The Top 5 Functional Foods

If you’re more couch potato than health nut you want to take advantage of all the tips and tricks that you can. If you forget to take your vitamins or would rather skip the extra burpees then there is a great way to improve your health with 0 extra effort!

Functional foods are foods that have a health benefit beyond just their basic macronutrient content. Since eating is something you have to do, it makes sense to eat foods that give you the most bang for your buck.

Here are the five most important functional foods you can start adding to your diet today:

1. Green Tea
2. Sauerkraut
3. Blueberries
4. Apple Cider Vinegar
5. Turmeric

1.Green Tea
Rather than reaching for that second coffee try having a cup of green tea instead! Green tea contains many polyphenols like EGCG, a catechin containing antioxidants that help prevent cell damage and provide other benefits. Green tea can give you a mental with the potent combination of theanine and a low amount of caffeine. This helps you stay alert and focused without getting the jitters and an eventual crash. Try brewing a cup of green tea when you need a pick-me-up.

2. Sauerkraut
This sour fermented cabbage dish ranks high on the list of functional foods. High in vitamins A, C, K, and folate, sauerkraut can boost your immune system and support brain health. It’s also high in fiber which can help support your gut bacteria and improve digestive health. Sauerkraut also contains glucosinolates and ascorbigen, compounds that are known for their anti-carcinogenic properties. Add sauerkraut to sandwiches, salads, or have it on it’s own!

3. Blueberries
Blueberries are a powerhouse fruit that make for a great snack at any time. They are low glycemic so they won’t have a big impact on blood sugar and have numerous health benefits as well. Blueberries get their rich dark blue color from their abundance of anthocyanin which explains their high antioxidant content. Anthocyanins reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, cognitive decline, and cancer. Add frozen blueberries to your favorite smoothie and keep fresh blueberries around for snacking.

4. Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is often considered to be an old wives tale, a home grown remedy that will fix any ailment. It may not be a cure-all but Apple cider vinegar is certainly a functional food you can benefit from. Produced through fermentation a combination of yeast and beneficial bacteria called the “mother” float in the beverage containing B-vitamins, probiotics, and polyphenols. Research has also found that taking 20 grams of apple cider vinegar significantly lowered post meal blood glucose levels. If you need a little help with digestion try adding some apple cider vinegar to a glass or water or mix it with olive oil for a tangy salad dressing.

5. Turmeric
Turmeric has been a staple in Indian cooking for thousands of years. It contains a compound called curcumin which has been shown to have numerous health benefits. Curcumin is a potent anti-Inflammatory, that may also help with chronic disease, depression, and possesses anti-carcinogenic properties. It has also been shown to boost brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), a type of growth hormone that functions in your brain. Don’t be afraid to get your curry on!

There you have it, the top 5 functional foods you should add to your diet today!

Starting A New Fitness Routine

Starting A New Fitness Routine

One of the hardest parts of starting a new fitness routine is actually getting started.  Where to begin?  What to do?  Where to go?  When to go?  What to wear?  There are so many questions, it can be paralyzing.

Fortunately, the answers are easier than you think.

Many people worry about what other “seasoned” workout-ers will think about them.  Don’t fret.  We applaud your strength to get started and are eager to do whatever it takes to keep you going.

So you’re dying to know the answers to all of your questions.  Here you go:

Where to begin?  Pick a place and go.  If you aren’t comfortable, pick a new place.  Most reputable places will offer you a free (or very cheap) trial to help you make your decision.

What to do?  Pick something where you have a coach/trainer guiding you.  If you are social by nature, pick a group class.  If you are on the shy side, start with one-on-one sessions.

Where to go?  Pick a place that is on your way to/from work, school, etc.  If it is on your way, you are far more likely to go on a consistent basis.

What to wear?  This one is easy.  Wear whatever you find most comfortable.  If the gym you go to imposes a strict dress code, find a new gym.

If you have any questions or need assistance, please let us know

[email protected]

Memorial Day Weekend

We will be doing Murph Saturday May 27th at 8:30 am!

Murph to a lot of gyms means different things but for our gym it is a day to honor not only a man but the integrity he practiced till his last breath and the teammate that pushed every last bit of himself to make sure the story of Murph was heard. 

