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2019 Best Life Possible

By Andy Boone

What if 2019 is the year that you finally decide to prioritize you? Let that question hang there a bit. I am talking about seriously prioritizing your life, along with growing curious about your health. To take it one step further. What if you decided that beginning in 2019 you were going to commit to living the best life possible? What might the best life possible even look like!? Where would you start?

CrossFit Inc. makes a strong case that points to health parameters that sit well ordered on a continuum of values ranging from “Sick” to “Well” to “Fit”. For example;

  • High-density lipoproteins (HDL cholesterol or what we think of as  good cholesterol). Less than 35 mg/dL of HDL cholesterol and you may have a problem, 50 mg/ dL is  nice, and 75 mg/dL is a whole lot better.
  • Blood pressure: 195/115 mm/Hg you have a problem, 120/70 mm/Hg is considered healthy, and 105/50 mm/Hg looks more like an athlete’s blood pressure
  • Triglycerides, bone density, muscle mass, body fat, hemoglobin A1c all can be plotted relative to the above values.

The significance is that these are the predictors, cause, and  manifestation of chronic disease. Chronic diseases include obesity, coronary heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, stroke, many cancers, Alzheimer’s, peripheral artery disease, and advanced biological aging, among others (above examples from CrossFit Inc. L1 Training Guide and talks by Coach Greg Glassman).

Perhaps you’ve already made your commitment to your health. You have a physician you trust, you test important markers and the above values and metrics sit very nicely within “Well” and “Fit” ranges. Maybe you turned to our CrossFit program or another fitness program you love, you’ve dialed in a nutrition plan and you sleep soundly among other healthy behaviors. You manage stress well and don’t feel a struggle with rumination or overly anxious worry. You are living what feels like your best life and you even have data to support it. Keep rockin!

Or maybe that’s not quite it. Perhaps it still feels, you feel, like something might be missing? Maybe you know something is missing, but just not sure what.

I pen this in the spirit of a new year, but it’s more than that. Your health, your life, and the opportunity for you to live the best life possible is what motivates me. It’s my personal Why. It’s why I spend so much time thinking about this place. It’s why I try to empower and create opportunities for coaches. It’s why I’m committed to this level of transparency! I am determined to create a space, program and a team of coaches that can support you in evoking a massive life change. Consider this your invitation to get curious about what’s possible!

I’ll reach a bit and attempt to connect said invitation to the Buddhist concept of Impermanence. According to the teachings of The Buddha, life is comparable to a river. It is a progressive moment, a series of different moments joining together to give the impression of one continuous flow. It moves from cause to cause and effect to effect. It moves from one point to another, giving the outward impression that it is one continuous unified movement. In reality, it is not.  As they say, the river of yesterday is not the same as today (adapted from urbandharma.org). Today is a new day. A new opportunity.

So much of our physiology and our health is the result of the lifestyle and behaviors we choose. As I have written about in the past, if we are willing to first examine and then potentially say NO to certain aspects of our life, especially with habits we’ve developed over many years, where then can we finally say YES? If we can develop the strength to let go of the stories we’ve told ourselves for many years, then what? What new doors can we open?

A few years ago I found a physician who helped me begin to get really curious about my health. Perhaps more importantly, he helped me begin to pay attention to the life I was living. How did I want to show-up in this great game? Where was I willing to make changes beyond showing up and consistently taking CrossFit classes?

I am certain that each one of us has the power to stop telling ourselves the same old story. My certainty comes from my own experience. 1/1/19 marked achieving a personal goal of 12 months alcohol-free. I pondered this potential lifestyle change for a couple of years. How would I be able to hang with friends? Enjoy happy hours? Survive at a cocktail party!? Alcohol consumption may not even be on your radar, but perhaps there is an area in your life where you might benefit from evoking a change.

Here’s the point I want to make: if we can stop long enough to hear the stories we’ve been telling ourselves for years, the power to choose otherwise and make big shifts lives in each of us.  This includes perceived fate, no matter our age, condition or current physical shape. Even genetic predispositions passed on from our parents are only part of the story. Humans possess the ability to turn genes off and on via lifestyle and behavior changes. Simply put, you have the opportunity to take charge of your health and wake-up to living a different life.

Stay-tuned next week as we begin to preview a couple very cool 2019 programs launching soon. This includes the “Take Charge of your Health” program that will include all access seminars, as well as small group health coaching sessions. Our goal is to create opportunities for us all to dive deeper into identifying our own stories, listening to self-talk, understanding behavior change, setting attainable and sustainable goals and truly waking up what’s possible.

Happy 2019 from Portobelo, Panama.  Let us all celebrate the opportunity to finally Take Charge of Our Health!

High on Sobriety; A Few Things I’m Noticing

By Andy Boone

 

A few years ago I was talking to a close friend about his journey to sobriety. He was approaching his 20th year completely sober and I was fascinated with my constructed idea of the discipline it would take for me to get sober; completely sober as a way of life. Not a drop of booze, no other substances whatsoever. In his case, not even Advil. Why did that seem so ridiculous? This idea had me spinning.

