Thursday, August 24, 2017

Friday Rundown

Hi, guys! Happy Friday!

Here’s a quick recap of “what I’m loving lately,” but in a different format – just to switch things up and keep ’em interesting! 🙂 I thought it might be fun to give you guys a little rundown. Enjoy!

Summer Hack: Insulated wine glass

LifehackMesh laundry bags to keep socks organized – otherwise, we lose them!

Favorite Daily Apps: Stitcher (podcasts), MyFitnessPal, Trello, Instagram, MyFLO

Best Piece of Advice: I’m not sure I can pick just one, so here are 37.
Where I’d Retire: Mal and I joke about retiring at The Pinehills, but we’ll probably end up somewhere on the Cape or Duxbury.

Travel Hack: Packing protein powder because food options are typically lacking. I like to add it to my iced coffee, oatmeal, yogurt, mashed banana or fresh berries and nut butter.

Splurge Booze: We’re not fancy, so a $20 bottle is a “splurge.” I recently discovered Domaine A. Cailbourdin Pouilly-Fume Les Cris, Loire, France, and I’m obsessed. It’s the best wine – light, crisp, and mineral-y. Love!

Podcast Recommendation: Girls Gone WOD is my current favorite, but I’m also a huge fan of Paleo Women Podcast and MindPump.
Book That’s Changed My Behavior: 10% Happier: How I Tamed the Voice in My Head, Reduced Stress Without Losing My Edge, and Found Self-Help That Actually Works – A True Story (my review). This book taught me how to shut off my brain, so I can sleep. The waterfall metaphor has a 100% success rate to date.

Netflix Recommendation: The OA, Pretty Little Lies, 13 Reasons Why, Stranger Things

Favorite New Discovery: Late to the party, but mobile orders at Starbucks. So convenient! 

Snack HackVanilla Almond Butter + Protein. I also like adding collagen to the milk in my cereal. 

Question of the Day

Your turn! Give me a rundown of what you’re loving lately! 

 

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Two Lunches > One Lunch 

Hi, guys! Happy Thursday to you! This week is FLYIN’ for me!

Yesterday was quite a busy day, and I spent almost all of it at the Derby Street Shoppes. My morning started with an early wake up before the rest of my family – well, ok, Murphy felt me get out of bed and followed me downstairs. The potential for food with just so strong!

For breakfast, I made myself a rice cake with a thick layer of sunflower butter and banana slices on top. Then, I took the pug for a walk.

Quinn must have heard Murphy and me come back into the house because, as soon as we got settled, I heard his bedroom door open. I walked upstairs, gave him a big hug (he’s so cuddly in the morning), and carried him downstairs into the living room. He watched a little TV while I got ready for the day. (Later in the day, I found this photo below on my iPhone. Apparently, somebody borrowed it to snap some photos!)

Once I was ready, I got Qman ready for school and packed up the rest of my things to take for a full day at Derby Street. (The bag on the left is a homemade beach bag from Quinn.)

I dropped Quinn off at daycare and then headed straight to Derby Street for an outdoor spinning class with Rev’d.

The class was a lot of fun – I was moving and grooving all over the bike so, by the end, I was a sweaty mess. Holy workout + humidity!

If you’re a local reader and would like to check out a free class, follow this link for more details.

Fun times with Rev’d! #sweatybeast

After spinning, I popped over to the Whole Foods restroom to take a quick “shower“and changed my clothes. Then, I headed over to the Capital One CafĂ© for a triple decaf espresso over ice with half-and-half and lots and lots and lots of work.

Kerrie met me there a couple of hours later, and we immediately got down to business. She was away for a few days, so we had lots to catch up on. My stomach started to grumble, so I dug into my lunch a little early. On the menu: Trader Joe’s chicken strips with white rice and buffalo sauce. It wasn’t the most nutritious lunch, but I was in a hurry and there wasn’t much food prepped in our house. It was still really tasty! I mean, just about anything with barbecue sauce is delicious!

Shortly after that, we had a meeting with our marketing company. It was actually more like a follow-up meeting just to make sure we are on track with everything we have planned in the coming weeks, like the Post-Summer Slim Down and the webinars associated with the launch of Nutrition House.

After our meeting, Kerrie and I tested out some new software features (on the development site), which are going to be deployed any day now. They’re so cool – can’t wait for our coaches and clients to see them!

Mid-afternoon, I started to get hungry again. I was planning to just buy a snack, so I asked Kerrie if she wanted anything while I was up. She actually said she packed a second lunch, and I immediately thought it was such a great idea. I knew a snack would take the edge off my hunger, but a second lunch with “real food” would satisfy me much longer. So, I took a quick walk over to Whole Foods to grab lunch #2. It was mostly veggies with a piece of fish and chicken breast for protein, and it kept me full for quite a while. I didn’t even need a snack before dinner, like I normally do!

I finally packed up around 5:30 PM and headed home. When I pulled into our driveway, I saw that the basement door was open. It was a little strange, so I decided to see what was going on in there. I was surprised to see Mal in the middle of the work out and Quinn playing video games. If there’s a will there’s a way! Haha!