Its starts with a decision on a mountain.  Murph and his crew were there only to get intel on the Taliban.  Unfortunately, they were spotted by some farmers.  Murph had a choice to make- kill the farmers that could potentially be says for the Taliban, or do as the mission dictated and get in, get intel, get out.  He had a choice to make.  Kill a possible spy or let a possible innocent man go.  Did that decision cause their death most likely but he was a men that would rather die knowing he made a decision that lined up with his values.  A decision, regardless of the consequences, that aligns with your values can never be a mistake. 

Murph knew this was the end.  He knew he wasn’t going to get home.  He knew there was no hope for him to see his family.  He knew all of that.  And while knowing that he made another decision.  He made a decision to give hope.  Not hope for himself.  Hope for one of his men to survive.  

They were under fire in a valley with no reception so to give someone that hope Michael Murphy stepped into a clearing to make a call. That phone call sealed his coffin, and he knew that.  Michael Murphy made a decision based on values, not on outcome.

All of us make a million decisions every single day, rarely are any of those decisions life or death.  Every decision we make is a chance to move closer to our values or to move further away.  Every interaction, every decision behind closed doors, every word you speak moves you in a direction- you decide which way you will go.

Will you be like Michael Murphy?  Will you make a decision that aligns with your values even if the outcome is unpleasant, uncomfortable, causes conflict?  Will you say yes to helping a friend even when it’s inconvenient, when there is nothing you can personally gain from it? Will you put your ego aside?  That is what this day is about- not how many pull ups you can do, not if you beat last year’s time, not if you did it RX or with 5 people. Do you choose to make decisions that align with your values?  And do your values move you closer to your community? 

The friend that shared the story of Murph is in his own right amazing.  He was the only survivor left for dead.  He was seriously injured and woke from a concussion with all his friends dead.  The easy decision there is to wait.  His back was broken, his head and his brain were damaged- if you wait, if you don’t suffer then you die.  And while dying seems like the worse decision always, seeing your best friends, your family dead around you knowing the suffering you must endure to only maybe survive- well dying then may not seem like the hard choice. 

He chose suffering.  He chose to move a stick little by little- he made a decision every 10 inches.  He chose over and over again to suffer, to choose courage over comfort, to choose living over dying, to choose solitude over camraderie- for you see he was alone and he alone would bear the weight of surviving. 

Then after choosing suffering and solitude again and again this man was met with a villager who again was faced with a choice.  If he saved this American soldier he lost his home.  He would risk his family’s safety.  His life would be turned upside down.  Or he could turn him in, the soldier dies, but the man’s life remains the same. This man had nothing to gain in helping an American military man but his values and integrity told him to risk everything to help the broken lone survivor.   

Choices.  Our lives are filled every day with choices.  Choices that present opportunities to lean into our values, to declare what we stand for or what we fall for.  Choices are rarely about the outcome.  We don’t define choices by results.  Choices are defined by our character and our character is defined by our choices.

As you take on this workout know that every choice matters.  It matters if you keep moving.  It matters if you put one foot in front of the other.  It matters if you help the person beside you. It matters because we are our choices.  This community is defined by our choices.  We choose to be humble, hungry, and happy.  We get to choose that every day.  And I urge you to intentionally choose it over and over again far after this workout is done.



The Top 3 Hacks For Healthy Eating

Not every “fit” person follows a diet.

Not every person who struggles with their body composition lacks self control.

Finding the right foods, ratios, and quantities to optimize the way you look and feel is an ever evolving process. Your body is in a constant state of change. Cells are dying and regenerating. The body we live in today is a result of many past choices. How we look and feel will be influenced by our food choices, age, gender, hormones, activities, sleep, and stress. There’s no one right answer.

There are however some areas we can focus on in our journey to looking and feeling great. Here are the top 3 hacks for healthy eating!

  1. Pick your fats
  2. Eat more vegetables
  3. Protein is the foundation of every meal

1. Pick your fats
Fats stick with you. Not just figuratively, they actually make up the cell wall in every cell in your body. This affects the way cells communicate with one another as well as your body’s inflammatory response. That’s why the types and the quality of fats you choose to eat is such an important factor.

Fat Types
Polyunsaturated fats and monounsaturated fats can help provide your body with a sustainable energy source, decrease inflammation, and improve mental performance. These types of fats are found in foods such as salmon, vegetable oils, nuts, and seeds.