Within a week I reached back out to the same friend. I had questions. Why had he made the decision? Was it a single incident? How had the decision changed his life? Any regrets? Any temptations? I shared my typical consumption patterns and routines. For me, consuming alcohol had more or less become a way of life. A part of most social events. Included in most restaurant dinners. Was it time for me to take a break? If I reduced the quantity and frequency, would that be a worthy exercise?  Could I be the guy that just had a few beers now and then or should I test what it was like to go without?  

His simple response set me on a new course and it went something like this: “If you are connecting with so many honest thoughts and questions about the subject well, maybe there’s your answer.”

Alcohol and the connection to my overall health was on my mind much of 2017. Could I make it Sunday through Thursday with no alcohol and then ‘back to normal’ with a green light to have a few drinks Friday and Saturday? Should I not drink during the week, but allow myself the obvious few at the organized social events? Could I make it through a weekend without a drink? How many was too many?

All the while, my friend’s comment kept spinning in my head. “If you are connecting to all of these questions well, maybe there’s your answer”. Maybe I did in fact have my answer.

With a few failed stop then start attempts during 2017, I took my last drink this past December. As I approach nine months sober, I thought I would use this week’s blog post to share some of what I’m noticing. This IS NOT an ‘everybody needs to stop drinking and get sober’ post. The last place you will ever find me is standing on a box preaching the way your life should be. If alcohol is a substance you are curious about and you’ve wrestled with the idea of making a change, here are a few things I’m noticing.

I Feel Better

I’m not sure how best to describe this one, so I’ll just sort of lay it out there. I feel better. I don’t feel the low-low energies that I used to. I don’t despise Monday like I used to. My outlook on my own health and life is generally more positive. I feel more patient and I feel more loving. It feels good to feel good.

I Ruminate Less

I’ve spent many years of my life living in my head. The voice that never quiets. I suspect that a mindfulness practice and consistent exercise are also factors that reduce rumination. I also know that after even the most enjoyable alcohol-fueled social event, the morning after is filled with reflection and rumination and sometimes regret. Quitting drinking has helped me to step out of my head.

I Sleep Better

For many years of my life I would wake at about 1 AM. Often times when drinking alcohol I would wake at 1 AM and have a difficult time going back to sleep. Even when I quit drinking during January and February this pattern would sometimes continue. Then in months three and four something shifted. Today it’s not uncommon for me to sleep through the entire night. I experience lucid dreams and awaken feeling rested like I didn’t know was possible.

More Present in Relationships

I especially notice this one with my wife, children, good friends and even teaching classes. I’m more engaged in conversations and am naturally and authentically more curious about what’s going on around me. When we feel better about ourselves and the life we are living, I believe that opens the door to show-up with others. 

I Feel Strong (again) During Workouts

I found myself in the gym discouraged with how I felt during workouts. Something wasn’t right. I didn’t feel like I could really face intensity. Also in a scary sort of way I started feeling like I couldn’t recover. Thus, my participation suffered. I’m enjoying our program more than I ever have.

I Make Better Food Choices

When we drink alcohol, our propensity to choose the sweet and the super savory only increases. Our guard comes down, we crave the garbage and don’t hesitate to dive-in. I don’t crave sugar like I used to.

My Kids Notice

I know that they’ve noticed because they are old enough and they tell me so. They like this dad better. They tell me they are proud of me. That about sums that up.

I’m More Curious About the Long Term Impact

In one of Peter Attia’s recent “Drive” podcasts, he summarizes the physiological effect of alcohol on the body. I encourage you to checkout Attia’s podcasts and, in general, his work on Health and Longevity.  

With respect to “alcohol” we are really talking about the physiological effect of the molecule ethanol on the body. Attia points out that ethanol is in fact a toxin, and that the dose makes the poison.

Many people (not in the world of toxicology) forget there is a probability distribution that drives the impact of a toxin on a population. There are going to be some people at one end of the spectrum who are largely impacted by certain toxins and there are going to be others who are not.

Ethanol is no exception. Like Attia, I don’t believe that there is a single benefit to ethanol, the molecule, in the human body. Ethanol in its metabolic pathway is metabolized by the liver and has an effect on both the liver and the brain. The effect on the brain is what people drink alcohol for. So we can feel deliciously buzzed. You know, that “Oh, heyyy…” feeling. But it also acts as a depressant on the central nervous system and this kicks up some euphoria. So, it’s a depressant, but also excitatory and thus why it feels uniquely yummy and allows us to feel like we can let go of our stress AND feel good.

The effect on the liver is not so yummy. Even though this varies by individual, Attia points out alcohol is metabolized very similar to fructose. They share similar metabolic pathways. Not identical, but not surprising that they overlap given fructose is fermented to make ethanol. Just like sugar, different people tolerate different amounts. Over time, I believe many of use lose our ability to metabolize alcohol, just like we do the refined carbs and sugar.

Writing a New Chapter

If we are willing to first examine and then potentially say NO to certain aspects of our life, especially with habits we’ve developed over many years, where then can we finally say YES? If we can develop the strength to let go of the stories we’ve told ourselves for many years, then what? What new doors can we open? 