Once I get settled at home, Quinn wanted to take his bike out, so we went for a family walk around the neighborhood, which was a nice opportunity for me to catch up with my boys.

When we returned from our walk, I started to make dinner while Mal and Quinn played T-ball outside. Murphy kept me company in the kitchen and kindly offered to pug pre-rinse the dishes in the dishwasher.

On the menu for dinner: Sweet potato hash with bacon, red bell pepper, and chives. How to: rRoast sweet potatoes in the oven. Cook bacon and chop into small pieces. Then, use the grease to sautĂ© the red bell pepper. When the veggies are done,  mix them with the bacon in a large bowl. Top with chopped chives. Serve!

I also sautéed some baby spinach and some leftover bacon grease, which was an especially delicious idea!

This dinner was so good!

!

We didn’t sit down to dinner until almost 7:00 PM, so after I cleaned up the kitchen and cuddled with Qman on the couch for a little while, it was his bedtime. After we put Quinn to bed, Mal and I caught up with Big Brother, and I ate some Pumpkin Spice Cheerios mixed with Peanut Butter Puffins. It was an awesome combination of cereal goodness!

Question of the Day

Do you ever eat two lunches instead of an afternoon snack? 

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CrossFit Training: How Primal Enables Elite Performance

Home » Fitness

August 24, 2017

CrossFit Training: How Primal Enables Elite Performance

By Mark Sisson

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Inline_Primal_for_Elite_Training_CrossFitBy now, you know that CrossFit and Primal are totally compatible. You can get enough carbs, calories, and micronutrients eating this way. The specific foods we recommend support healthy recovery, injury prevention, tissue health, ample energy reserves, and even longevity. The lifestyle recommendations—the Primal Laws—provide extra advantages most “diets” completely ignore. And the focus on fat-adaptation buttresses an energy system many athletes lack. All in all, Primal is a great choice for any CrossFitter.

But one final question remains: Can it support and enable elite performance?

Most of my previous posts in the series answer this question, at least partly.

We now know that there’s nothing stopping someone from eating enough calories and carbs on Primal to support CrossFit training. It may be a bit easier to obtain carbs and calories from a pint of ice cream and garlic bread than from a big baked potato and fried plantain—but not by much. And we’re all adults here. We should be able to eat the healthy whole foods without complaining.

We know that the specific foods and lifestyle interventions Primal recommends can help athletes gain strength and build muscle, thereby improving a major determinant of a CrossFitter’s success.

We know that good sleep hygiene and circadian alignment improve recovery. We know that tamping down excessive stress and inflammation allows a healthy response to training-related stress and inflammation. if you don’t recover, you don’t perform.

We know that the macros are important, which is why most CrossFitters focus entirely on the macros, but that misses a major aspect of Primal performance benefits: the micronutrients. What’s great is that alongside all those Primal whole food carbs, protein, and calories you get actual micronutrients that make your body run better.

I’m a big picture guy. I designed the Primal Blueprint to be a simple path to better health, something that Grandma and Grandpa could figure out without having to subscribe to an RSS feed or learn how to read a PubMed abstract. Something you could explain on an elevator ride.

But I also like the weeds, the nitty gritty details, the nerdy stuff. So do many of my readers. They aren’t exactly necessary for basic good health, body composition, and fitness, but they do provide an edge to people who want to really excel. Especially CrossFit athletes.

At the top, the little things really matter. Tia Toomey won the the title of Fittest on Earth literally by a hair. In the last workout to determine the winner she was beaten by her countrywoman Kara Webb. But Tia took the title because she was more consistent and performed just THAT much better over the entire Games. Then you’ve got Matt Fraser who completely ran away with the title yet again. He is so far superior because he doesn’t compromise and takes no chances. He eats paleo. These elite athletes don’t take any chances with their nutrition. They understand that macros are only part of the story. The athlete that stops there is destined to limit his or her potential.

You’ve got to get into the weeds like Fraser and Toomey did, and I’ve got three areas that most CrossFitters completely miss:

Omega-6 Intake

As CrossFitters purportedly engaged in physically-demanding activity on a regular basis, you have more protection against excess omega-6 than most. You’re burning more than you’re storing. But you’re still incorporating all those omega-6 fatty acids into your cellular and mitochondrial membranes. The mitochondria are especially critical for a CrossFit athlete because they’re the power plants of our cells, turning incoming calories into the ATP that makes squatting, running, jumping, throwing, and moving one’s body through space and time possible. Mitochondria with too much linoleic acid (the primary omega-6 fat in the food system) are bad, leaky, oxidative stress-prone power plants.

Mitochondria whose membranes contain high levels of PUFAs are less stable, more prone to oxidative damage, and function worse than mitochondria whose membranes contain more monounsaturated and saturated fats.

Prebiotics

Fiber is fiber, in most people’s minds. It “provides colonic bulk.” It “absorbs cholesterol.” It enables bowl-shattering bowel movements. It’s “good,” for some reason. For many years, I’ve talked about the importance of the gut bacteria we carry. Well, those critters need food. They need to eat, and prebiotic fiber is the best food source for them.

