Father Andrew's Hot Body Gym

April 24, 2010

Has BeerFit Replaced CrossFit?

Filed under: real talk — Mara @ 2:22 pm

This is an example of what our workouts have consisted of recently!

Well folks, April has turned out to be a bit of an off month for us. Despite the Primal Challenge, we’ve all been of our eating game with Easter Feasters, Birthday bashes, Out-of-town Overtures, and for Josh, Graham, and I,  Teacher Appreciation Week. And on top of all that, our workout schedule has just not worked out, if you know what I mean. It feels like months since we have all worked out together and weeks since we have really worked out hard at all. Our most recent mass fail consisted of about 5 deadlifts and 5 presses and that was it. I did the workout in a skirt, so as to avoid the hassle of changing clothes. Sad. Our grand plan to do the PTP program is a wash, at least for now.

But, finally, we may be getting back on the straight and narrow path. We had a solid, butt-kicking workout this morning, despite the noticeable absence of Josh and Micah. I say we all try to use this a a jump start to stop all this eating-cheating, get back into regular workouts, and generally focus in on doing what we know will lead to increased health, fitness, and longevity.

I also say that next weekend, the half-way point for our Primal Challenge, we all post our total points and see where we stand. Perhaps that threat of public shame will help motivate us to say “no” to the next brownie, bagel, or beer that looks our way.

I know we can do it! Go team FAHBG!!!

Here was our workout for today:

Strength work

Front Squat 5-5-5-5

Pull-ups, deadhang, max rep x 2


Working with a parter so that you alternate work and rest using the same equipment,

For Max Reps:
Three minutes of Wall Balls
Three minutes of Rest
Three minutes of Kettlebell Swings (16 kg)
Three minutes of Rest
Three minutes of Double Unders

It was brutal. But it felt good to know I had really worked out and still could.

So no more “BeerFit” and lots more CrossFit!

April 7, 2010

The Importance of Eating Fat

Filed under: diet — Tags: , , , , , , , — Mara @ 4:33 pm

To add to the recent discussion of the benefits of dietary fat, here is a quick list from gutsense.org of the problems humans of a low-fat diet may encounter. More specifically, this site recommends animal fats, as they are more stable, less likely to be rancid, and therefore less likely to contain trans fats. My favorites from the list are cellulite, constipation, obesity, and osteoporosis – I sure don’t want any of those things!

The picture to the left is from a book about the benefits of animal fat. Check out this review and interview from salon.com.

In a nut shell: eat your bacon!

People who don’t consume adequate amounts of [animal] fat regularly may develop the following disorders:

  • Constipation, because dietary fat is a primary stimulant of the gastrocolic reflex.
  • Gallbladder disease, because dietary fat is the sole stimulus for the release of bile. If bile isn’t regularly released from the gallbladder, bile salts may form gallbladder stones.
  • Acute cholecystitis, because unused bile salts or gallbladder stones may obstruct the hepatic (bile) ducts — the outlet tubes that connect the liver to the gallbladder and duodenum.
  • Weight gain and obesity, because dietary fat is a primary substance behind the control of satiety, hunger, and appetite.
  • Enterocolitis (inflammatory disease of the small and large intestine) because underutilized bile causes inflammation of the intestinal mucosa and diarrhea.
  • All forms of bone and joint diseases (tooth loss, osteoporosis, osteoarthritis, rickets, scoliosis, and osteomalacia, rheumatoid arthritis), because dietary fat is essential for absorption of vitamin D, calcium, and magnesium in the small intestine.
  • Rapid vitamin D deficiency and all related disorders, because an absence of dietary fat prevents the absorption of dietary vitamin D and reabsorption of the endogenous vitamin D secreted with bile.
  • Heart disease and hypertension, because vitamin D, calcium, and magnesium regulate contraction and relaxation of smooth (blood vessels) and cardiac (heart) muscles.
  • All kind of skeletal muscular disorders, such as fibromialgia, for the same reasons as above.
  • Blood disorders, because dietary fat is essential for absorption of dietary vitamin K a coagulation factor, and because essential fatty acids are required in the “manufacture” of blood cells.
  • Impaired immunity, night blindness, and skin disorders, because dietary fat is essential for absorption of vitamin A.
  • A broad range of cognitive dysfunctions, cardiovascular diseases, inflammatory disease, infertility, amenorrhea, nerve damage, cancers, and other conditions, related to acute deficiency of essential fatty acids.
  • Cellulite and other skin disorders, related to overconsumption of vegetable fats to satisfy cravings while avoiding animal fat.
  • Undesirable exposure to unstable trans and rancid fats in all vegetable oils, which are considered the primary triggers of inflammatory diseases (digestive, cardiovascular, atherosclerosis, joints, asthma), and cancer.