A few years ago I found a physician who helped me begin to get really curious about my health. Perhaps more importantly, he helped me begin to pay attention to the life I was living. How did I want to show-up in this great game? Where was I willing to make changes? Where did I need to let go?

Today I am connecting with myself and others more deeply. For the first time, I’m seeing where I want to show-up bigger and stronger, as well honoring opportunities to rest and just be.  The fight, the persistence, the courage as well as honesty and transparency feels right. I am inspired to share my journey with you. 

Day 2 @ Paleo f(x)™

Dr. Chris Kresser, “How to End Chronic Disease”

Day two featured Berkeley-based Dr. Chris Kresser, Founder, The Center for Functional Medicine and The Kresser Institute.  I was really excited to hear Chris’s talk and will dedicate this entire post to what he covered. Most of what Chris covered can be found in his book, Unconventional Medicine.

I’m writing this on the airplane and noticed Chris is on my flight. I decided not to bother him as I suspect he may have entertained a fair number of fans during the weekend event. I was a little tempted to be that guy.

I’ve supplemented a few of the points from his talk with a few point from his book and strongly suggest you consider adding this one to shelf. I’ve briefly discussed his work before and hope this represents a bit more context and learning.

  1. Today traditional, conventional medicine uses drugs as band-aids. It’s time we figure out a new model of disease prevention.
    1. ABoone note: Let’s think about the relationship we have with our Doctor. Is he/she strategizing and consulting re: how to optimize our health and well being?  Who are the Docs out there able and willing to engage in these discussions? Let’s go find them.

Imagine a new model of healthcare where:

  1. The approach is one that prevents and reverses chronic disease instead of just managing it.
  2. Patient protocols are overhauled, so time spent between patient and doctors and other participants is creative and inspiring and rewarding.
  3. The focus is on patients taking charge of their own life, namely lifestyle and behavior changes.
  4.  Organizations and individual experience a decrease in healthcare costs.

Chris’s view of chronic disease:

  1. Chronic disease is a slow motion plague that is destroying our health, shortening our lifespan, bankrupting our government and threatening the health of future generations.
  2. Most people don’t realize two really important points:
    1. The scale and urgency of the problem.
    2. The action we take must not come out of same system that caused and continues to cause problems. It’s time for real change.

*Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. We need a new approach to healthcare.

3 Pieces to the Puzzle – a new model of Healthcare:

  1. Functional Medicine – a systems approach to patient care.
  2. Ancestral Medicine + Lifestyle – living in line with our genes.
  3. Collaborative Practice Model – a group of people all strategizing toward empowering patients to take charge with the mission being preventing, reversing and even curing conditions vs. managing.

Today we are living longer, but are we living better?

  1. If you were born in 1900, there was a good chance you would be dead before your 50th birthday.
  2. Collectively, advances in technology and medicine have led to dramatic increase in human lifespan in the industrialized world.
  3. Today if you live in the US, average lifespan is 78 years. But are people able to live rich and fulfilling lives?
  4. 27% of children suffer from chronic disease. This can mean 60 to 70 or more years of medications and suffering.
  5. Situation is worse than we thought. It’s estimated that children today are the first generation of children not expected to outlive their parents.
    1. ABoone note: I’ve mentioned this one before and it really has be thinking about how I can continue supporting and empowering our children, adolescents and teens
    2. Key mission of Julie Shepherd‘s Equip Sport Performance.
      1. How do we Equip our kids to take charge and wake-up to their own Health sooner vs. later?
  6. 20/20 hindsight:
    1. 1950’s obesity was rare
    2. Chronic disease is a defining feature of Western society
  7. The colossal burden
    1. 1 in 2 Americans has a chronic disease
    2. 1 in 4 have multiple disease conditions
    3. Chronic diseases causes 7 of 10 deaths in the US
    4. Chronic disease accounts for 86% of healthcare expenditures
    5. 99% of medicare dollars
    6. 91% of Rx
    7. 76% of physician visits

  1. The financial burden is so enormous, hard to comprehend
    1. Costs the US $3.2 trillion year
    2. Will generate $47 trillion in costs globally by 2030 if epidemic is unchecked
  2. Expected to get worse before better. A few of the staggering numbers:
    1. CDC estimates 1 in 3 or about 100,000,000 (one hundred million) have pre-diabetes or diabetes
    2. 88% of people with pre-diabetes don’t know they have it
    3. Rate of type 2 diabetes in children and teens the rate of type 2 is progressing almost 5%/year
    4. 1 in 6 people have an autoimmune disorder and this is growing

While chronic disease has become our “normal”, there is a BIG difference between what’s common and what’s normal.

  1. Not normal for humans to develop these conditions
  2. Not normal for us to suffer
  3. Not normal to take piles of medications

3 causes to chronic disease epidemic:

  1. Mismatch between genes and our environment
  2. Current model is optimized for acute care vs. chronic conditions
  3. The way healthcare is delivered, doesn’t support interventions for prevention and reversing disease.

