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Almost Done with the Whole30(60)!

26 Mar

So we are almost done with our challenge now, and I haven’t heard from too many of you lately.

How are things going?!

What has been the biggest challenge for you to date?  Have you figured out any good ways to get past this challenge?

What has been your biggest insight so far?

For myself, my first time through the Whole30 it was that I wasn’t as “tolerant” of dairy as I thought I was.  I generally stay away from the stuff, but sometimes like a little feta mixed into salads for saltiness and texture.  

Any new favorite foods?

After trying the Whole30, I discovered that I actually really liked zucchini and beets.

Any big Whole30-approved attempts for Passover or Easter?

If only there was an easy way to make gluten-free Matzo right?

What have you been cooking?

Here are my latest attempts in the kitchen:

Spaghettin Squash Bolognese

Spaghettin Squash Bolognese

New York Strip and Carmelized Mushrooms with Braised Greens and Pureed Yams

New York Strip and Carmelized Mushrooms with Braised Greens and Pureed Yams

We’d love to hear from all of you as we wind down to the end of the challenge.  And stay tuned for a post this weekend on how to navigate the post-Whole30 landscape and get back to the “real world”.

Hint: it doesn’t involve adding back in MOST of those foods

This food stuff is great!

19 Feb

We had a nice turnout on Sunday at the Mountain View Farmer’s Market (and apparently a couple near misses – sorry to those we didn’t get to chat with).  Kendra and I were there handing out recipes and answering questions, as well as getting awesome insights from other challengers.  While the morning started out kind of cold and foggy, we were blessed with nice sunny morning to walk around and pick up delicious produce other well-sourced foods.  For those that were present, what did you pick up?  Any new and exciting ingredients that you are looking forward to trying?  If so, please share those in the comments!  I bought two new foods that I am very excited to try – ground goat meat and yucca – stay tuned for pictures and recipe for how I prepared these.

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Additionally, we have had some great looking food pictures from clients near and far (we have a couple correspondent challengers from at least as far as Chicago!)  Without further delay, here are those great photos.  Hopefully they will get you thinking about other foods and combinations you can try.

How are we doing otherwise, everybody?  We are now a full 2 weeks into the challenge.  What has been the hardest part/easiest part?  Any foods you thought you “didn’t like” that you now can’t get enough of?  Any new favorite cooking methods?  Are we remembering to spice our dishes so that they are exciting and tasty?

Please add your thoughts and reflections to the comments below.

Clearing up a few questions regarding the Whole30 (60) Challenge

7 Feb

We’ve had great participation from many of you on the challenge so far; as well as some awesome success!

  • 4 pounds lost in the first 3 days
  • 7 pounds lost in the first 2 days
  • More awareness about food choices
  • Being more vigilant about reading food labels

There has also been some really good conversations that have led to questions that might help all of you:

Can I cook with wine, beer, etc?

When you cook with alcohol, the ethanol (what makes it boozy, and what we are avoiding) is burned off, so not present anymore.  With that said, beer and most spirits DO contain grains, so they should still be excluded.  For flavor, it is OK to cook with wine and grain-free spirits (tequila)

What if I don’t want to eat eggs every day for breakfast?

Eggs are a great option for breakfast – they are packed with protein, are quick, can be cooked in a number of different ways, and lend themselves to a vast number of different flavors.  With that said, though, they do not HAVE to be your food of choice for breakfast.  I often find myself eating leftover chili for breakfast, or sausages that I have grilled up the night before.  In essences, it is important to get away from the constructs of what “breakfast foods” should be.  They can be anything!  Play around with how you season your foods, and you might just find that your ideal breakfast is actually seared chicken thighs rubbed with cinnamon and coriander along with sauerkraut and avocado.

Maybe a little Salmon Hash instead of eggs for breakfast?

Maybe a little Salmon Hash instead of eggs for breakfast?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’m really hungry.  Why isn’t this working?  You said I would be full.

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Often times when eliminating grains and legumes from our plates, we forget to refill that space with more vegetables, and possibly larger portions of protein.  Make sure that you are getting in AT LEAST 2 different vegetables at each meal (even breakfast).  What I always say is, “set your protein, and then FILL your plate with vegetables.”  This will add satisfying protein and fat to your meal, and physical bulk in the form of fibrous veggies to keep you full.

Why is my thirst “off”?

Since we have eliminated ALL processed foods, your sodium intake has probably dropped immensely.  Because of this, you might not be as thirsty as you were previously (salt craves water in the body).  What you CAN do, is salt your foods a little bit, as you’ll need a little anyways.  You are also taking in more vegetation, which also has a good amount of water inherently in its composition, possibly keeping your thirst down.  

