NW Sports Rehab Mobility WOD this Sunday

We are very excited to announce our partnership with the Sports Medicine Chiropractors at NW Sports Rehab in Federal Way. Our goal is to work together to provide our clients with overall health and fitness while minimizing strain and injury to the body. Who better to trust with your body than the Docs that treat the Seattle Seahawks and Sounders?

The Chiropractors from NW Sports Rehab are coming to CFFW on Sunday 9/27 at 10am to host our first monthly mobility WOD. The focus is shoulder mobility. Everyone that struggles with their OHS should plan on attending. Yes, we know it’s on a Sunday morning, yes we know there’s football on TV but your mobility comes first! The mobility WOD will be from 10-11 followed by open gym 11-12. You’ll have plenty of time to get home and shower before the Hawks game AND Bam Bam Kam is back so it’s going to be a great game!

The Mobility WOD is free to all CFFW members. In addition to monthly mobility WODS all CFFW members are eligible for a Functional Movement Screening at NW Sports Rehab for $25 ($100 value). FMS take about an hour and are conducting at the NW Sports Rehab facility in Federal Way. The FMS will reveal your mobility issues and the Docs and trainers at NW Sports Rehab will treat you at their facility and give you mobility work to do at home and the gym to treat the problem.

Call (253) 838-6070 to make an appointment and make sure to mention you are a client at CFFW.

Visit NW Sports Rehab for more info.

30 Minute Fajitas, Quick Meals

It’s an all too common story- you’re pressed for time and need to eat so you make a quick stop and make some unhealthy choices.  These unhealthy choices can be avoided by spending two hours on a Sunday menu planning, shopping, and prepping food.  Two hours for an entire week’s worth of meals planned, food purchased, and food prepped.  It’s the easiest way to avoid making unhealthy choices (and feeling guilty).

Here are some previous posts of quick meals:

Cream of Chicken and Fennel Soup
10 Minute Tacos
Chicken and Greens Salad with Maple Sesame Vinaigrette
White Fish with Veg and Mojo de Ajo
Sweet & Sour Pork
Simple Salmon with Grilled Cabbage
And a ton more.  Click on the Recipes tab under Nutrition and scroll through the older posts to find inspiration.

30 Minute Fajitas

Over medium high heat in a large skillet heat 1 tablespoon coconut or avocado oil.  As the oil is warming, thinly slice 2 bell peppers (any color), ½ an onion, 2 carrots, and 2 cloves of garlic.  Put all veggies into the pan, stir to coat in oil, and let sit, stirring only occasionally.  You want color on your veg. Cook about 10 minutes or until veg is soft and richly colored.

While the veggies are cooking, thinly slice 1 ½ pounds of meat (chicken breast or thighs, thinner cuts of steak like skirt or flank).  Remove the veggies to a plate and put the meat into the pan.  Season with 1 tablespoon ancho chile powder (or if you want it spicy, chipotle powder), ½ teaspoon each cumin, dried oregano, coriander, salt and pepper.  Stir to combine but let sit, stirring only occasionally.  Develop good color.  Cook about 8 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink.

While the meat is cooking, prepare your lettuce wraps and/or other assorted toppings.  For example, diced raw onion, cilantro, tomato, avocado, salsa, guacamole, jalapenos, sliced jicama, etc.

When the meat is done cooking, add the veggies back into the pan, and stir to combine.  Turn off the heat and let sit for 5 minutes while you get plates, napkins, etc ready.  One more stir and boom, you’re done.

I’ve been making some version of chicken fajitas for Corey for the last 13 years and he said these were the best ones he’s tasted.  I don’t know what that says about the previous versions but at least these were good!

Two hours of planning, shopping, and prepping for an entire week of meals alleviates stress and allows for you to focus on more important matters than what’s for dinner tonight.  More important things like working toward your goal that you wrote on the whiteboard.

Sausage & Peppers, Paleo Pantry

To kick off the Clean Eating Challenge, here is what we’re eating for dinner tonight.  Also here are some tips on how to build a paleo pantry so you can come home with no plan for dinner but still make something great.  Good luck!

