Getting through the Holidays

   “Getting through the Holidays”

Can you believe it is that time of year again?? Thanksgiving is fast approaching, and before we know it, we will be sitting around the gold old pine tree. The holidays are a wonderful time of year filled precious time with our friends and families. In our culture, the Holidays are also about the FOOD. It wouldn’t be Thanksgiving without the Turkey, stuffing, potatoes and desserts. And just like Thanksgiving, and New Years is always one of those Holidays that you gather around the table and stuff your face until you're in a food coma and then go back for seconds.

Sometimes, more often than not, we can take the holidays and food overboard. Reaching for that second helping, or third cookie, not realizing that we have just consumed our entire day's worth of calories in one meal. Now, that's not to say we can’t enjoy ourselves and have that extra serving or cookie, but there is a way to do that without overindulging. If you're dieting during the Holidays, this can be a very stressful time. There are temptations everywhere. You have to use that self control to not have those extra servings and helpings so you don’t hinder your progress. But it doesn’t have to be stressful. I have put together some helpful tips to help you stay on track this Holiday season. I hope they help. Enjoy the holidays with all your family and friends!

  1. Be realistic. It is easy to tell yourself that you're not going to have any dessert or a carb all holiday season. But the truth is, the more deny yourself, the more likely you are to binge. Instead, tell yourself you are going to fill up on protein and veggies first, then allow for one portion of indulgence such as a piece of cake or pie. Enjoy every bite.

  2. Don’t deviate from your normal routine. If you know you're going to spend the night at your work holiday party or a friends house for a yankee swap, begin your day as you would any other. Don’t skip meals to “save calories” for treats and drinks. Have a protein packed and good fat snack like a protein shake with a scoop of peanut butter an hour before your event. Protein and fat help cut cravings for sugar and processed carbs.

  3. Exercise in the morning. Some of you may cringe at that thought. (me included) Moving your body first thing in the morning sets your day right and helps your body stay stress free during the busy holiday season. Getting your workout done and out of the way ensures nothing comes between you and your fitness goals.

  4. Bring healthy treats to the party. Once someone invites you to their party, offer to bring something. This may not be an option for every occasion, it's always worth offering. This way you know the menu will include at least one healthy option.

Don’t beat yourself up. This is the most important if you ask my opinion. If you happen to overindulge, leave the guilt behind. Guilt associated with food is toxic and can create much more harm than good. Tell those little voices in your head to go away. Tell yourself that it is okay, and move on by getting back to eating and doing the things that make you feel good.

Simple Lunch

Simple lunches

 

I love lunch. It is a time of day that we get to recharge our bodies to help us get through that afternoon hump. There are days we don’t have a lot of time to get lunch in. We are busy with meetings and appointments and have to rush to eat our food. Making sure to get a healthful lunch in a rush can be a challenge.

Save time with these recipes for quick healthy lunches that can be eaten on the go!

Turkey Wraps with Snacks

*Note This is not for Keto*

Ingredients:

1 Whole Wheat Flat Out Wrap  Click here for more info on Flat Out Wraps

3 oz Applegate Smoked Turkey Click here for more info on Applegate Turkey

1 TBS Avocado Mayo Click here to see the brand I love

2 slices of tomato

1 leaf of Romaine Lettuce

1 Cup Red or Green Grapes

1oz Plain Almonds

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Directions:

Slather your wrap with your mayo. Add your turkey, tomato and lettuce, (Feel free to add other veggies here. Cucumbers and bean sprouts would be delicious.)

 

Nutrition Facts:

Calories: 500

Protein: 35g

Carb: 50g

Fat: 25 g

 

Sherri’s Keto Egg Salad

“ For Keto”

3 Whole Eggs (hard boiled)

¼ cup celery chopped fine

2 tbs chopped red onion

2 tbs Organic mayo

½ avocado

Salt and Pepper to taste

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Directions:

Peel your eggs and mashed them with a fork to get the chopped egg consistency. Add all other ingredients including salt and pepper to taste. Mix to combine. Enjoy.

Nutrition Facts:

Calories: 550

Protein: 20g

Carbs: 7g

Fat: 49g

 

 

Squat Break Down

Squat Breakdown

What the points of performance of the squat are and why they’re important

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Shoulder width stance, toes straight or toes slightly out

We want a shoulder width stance because it provides us the ability to descend to full depth without compromising power. Too wide or too narrow may be limited by mobility in most athletes. A shoulder width stance is an ideal transfer from jump stance (feet under the hips) in the olympic lifts as well. Practicing wide stance and narrow stance squats have merit but, it’s important to develop the fundamental stance in the squat.  