Saturated fats should be consumed sparingly. They are not all bad but high consumption of saturated fat may be linked to increased risk of heart disease.

Fat Quality
Each meal should include a healthy fat option that supports your goals. Fat quality in animal products can vary greatly depending on the conditions the animal was raised in and what they were. You are eating what the animal ate! Focus on humanely raised animal products, grass finished, and wild fish versus farm raised.

Fat amounts
Working with an experienced nutritionist is a great way to calculate your fat needs for the day. This can vary based on your body type, genetics, and goals. Try to avoid high fat meals before or after exercise to avoid any digestive issues around training.

2. Eat more vegetables
Seems like a no-brainer but when you think about your meals over the past few days how many of those contained a full serving of veggies?  Try the 800g Challenge over a 30-day period to help you become aware of your vegetable intake.

Vegetables are a great source of fiber, essential nutrients, and prebiotics to support gut health. They are also always going to be your best alternative when it comes to snacking. Most of us are not going to do any sort of damage by stuffing our faces with broccoli and carrots!

3. Protein is the foundation of every meal

Humans need protein. There’s no way around it. The amino acids that makeup proteins (plant or animal) are the building blocks for our muscles. Without sufficient protein in the diet, our bodies will start breaking down muscle, diverting amino acids to perform other critical functions in the body.

So how much do you need? This again will vary a ton based on your goals, body composition, and genetics. Once you have your protein goal determined for the day. Set a protein goal for each meal by dividing that total daily amount by the number of meals you generally eat. Don’t forget to factor in your post-workout shake!

For example, if you are shooting to consume 150 grams of protein per day and typically eat 5 times a day you would aim for about 30 grams of protein at each meal. Once you figure out your numbers it becomes easy to know what foods support that quantity of protein.

There you have it, the top 3 hacks for healthy eating! If you’re trying to clean up your nutrition and fitness regimen let us know how we can best help!

Stop Setting Goals And Start Building Systems

If you find yourself setting a goal, formally or informally then you’re off to a great start! After all, having a goal is better than no goal. Having a goal that you write down even further increases the likelihood that you’ll achieve it.

Goals can have a downside though. One downside is that they cloud your vision to other potentially great opportunities that would benefit you. The other downside is that if you miss out on your goal you might feel like the time and effort you put into achieving that goal was a waste.

So what should you do if not set a goal? I want to challenge you to stop setting goals and start building systems!

At least that’s what Scott Adams, the creator of the popular comic strip Dilbert would argue. Scott has always made it a point to approach life with a systems manner of thinking. This approach allowed him to build valuable skills and networks that he was able to tap into later in life. One great example of this is through his blogging. Scott was able to pay the bills as a cartoonist, but started his own blog and regularly posted despite the fact that he wasn’t earning money as a blogger. Eventually his blog writing got him some regular features in the Wall Street Journal. After being recognized as a writer in the Wall Street journal he began to receive book deals and speaking offers that were far more lucrative.

Scott didn’t set out to be paid as an author or public speaker. He started by regularly showing up for his daily practice of blogging. He chose to put his efforts in developing a skill set even if he wasn’t sure how that could be used in the future. Imagine how his path might have differed if he had set a goal of becoming a speaker? It would have probably looked extremely different from the system of daily blogging.

So what are the differences between goals and systems?

Merriam-Webster defines a goal as “the end toward which effort is directed.”

A system can be defined as “an organized set of doctrines, ideas, or principles usually intended to explain the arrangement or working of a systematic whole.”

You’re probably already thinking about areas in your own life where you’ve focused on one particular goal. Maybe you achieved it or maybe you didn’t. Maybe you’re still pursuing it.

Think about how you could develop a system that improves your health through a system for eating or getting daily exercise, improving your finances, or building relationships in your work or personal life. What are daily actions you can take that will move you forward no matter what?

Finding Motivation!!!!

 Finding Motivation

Some days you are too busy, stressed, or just too tired to go to the gym.  You start out the day with good intentions, but as the day progresses, it wears on you.  It does all of us.  So why not just go in the morning?  There are just as many excuses.

The issue is not time or energy, it is a lack of motivation that keeps you from the gym.  If I were to give you $1000 to buy whatever you wanted, but you had to spend it all in the next hour and not online, I bet you would find the time and energy to go out and spend it.

So what do you do?  Here are 6 tips to help you find the motivation to get to the gym.