So, a new model of health care is one that we all must be interested in. It will take our collective effort:

  1. Functional medicine – systems focused approach that looks at underlying causes.
    1. What that means to you?
      1. Find a Doc who is willing to look at the underlying cause vs. treating symptoms.
      2. Several excellent functional medicine doctors in the area.
      3. ABoone note: CFN is working on partnership, so that we can secure direct, discounted blood tests and panels. My intention is to help you create tools so that you can work with your current physician or find a new physician willing to partner with you as y0u get more curious about your health.
  2. Ancestral diet & lifestyle
    1. Individualized diet approach that’s in line with what genes are designed for.
      1. ABoone note: Are you curious about your genetic make-up?
        1. Some very interesting talks on Day 3 which I will share tomorrow, Monday.
      2. Lifestyle changes in line with what our genes are designed for.
      3. Two above are effective, but not always enough to restore.
  3. Collaboration between Doctors, patients and other Supporting players like a knowledgeable Health Coach who can offer service and/or help guide players.
    1. These often include Body worker, meditation practice, nutritionist other healers.
    2. This is the role of the CFN 7 and really how we want people to get curious!

ABoone note: I want to close by posting the following slide from Chris’s talk one more time. I have no idea if Chris will ever read this post – unlikely – but want to offer him sincere and public thanks for being a leader among a growing group of practitioners and advocates fighting for change. This was his 7th Paleo f(x)™, so he’s not new to the scene.

What’s your job? I rather see it as our collective opportunity. I want to encourage us all to continue waking-up to our Health. To be curious about what data we can look at and really consider how we are thinking,  feeling and living. Not the stories we tell ourselves, but really the daily choices we make re: our lifestyle and behavior.

AB

Are You Ready to be Woman Strong?

Are You Ready to be Woman Strong?

By Gilly Boyd

We live in a time where people are becoming increasingly aware of the relationship between fitness and nutrition with overall health and wellness. However, in our pursuit of fitness and health, many are forgetting one of the most fundamental pieces of being human. That is Human Connection.

I am aware of a rising number of studies exploring the concept of loneliness and how the closely related lack of human connection may in fact be contributing to the rising rate of chronic disease conditions. This includes obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, and depression! As the rate of chronic disease is on the rise, and as more and more people feel alone or lack human connection, we see the potential for a person’s health to decline even further. This decline in turn may cause antisocial behavior, thus creating the potential for a vicious cycle of declining health and increasing isolation.

In ancient ancestral times, individuals were supported by the entire tribe. A woman who gave birth had an army of sisters, aunts, mothers, and grandmothers to help care for her and her child, to teach and to guide her on her path through motherhood. Modern tribes and cultures that have these practices in place today report experiencing fewer instances of postpartum depression and chronic disease.

“Amazing things happen when women help other women.” – Kasia Gospos

At CrossFit Novato, we are on a quest to create spaces where women can visit and participate in health focused activities including thoughtful workouts, with the support of other women free from all judgements and fears. These are spaces , indoors and outdoors, where women can talk freely about their struggles, their triumphs, their defeats, their fears,  and their ever changing emotions. This one time “gym” community has evolved into a sacred place where people explore the concept of health, nutrition, and fitness without pressure or shame. A community where the core value is human connection; a place where people gather safely and are given the encouragement, support, tools, and a freedom to begin building relationships with themselves, their families, and others.

Phase I

Phase I of our Women’s Health program was our Postpartum Return to Fitness class series. This class was designed to connect new moms with their new bodies, re-connect them to their core and pelvic floor through their breath and to gently explore fitness and strength again.

Participants ranged from 3 months postpartum to 18 months postpartum. We worked with first-time moms to moms of multiples, from women with little-to-no athletic background to women with years of experience in a gym.

The most beautiful aspect of this class had nothing to do with how much weight people lifted or even how hard they worked. Instead, we focused on building confidence and human connection. Several participants initially reported feeling overwhelmed and unsure of themselves. In the end, participants reported a feeling of believing in their own strength and finally having time and a program that was “theirs”.

Frankly, when I started teaching this class, I was completely unsure of myself, unsure of my ability to connect and help other women.  I was lacking confidence in my abilities as a Pregnancy and Postpartum Athleticism Coach. As the course came to a close, I felt a special bond and a connection to these women (we cried both tears of joy and tears of frustration together) and more confident than ever that I am on my best path.Thank you to these wonderful women who trusted me with their babies, with their fitness and recovery, and, most importantly, taught me more than I ever thought possible!

Phase II

I am excited to announce the launch of our next Women’s Health Program: Woman Strong. Woman Strong is a female-only, female-coached strength and conditioning class open to women of all ages and abilities. The programming includes basic strength movements; you will learn how to squat, press, pick something up off the floor, and pull yourself up on rings or bars. You will be exposed to dumbbells, kettlebells, resistance bands, barbells, sleds, and medballs. The conditioning pieces will be fun and non-competitive. The coach will work with you to make sure the weight and intensity you choose that day is appropriate. There are no prescribed weights, you get to choose how much to lift in a given day. All movements are coached with consideration for female anatomy, and core/pelvic floor health. The strength you will build in this class will give you more confidence and independence in your life outside of the gym.