Having our toes straight or slightly out give us the ability to create torque through our hips and knees. This makes it easier for our knees to track over our toes and prevents loss of tension in the bottom of the squat. When our feet are flared out, our arches and knees are likely to collapse inward, especially under load.

 

Send butt back and then down

    Initiating a squat with our hips loads the larger movers in our legs. Initiating with knees forward puts a large amount of the force through our quads, rather than dispersing the load equally through our hips, hamstrings, and quads together. This also keeps the load directly over our midfoot and center of mass.

 

Knees track over toes

    Knees tracking straight over our feet not only relates to loading the hips properly. When the knees collapse inward, known as a valgus knee, the ligaments of the knee are compromised. Risk for injury of the ACL, PCL, MCL, or meniscus are increased. Focusing on “spreading the floor” with the feet will set our hips and knees to not only increase strength and power but prevent injury and damage. Knees tracking over our toes applies to the decent and ascending portions of the squat.

 

Chest up, weight off the balls of feet

A vertical chest in the squat is all about transferability. The chest may drop slightly in a low bar back squat but, in a front squat and overhead squat an upright torso stacks the load over your midline and allows for shoulder position to be optimum. An upright torso also demonstrates a maintained spinal position.

Keeping the weight spread throughout the whole foot improves our balance and our ability to create power. Heels coming off the ground limits recruitment of our hips and posterior chain while leaning too far back on the heels compromises our ability to balance and use our anterior chain.

   

Actively descend past parallel

    Breaking the plane of parallel is crucial to developing strength in an upright squat. It recruits more of the hips and challenges the midline stability. Staying above parallel again loads primarily the quadriceps and patellar tendon. Also, for transferability to olympic lifts getting strong in an “ass to grass” squat will allow for stronger lifts and ability to drive out of the hole. Actively pulling into the bottom of a squat, rather than “dive bombing” keeps tension as well.

 

Maintain neutral lumbar curve

    Maybe the most important point of performance of any squat is maintaining a neutral spine. Positioning our spine correctly will decrease the risk of injury significantly. When our lumbar vertebrae round, the load is dispersed primarily through our spine rather than our hips and legs. Also, the ability to increase load will diminish substantially when our midline isn’t stable. However, over extending through the hips and back will compromise the lumbar spine similarly. This happens when an athlete thinks “hips back” first without maintaining their midline. Learning to create a rock solid midline is critical in any squat weighted or not.


 

Simple Healthy Dinners

Nutrition Blog #3

Simple Dinner

 

If you read my last blog, then you know i love convenient recipes. Things that are fast, easy and don’t take a lot of time. Fall is here, and when I think fall and colder weather, I also think CROCKPOT!  Is there anything better than being able to throw ingredients in a pot, turn it on, let it cook itself?! Winning!

 

Here are my favorite crockpot recipes!

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Beef Stew. serves 6

Nutrition facts

  • Calories per serving = 299 (359 with bacon)

  • Fat = 9g (15 g with bacon)

  • Protein = 35g

  • Carb = 17g


 

Ingredients:

  • 2 Tbl Extra Virgin Olive oil

  • 1 1/2 lb Stew Meat (beef cubed)

  • 2 Large Parsnips peeled, cut into large chunks

  • 8 Carrots peeled, cut into large chunks

  • 1 Large Yellow Onion cut into large chunks

  • 2 Bay Leaves

  • 1/2 tsp Peppercorns

  • 2 tsp Coarse Real Salt

  • 4 Cups Beef Stock

  • 1 Tbl Fresh Thyme roughly chopped

  • 1/4 Cup Tapioca Flour (can also use corn starch, tapioca flour is better for you and all natural.)

  • 2 Tbl Water

  • For extra fat keto* add 2 pieces chopped cook bacon on top per serving.

Directions:

  • Heat the oil in a large frying pan over high heat. Add the beef chunks and brown on all sides, about 3-4 minutes. Add beef to a slow cooker. Top beef with the parsnips, carrots, onion, bay leaves, peppercorns, salt, thyme, and beef stock.

  • Cook on high for 6 hours (8-9 on low), or until beef is very tender.


