February seems to be the time a lot of people fizzle out of their resolutions. We start out with goals ablaze ready to change the world one 2 hour workout at a time…. and then life gets in the way. I find we also get distracted as we get further into investing in our fitness. Often we start finding books, DVD’s, web sites, all dedicated to telling you that they have the solution that will make you the best possible version of you. But how do you know that what you’re already doing isn’t the solution?
I had a client referred to me that wanted to spice things up. She thought she shouldn’t do the same old thing anymore, because it was the same old thing!
I asked her a few questions:
1. Was she getting results? (Yes)
2. Was her current routine causing her injury or discomfort? (No)
3. Was she unhappy in any other way with her routine? (No!)
Then why did she want to change it? Because she’d seen other people changing their workouts constantly and thought she should too!
What did I tell her? I told her to give her workout a KISS!
We’re going to call this Keep It Simple Silly because it’s not your fault! You’re told over and over again that to succeed you have to go hard, fast and try the New! Best! Shiniest! thing every chance you get.
But actually.. that’s not the case. Keep It Simple Silly..do you have a routine? Does it work into your schedule and day? Then keep doing it!
Keep It Simply Silly… do you see the inches comes off and the clothes fitting? Then keep doing what you’re doing!
Keep it Simple Silly… do you need every shiny supplement out there to help you lose weight? No. You need a good basic diet of protein, good fats, and lots of vegetables.
Our lives tend to need less complexity, not more. I’m not saying that trying a new class here and there or a new food isn’t a good idea! But the better a groove we get into, the more we’re going to stick with it, and the more results you’ll see! So this Valentines Day, give your Workout Routine and Nutrition a little KISS!
Kombucha is a polarizing beverage. Some love it’s tangy effervescence, and others can’t stand the vinegar taste. It also tends to be the gateway drug into home fermentation. With roots in Russia, China, Korea and beyond, it has many anecdotal health benefits, but it does contain a great deal of digestive enzymes, antioxidants, B vitamins, and trace minerals, plus I’m one of those people that thinks it is tasty!
The SCOBY Johanna talks about below is actually an acronym, standing for Symbiotic Colony of Bacteria and Yeast, and can be in itself a turn-off for people interested in the drink. I encourage everyone to try it at least once. I personally am in love with a local brand’s Jasmine flavor, that they sell out of mobile taps! Though I do like to make it myself, I just tend to lose my SCOBY after a while due to over-fermentation or contamination! Johanna is, full disclosure, my best friend, and in her last year of school as a Chiropractor. She’ll be doing some guest articles for us when she can so you all can get to know her. I hope to have her working with us at the studio!
Brewing Kombucha – Johanna Newbold, upcoming Doctor of Chiropractic
In large stock pot boil 1 gallon of filtered water, once boiling has been established dissolve 1.5-2 cups of organic sugar and turn off heat. Add 8 tea bags(at least 2 should be black tea, but you can do any ratio you want of black to green as long as they are organic). I leave pot on stove, heat turned off, covered overnight to cool.
Wash glass container and rinse well, then rinse with vinegar. The vinegar rinse is important to make sure that there is no other yeast or bacteria left behind. The SCOBY is the only thing you want growing. Only use white vinegar, apple cider vinegar with the mother is going to introduce different organisms to the kombucha.
Put tea into container(remember any utensils you use for transfer should be cleaned with vinegar first.) Add 2 cups of kombucha(this helps make sure the SCOBY is the only thing that grows). Add SCOBY and cover container with coffee filter secured with rubber band.
Set container aside and ignore for a week, or obsessively take daily pictures of the progress, including videos of the little bubbles. After a week test the kombucha, I prefer the straw method. If you like the taste, bottle, otherwise keep waiting.
There are tons of different instructions if you search, this is the method that works for me. I prefer to avoid glass if doing a secondary ferment as I have small children and an exploded bottle is more than just a mess. The night before I bottle I start a new batch of kombucha.
I use 1 liter plastic bottles(I just clean and reuse electrolyte water bottles) and 8 oz mason jars(yes I know glass), you’ll also want white vinegar, coffee filters or cheesecloth, ladle, clean bowl and a funnel. Other items could include fruit, fruit juice, ginger, sugar or other flavoring. Metal does not mix well with kombucha for some reason, so avoid using any metal utensils.