This class is a great compliment to traditional cardio-based training such as Cycling classes, Zumba or running. It is a great strength-training program for women looking to preserve bone-density and lead an independent life as they age. This class is appropriate for pregnant women or postpartum women looking to return back to fitness.

The most important aspect of this class is the community of women it will build. Babies and toddlers are welcome to come with you to class and we are a breastfeeding-friendly facility. While there is no specific child-care provided, the women in the class and the coach work together to help care for each baby and child so that every mom gets the space and time to get a workout in. This isn’t a class to come in and beat yourself down with a crazy-hard workout. It’s a place to come in and discover your own strength, a place to wake up to your potential. Are you ready to be Woman Strong?

Our Woman Strong class will run on Mondays and Wednesdays from 10:45am-11:45am at our Downtown location, starting on Wednesday September 5th. The class is open to all fitness-levels and abilities.

If you are new to our facility, please contact Head Coach Gilly Boyd at gilly@crossfitnovato or (831)234-3506 to come in and try a free class.

5 Things I Want Every Female Athlete To Know 

By Gillian Boyd

My life has made a huge shift in the last two years; pregnancy and parenthood. Anyone that has experienced both of these events (or even just one of them) knows how life-altering they can be.
I did not enjoy being pregnant. I struggled to be in the gym. “You’re so fit!” they would all say. “You’ll have such an easy labor and delivery! You’ll bounce back in no time!” Those words while well-intentioned ended up being so hurtful.

I didn’t have an easy labor and delivery. I didn’t “bounce back” (what does that even mean?!?!?). I felt lost. I was exhausted. I felt like a failure because I wasn’t doing all the things people said I would. Did that mean I wasn’t fit before? Does that mean I didn’t have a fit pregnancy? Ack! So much anxiety, fear, and hurt.

At the same time, I am also thankful for the experiences I had because they ended up inspiring me to learn anything and everything surrounding pregnancy and postpartum training. Everything about fitness, nutrition, and health for women. I dove head-first into Brianna Battle’s Pregnancy and Postpartum Athleticism Coaching Certification. I connected with amazing coaches out there doing incredibly positive work for female athletes. I read, researched, and studied. I’m still learning,but it’s time that I share some of it.
The next five things are just the tip of the iceberg. I want you all to read these things, get curious, ask questions, and tell your friends about them. Let’s take better care of our women. Let’s take better care of each other. Let’s take better care of ourselves. Knowledge is power.

#1). YOUR PELVIC FLOOR MATTERS (this is really important for women AND men):
Did you know that your pelvic floor is part of your “core”? Many people know how important your core is for preventing injury and providing stability, but how many of you when cued to engage your core think about contracting your pelvic floor? Most people that I know don’t. We mostly just think of the main abdominals: the Rectus Abdominis, the Obliques, and the Transverse Abdominals. The truth is that these abdominal muscles function best when working in concert with both your diaphragm and your pelvic floor (and they all function via your breath!). When they don’t work well together, dysfunction happens. Symptoms of dysfunction can be hip, back, or pelvic pain, incontinence, feeling heavy, or feeling pressure down below. I know many of you suffer from chronic back and/or hip pain. I did too, pretty much my whole life. But you know what’s crazy? Since learning about my pelvic floor, how it functions, and how to train it to work together with the diaphragm and abdominals…I’ve had little to no back pain! Seriously, this breathwork and awareness is life-changing.
If you are interested in what the pelvic floor looks like and how it functions, here is a little video.

Want to see a cool MRI of the way your core works with your breath? Check this out.
If you are currently experiencing any of the symptoms mentioned above, I highly recommend going to see a Pelvic Floor Physical Therapist. They can help you. This stuff matters. Even for you dudes.

#2). No, peeing yourself, pelvic pain, and having a poochy tummy are not “part of being a mom”
You see this message in Poise commercials. You hear your girlfriends say it. Maybe you’ve even joked about it before. The message I want to get across is that while these things ARE COMMON, they are NOT NORMAL and you don’t have to live with them. There is help. As mentioned above, peeing yourself even when you sneeze or jump is a sign that your pelvic floor isn’t functioning properly. With proper training and help from a professional, you (most likely) will resolve your issue (I put most likely in there because there are rare cases where surgery is needed, but even then the issue is usually resolved). The same goes for pelvic pain. It’s a symptom that something is wrong, just like if your knee was hurting. Most of us would see a doctor for bad knee pain, but yet women “just put up with” pelvic pain because they think they have to. That’s bullsh*t. Lastly, do you hear mom’s complain about the appearance of their tummy post babies ( I’m specifically talking about when the lower abdomen “pooches” out)? What if I told you that often this is just a combination of Diastasis Recti that didn’t heal properly post-delivery and mismanagement of abdominal pressure? That’s right, training the pelvic floor and core through specific breath work and physical therapy might change the appearance of your tummy. Did your mind just explode? Mine did when I found that one out. It’s not always the case, and sometimes there is more at play for this one, but I want women to know there is help other than crash diets and punishing yourself in the gym.