 

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Turkey Chili Serves 8

Nutrition facts:

  • Calories per cup = 262 (with cheese 360 calories)

  • Fat = 4g with cheese 15g fat

  • Protein = 34g

  • Carb = 25g

Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs 99% fat-free ground turkey

  • 1 yellow onion, chopped

  • 5 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1 Tbsp olive oil

  • 1 (28 oz) can crushed tomatoes, no-salt added

  • 1 (15 oz) can petite diced tomatoes, no-salt added

  • 3 Tbsp tomato paste

  • ½ tsp. hot sauce (I used Texas Pete)

  • 1 (15 oz) can kidney beans, no-salt added, drained and rinsed

  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped

  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped

  • 2 jalapenos, chopped

  • 1½ tsp. sea salt

  • Pinch of pepper

  • 1 packet Stevia (optional)

  • 3 Tbsp chili powder

  • 2 tsp. oregano

  • ⅛ tsp. cayenne pepper

  • For extra fat keto* add ¼ cup shredded cheese to one serving

Instructions:

  • Drizzle olive oil in a large pot and saute onion and garlic until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Add ground turkey and cook until crumbled and brown, draining excess liquid as necessary.

  • Add all the rest of the ingredients and cook on medium/low heat for about an hour. Enjoy!



 

Setting Goals as a CrossFitter

S.M.A.R.T. Goals

Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Time Bound

 

Specific

    When developing goals it’s important to narrow your focus. Having broad areas to improve upon in great but, specifying a goal will allow you to develop a better plan to reach it. For example, if you just want to improve your overall fitness, narrow your goal to complete this year's open Rx’d.

 

Measurable

    This is easily understood by most people. Have a goal that can be measurable not only at the end, but also incrementally. This way tracking progress is accurate and allows you to adjust your actions. Rather than simply getting stronger, aim to deadlift 400 lbs. If your max deadlift is 375 now, you can track your progress at 380, 385, and so on.

 

Attainable

    Attainable goal setting comes down to more common sense. Setting ambitious goals is fantastic and is what is inspiring and enjoyable about improving yourself. However, setting goals that are unrealistic are going to hinder your progress. For example, I would love to run an ultramarathon race but, I’ve never swam over half a mile, ran a 10k at most and honestly have never rode a bike for endurance purposes. A more attainable goal should be to complete a shorter triathlon. Then after I accomplish that goal I can reassess and create new goals for myself.

 

Relevant

    Is this goal worthwhile? Is this the right time? A relevant goal should be both. If I train for long term fitness and to push off the nursing home, it might not be relevant to me to aim to snatch 300 lbs. Sure, it would fantastic to build that explosive strength and overhead stability. However, training olympic lifts and max strength more frequently and intensely increases the risk of injury and demands far more in terms of training time, recovery protocols and time investments.

 

Time Bound

    Having a time frame to complete your goal is crucial. Having open ended goals discourage completion and progress. If you want to run a marathon, pick a race date and start training now. Developing a time frame will also give you a definite answer on your accomplishment. For example, If you wanted to do 1 muscle in 8 weeks, you can work backwards and develop a plan to attack your goal week to week and day to day.

Keto and Macro Nutrition Challenge recipes

For Keto Plan

Egg & Bacon Muffins

Makes 12

 

Ingredients:

12 whole eggs

12 pieces of nitrate free bacon

1 red bell pepper diced small

1 cup chopped finely baby spinach

1 cup shredded broccoli (or sprouts if you like)

½ avocado for topping

Salt & Pepper to taste






 

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400

 

Chop bacon into little pieces and cook on stove top. While bacon is cooking, beat your eggs, add your chopped veggies into your egg mixture and stir well. Once bacon is cooked, add the bacon to the egg and veggie mixture. Use the fat from the bacon pan to lightly coat the muffin tin. Fill each muffin tin ¾ of the way with the egg mixture. Cook for 12-14 minutes or until muffins rise and there is no liquid on the top of the egg. Let sit for a few minutes then remove muffins from tin. Enjoy

 

Calories 100

Fat = 21 g per muffin w/  avocado (6 g  without avocado)

Carbs =  2 g

Protein = 8 g


 

 


 

For Macros Plan

Peanut butter and Jelly overnight oats

Male: do recipe as stated for Female cut oats to half the ingredients

 

Ingredients:

1/2 cup old-fashioned rolled oats

1 tbs peanut butter

1 Tbsp. chia seeds

1 Tbsp. Sugar Free Carys Syrup or Walden Farms

1 cups vanilla almond, soy or coconut milk*

Pinch coarse salt

½ cup fresh strawberries

 

Directions:  in a medium mixing bowl, whisk together oats, peanut butter, chia seeds, syrup, milk and salt. Transfer to a jar with a lid and refrigerate overnight. Stir in more peanut butter and more maple syrup if desired, to taste, and top with fresh strawberries and slivered almonds.

Calories = 465/232,  Fat 21/10g, Protein 16/8g, Carb 54/27g

 

 

Breakfast on the go!