You might also be MORE thirsty.  As the grains and starches have been removed from our plates, our bodies will naturally release water (partly responsible for the great early weight loss).  This will make us more thirsty as we try to recreate that internal hydration status that we have become accustomed to.

Keep the questions coming, and keep hammering those tasty Whole30 meals!  The pictures have been looking great, as well as all of the enthusiasm.  Please let us know if you have any questions along the journey.

We have some great cooks!

6 Feb

Way to go all!  We’re only at day 3, and already there are some great looking dishes from many of you.  Here is just a sampling of all of the delicious food so far.

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Tri-tip with Sweet Potato Hash

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Shrimp Fried (cauliflower) Rice

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Bratwursts with Broccoli Slaw

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Chicken Casserole

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Roasted Chicken, Cabbage Slaw, Broccoli, and Sweet Potato Coins

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Roasted Chicken, Asparagus, and Mashed Sweet Potatoes

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Seared Hanger Steak with Roasted Crisphy Brussels Sprouts and Fennel

 

Introducing the Whole 30 (and 60) Day Challenges

31 Jan

There has been some chatter in the gym recently about a new version of the Whole30, and the cryptic post on our facebook page last week.  I am here to tell you that it is indeed upon us!  WE WILL BE STARTING MONDAY FEBRUARY 4TH.  This challenge will be more involved, as well as more life-changing than the last couple challenges that we have run.  Additionally, this one will be a true challenge, with winners awarded prizes at the 4 and 8 week marks!

As you can tell from the title, it will not only consist of a 30 day challenge, but also a 60 day challenge (4 weeks and 8 weeks).  Why are we adding a second 4 weeks you ask?  At FIT we preach not only healthy eating and lifestyle changes, but also making those changes sustainable and long-term.  This is your chance to take our encouragement and put it into practice.

While the general template for the eating strategy will follow the Whole30 of challenges past, this time around the goal is to see not just who can make the most improvements to their health, but also who can get the most aesthetic and physique change.  We are challenging all of you to commit to 2 months of clean eating, smart exercise, and healthy lifestyle changes and see who comes out on the other side looking better.

And now for the rules:

Eliminate the following foods:

Grains and grain like foods (including quinoa, couscous, etc)

Legumes (including soy and peanuts – shell beans like snap peas and green beans are ok)

Sugar and artificial sweeteners (Fruit juice is an acceptable sweetener, but nothing else)

Dairy (milk, yogurt, cheese, butter [ghee is ok])

Alcohol

 

What we are asking from all of you:

Pre, 4-week, and post-challenge progress photos.

These pictures should be taken in as LITTLE CLOTHING AS YOU FEEL COMFORTABLE.  This is important.  How else will you tell if you have made progress?

This is what I’m talking about

Take the picture without your head, so that we can judge them impartially

The pictures should be submitted to “challenge@focusedtrainers.com”.  The pictures will stay private and be used to judge the winners.

Contribute weekly to the FIT facebook page and/or blog at: blog.focusedtrainers.com

This can be in the form of pictures, recipes, reflections about how the challenge is going for you, or just simply questions.  Tracey and I will do our best to answer all questions the day they are asked.

You can also email your contributions to your trainer, and he or she can get it up on the blog for you.

The goal here is to get as much interaction between all of YOU so that you all get the most out of the challenge.

While you have to enter a name and email address to comment on the blog, the email address will not be public, and the name can simply be a first name (or middle name?) if you are concerned about posting anonymously.

Attend in-person meetings/meals throughout the challenge

We will be hosting events in and out of the gym with sample food throughout the 8 weeks.  This will be an opportunity for all of you to share – in person – recipes, trials and successes, as well as ask us questions directly and see how WE eat with recipes to try.

These meetings will be occurring every OTHER week, sometime during the weeks of:

2/11, 2/25, 3/11, and 3/25

We will be announcing the exact date, location, and format, at least a week in advance so people have time to add it into their schedules.

Submit $30 to the front desk at FIT

This small fee will be used to reward the winners.  We have set up a line item so we can bill you directly for it, or you can bring in cash or check for us.  Prizes will be announced once we know how many challengers we have.

 

OK I think I hit all of the major bullets.  Again, we are starting this coming Monday, February 4th, so get all of your off-limits foods out of the way while rooting for the 49ers.  We are excited to have you join us for this exciting new nutrition challenge.  As always, if you have any questions, comments, or concerns, please do not hesitate to ask – either here on the blog, or directly to me at “matt@focusedtrainers.com”

 

Good luck to all of you!  I’m looking forward to hearing about all of your great progress!

