have very little in the way of sugar. So they are not healthy for you in any way shape or form but they're less unhealthy for you than other things. Next on the docket would be Wine, Gluten-free Beer and Champaign, they're not derived from gains but you start to get some more carbs in the mix there when you have those. Next on the list would be Gin, Vodka, Whiskey, Scotch, and Hard Cider, they're derived from grains and they have a bit more in the way of carbs. Next on the list would be Liquors and Desert Wines.
And then on the generally avoid or you might as well be having a pizza and a soda at that point would be things like Beer, Wine coolers, Premix drinks like Margaritas, yeah. Those are very much going to fall in the red light category. So Red Wine, I would say White wine, generally speaking, I would say those are probably in the yellow light category. Maybe a shot of the harder Liquors that I mentioned like the Tequila, Rum, and Potato Vodka could maybe be in the yellow light category if they're kept in check and they don't cause you to have a ton of them. Alcohol, just like chocolate or other things is something where you're really going to need to be wary of your tendencies and are you more prone to addiction or more prone to wanting it if you have just a little bit or not. But generally speaking, those would be kind of the yellow light items and then your red light items would be your standard Beer, Margaritas, things of that nature. So can alcohol be part of a healthy way of living? Yeah.
I mean assuming, if you have a clinical diagnosis, obviously, you want to stay away from it if you're an alcoholic, but generally speaking, if you're otherwise eating real whole food and it's a way for you to maybe relax with friends or family or for a special occasion then it can be a part of a healthy lifestyle if kept in moderation. But just keep in mind, there is no such thing as healthy alcohol, it's not positively contributing to your health, it doesn't have any nutrients in it and it's got a whole bunch of stuff like extra calories and sleep impact and sugar content that can really harm your health. So if you just keep it in the relevant category of either a yellow light or a red light food that's only for special occasion and in moderation, you should okay. Alright guys, thanks so much for tuning in, I'll see you next time.
In this video we sit down with Carolyn and discuss her journey back to optimal health and weight. Carolyn is one the most committed people I've ever worked with. I can't say enough good things about how well she did. She was nice enough to type up her reflections on her time doing one-on-one coaching, and we've shared them below.
In terms of Carolyn's weight and inches lost she accomplished the following:
-She lost 40lbs in 4 months
-She lost 9 inches off her waist
-She lost 6 inches off her hips
-Now her hip measurement is the same as her original waist measurement.
In addition to these amazing scale-based victories he also had a bunch of non-scale victories, which I'll let her tell you in her own words.
1.) Winter / Spring don’t always have to mean illness. For the past decade or so, I have accepted that in the winter and spring months, I will battle sinus infections, pneumonia, the flu, etc. I simply expected it, blaming the circumstance on the time of year rather than the dozens of decisions I was making. I started working with Robby in February and have yet (hope I’m not jinxing it here) to be sick with anything. This is unbelievable to me. Robby gave me permission to prioritize my health, which sounds silly, but I needed that. It was the combination of getting my sleep up from 5 hours a night to 7 1⁄2 or 8, eating clean, consistently working out and meditation which helped my immune system. I had to work a bit to find a schedule and structure that would support my health goals -- for example, I couldn’t do the CrossFit workout at 7:15pm because I needed to be in bed at 8:30pm if I wanted to get up at 4am. This meant I had to leave work at a certain time to make the 5:15pm class. It was a hard boundary that I set with co-workers and the demands of my job in order to make it work. -- I have been walking around with this untrue story that I have a bad immune system -- and in a sense feeling defective and weak -- believing that during certain times of the year I will struggle for weeks on end; yet, how freeing to rewrite the ending to that story.