1 Liter bottles
I clean each bottle with extremely hot tap water and then followed by a vinegar rinse.
I remove the SCOBY and any SCOBY babies to set them aside in a clean bowl. I also ladle out around 2 cups of liquid to use as the starter for the new batch.
Rinse the funnel in vinegar, from this point on what you do is based on the results you want.
Like the ferment as it is: just line the funnel with a coffee filter and fill, the coffee filter will remove the floaties (not harmful, I just don’t like them). A cheesecloth will not remove as much but will go a lot faster for this process. Much, much, much faster.
Finish by closing bottle and sticking it in the fridge. Once in the fridge the fermentation process goes to a near stop.
Too sour or you want to try for light carbonation: Add 1-2 tbsps of organic sugar to bottle, then fill with kombucha as noted above, but instead of sticking in fridge, leave on counter with your other containers to do a secondary ferment. Check the bottle daily or every other day to see if it is tightening up. You want to get it to the fridge before it explodes. If using glass bottles, you just kind of have to guess, fermentation will go faster in a warmer kitchen. I’ve read that you can store the glass bottles in a cardboard box to contain them if they burst.
Fruit, fruit juice, ginger, and other flavorings: Just add to the bottle and add the kombucha as above. As many of these have sugar in them, you can leave on the counter or go straight to the fridge.
This is how I bottle for ready to grab kombucha.
I wash bottles in dishwasher and tops by hand. Then to give the vinegar rinse I add some to the bottle, close it and shake. I tend to make these flavored and are often sweet, these closely resemble what I get in the store but often are not as bubbly.
I still filter the kombucha through a coffee filter as above. The two flavors I make:
Grape Kombucha: I add 1-2 tbsp of frozen grape juice concentrate to bottom of jar, add some kombucha and swirl to mix, then finish adding kombucha until jar is filled, close and stick in fridge.
Sweet plain Kombucha: I add 1-2 tsp of sugar plus some kombucha swirl to help dissolve, fill with kombucha, close and stick into fridge.
Once all this is done, I give my fermenting containers a rinse with water then vinegar(though honestly sometimes I skip this step). Add fresh tea, starter liquid and a SCOBY to start the process all over again.
All in All I have 2 fermenting containers, 1 gal, and 1.2 gal and a 1 gal SCOBY hotel(just filled with SCOBY’s and some fluid stored in the fridge).
I read dozens of articles and recipes and it seems like they all had slightly different suggestions and information. Some say never store a SCOBY in the fridge, but in my experience it doesn’t hurt it, just expect a longer fermentation time the first time you use the SCOBY while it warms up.
As I went through this process, I took lots of pictures and kept a photo journal, that way if something worked out well I could repeat it and if it didn’t, I could figure out how to change it. My very first batch was super tart and sour, and that is how I decided to increase the amount of sugar used in the primary ferment.
I’ve been told if the batch goes bad or mold grows the smell is very obvious. Overall you want to keep the area sterile to control what grows, but I found worrying about that too much paralyzed me from actually making kombucha. The reality is that people have been fermenting foods long before modern sanitation and likely the most dangerous contaminant in my kitchen in the excessive amount of chlorine in the city water to make it safe to drink.
My best advice is just pick a recipe you like and give it a try, it may take a few changes to find the correct blend of time, teas and sugar to get it right for your tastes.
My Biggest Loser article has gotten a lot of attention, and I really appreciate everyone who has taken the time to comment and participate in the discussion. I’ve written a follow up with resources if you or someone you know needs help with an eating disorder. Also, Courtney Opdahl of Experience Life magazine quoted me in her commentary about the Season Finale.
This is a great article written by Diana Rogers and Justin Keane of CrossFit Woodshed in Littleton, MA. Justin is by far one of THE best CrossFit Coaches I’ve ever met. His ability to gauge the level his athletes are at from day to day, and to push them when needed consistently blows me away. If you live in the area, do check out his facility, I can’t say enough good things.