#3). The way you exercise through pregnancy and especially postpartum (1st year or so) MATTERS.
Not a lot of people are comfortable saying this, but I think it needs to be said; Pregnancy is hard on your body. Labor and delivery (in all forms) is traumatic injury/surgery to your body. We have exhaustive rehabilitation protocols for knee replacements, shoulder surgeries, and even sprained ankles. We have no rehab recommendations AT ALL for the nearly 4 MILLION women giving birth every year in the US. Did you know that it’s estimated that around 3.3 million women in America have Pelvic Organ Prolapse? Or that Stress Incontinence (peeing while jumping/sneezing/etc) affects nearly 15 million women in the US? Both of these are usually caused by or exacerbated by pregnancy, labor, delivery, and postpartum habits. Both can also be managed/reduced/eliminated by proper education, care, and exercise. Are you pissed? Im pissed.

I want to change this. There are doctors, nurses, coaches, physical therapists, and so many others that want to change this. Unfortunately, quality information is still hard to find and the internet is rife with misguided recommendations and guidelines. So I’m here to tell you, and I hope you tell your friends too; there are considerations you should make to your training during pregnancy. There are ways to ease back into training that help to rebuild the core and pelvic floor, reduce diastasis recti, and progress you in an intelligent way.

You don’t need to exercise through pregnancy to keep weight gain down (your body does what it needs to do to build a healthy baby. Surrender to that, focus on eating a quality diet). You don’t need to slave away in the gym and go right back to “doing what you were doing” to “lose the baby-weight”.( #buzzkill) You’ll probably gain a lot of the weight you lost post-baby back once you stop breastfeeding (because #hormones *whomp, whomp*).
There are so many more ways to nourish your soul, your body, and your mind than “punishing” yourself in the gym. You’ll likely end up discouraged, peeing your pants, and in pain if you rush things. If we rebuild your core, pelvic floor, and strategy in an intelligent, individualized way you are more likely to return to doing what you love, the way you want to do it, without any complications. Doesn’t that sound like something every woman should experience?

#4). Your Menstrual Cycle Affects Your Training
Yup. You read that right. It’s not a myth. Understanding how your hormones affect your training will help you to understand what you are feeling and experiencing in and out of the gym.

Let’s do a crash-course: Your cycle begins right after you finish menstruating with the follicular phase which lasts, on average, about 14 days. You have an increase in estrogen and normal progesterone in this phase, and an average body temperature. Ovulation happens around day 14 and is characterized by a peak in estrogen and rising levels in progesterone. Your body temperature also rises. After ovulation, you enter the luteal phase where estrogen declines, progesterone increases and your body temperature is elevated. Menstruation then follows.

Now, what does all of this mean for your training and recovery? The follicular phase, or beginning of your cycle is the best time to train hard. You will have a higher tolerance to pain, increased endurance, and your insulin sensitivity levels are higher making your body more tolerant of carb-fueling your workouts. Your basal metabolic rate, or the number of calories your body needs to keep you functioning at rest, is also at its lowest during this phase, dropping to its lowest point one week before ovulation.

During ovulation, you are the most primed to make PRs! You have the highest sheer force generation capacity during this phase. It’s important to note though that studies have found that it is also the time you are most susceptible to injury. Soaring estrogen levels can influence your neuromuscular control and affect collagen metabolism. So be mindful of your form while going for those PRs! Your metabolism is also starting to go up, so you may feel more hungry.
During the luteal phase, you will be retaining water making you feel bloated and uncomfortable. You experience higher cardiovascular strain and your endurance will decrease. This is a great time to step back form intensity, and focus more on moderately paced efforts. Metabolically, you will be at your lowest point, yet your body will really crave a lot of carb-rich foods. Try to stick to quality, high fat foods like avocados as your body is primed for fat-burning for fuel during this phase.
The last phase, menstruation, is a time to transition back to high intensity training, which will peak in the following phase.
Now, wouldn’t it be fun if we could all time our 1RM testing to our Ovulation phases?!?

#5). Consistency and Kindness
This one I’m going to keep short, but it may be the most important:

Consistency over time is THE MOST CRUCIAL factor in weight loss, fitness, health, and wellbeing. There are no quick fixes. Keep your head down and keep going. It will pay off. I promise.

Kindness to yourself. You need it. When you lack it, you won’t be consistent. If you veer off course and then beat yourself up over it, you are less likely to get back to being consistent. Lack of consistency leads to lack of progress. You see the loop this is forming? Do yourself a favor and be kind to yourself. You are doing great. Seriously you are. Now tell yourself that too, because you need to hear it from you!

If this info sparks your curiosity, you need support, or you want to talk more about this stuff, contact me at gilly@crossfitnovato.com or text/call (831) 234-3506. I am here for you, no matter what you are going through or what your goals are.

Day 1 @ Paleo f(x)™

I’ve always wanted to attend Paleo f(x)™ and finally made the trip to Austin, TX. Having followed the conference for many years, I was curious to experience the evolved, more ‘holistic’ health and wellness event. The published list of presenters and goods and services span fitness, nutrition, spirituality, healthcare, politics, entrepreneurship and more. I was very curious to see what others believe and ultimately how we are coming together to help each other wake-up to our Health. 

My first impression of Austin!