April 2, 2010

Big Pharma Finally Catches the Fish

Filed under: diet — Tags: , , , , — Mara @ 7:49 pm

In case you were wondering if you really need to start taking (more) fish oil, you can now add one more set of voices telling you it’s good for you. You’ve heard it from Josh, you’ve heard it from Melissa Urban at Whole9, you’re heard it from CrossFit, and you’re heard it from Marks Daily Apple.  Now you can hear from Big Pharma USA.

Introducing . . . Lovaza!

Of course, if you’ve watched Food, Inc. or read The Omnivore’s Dilemma, that may be more off-putting than enticing. The fact that the FDA approves of this treatment does not bring a sigh of relief. But no, just because most of what they endorse ranges from merely unnecessary to potentially bio hazardous does not mean that because they approve something you should avoid it.

At least in this instance, the FDA has something right. the Omega-3s in Fish Oil are really, really, good for you. In fact, they do something, with zero harmful side effects (other than fishy burps), that people have been trying like mad to accomplish with all kinds of nasty chemical combos: lower their triglycerides. Cholesterol, saturated fat, and triglycerides are the bugbears of the Baby Boomer generation, eliciting an astonishing level of fear and (gasp!) proactive response, a willingness to actually make changes that the rest of us would do well to imitate, only not in the form of taking statins or avoiding all fat. While recent research has stolen some of cholesterol’s thunder, and even saturated fat is beginning to be recognized as perhaps only a red herring, triglycerides still stand as the ultimate killing machine.

What a terrible situation to find ourselves in! The monster is upon us! Whatever shall we do???

But hark, what light through yonder window breaks? It is FISH OIL, and it will actually help!

Some of us can now bask in our feelings of intellectual and scientific prescience, because we’ve known about this miracle drug for months, maybe even years. Oddly enough, this medication has been approved since 2004, but Josh and I have never seen anyone reference it, anywhere.  Why is that? I’m not sure I want to know the answer.

What’s clear is that fish oil is good for you. Really, really good for you. The jury is still out on exactly how much fish oil is optimal, but everyone agrees that you should take some. At least a 1 gram of DHA/EPA per day. MDA recommends about 3 grams. Whole9 a homeostasis of about 6 grams and thinks that a higher dose at first will accelerate its benefits.

So if you’ve been dipping only your pinky toe in the fish oil pool, or if, heaven forbid, you have yet to incorporate the Mighty FO into your daily routine, let this be the final nudge that pushes you in, cannonball style.

However, you should keep in mind that fish oil does function as a blood thinner and therefore CAN be dangerous at prolonged, extremely high doses. Crossfit does caution soldiers or anyone who might be severely injured in their line of work to keep their doses on the lower side. But these worries only become an issue at levels above 6 grams for several months. So do exercise some caution; you do not need to take 30 grams a day.

But do take some. Hey, if you don’t care about silly things like your memory loss, heart disease, obesity, and diabetes, you can always take fish oil to increase your libido!

Primal Challenge 2010

Filed under: diet — Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , — Mara @ 8:08 am

As part of our goal here at FAHBG to shape our bodies and minds closer to the ideal God created us for, we have decided to undertake a Primal Challenge (based loosely on Crossfit Integrity’s Paleo Challenge). Many of us have been off our game recently – whether still recovering from holiday snack habits or fasting for Lent – and our diets and fitness levels have generally not been what we hope they would be.

It’s time we got back on the wagon, hardcore. To help us do this, we have set up a point system to track our dietary habits and keep us accountable, and simultaneously we will be embarking upon a strength program based on Whole9’s PTP program. Basically, we will be deadlifting and overhead pressing multiple times every week, focusing on strength over metcons (no matter how sexy).

So pull up your shorts (ala Josh), chalk up your hands, and purge your kitchen of all illicit food-like substances, ’cause this here is fo’ real!