2.)Food is not a punishment or reward or stress management tool.My relationship with food has shifted entirely. After a hard day at work, I would reward myself with a diet dr. pepper and a bag of chips from the gas station or a McDonald’s vanilla cone. At work, I would break into the birthday candy stash I had for my students and treat myself to a box. This would all happen without too much thought; it felt natural. I can remember going out to eat with a colleague and I ordered a diet coke and she said, “What a treat!” and I thought she was nuts. What do you mean pop is a treat? If I attended an early meeting, which happened a couple times a month, and there were donuts, of course I would get one. If I had a long day ahead of me, then I’d get that frappacino and pair with a slice of warm banana bread. I told myself I deserved and needed it. I interpreted the sugar rushes as signals of happiness. In actuality though, the sugar never helped me feel more full or satisfied and usually set me up for increased sugar cravings throughout the day. These patterns of thought and actions were very difficult for me to reverse, especially since the impulses are still there. The whole 30 rules set strong parameters however, and I told myself, “I can’t do that anymore...it’s not an option.” I quit those addictive habits cold turkey. Because I also had a set schedule, I had to leave work and head straight to the CrossFit gym; this didn’t leave time for stopping off and “treating myself.” I started packing my car with almonds or an epic bar instead. Changing these habits forced me to get more intune with the feeling of hunger versus cravings. Eating better helped me feel like I had more energy throughout the day too, mostly because I avoided those crashes that come along with the sugar.
3.) Workouts, while still very difficult, ultimately feel better.For the past few years, my mile time has been around 11:30/12:00 mark - especially for 8K or Half Marathons. My recovery time after these runs would be significant too and the runs themselves never felt good. This past May I ran a 5K in just under 30 minutes and felt strong throughout the race. It’s exciting to hit new PRs and watch my goals shift a bit. I have come to realize that I cannot workout in order to eat whatever I want...that in fact it will feel better if I eat certain foods in order to workout more effectively.
Carolyn, we're so proud of you and we wish you all the best in the future!
Robby: Hey, it's Robby here from Crossfit South bend. Today I'm here with Carolyn and Carolyn is going to be telling us her story. So Carolyn, thank you so much for joining us.
Carolyn: Thanks for having me.
Robby: So let me tell you a little bit about Carolyn's progress. So Carolyn in the space of four months basically lost 40 pounds. She went from 196 pounds to 157 pounds. She lost nine inches off her waist and six inches off her hips and now your hip measurement is the same as what your waist measurement was initially, which is crazy.
Carolyn: It's nuts.
Robby: Yeah so amazing job. You did a fantastic job. So tell us a little bit about where you were at before you started the program? Kind of what life was like, what food was like, the rest of that stuff.
Carolyn: I would say life was pretty mindless. I wasn't really thinking about food at all, it was just something I knew I had to eat to kind of get through my day and what I learned through this process is that I have interesting rationales for some of the choices that I was making. So I was thinking like, "Oh, it'll save time if I eat breakfast in the car, maybe stop by McDonald's on my way to work." That, that saves time and I should do that. So it was a lot of fast food, it was a lot of just kind of impulsive, like I said, mindless snacking in the grocery line, taking Diet Dr. Pepper on my way home from work, maybe grabbing a bag of chips for the ride. So it wasn't very good. And I knew I needed to make a big change.
Robby: So when we initially met and I started talking about the way you were going to be eating over the next few months, what was your initial reaction, what did you initially think?
Carolyn: I had kind of knee jerk, like please don't take these things away from me. I really liked them 'cause I had formulas in my head like, stressful day at work plus Cheetos equals happy day. So I was a little nervous about that because I just wasn't sure how that would effect me mentally and so I was very nervous but I knew that and I trusted in the program and so I knew I had to just kind of quit cold turkey. I had to as soon as I started Whole 30, I just told myself, "That's not for me anymore. I can't do those things because it's not in the rules." So, for me, it had to be immediate and it had to be I couldn't ween off certain things, I had to just be done and so that was difficult. And I can remember the first month feeling like having all of those impulses still there so while I told myself I couldn't have the Diet Dr. Pepper I still wanted it every time I was in the grocery line.
And I can remember going to the movies actually for the first time and not getting any other treat but being very aware of what everybody else in the theater was eating, I was like, "Oh my gosh, I can smell the popcorn and that's person's having pretzels and cheese and that guy has my favorite Raisonettes." And then telling myself, "These almonds that I packed are delicious and I'm so happy." So that was hard but as soon as the movie starts you're fine because your mind is going on something else so that was really powerful for me. That was big learning, my mind needed to be refocused on something else.
Robby: Yeah, absolutely and that first month can be a little bit tricky with the cravings still there and working your way up.