  • Willie for President? Why not. I supposed this photo may only matter, really, if you love Country music. I grew-up reluctantly listening to Willie Nelson music and only later in life really appreciate the way he rolls. Thanks for the introduction, Mom & Dad.
  • Austin features some super friendly people and it is a Booming city. It’s about a mile walk from my hotel to Downtown Austin and it’s a friendly construction zone the entire way. I rented a bike for the weekend, so I am that tourist. Here’s a view of Downtown from where I’m staying.

Friday, April 27

Friday marked the first full day of presentations. I listened to a few different panel discussions covering a variety of topics. Here are three individual presenters who stood out:

    1. Dr. Joseph Mercola “Not Well Known Biohacks to Radically Improve Your Health”

 

    1. Ben Greenfield “10 Ways To Look Good Naked & Live a Long Limitless Life”

 

  1. Robb Wolf “Metabolic Flexibility: The Rosetta Stone of the Macronutrient Wars”

Dr. Joseph Mercola, “Not Well Known Biohacks to Radically Improve Your Health”

Dr. Mercola’s public mission:

    1. Providing the most up-to-date natural health information and resources and,

 

  1. Exposing corporate, government, and mass media hype that diverts you away from what is truly best for your health and often to a path that leads straight into an early grave.

Points from Dr. Mercola’s talk I’m spinning on:

    1. Be careful experimenting with nutritional ketosis. He’s practiced several times and felt like he was starving himself. If you try it, cycle it. 

 

    1. Be careful with protein intake. Believes this should be low or fall between 50-80 g/day. Protein intake up and down should be cycled. The more we age, the more important protein becomes however. 

 

    1. He is a big believer in Intermittent Fasting and often practices no food windows between 16-20 hours.

 

    1. Believes that practicing Intermittent Fasting is healthy for most of us, but like Ketosis, should be cycled.

 

    1. Multi-day water fasting even better than Intermittent Fasting.

 

    1. 5 day water fasts are just emerging.  
        1. 5 day fast benefits start day 3

       

        1. The BIG benefit of Fasting? Autophagy and this starts about day 3 of a 5 day fast. Here’s a vide explanation of Autophagy from Dr. Mercola’s website

       

        1. Stem cells activation

       

      1. Potent detox

 

    1. Dr. Mercola suggested we checkout True North Clinic. This is a Fasting clinic and looks like they are our neighbors located in Santa Rosa.

 

    1. Cell phones are a Class 2B carcinogen. Mercola believes they are Class 1. Believes extended use of cell phones is like extended cigarette smoking. It’s only a matter of time before the general public will understand the harm.  

 

    1. Secret to Health: RAP which stands for Replicate Ancestral Practices. If we are willing, we will optimize genetics and biochemistry.

 

    1. Fast your pets. They are designed to fast ie don’t leave food in the bowl. 

 

    1. Vitamin D is important. Get some sun on your body. 

 

    1. Limit Electric and Magnetic Fields (EMF)! 
      1. lessemf.com
      2. safelivingtechnologies.com 

 

    1. “Most bone broths are garbage. Must confirm that it’s grass-fed and organic or it’s likely from China”. BTW, ever heard of BRU

 

    1. Steam convection ovens. It’s time to throw away microwave ovens! This one really has me spinning as apparently they a table top steam convection oven will cook almost as fast as microwave oven. The ‘microwave is bad’ is something that I’ve known for  along time and just choose to ignore. I feel it’s time to alter that behavior. 

 

  1. Lastly, don’t stress too much about all this stuff. Ok sure, Dr. Mercola. 🙂

Ben Greenfield, “10 Ways To Look Good Naked & Live a Long Limitless Life”

Was looking forward to Ben’s talk as I’ve just recently started listening to his podcast. Was able to meet Ben first thing Friday morning, introduced by an old friend, Onnit’s Kyle Kingsbury. Have stayed connected with Kyle since we met at an XPT event. Kyle fought in the UFC and an extraordinarily humble and sweet human. Kyle now hosts Onnit’s Total Human Optimization Podcast and I encourage you to give that a listen.

I find Ben interesting because he seems to wrestle basic ancestral living principles and also find ways to marry these principles with science and medicine. He’s quirky and smart and humble and is a professed introvert. Generally, I find myself adoring introverts. 

Ben recently founded a company Kion. It looks like they are offering some interesting coffee and supplements. Personally, I’m super intrigued by the exploding coffee/cold brew/mct oil/reishi mushroom combo bottled products. Check them out at our whole Whole Foods, top shelf, far right on the same wall as the refrigerated bottle water. 

Points from Ben’s talk I’m spinning on:

    1. Number one thing we can do as humans. Identify our purpose. I’m not sure why Ben waited until the end of his talk to share his #1, but this one really resonates. Why are we here? What do we want our legacy to be? When we can identify our purpose, we can empower people – and first ourselves – to live joyful, adventurous and fulfilling lives. Personally, I believe I’ve found my purpose.

 

    1. TeloYears offers an ‘actionable’ DNA health test. It lets you track your cellular age based on your telomere length and then offers some guidance on what to do with the data. I’m not sure if this is the specific company Ben was referencing, but suggests that he’s added 17 years to biological potential since making lifestyle and behavior changes. I think this is super cool.