Duration: Saturday, April 10, 2010 to May 22, 2010

Before and Afters:
Photo – front, side and back view (optional)
Measurements – body weight, waist circumference, and body fat (optional)
Performance – 1 mile run, CrossFit Total, Fran (if you’ve done these within the last month or so, you can count those times, if not, you need to do them before we start)

Nutrition Log – track your eating habits for at least a week before the challenge begins so you can see how much your habits change during the challenge

1.  Measurement Improvements – weight, waist, and body fat plus visual change
2.  Performance Improvements – 1 mile run, CrossFit Total, Fran
3.  Scoring – points from daily nutrition and activity log

You will be required to keep track of your eating in a Nutrition log.  From this log, you will give a daily score of 0-10 based on your compliance with the Primal Diet.  A score of 10 would represent a day of eating like a true hunter gatherer: nothing but meat, fish, eggs, veggies, fruits, nuts, and seeds.
~ 1 point off for every serving of: beans, hummus, peanuts, peas, agave, honey, real maple syrup, dried fruit, sweet or creamy salad dressings, or dairy (milk, yogurt, cheese, etc. and not including butter, heavy cream, or protein powder)
~ 2 points off for every serving of: soy products, quinoa, hot dogs, fast food meat
~ 3 points off for every serving of: grains of any kind including oatmeal, corn, millet, whatever.
~ 4 points off for every serving of:  Soda, juice, sports drinks, white potato, most restaurant appetizers, cookies, all non-primal baked goods, ice cream, frozen yogurt, sweets, pancakes, processed marinades, BBQ sauce, anything with high fructose corn syrup, sugar added dried fruit, pizza, beer, wine and all alcoholic drinks. Exceptions: dark chocolate over 60% is no penalty, and up to 4 oz of red wine is no penalty.

If you know something is not primal but you’re not sure how many points to take off, just use your judgment. Obviously eating a donut should merit more points off than eating some lentils. If you make a primal dessert, just count off for any honey or flour you use, rather than counting it as a sweet. If you make butternut squash (primal food so no penalty) but add HFCS maple syrup substitute, you will need to subtract 4 points for every serving of syrup consumed. If you consume only half a serving size, then only subtract 2 points.

Note: It is important that you track absolutely everything you consume. Guess on your portion sizes if you’re eating out, but be as accurate as you can. Overestimate rather than underestimate – a portion size is often smaller than we think. For example, 1 can of soda is 2 servings.  This means that if you drink an entire can you would lose 8 points. A serving of ice cream is usually half a cup, but most of us usually eat at least twice that in a sitting. If you go out for ice cream, you’re probably looking at 3-5 servings!

You may earn up to 8 bonus points per day to help make up for all those dietary cheats.

1.  One bonus point for everyday you participate in a CrossFit-style, high intensity workout. The benefits of a Primal lifestyle are magnified when combined with a training program that combines constantly varied, high intensity, functional movements.

2.  One bonus point for everyday you consume at least 6 grams of Fish oil. Our primary goal with this challenge is to reduce Silent Inflammation.  Silent inflammation is far more insidious than classic inflammation because it is at the molecular level and may not be detected until it’s too late. It doesn’t generate the pain associated with classic inflammation and therefore goes untreated for years or even decades. Virtually every type of chronic disease (heart disease, cancer, and Alzheimer’s) has a significant inflammatory component as its underlying cause. Fish oil and its high quality Omega 3s seems to be a miracle cure.

3.  One bonus point for everyday that you stretch MORE than 10 minutes.

4.  One bonus point for every night that you sleep 8 hours or more.

5. One bonus point every time you engage in a low level activity (like going for a walk, playing a game, gardening) for MORE than 30 minutes.

6. One bonus point every day you eat at least .7 grams of protein per lean pound of body weight. For example, I weigh 145 pounds, with about 20% body fat which equals about 30 pounds of fat. So my lean body weight is 115, multiplied by .7 equals 80 grams of protein per day.

7. One bonus point every day you eat LESS than .7 grams of carbohydrate per lean pound of body weight. So with the example above, I would need to eat less than 80 grams of carbohydrate per day.

8. One bonus point every day you eat at least 3 cups of green (or otherwise high nutrient) veggies (including real lettuce (not iceberg), spinach, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, red cabbage, beets, kale, etc. and NOT including carrots, sweet potatoes, avocados, tomatoes, or green beans, which are higher carb/fat veggies).

By tracking your eating and activity, you should come up with your total for each day: between – infinity and 18 points.

I like to use mydailyplate.com to track my eating habits, which is free and user friendly.

Post questions and comments below…. Who’s with me??

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