I’ve had a few comments in other locations than my entry about The Biggest Loser stating that Rachel simply did this for money. $250,000 is a large amount of money, but really, is any amount of money worth a Metabolic Disorder?
And where does it stop? Are we saying it’s ok to do anything for money? We are the Jackass Nation, so perhaps that sadly is true.
But I refuse to think it’s acceptable.
Here’s some facts to ponder:
• Almost 50% of people with eating disorders meet the criteria for depression.
• Only 1 in 10 men and women with eating disorders receive treatment. Only 35% of people that receive treatment for eating disorders get treatment at a specialized facility for eating disorders.
• Up to 24 million people of all ages and genders suffer from an eating disorder (anorexia, bulimia and binge eating disorder) in the U.S.
• Eating disorders have the highest mortality rate of any mental illness.
And one that really hits me, because we ignore the vulnerability of men and boys far too often:
An estimated 10-15% of people with anorexia or bulimia are male.
But allow me to follow that up with:
Men are less likely to seek treatment for eating disorders because of the perception that they are “woman’s diseases.”
So we really have no idea if that 10-15% is accurate, and is most likely very inaccurate, and skewed to the low side.
So let’s talk about how it’s somehow acceptable to tell kids and adults they are lacking, how it’s ok to tell them they can exploit themselves if it’s in the name of a dollar or $250,000 dollars…
Because it’s not.
Love yourselves, love your kids, be healthy, be the example you wanted when you were young. Someone loves you and is looking to you for answers, I can almost guarantee it.
I hesitated to write this. I couldn’t bear to jump on the bandwagon on this topic..but it’s been there, staring me in the face now for a few days and I have to say something because it hits deep on a lot of levels I didn’t expect. I actually cried a few times writing this, so feel free to state a differing opinion, but know that this hit me deep, and I won’t take kindly to unkindness on this topic…
I don’t watch The Biggest Loser. In fact, I rarely watch television, but it’s hard to avoid some of the largest shows out there, like this one.
I’ve long had a love/hate relationship with Bob and Jillian. He drank the CrossFit Kool-aid, kinda neat! She’s openly gay, go girl! But they encourage this unsustainable, unhealthy, unrealistic environment that has to at some point BREAK some people.
And you know what, we all saw that with Rachel. They broke her. She bought in so hard and so deep that she KEPT GOING after she’d already lost enough weight. The exact thing I thought they were doing, happened. They triggered disordered exercise and eating. And it makes me so sad, and angry for this her.
I know she signed up for this. I know at some level she HAD to know this was a machine that was going to chew her up and spit her out, but when even the coaches that PUSHED you and PUSHED you through this ordeal look at you with shock and concern when you come out? When the masks come off for a second and you can see they realize what they’ve done? That’s too far.
This is what happens when people are put in a place where their worth is judged only on pounds lost and they are punished for gaining weight, even if it might be muscle mass. This is what happens when you tell people to lose weight and all they’ve ever seen is the “ideal” of what women are supposed to be that is pushed on us by media and magazines. This happens every day. It happens to 12 year old girls, and boys. And it happens to people older and younger as well.
It happened to me. I was a 4 foot 11 little bean, played soccer, danced, and ate whatever I want. Then I hit puberty. About a year, 8 inches, a real bra, and 50 lbs later I was as tall or taller than my teachers, the boys in my class, and all my friends.
I was 11.
For the next 6 years I struggled with my size, weight and self image. I tried to not eat so much, I tried my mom’s cabbage “weight loss” soup.. (I, at this point, was already bigger than my mother, in dress size, height,and shoe size) I did 100 crunches for every piece of food I ate… I did 200 crunches for every piece of food I ate. I even at one point abused some laxatives because I hated vomiting, but I hated being “fat” even more. As for what “fat” was…
(Note the oversized t-shirt…and that perm..wow..welcome to 1994)I wasn’t FAT. I was taller, and broader, and bigger…but I wasn’t fat. I was still dancing every day , I was active and walked everywhere. But I was told, by the clothes I couldn’t fit into, the magazines I read and saw at the supermarket, and even my doctors that I could stand to lose a few pounds.