 

    1. Ben looks for opportunities to balancing neurotransmitters via coffee and other means. How do we regulate the chronic disregulation? One of the ways to 100mg L-theanine blended with a good cup of coffee. 
      1. Check out Ben Lynch book Dirty Genes

      2. Eric Braverman’s The Edge Effect

 

    1. Fix your leaky brain. Optimizing blood brain barrier. Optimizing the filter for your head.  
        1. Follow Ray Chronise 

       

        1. Research hot/cold shower sessions: 20 seconds cold/10 seconds hot

       

        1. Experience Cryotherapy

       

      1. Believer in Cold tubs, better than Cryo

 

    1. Breath work 
      1. Box breathing. Checkout box breathing techniques like the 4/4. Hey remember Credo classes? 

 

    1. Eating  
        1. Must read Cate Shanahan’s Deep Nutrition – After reading, given the choice, Ben would choose cotton candy vs. snacks processed in vegetable oil. We must pay closer attention to oils. More important than sugar and worrying about macros. 

       

        1. B12, must eat more organ meets. Yummy. 

       

      1. Creatine – is a nootropic and naturally declines as we age. Takes 4-5 gm. day, however, we can only absorb 1.5 g at a time.

 

    1. Believes in intentional micro-dosing: 
        1. Nicotine – 1-1.5 grams + caffeine – nicotine toothpicks

       

        1. LSD/ PLSD – 10-20 mg recommended for creativity. Did he say LSD? Curious.  

       

        1. Pile loose leaf tobacco

       

      1. Intellect tree – Qualia – mind stuff – herbal nootropic

 

    1. Train for Speed  
      1. Fast twitch is key – how fast can explode?  
        1. Quality of the muscle more important than quantity 
          1. Speed of Movement rules

 

    1. We should prioritize Deep Sleep 
        1. Absence of blue, presence of red!

       

      1. Check out RubyLux infrared bulbs 
    2. Clean Your Gut
        1. Research coffee enemas

       

      1. Seek psoas and pelvic floor therapy. Hey, Coach Gilly Boyd

 

    1. Forget “Diets” 
      1. Everyone is different — lots is based on microbiome, so figure out how you work and what you need. 

 

  1. Control / reduce Glycemic variability  
      1. Bitters

     

      1. Bitter melon extract — helps decrease post meal

     

      1. Exercise before meals

     

    1. Postprandial walk
  2. Create a Morning Routine
      1. Get Up

     

      1. Drink Coffee

     

      1. Do some Deep tissue work

     

      1. Journal

     

      1. Meditate

     

      1. Exercise

     

    1. Take a Cold shower
  3. And don’t forget # 1. What’s your purpose? Maybe it’s time we all wrestle this one. 

Robb Wolf “Metabolic Flexibility: The Rosetta Stone of the Macronutrient Wars”

  • Robb Wolf is sort of the King of Paleolithic Nutrition and Ancestral living. He’s been around the space since the late 90’s. During one of his talks he mentioned that in 1998 he may have been one of a couple hundred people who had any real awareness of Ancestral Nutrition. Then he challenged the audience to look over their shoulders at the 180 or so vendors selling products and services. Pretty crazy.

My notes from Robb’s talk are pretty concise. That’s both because I was really into what he was saying and feel I feel like we are walking down the path representing what he’s getting at. That is, the path to healthy living and longevity is one where we want to build metabolic flexibility into our lives.

Some points from Robb’s talk that I’m spinning on: 

  1. Is there an optimal Ancestor Diet? 
    1. Simply stated, No, there is not.
  2. Undoubtedly there are big macro elements that we all have in common and many of us can stand to benefit from, but we are highly individualized creatures. 
  3. There are populations largely free from Western degenerative diseases.
    1. Inuit and Kitava, two examples.
    2. Largely unprocessed, many common lifestyle, but oddly missing: no continuity of macronutrients.
    3. There is one culture where diet for sure doesn’t work. Our diet. The Western diet is killing people.
  4. Two big questions we need to answer in our pursuit of Health.
    1. Am I metabolically flexible?
    2. Am I largely free from Chronic Disease?
  5. Massive amount of variation for any individual.
  6. Recommends 7 day carb test as he writes about in Wired To Eat
  7. To illustrate why we might want to be curious about how our body responds to food, Robb shared recent, personal blood sugar data. Robb and his wife, Nicki consumed equal amounts of white rice and then tested postprandial blood sugar at exactly the same time. Nicki’s results on the left and Robb’s on the right.

  • My biggest take away from Robb’s talk is that it’s senseless to try and prescribe nutrition and health based on others’ results AND if we find ourselves on a box preaching one way or the other, probably makes sense to hop down pretty quickly. Let’s all get curious about postprandial blood sugars and be curious about what can happen over time and the connection to chronic disease. You can read my CFN 7 article on Insulin Resistance here. Most of what he covered in his talk can be found in his must, super must read, Wired To Eat.
  • Those are the highlights from Day 1. Let’s be curious about our Health. Back at it today, Saturday.   

AB

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