Jeff P. Embraces New Strategies for Fat Loss

5 Jun

At FIT, our trainers take their education seriously. We pride ourselves on seeking out the best information available to continually serve our clients better. On occasion, our trainers take time to attend education. Today’s post is brought to you by Jeff P. who recently attended a seminar by well-respected strength coach Charles Poliquin.

 

Last month, I spent 7 days at the Poliquin Performance Center in East Greenwich, RI to take the Biosignature Modulation course, as well as attend the 3rd Annual Eleiko Strength Summit.

Developed and taught by Coach Charles Poliquin, Biosignature Modulation (or, biosig for short) is an individualized method of body fat loss. Basically, specific receptor sites on the body are blocked and lead to dysfunction- that is, there is a relationship between where you store body fat and your hormones. Technically speaking, there actually is such a thing as ‘spot-reduction’ in fat loss.

For example, that stubborn tummy-fat is an indicator of prolonged exposure to the hormone cortisol (a.k.a. low grade adrenaline). Cortisol stimulates abdominal fat synthesis by inhibiting growth hormone. The good news is that this can be reversed through recommended dietary and supplement intervention.

During class we discussed the relationships of 6 key hormones and 12 sites on the body as well as the methods for modulating these sites. For example, increasing magnesium intake has shown to improve insulin sensitivity, improve quality of sleep, and improve cortisol management (anti-stress).

We also practiced measuring the sites 3 times a day for 30 minutes each. Coach Poliquin’s teaching method is geared for 70% retention: 40 minutes lecture, 10-point review, 5-15 minute break, repeat with or without 20-30 minute practice. With over 100 pages of notes, I’ll testify that it is quite effective and consequently very helpful!

 

If you’re interested in finding out how Jeff’s Biosignature practice might be able to help you, feel free to contact him at jeffery@focusedtrainers.com.

Stay tuned for Part 2 of Jeff’s experience where he shares his insights from the Eleiko Strength Summit.

Before we embark…

27 Sep

As the Whole 30 ver. 2.0 approaches (starting October 1), I figured I would share an interesting infographic that I found.  Hope you all enjoy.

WHOLE 30 vers 2.0 (10/1 – 10/30)

24 Sep

 

 

 

 

 

 

VERSUS

 

 

 

 

 

 

Just in time for your Halloween prep, we are launching another Whole 30 challenge!  This updated version will have many more recipes for you all to try, as well helpful daily feedback through this blog.  Come back daily for new food and information to help you along during your challenge.

Details

Challenge will run from October 1 – October 30, 2011

This challenge is designed to spur us on in our quest toward optimal health. Nutrition is the most significant component in attaining health and fitness goals. A nutrition strategy based on consuming whole foods with minimal processing – primarily vegetables, meat, fruit, nuts and seeds – will move you many steps forward in the direction of long term health and life long vitality.

Beginning October 1st, and continuing for the ensuing 29 days, we challenge you to eat only high quality, nutrient dense foods and to eliminate the following from your diet:

grains
legumes
dairy
sugar
alcohol
caffeine

Post all questions, concerns, suggestions, or ideas directly to this blog.

Informal weekly meetings (Wednesdays at 7pm) at FIT will be held to discuss various food preparation question or other related concerns.  Food items will be provided to give you an idea of different meal options.  Each meeting will last roughly 45 minutes and any Whole 30 related question is on the table.

10/5: Breakfast

10/12: Snacks

10/19: Post-workout Snacks

10/26: Dinner

 
Most often when presented with the “what not to eat” list, we receive a resounding, “What can I eat?” Here is a brief list of some of the nutrient dense foods that will make up your diet.

green vegetables- are filling and loaded with nutrients
quality animal proteins – pastured eggs, chicken, pork; grassfed beef; sustainably caught seafood
fruit – no more than 2 servings/day, ideally berries
nuts and seeds – again, only a few servings/day. 1 serving is typically the amount that fit in the cupped palm of your hand
avocado and olives make excellent snacks
coconut milk
jerky made without sweeteners

If you have any questions about the challenge, or would like to join, please post a comment on this post, or contact Matt directly at matt@focusedtrainers.com

Thank you for all of your participation, and good luck!