Back to Rachel
I look at this picture of Rachel, partway through her journey, and I want to cry, because she’s so beautiful. I want to cry because of the look of joy on Tim Gunn’s face. I want to cry because she both did, and didn’t know how beautiful she was because this “wasn’t enough”. Why was it not enough? Because to give America what they wanted, she had to lose everything and work even harder.
And I wish she’d had the same journey I had. Because in 2007 when I found CrossFit..it changed my life.
And I got a little smaller…but mostly changed shape..But the big realization was that I could never look at the scale and be happy. I also realized that I’d been surrounded by a lot of small people, in a lot of ways. And that I was just big, and curvy and strong. I wish Rachel got that instead of a scale to tell her what she was worth.
Because it’s changed my life. And the people I’ve found through starting that journey, especially my RKC brothers and sisters, have let me know I’m not alone in being made of lead, as I like to put it, and that progress, lasting HEALTHY progress, takes time, and effort, and love, for yourself and others who might not know better…
And I’m so grateful for the journey that started with a big bad growth spurt, and has ended with me embracing a body I tried to get away from for 20 years.
And while I’m still on that journey, I want to point out that so much of how we perceive ourselves is how others treat us, and behave, and act. Even if it’s not directly about US. Do you think Rachel was too thin?
STOP FEEDING THE MACHINE
Stop watching the Biggest Loser, stop buying Womens Day, and Cosmo, and other womens mags with their 21 day weight loss miracles and one magic food that gets rid of body fat, because if you don’t think your daughters, and sons, are reading that when you’re not looking and judging themselves just as you are judging you…you are mistaken.
Go for a walk, go for a run, turn off the television, stop judging. Swing a kettlebell. Find love for you. Then give love to your loved ones.
Be an example for the Rachel’s of the world. We need you.
I love beets. My love for beets is almost as epic as my love for cauliflower. So when I found a recipe for a beet protein bar, I knew I had to try it!
I started with 1 large roasted beet, pureed in my NutriBullet .
I put that into my mixer, and added 1/2 cup (about 2 scoops) of Vegan Proteins + Natural Vanilla . Then, I added 1 tbsp of sunflower butter. All mixed together, this makes an amazing colored batter of the most unique hue!
While the batter mixed up, I melted some 85% Dark chocolate (Alter Eco) in a bowl over some hot water for coating the bars!
After the chocolate melted, I formed my batter into 4 bars, and coated them in dark chocolate, resting them on parchment paper for cooling.
Then into the freezer they went!
This made up four delicious bars that I wrapped up individually and popped in the fridge. Next time I might use a few teaspoons of cocoa powder, but I really liked the subtle earthy flavor of the beets!
These come together to make a bar that is:
I just finished reading yet another great interview over at Dragon Door by Allison Helm, a 20th generation disciple of Grandmaster Chen Xiaowang. The Article titled How Kettlebells Helped Reverse Aging, Restore My Strength, Reduce Pain and Revitalize My Tai Ji Practice.
This article reminded me of many conversations I have had with Henry, a friend and local Taiji and kickboxing teacher who is also an amazing acupuncturist among many other talents. He remarked upon how much he appreciated the attention to detail and form that the RKC requires, and I saw that reflected in Allison’s writings as well. A great read for a snowy day up here in Boston!
To celebrate the holiday, Dragon Door has released their Convict Conditioning Log Book free for download through the 1st of January! This is a fantastic tool for tracking your progress and workouts if you are doing convict conditioning, but I’ve seen it used for a variety of other applications as well!
Not only does the book have well laid out pages for tracking progress, it has tips and tricks for all of the Convict Conditioning movements as well with great full color images! This is a great value at $29.99, and an extremely generous giveaway for the Holiday Season. Be sure to take advantage of this before 1/1/14!*
*Note: you will need to go through the traditional checkout process for your FREE log book, but there will be no need to enter payment information. Enjoy your new Training tool!
For the end of the year I decided to do a few things differently and talk about web and software tools I use to help my business presence online and get the clients that *I* want! I also talk about the one big NO-NO I recommend against this time of year (and all times of year, based on your gym and needs!)
Hey all, just wanted to let you know that Dale’s Raw bars is having a sale through the end of the year! Buy 2 boxes, get a third free!