 IMG_2129Sausage & Peppers 
1 pound Italian sausage, links or ground, hot, sweet, or spicy (if you can find paleo/clean sausages, use those, but the ones I used were Johnsonville)

Sliced peppers, any color bell and as much as you like, Cubanelle is another good pepper to try

1 sliced onion, red or yellow

Lots of minced garlic

Salt and Italian Seasoning, as much or as little as you like

Other add ins: sliced mushrooms, quartered artichoke hearts, sun-dried tomatoes, fresh tomatoes, chopped zucchini, kalamata olives

Fresh herbs, pepperoncinis, red pepper flakes, for garnish

Place ingredients into a large skillet and cook until done.  Garnish with pepperoncinis, fresh minced herbs or red pepper flakes.  Eat.

My pantry before paleo was thick with cans of corn, beans, jars of sauces, boxes of rice, pasta, cous cous.  I could throw anything over pasta or rice and call it dinner.  We even had “meatless Mondays” where we ate an abundance of beans.  Since changing the way we eat requires more fresh food and no grains, the pantry has thinned considerably.  But there are times when a pantry comes in handy; busy nights when you’ve got no time to stop at the store.  Here are some of our paleo pantry staples:

Cans: tuna, artichokes, anchovies, tomatoes, green beans, peas, coconut milk, green chiles, pumpkin, beef broth
Jars: curry paste, olives, almond butter, roasted red peppers, no-sugar apple sauce, mixed-nuts, coconut oil
Bottles: coconut aminos, all kind of vinegars, Worcestershire, mustards, maple syrup, honey, olive oil
Bags: glass noodles, and rice because my kids LOVE it, sun-dried tomatoes (not in oil), coconut flour, almond flour, tapioca flour, arrowroot powder , dark chocolate chips (always), tea

And to keep it real, I have non-paleo items as well: Kraft Mac & Cheese, peanut butter sandwich crackers, Nutri-Grain bars, and a variety of lunch box-sized bags of chips.  I have two young kids who are growing rapidly, are very active, and are beanpoles.  I try and shove as much food into them as possible.  They eat what we eat and then some.  Oh, and I also have Mrs. Grass which is magic soup that comes in a box that a.) doesn’t take 2 days to make like my homemade soup does, and b.) cures all flu and cold ailments.

What are some of your pantry staples?

What is Clean Eating?

There are hundreds of websites that answer this question in a hundred different ways.  And the answer to this question is different for each person at our gym.  Some of you have participated in a clean eating challenge before; some are brand new to CrossFit and have never heard the phrase.  This is an attempt to explain some terminology and hopefully help you reach your personal goals.

Basically, eating clean means eliminating processed foods, refined sugar, and alcohol (or significantly limiting it) from your diet.  And diet is the food you eat, not some “fad diet”.  Clean eating means eating healthy meals from real food that has fat, calories, and nutrients that fuel your body.

The idea is that if you only put real food into your body, your body functions better.  Doritos and Pepsi have zero nutritional value- they don’t make you run faster or lift heavier, they don’t make your digestive system work better or your brain smarter.  If you improve your input by eating meat (protein) and vegetables (vitamins and minerals), your output will also improve (lose weight, lower cholesterol, PR your snatch, etc).

Take this way of eating one step further and you get paleo.  Eating paleo means eating clean but also eliminating grains, dairy, and legumes.  Strict paleo limits oils used for cooking and encourages wild-game, grass-fed and free-range proteins.  Water is the only true paleo drink- it should be from a natural spring and free from fluoride and other additives.  You should also draw pictures on your cave walls.

The theory behind eating paleo is that our bodies have not kept up with the industrialization of food and we simply can’t process and digest grains, legumes and dairy properly.  Our body doesn’t need them to function at an optimal level.  Our bodies need meat and vegetables, some fruit, nuts and seeds.  And water.

What does this mean for you?  Here are some things to think about: is this your first attempt at cleaning up your diet?  Or have you been eating paleo for awhile?  Maybe you should start with eliminating processed and/or prepared food.  Then after a few weeks, try removing dairy from your diet and see how you feel.  Or, if you’ve been paleo for some time now, try reducing your cheat day to a cheat meal.  Wherever you’re at on the clean eating spectrum, make sure you set yourself up for success.