1. Reward yourself:

Everyone loves to receive a reward for a job well done.  So why not give yourself a reward?  If you’ve recently cut sugars out of your diet, find a tasty shake/protein mix, or even chocolate milk, to take after your workout.  When you start craving something sweet, you know it’s there waiting on you after your workout.

2. Pay yourself or have others pay you:

Is there something you really want, or maybe a vacation you’ve been dreaming of?  Have a set dollar amount you will put into your “I want” fund each time you complete a workout.  You can even talk friends and family into joining you in contributing to your “I want” fund for your successful workouts.  This way you will get in shape and get that dream vacation at the same time.

3. Buy new workout clothes:

Nothing makes you feel more confident than a nice new outfit.  With the right clothes, you will feel ready for anything the gym throws at you.  Buy at least a week’s’ worth of workout clothes, so you can’t use dirty clothes as an excuse not to go.

4. Pack your gym bag every day (and take it with you):

Save time and effort by having your gym bag ready to go.  If you already have your gym bag packed and with you, all you have to do is stop by the gym on your way home.  Plus, seeing it sitting in the passenger seat eyeing you may even guilt you into going.

5. Get some accountability:

Have a friend or family member track your workouts for you.  Or you can post them on social media.  Having someone ask you daily about your workout habits will motivate you to actually go.  It feels great to say “yes, I went yesterday”!

6. Identify what’s holding you back:

Sit down and think long and hard about what is really holding you back from working out consistently.  What you actually FEEL.  Are you scared?  Are you nervous?  Do you feel like people will look at you different?  Write all of this down and start to think of ways to overcome those obstacles.  Finally, find someone you really trust to talk with about it.  You never know, maybe you will end up with a new workout buddy.

It’s always hard to start something new.  Finding your motivation may just give you the push you need.

If you have any questions or need assistance, please let us know.

[email protected]

Get Fit, For A Change…

If you have ever tried to start a new healthy habit or perhaps eliminate an old one you know difficult change can be.

Our bodies are adaptation machines however and will adapt to the stimulus they experience most frequently. One way to prime your body for change is to exercise. Exercise causes a whole host of changes in your physiology that can make learning a new habit or skill easier. It is also a great replacement for bad habits you are trying to eliminate. Whatever your goal may be fitness can play a huge role in your transformation. The most important part of change is starting, taking action towards your goal. Even if you slip and fall it is way better than never having tried at all.

“Anything worth doing is worth doing poorly” -G.K. Chesterton

That’s why if you are interested in pursuing a new career, relationship, or habit you should make it a priority to dedicate time each week to rigorous physical exercise. Exercise has numerous physical benefits but it goes beyond that. The way you eat and the way you move your body has a direct impact on the way you think, your mood, and how you make decisions.

Improving cognitive function can give you the energy and mental stamina to make other great changes in your life. Numerous studies have shown significant brain benefits as a result of both cardiovascular and resistance training routines. Exercise has been proven to increase the release of the neurotransmitter serotonin and other neurohormones like the endorphin dopamine. These act on the opiate receptors in our brain to reduce pain and boost pleasure.

“Nothing will work unless you do.” -John Wooden

Exercise has also been shown to stimulate the growth of the hippocampus, synapses, and glial cells in your brain. The hippocampus is responsible for memory and individuals who exercise are able to better recall information.

Synapses are the junctions where our cells communicate with one another, sending signals throughout the body that guide our actions. Exercise stimulates the growth of synapses which helps reinforce learning. The stronger we develop neural pathways through our synapses the stronger we reinforce the pattern. If you are trying to learn a new routine or information exercise can help.

Glial cells provide support and protection for cells in the brain and central nervous system. Exercises stimulates the growth of these cells helping you literally build a bigger brain. It is believed that a bigger brain leads to enhanced cognitive function.

Exercise also increases blood flow, improves our hormonal balance, and aids digestion and insulin sensitivity. These are all tremendous factors in our ability to be alert and energetic. If you are looking for the attitude, attention, and focus to make positive changes in your life then exercise will help you.

If you don’t know where to begin when it comes to fitness or any other change you want to make in your life get in touch with a coach who can help you. A coach will help you evaluate your situation and come up with a plan that fits your needs and lifestyle. A community that is focused on fitness and self improvement will also help you stay dedicated to your goals.