When you feed your gut bacteria, they prosper and do good things for you. They produce steroid hormones like testosterone. They convert anti-nutrients into micronutrients. They reduce inflammation, shore up leaky guts, and improve your nutrient absorption. These are all important for athletes looking to maximize performance.

Fat-Adapted Metabolic Flexibility

CrossFit hits every energy system hard, yet the majority of athletes who haven’t taken the time to get fat-adapted are squandering a ton of potential energy. I’m not saying you can win the CrossFit games on a zero-carb diet. I’m saying that taking 4-6 weeks to get fat-adapted before resuming carb cycling can improve your metabolic flexibility—your ability to maximize fat burning before switching over to glucose.

Take Dr. Peter Attia’s experience training in a totally fat-adapted state. At an intensity where most people would be burning pure glycogen, Attia was still burning about 30% fat. And that was on a fully ketogenic diet almost bereft of carbs. If you cycle in some carbs when needed, you can retain the fat-burning ability while having plenty of glycogen for maximal efforts.

Primal isn’t magic. Nothing is. It won’t turn you into a genetic uberman/woman. At some level, we must acknowledge the role of genetics in truly elite physical performance. Michael Jordan isn’t Michael Jordan only because he practiced and worked hard. He’s Michael Jordan because he combined elite genetics with hard work and practice. The same goes for any of the top CrossFit games competitors. They are the products of great genes and smart training.

But Primal will help you reach your greatest potential.

When it comes down to it, any elite athlete should expect that eating healthier foods, getting more sleep, reducing systemic inflammation, improving connective tissue health, getting fat-adapted, and maximizing nutrient density without sacrificing carbs or overall calories will improve performance. At the very least, it won’t hurt. It can’t.

What do you think? Thanks for reading, everyone.

This article was co-written with Laura Rupsis, Level 1 CrossFit CertifiedPrimal Health Coach Certified, and owner of Absolution CrossFit in La Grange, IL.

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Want to Upgrade Your Primal Cooking Experience?

Screen Shot 2017-08-24 at 9.18.47 AMHey, everyone. I’ve got a regular post coming yet this morning, but I just had to let you all know about a great opportunity that’s right up the Primal alley.

If you’re a foodie, you’ll know that sous vide cooking is one of the best ways to prepare great-tasting healthy meals. My good friends (and yours, I’m sure), Drs. Michael and Mary Dan Eades, have been working to perfect the art, ease, and economy of home sous vide cooking for almost a decade.

They’re about to unveil their latest, greatest home SousVide+ version—and, boy, it’s a beauty. They’ve launched a new Kickstarter campaign to offer the first units to interested foodies at significant discounts to MSRP as well as offering enticing upgrade packages. Have a look, and get in on the venture if you can!

If you’re looking to upgrade your food experience, you won’t be disappointed.

More to come this morning… Thanks, everyone!

phc_640x80

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Chocolate Coconut Truffles

These healthy coconut chocolate truffles are a quick, healthy, and scrumptious portable snack. Mazen, Thomas, and I have been gobbling them up!

I started to name them protein balls, because they do have some protein powder in them, but the texture is more of a chocolate ganache than a protein bar, so I decided to call them truffles instead. The only sweetness comes from dates, which are the base of the recipes, so they can be your everyday real food truffles : ) And don’t they look oh so pretty rolled in chia and coconut?

Add pitted dates to your food processor and blend until a pea-like consistency is formed.  It doesn’t take too long. Then toss in the nuts and keep blending.

Put the remaining ingredients into the date and nut mixture, and blend until a sticky ball is formed. Depending on the consistency and type of protein powder you have, you might need to use a little more or less milk. Don’t worry if you add a little too much milk, you can always add more dry ingredients (like oats) to absorb the liquid. 

Once you’ve reached the desired consistency where it’s pliable but not too liquid-like, remove the mixture and form into one inch sized balls. You should get about 15 balls out of the recipe.

Pour a combination of chia seeds and coconut flakes onto a plate and roll them around until they’re fully coated. Store them in the fridge, and they should last up to a week. Warning: you will get chia seeds in your teeth when you eat these! 

Chocolate Coconut Truffles

Yield 15 balls

Ingredients

  • 1 cup pitted dates
  • ½ cup walnuts
  • ½ cup almonds
  • ½ cup raw cacao powder
  • ½ tsp kosher salt
  • 1 serving (30 grams) of protein powder (I used SFH Vanilla)
  • ¼ cup of milk
  • 1/4 cup chia seeds
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • ¼ cup coconut flakes
  • ½ tsp coconut extract (optional but oh-so-good!)
  • Extra chia and coconut for garnish

Instructions

  1. Blend dates in a food processor until a pea-like consistency is created.
  2. Add nuts to the dates and blend until combo is finely ground.
  3. Mix the remaining ingredients and blend until a sticky ball is ball is formed.
  4. Remove mixture and roll into one-inch sized balls.
  5. Pour chia seeds and coconut flakes onto a plate, then roll truffles until fully coated.  Add more seeds and flakes as needed.
  6. Place balls in a container, cover, and store in the fridge. 

Courses Snack

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