Robby: Tell us about month two and beyond, tell us about doing the Whole 30 and the introduction. How did you find the rest of the process?
Carolyn: Well, I didn't know food could taste this good so I have been, my whole life, doing grilling and cooking chicken wrong so that was awesome and then roasted veggies was a life saver. So the way that the big meal that I was eating throughout the day were tasting and then filling me up, that was huge. And then it was helpful to see the results so that was extra fuel, extra motivation of this is really making a big change because I feel like before I was like, "Ah, I'll just work out and then I get to eat whatever I want, right?" And that wasn't going so well for me. That's not actually how it works so I feel like with the Whole 30 month two and three focusing on all the other elements of health like getting my sleep on track, making sure that I'm buying and stocking our house with certain things, making sure that I'm meditating and just taking more time for myself. That was huge.
So it actually became something that I was really enjoying and I stopped having those dreams where I ate a whole bucket of cookies. I would have these dreams in the first month where I just gorged and I'd wake up feeling like, "Oh my gosh, did I do that? Did I just eat a whole thing of cookies?" And then I'm like, "No, you didn't. It's just a dream." And that left in month two and three and it was really just kind of enjoying the new lifestyle.
Robby: Awesome. So you obviously had many, many scale victories in terms of weight loss and inches but one of the things we like to talk about from time to time is non scale victories. So things like energy and mood and cravings, how do you perform in the gym, not getting sick. So tell us about those.
Carolyn: That was really one of the most exciting things I think about this process for me is that for the last about ten years I got sick. Every Fall, well, sometimes in the Fall but usually in the Winter and Spring I would get the flu or I would get pneumonia. The last two years I've had pneumonia, I get sinus infections and I just sort of thought, "Well, that's just how my immune system is, I get sick at this time of year," and I just accepted that story and I have not been sick once. So I started in February with the Whole 30 and I didn't get sick one time and so what that taught me is that it matters what I'm eating, it matters how much sleep I'm getting. I went from average 5, 6 hours a night to 7 and a half, closer to 8 hours a night and that probably helped immensely. And so I was really quick to just kind of accept a certain story about my health, my overall health without really thinking about the dozens of other decisions that were probably contributing factors to me getting sick.
So it was really nice to have a Winter and a Spring where I could just continue to go at full energy and more energy than I'm used to having so I woke up with a lot of energy and I'm a teacher so I know that my students appreciated energy too in the classroom.
Robby: That's awesome. So I think you and I are both on the same page that you can't convince someone to eat healthy, people have to come to it for themselves but at the same time imagine you ran into yourself from 4 months ago or someone who is in a similar situation to the one you're in now, what would you say to them about kind of what you initially thought about what you'd have to go through versus what you realize now that you've gone through it in terms of like, "Hey, it's not as bad as you think," or what are your thoughts now looking back on the whole process?
Carolyn: I would say go to Whole Foods, get a level 4 pork chop and it will all be worth it.
Robby: It's kind of true.
Carolyn: It was so good but I think I would say you're not gonna miss the things that you thought you would as much as you would and those things don't have to be a huge part of your kind of emotional identity. So I was very much of a reward system person like, "Oh, I got through my work day and it was tough so I'm gonna have this treat," or, "I'm stressed, I'm gonna manage this with this food." And so if I could go back to my previous self I would say that it can look a lot different and that food can be really, really delicious. For the majority of my life I've missed out on really good tasting food and so I would tell myself to be excited about what's to come because this is definitely the way to kind of, for me, this is the way to move forward for life goals, just continue this way of eating and living and not feeling like I'm missing out. Not feeling like I can't indulge every once in a while but being really mindful about what that indulging looks like.
Robby: Yeah, absolutely. I mean, I have to say on my end, using the teacher metaphor, you're a teacher, I used to kind of an academia and there's certain A plus students that come along every once in a while and I would say you have definitely been probably one of the best people I've ever worked with in terms of the effort you've put in, what you've been able to accomplish and yeah, I'm just super proud of you and all that you've done.
Carolyn: Thank you.
Robby: So thank you so much for joining us. Thank you so much for telling everyone your story and I wish you all the best in the future.
Carolyn: Thank you. Thanks.
Robby: All right guys, thank you so much for tuning in. We'll see you next time.