The most important meal of the day

 

 

My favorite saying when it comes to any plan is, “Failing to plan is planning to fail” It is so important when we are “dieting” (I don’t like that word to much but that is for another blog post) to make sure that we are preparing our meals and such ahead of time. The number one thing I hear from clients on why they went off track is always that they were unprepared.

 

If you're anything like me, you like things to be easy and convenient. In our fast paced world, we sometimes don’t make time for the most important things in life. One of those things being breakfast. I know you can remember your mom or dad telling you before school that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. They were right. Upon waking, you should drink 6-8 ounces of water to jumpstart your body and organs. Within an hour of waking, you should be eating. Your body has just rested for 6-8 hours and needs fuel to function for the day. Protein is most important here so make that breakfast one that is filled with good protein and balance out the carb and fat.

 

If you're doing keto, of course fat is going to be the primary here.

So, what can we do to make sure our breakfast is on point and prepared ahead of time. Well, I have a few simple and easy recipe for you to make so that you can just pop it in the microwave or eat on the go so you can get on with your day!

 

Enjoy,

Coach Sherri

 

Coach Sherris Nutrition Challenge

My first week of Keto. And my last.

 

This week has been interesting. I am very educated when it comes to nutrition and how it affects the body and training. I could count macros in my sleep and have done pretty much every diet you can think of. For the last year or so  I have been following a moderate protein, low fat high carb diet. My training has been amazing and I have reached so many personal goals that I set out for myself. I recently finished a cut about 3 months or so ago and was very successful with it. I dropped about 15 lbs and felt and looked amazing. Since then have been very lackadaisical with my nutrition and exercise. I knew I needed to really dial back in so I thought why not try Keto. I do very well on higher carb diets and always make huge progress in my training. For me, the weight on the bar is more important to me than the weight on the scale. Training is very important to me, and nutrition is the base of my training. I had mixed feelings about doing keto as I knew it was going to affect me much differently than what I was used to. It was a very rough transition for me this week. I went through the “keto flu” as most do in the transition period: I didn’t sleep well, I was tired, cranky and basically felt like crap all week. I had no energy or motivation to workout, and I may have shed a tear or two. It wasn’t pleasant at all.  I am afraid that the low amount of carb on Keto is going to negatively affect my training, and as someone who trains heavy and hard, I am not willing to sacrifice my training for some fat loss. I have decided that keto is not for me. I have some goals that I want to reach by the end of the year and also have some competitions that are coming up, and I know that high carbs help my training.  

 

Although some hi-intensity athletes are experimenting with doing the KETO approach and using fats for fuel- there is no scientific proof that this can be done, as glucose (carbs) is the main source for energy.  There is however proof KETO works for that endurance athlete as they are performing at much lower intensity.  Here is a great article about it if you want to read more:  KETO ENDURANCE ATHLETE

 

Keto has had many great benefits such as fat loss, lower insulin, increases good cholesterol, heals metabolic syndrome, increase satiety much longer than a high protein diet.

Here is another great article on its benefits: Benefits of KETO

 

Different things work for different people, and the fact that keto doesn’t work for me, doesn’t mean it will not work for you. We all have different goals and will find what works for us as individuals. My plan going forward is to track macros like I am used. I will see how it works and affects my training and adjust as I go along. It kind of feels like a science experiment and I am looking forward to seeing what happens. Keep your eyes out for more blog post coming on nutrition and my journey. Keep up the great work everyone, you are all doing an amazing job and I am thrilled to be on this journey with you.

 

Best,

Coach Sherri

Games Athlete’s vs Average CrossFitter

 

       Competitive athletes in CrossFit have a very different training regime and lifestyle than your typical every day CrossFitter. The goal of a CrossFit athlete is to peak for the CrossFit Games. They train year round to qualify and compete once a year for 5 days at the highest level. To do that, they train several times a day, specific nutrition requirements, and professional recovery protocols. On the other hand an average CrossFitter only needs to hit one workout out a day. It common to think that more is better when it comes to training (“Rich Froning trains 7 times a day so I should too!”), but do not be fooled. The goals of training determine the style of programming.

    A recreational athlete goals follow a general physical preparedness (GPP) programming. Improving all aspects of fitness to reduce risk of metabolic disease, push off the nursing home, staying fit for work, and improving quality of life. This means hitting one workout a day, practicing all lifts, gymnastic movements, run, row, bike, etc. Constantly vary workouts and move hard and fast. This is the best formula to stay healthy and fit for long term functional fitness.