Here are some guidelines if your goal is to lose weight: Limit fruit to 1 serving a day (natural sugar is still sugar) and nuts to 1 oz per day (nuts are good fat but still all fat), eat tons of green veggies, and resist paleo treats. Don’t go overboard on paleo cookies, muffins, or candy bars.  They may be “paleo” but they won’t lead to weight loss.  A general rule of thumb for everyone is to eat your serving of fruit or sweet potato after working out.  Your body is depleted and can best process carbohydrates after a wod.  Salt is ok in limited quantities and use coconut oil or avocado oil for cooking (use olive oil for salad dressing).

If you feel you’ve plateaued at the gym, try increasing your protein and/or carbs, or try eating more.  Or less.  If you’re in the tweaking stages you can make subtle changes and see how it affects your body over the course of a few weeks.  Sleep more.  Make your rest more intentional.  Try yoga.  Meditate.  Keep a food log and see what you’re truly eating and fine tune your diet for better performance.

As with any diet, practical application to your life is a personal decision.  Eat grass-fed meat if you like the flavor and can afford it.  If you have access to all organic produce, by all means, eat organic.  But don’t feel guilty or give up if you can’t.  Make it work for your life.  Making changes that are sustainable is the key to long term health.  Pack healthy lunches instead of eating out every day.  Swap coconut milk for coffee creamer.  It’s not about a quick fix.  It’s about learning what makes your body work better so that you live a long and happy life.  The ultimate goal is to feel good, really good.

Planning for Paleo

I am a master eavesdropper and have overheard several conversations lately about how summer diets are out of control and it’s time to rein things in.  I’ve also been asked the question, “Ok, so what is paleo and what am I supposed to do?”  There are some side clean-eating challenges happening and now seems like a great time to go back to basics.

Using the word “diet” is bothersome because it implies a temporary fix whereas what we promote is a permanent change in what you eat.  The goal is to feel better both mentally and physically, to perform our best.  And then life happens.  Birthday parties, holidays, vacations, samples at Costco.  Life happens!  Enjoy it, savor it, and try not to feel guilty about it.  Guilt perpetuates an unhealthy relationship with food which inhibits your ability to feel better.  So through trial and error, figure out what makes you feel your best.

What works best for us is to plan a week at a time.  Like a lot of you, we are a busy family with jobs, school, sports, and activities.  Rather than scramble at the last minute to make dinner before running out the door to swim practice, or worse yet stopping at a drive-thru, planning and shopping for the week helps alleviate guess work and stress.  Sundays are usually pretty slow and allow time to map out everyone’s schedules for the week.  Once this is done, think about dinners and what makes sense to make on which night.

Whatever your specific situation, planning doesn’t take much time and makes all the difference as the week progresses.  If you can’t plan a week, plan a few days.

Check your pantry, cupboards, fridge and freezer for ingredients already on hand.  As you plan your menu, make a shopping list for ingredients you don’t have.  Make a note of staples you need to stock up on.

It is easy to rely on family favorites for the week but cookbooks offer inspiration in addition to providing recipes.  And most recipes can be made paleo with some simple swap outs and substitutions.  Instead of sugar, use honey.  Coconut aminos instead of soy sauce.  Grated cauliflower instead of rice.  Lettuce leaves instead of buns or tortillas.  Coconut oil instead of canola.  Coconut milk instead of half and half or cream.

As for breakfast, lunch and snacks, we aren’t very creative.  Breakfast is usually eggs in some form: cupcakes, frittata, scramble, or an omelet.  The easiest lunch is leftovers or a salad or see my post on school lunch for kids.  Easy snacks: fruit, nuts, veggies, muffins or banana bread, and jerky.

After you’ve compiled your menu and shopping list for the week, head to the store.  Allow some flexibility for meat that is on sale or veg that looks especially vibrant and delicious.  Load up on real food; skip food that doesn’t do anything for you.  And maybe toss in some dark chocolate for those moments when you feel a Dairy Queen bender coming on.

Taking time to plan and prepare food for the week makes for seamless mornings, fulfilling lunches, and tasty, healthful dinners.  Don’t skip meals.  Smart snacking helps curb sugar cravings and helps prevent the mid-afternoon slump.  Eat when you’re hungry.  With as hard as we’re working out, we should be smart about the food we use as fuel.  Don’t undo all of that hard work and progress you’ve made at the gym with a double-decker supreme (not to mention what that will do to your gut later on).

Fitness isn’t just how you look physically on the outside but also how your body and mind function internally.  Wod hard, eat smart, experience positive change, and reap the benefits.