Tag Archives: FIT

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.


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.


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.


Tri-tip with Sweet Potato Hash


Shrimp Fried (cauliflower) Rice


Bratwursts with Broccoli Slaw


Chicken Casserole


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


Roasted Chicken, Asparagus, and Mashed Sweet Potatoes


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])



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!

How the Trainers Eat, vol. 4

31 Dec

While long overdue, I wanted to share a little dish that is sure to warm the soul and give you the fuel to power through those first few workouts of 2013.  This soup will make a great post-workout dish, as well as something to keep you warm on these cool and damp northern California nights.


Sweet Potato Butternut Squash Soup

1 medium butternut squash

3.5 lb. sweet potatoes

3 c. chicken or vegetable stock (I used my own homemade pork stock)

1/2 c. half-and-half

1/2 onion, minced

2 cloves garlic, minced

3 T. coriander

1.5 T. curry powder

1 T. chili powder

Panchetta for garnish

Salt and pepper to taste

Soft goat cheese for garnish

Chives for garnish

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

Cut squash in half and clean out seeds.  Place face down on a foil-lined baking sheet.  Place whole sweet potatoes on the same sheet.  Roast until squash and potatoes are soft, approximately 45 minutes.  Once cool to the touch, remove skin and place the flesh in a large soup pot.  Add stock and half-and-half.  Stir until incorporated.

Add onion, garlic, coriander, curry, and chili powder; bring to a simmer, and maintain for 10-15 minutes, stirring often.

In a small saute pan, cook panchetta over medium-high heat until done, approximately 5 minutes.

Using an immersion or traditional blender, puree soup until smooth.  Salt and pepper to taste.  Garnish with soft goat cheese, chives, and cooked panchetta.

Serves 6


Cooking note: goes great with grilled meat.


#FITphoto Challenge

26 Sep

I am _____

A little bit ago, I challenged everyone to think about what picture came to mind for a particular word or phrase.  Now I want to more formally introduce the challenge.  This will be a 30-day challenge like no other we’ve done before!  There will be no restricting, limiting, ensuring you get enough!

All we are asking, is that for 30 days, you share your pictures with us.  This is a little experiment in using your creative muscles instead of just the muscles you’ve forged in the gym.  For each day of the month of October, there will be a new word or phrase; take one photo using that word/phrase as your inspiration (example, October 1st, take a picture of what “sweat” means to you).


That’s the easy part.  We’ll give you a few ways to share the photo with the rest of your FIT family:

Post to the blog in the comments section of this post.

Add to the FIT facebook page

Email to your trainer, or to matt@focusedtrainers.com

We’ll be compiling the best pictures of the month and lining the hallway throughout November with our votes.

FIT Photo-a-Day Challenge


1: Sweat 17: Layered
2: Faith 18: In 5 Years
3: Gratitude 19: Center
4: Black & White 20: Pose
5: Reflection 21: Makes Me Smile
6: What’s for Dinner 22: I am _________
7: Focus 23: On the Run
8: Alma Mater 24: BHAG 

(Big Hairy Audacious Goal)

9: Powerful 25: Full
10: Curiosity 26: Set the Bar
11: Bright 27: Now Playing
12: Family 28: Serenity
13: In My Gym Bag 29: Cozy
14: Grace 30: Where I’m Going
15: Upside Down 31: Monster Mash
16: In My Shoes  



FIT Photo Project Preview

11 Sep

For the month of October, FIT will be undergoing a photo project, and enlisting all of you – our friends and clients – to join us. Stay tuned for more information on ways to get involved, but for now, here are a couple examples to get your going from our very own Scott Kolasinski







Don’t Choke! Learn How To Speak Anywhere and To Anyone

15 Jun

When: Tonight @ 6:30pm to 8:30pm

Where: FIT

Presented By: Lauren Velasco

Lauren Velasco was raised locally – a graduate of Gunn High School and Stanford University. Her undergraduate years were spent at Bates College in Maine, where she competed on the national and international speech and debate circuits, and graduated with Highest Honors in Rhetoric. She and her debate partner were ranked #4 in the United States, and were selected to compete in three North American and two World Debate Championships. Lauren also competed in the World Individual Speech Championship and participated in the World Summit on Women in Debate. She has independently produced five documentary films and videos, three of which have been shown on television and featured in local, national and international film festivals. While a Communication graduate student at Stanford, she served as Interim Director of the Women’s Center and taught Public Speaking in Stanford’s Technical Communication Program. Also a licensed disc jockey, Lauren has been a full-time member of the Communication Studies faculty at Foothill College since 2000. She is the founder and coach of Foothill’s award-winning Speech and Debate Team, and offers private workshops and tutoring, as time permits.

The WattBike

18 May

FIT is happy to welcome, what FIT founder Thom Downing says is, “the most dynamic, functional and smart piece of metabolic conditioning equipment to come onto the fitness scene since the Concept2 rower in 1976”, the WattBike.

FIT will be offering a free clinic on the WattBike, featuring FIT’s in-house Pro cyclist, Taylor Tolleson on June 2nd from 630-8pm at FIT.  Free spin scans will be given so come prepared to ride!

The WattBike was developed over 7 years and is the world’s first affordable indoor bike that accurately measures power (Watts). It has a unique, patented measurement system and ground-breaking software.

Launched in 2008, the machine was signed off by the English Institute of Sport as being accurate, and is now fully integrated into British Cycling’s Whole Sport Plan at all levels from performance through to participation. It is the first indoor bike that has ever been endorsed by British Cycling and it is now used as their frontline Talent ID screening tool.