    Competitors in the sport of CrossFit have the same needs but, differ by degree. In order to compete in the open, regionals, and at the Games you need to hit certain weights and times. The average snatch for a 2016 Games athlete was 279/222 lbs. The average Fran time for men was 2:18. Just to be competitive in CrossFit a certain level of strength and conditioning is required. This level of fitness takes years to develop and maintain. Games Athletes also train to peak for a single weekend once a year. Modifying day to day, week to week, month to month to perform a certain way in a certain time frame. Finally, there is an increased risk of injury once training volume increases. Compared to an average CrossFitter, this risk is unnecessary and detrimental for long term fitness.

The Fittest of Earth and an average Joe at a local box both do CrossFit. However, our needs differ by degree not by kind. Therefore, training programs are designed differently. Deciding which one is critical to maximize your own personal fitness.

Mastering Movement

Mastering Movement

Back in 2005 Greg Glassman wrote an open letter to CrossFit trainers concerning fundamentals, virtuosity and mastery of movement. He stated,

 

“It is natural to want to teach people advanced and fancy movements. The urge to quickly move away from the basics and toward advanced movements arises out of the natural desire to entertain your client and impress him with your skills and knowledge. But make no mistake: it is a sucker’s move. Teaching a snatch where there is not yet an overhead squat, teaching an overhead squat where there is not yet an air squat, is a colossal mistake. This rush to advancement increases the chance of injury, delays advancement and progress, and blunts the client’s rate of return on his efforts.”

 

Everyone sees a heavy snatch and multiple muscle ups used in elaborate, complicated WODs and immediately wants to give it a shot. What nobody wants to do in work on their air squat for 20 minutes. Refining every last detail; chest up, feet forward, knees out, etc. Fundamentals are often overlooked but need to be considered in every training opportunity you have.

A great way to define movement foundations is developing a movement hierarchy or progressional map to see which movement or skill should be mastered before advancing to the next. Glassman gives common example of air squat into overhead squat into the snatch. Before moving load explosively, master the positions of moving load slowly. Before moving load at all, master moving your own body weight. An example I like to use is the handstand push up. Everyone wants to get inverted immediately and try to kip off 4 ab mats with an arched back just to get their reps in and say they did HSPUs. Fundamentals should always come first. Can you hold a hollow position just on the ground? How is your overhead mobility and positioning? Have you mastered a pike hold? Perfected your kick up to inverted? Wall assisted handstand holds aren’t a problem? Start with strict handstand push ups.

Fundamental movement development has the highest return on investment regarding your fitness. The best tips and tricks to advance to the next level will never amount to hammering the basics. Every training session strive for virtuosity; do the common uncommonly well.

Importance of the Warm Up

Importance of the Warm Up

 

The warm up is an often overlooked component of a daily training session. It’s easy to ride the Assault Bike for 2 minutes, roll out your quads, do a couple air squats, then hop right into a workout. A purposeful warm up not only reduces your chance of injury but, primes your body (and mind) for an optimal workout. When developing a warm up you should look to elevate body temperature, increase cardiorespiratory rate, mobility of key positions, activation, and movement fundamentals. Recognizing the importance of a warm up is crucial to get the most out of your training.

 

Elevating your body temperature allows more oxygen to be moved and utilized by the muscle while exercising by increasing blood flow and oxygen saturation. Increasing core body temperature also primes your nervous system for faster impulses improving muscle strength, speed, and power. Finally, an elevation in body temperature improves muscle viscosity (secretion of synovial fluid around a muscle) allowing for a greater demand to be put on the muscle without injury. (Shellock, Prentice. 1985)

 

    When developing a warm up, it is always important to look forward to your specific training session. Incorporating mobility and activation drills will prime certain movements that come up later on. For example, on a basic squat day starting with hip external rotation and flexion mobility would allow you to better access the bottom position of a squat. Also, activating your posterior chain using band pull throughs, glute ham raises, or hip thrusts prime the right muscle groups for maximal efficacy.  

 

    Warm ups are also a time where skill and fundamental reinforcement should be practiced. Fundamentals in CrossFit are not as sexy as stringing kipping handstand push ups and power cleaning at 90%. Instead, ask yourself, “How does my air squat look and feel?”, “What can I be doing better in my kip swing?” or, “What am I focusing on in my PVC pipe snatch?” Warming up is a time where you can pick apart your movements and skills at a low heart rate and under little to zero load. Master the fundamentals and everything else will fall into place.

 

Shellock, F., Prentice, W. (1985). Journal of Sports Medicine. “Warming-up and stretching for improved physical performance and prevention of sports-related injuries.” 2(4):267-78