Mark Your Calendar

9 May
FIT will be hosting Fitness Wave Hydrostatic Weighing

Date: May 13, 2011
Time: 6:30 AM – 12PM
Location: Parking lot directly in front of FIT
Cost: $50 for a one time measurement or $99 for three measurements.
Click here to sign up on line Scroll down to Focused Trainers on May 13 and click “Book Now”

Or contact Serena at admin@focusedtrainers.com or Kevin at kevin@focusedtrainers.com

Top 3 Reasons To Know Your Body Fat Percent

1) Assess risk for chronic disease Unhealthy levels of body fat have been linked to a variety of health related issues, such as type 2 diabetes, coronary heart disease, and stroke.

2) Measure Progress Knowing your body fat percent is the first step.  The next step is taking action.  If you have been actively working to reduce your body fat percent, measuring your progress can help determine if your plan is working effectively.

3) Motivation Seeing improvement can be very motivating.

May Nutrition Challenge

Challenge Your Self to Eat Clean for 30 days!
Beginning April 25th, we invite all that are curious to join us for a 30-day experiment ending May 22nd. Commit to eliminating all foods that are known to increase your statistical risk for disease, disorder or dysfunction.  For 30 days, alongside your F.I.T. comrades, we challenge you to eliminate:

  • sugar and sweeteners (including honey and agave)
  • grains
  • legumes
  • dairy
  • caffeine
  • alcohol

Enjoy a wide array of vegetables, animal proteins, healthy fats, and fruit.  Track how your body responds – how you feel, how you sleep, energy throughout the day, performance, recovery, and mood.  Engage in an online forum of participants to share challenges, offer suggestions, and share/find recipes.  It’s just 30 days and promises to be an enlightening experiment.  Email admin@focusedtrainers.com or sign up at the front desk when you are in so that we may offer encouragement and help hold you accountable along the way.

10 Year Anniversary Challenge!

Celebrate FIT’s 10 Year Anniversary with this fitness challenge

Men

500 Meter row x 3 with mandatory 1 min rest between 21, 15, 9 reps of:

  • 40 KG Barbell Thrusters
  • 30 LB MedBall Slam
  • Box Jumps to Large Box
  • 32 KG KB Swings

500 Meter row x 3 with mandatory 1 min rest between

Women  

500 Meter row x 3 with mandatory 1 min rest between 21, 15, 9 reps of:

  • 30 KG Barbell Thrusters
  • 16 LB MedBall Slam
  • Box Jumps to Medium Box
  • 20 KG KB Swings

500 Meter row x 3 with mandatory 1 min rest between

Here are the rules:

1. Your challenge must be video taped and time recorded.  No need to get the whole workout on video, however some footage of each exercise should be included for quality control, and a final time off the stop watch (we will use these on our blog later!!)

2. Videos and final times must be submitted before May 31st (our 10th anniversary at FIT!)

3. First and Second place prices will be awarded to the fastest men and women, 300$ for first, 150$ for second.

4. Prices will also be awarded for submitting a Challenge workout video.

5. Work-out can be scaled, however time will not count for the price.

Good Luck and Have Fun!

2011 Norcal Open Weightlifting Competition

When: Sunday, May 22, 2011

Where: FIT, Los Altos

Body Fat and Hydrostatic Weighing

10 Feb

With our first of four hydrostatic weighing body composition assessments scheduled, the first taking place on Feb. 5th, some of you may be wondering the purpose for these numbers.  As stated in our Event Blast, body composition is a measurement of fat to lean mass (bones, connective tissue, muscle, organ). While bone, connective tissue and organ weight will remain constant the ratio of lean mass to fat mass can change, which is the ultimate goal.  There are numerous health benefits to decreasing body fat, such as reducing the risk of heart disease and diabetes, as well as contributing to better joint health.

There is some discrepancy as to what is considered the ideal body fat percentage, but the overall consensus between heath organizations is the following 5 categories:

Essential Fat is described as the fat needed for the body to function both physically and psychologically without adverse affects.  The Athletes category describes people who routinely engage in sport activities at a high-level either professionally or as an amateur.  The Fitness or healthy levels category describes those who engage in physical activity and exercise on a regular basis.  The Average category is based on the general population.  And the Obese category describes those who run the greatest risk of potential health issues.

While decreases in body fat generally don’t occur rapidly, even a 1% decrease in body fat can have a positive impact on health. Which is why knowing your body fat percent, and where you fall on the chart, can be key to improving your health and helping you create realistic weight loss goals.  Studies have suggested creating goals that are measureable and planned have a greater likely hood for success.  Additionally, checking your goal progress with scheduled measurements for 3, 6 or 9 months will let you know if what you are doing is indeed paying off, or if your action plan needs to be re-evaluated.  If you are considering a weight loss program, get measured. Set a body composition goal and create an action plan to reduce your body fat and improve your lean mass. Your body will thank you.