Key features that make the machine stand out from others include the fact that it feels like ‘real’ cycling – on the flat and climbing – and it delivers accurate, repeatable and comparable results. The bike can be used for rehabilitation, general fitness, high level training, scientific testing, cross-training and competition.

It features a unique ‘polar display’ that provides immediate feedback on the cyclist’s technique and all bikes are factory calibrated identically, allowing them to be linked together for accurate racing. It delivers a new level of depth and accuracy of data all of which can be viewed in real time and saved for later analysis.

At one extreme, it is an exercise bike, and at the other, it’s a highly sophisticated sports science analysis bike, making it suitable for everyone from recreational cyclists through to Olympic champions.

The Wattbike provides safe, 24/7 gym use and can be used for regular exercise, group exercise or competitions in gyms across the UK. It is also available to buy for the home and offers a great alternative to a turbo trainer or an upright bike.

Beyond cycling, the Wattbike has broader appeal. It is a superb cross-training and talent ID tool for a wide range of sports that want a high quality training alternative, delivering objective data. It is currently being used as an initial screening tool for Girls4Gold and Pitch2Podium – UK Sport’s Talent ID programmes for girls and released football players.  British Cycling also see the Wattbike as becoming a fundamental feature within secondary schools as a gateway activity to the sport of cycling, and as part of the solution to the lack of physically active lifestyles in society today.

FIT’s Head Cycling instructor Taylor Tolleson got his start racing in triathlon at the early age of 14. In 2005 after 4 years of racing in the ITU, Xterra and National circuit attending 3 triathlon world championships and 3 duathalon world championships he decided to pursue a profession in road racing. After only a few months he got picked up on the US National team where he raced and lived in Europe. Shortly thereafter he received his first professional contract to start in 2006. While racing on prestigious professional teams such as BMC and Garmin-Chipotle, Taylor was able to work very closely with the best coaches in training and power analysis, Max Testa and Alan Lim.  After a tragic hit and run accident in 2009 he has decided to focus on coaching and wattage training.

Career Highlights:

(2008) 1st Tour de Leelanau

(2007) 1st Stage #6 International Tour de Toona

(2006) 2nd Best Young Rider Competition Tour of California 2-Time X-Terra World Champion


2nd Merco Cycling Classic Road Race


1st Tour de Leelanau

4th Stage #2 Ronde Van Brisbane

8th Stage #7 Tour de Georgia

1ST copperopolis


1st Stage #6 International Tour de Toona

2nd Stage #3 Tour of Elk Grove

2nd Red Trolley Classic Criterium

5th Under-23 National Criterium Championship

10th Under-23 National Road Race Championship

18th Stage #6 Amgen Tour of California

19th prologue Amgen Tour of California


2nd Best Young Rider Competition Tour of California

16th Prologue Tour de Normandie


1st Collegiate National Mountain Bike Short Track Championship

1st NCAA National Team Time Trial Championship

1st Stage #5 Cascade Classic (Bend, OR)

3rd Stage #6 Cascade Classic (Bend, OR)

6th MIPS Technologies Mt. Hamilton Road Race

6th NCC Road Race National Championship

7th Copperopolis Road Race (Milton, CA)


1st X-Terra World Championship

1st X-Terra U.S Championship

1st Collegiate National Mountain Bike Short Track Championship

3rd Trek Bikes Collegiate National Criterium Championship

3rd Trek Bikes Collegiate National Team Time Trial Championship

About FIT

The F.I.T. experience is unique from the level of coaching, to the attention to your individual needs, to the support that is palpable as soon as you walk through our doors. Located in the heart of Los Altos, California, F.I.T. is a school of fitness, focused on all factors of health, with the intention of living a longer and better life.  Through a variety of services we offer, ranging from personal training to group CrossFit classes, we focus on functional training through optimization of the physical competencies in each of the 10 recognized fitness domains:

Cardio-respiratory endurance, Stamina, Strength, Flexibility, Power, Speed, Coordination, Agility, Balance and Accuracy.

The F.I.T. coaches adapt to the fitness level of their students while providing instruction, guidance, and support.  Our student body is extremely diverse ranging from ages 10 to 93, in experience from novice to elite, and in life, from executives to stay-at-home moms to children to athletes of many varieties.

Sports Equipment Drive

10 May

Awaso Hope Academy

All donations will benefit the Awaso Hope Academy Physical Education Development Program in rural Ghana, Africa.

Awaso Hope is developing a P.E. program at Awaso Academy International, an independent elementary school in rural Ghana, Africa.  This program will accompany the new area that will be seeded with grass so that the children and play and learn organized sports and games.


Saturday, May 21st


FIT Parking Lot, Rancho Shopping Center


The Awaso Hope Academy needs your help providing their children with the following:

  • Soccer Shorts (black xs-m)
  • Frisbees
  • Collapsible Soccer Goals
  • Small Cones for Drills
  • Jump Ropes
  • Gertie Balls, rubber balls
  • Pinnies
  • Any K-3 Appropriate Sports Games


If there are any sport-related items that your kids have outgrown or you have extra of  that you could donate, it will be appreciated.  If you cannot make it to the event, please consider making a donation toward the program at www.awasohope.org  and click on make donation.  No donation is too small.  Proceeds will be used to purchase the needed equipment.  These children have nothing to play with or be active with.  Anything will be appreciated.

FIT members Liz and Jack Weingart  are traveling to Ghana this summer with their family and will be hand delivering anything we collect to the children!!!

Hope you can stop by.  We are also assembling first aid kits, and giving our kids a chance to write letters to the students there.