Nutrition & Wellness

Jump Into June Challenge

We figured you guys are burpee’d out by now so we’ll give you something a little easier to manage. We did this last year and we had a lot of fun with it.

Our June challenge brings us lots of jumping and burning calories!! It starts on the 1st and runs through the 30th.

I know whenever I jump rope a lot my midsection just melts off the excess. I’m looking forward to this one. 😀

When you post & share about it on social media use our special hashtag #jijc.

Also if you’re not yet following Crossfit Carol Steam on Instagram you can do that HERE: https://www.instagram.com/crossfitcarolstream/

Crossfit Burpee Challenge

burpees

We begin a new month and it’s so important to step back and look at everything you have accomplished so far this year. Be proud of it!! It’s also important to evaluate what you still want to achieve. This helps us create new challenges for ourselves moving forward.

We’re going to challenge ourselves this month with everyone’s favorite… Burpees!! OK… OK… don’t cringe…

 

KEEP READING…

 

The burpee was created in the 1930s by Royal Burpee. He developed the burpee test and it was used to test the fitness level of recruits entering the military during WWII. It’s improves and tests strength, agility and coordination.

Burpees are challenging, and of course can be tiring, but there’s no question they are effective!

Let’s take it to the next level this month, surprise yourself, grab a partner, and together kick it up a notch!

burpee_silhouette

HOW TO BURPEE: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uX1IfVFkm6s

 

Choose With or Without A Partner

INDIVIDUAL BURPEES

A classic Burpee is a squat, jump out to plank, push-up, jump back to squat position, jump at the top (no jumping jack at top!)

During this challenge you can do any type of Burpee you’d like! Make it challenging especially during the first week when the rep numbers of LOW.

 

During workouts, incorporate Burpees, include them in your warm-ups, and definitely don’t let a day go by over the next 30 days without doing Burpees!!

The goal is to do the number of Burpees corresponding with the date. So Day 1 do 1 Burpee, Day 2, do 2 Burpees… Day 3 – 3 Burpees, etc. If you complete this challenge you will be doing 496 Burpees!

**STEP IT UP: If you’re “ADVANCED”, do double the count on each day.

Take it to the EXTREME by doing Man-Makers for the first half of the month!!

 

PARTNER BURPEES:

burpees nowFor these you start by facing your partner. You both come down to floor and jump your feet out to plank position. Instead of push-up, clap your partner’s opposite hands (R/L). Jump feet in, clap hands at the top (double high five). For even more of a challenge throw a pushup in the mix between hand claps!! 

The goal is highest total number of Burpees and highest number of consecutive Burpees at one time.

 

 

Why Our Waist Circumference Matters 100x More Than What We Weigh

The scale is usually a negative thing in our life right?

 

You may have this weird kind of relationship with your “weight”.  

 

I mean, it doesn’t define you (obviously), BUT…

 

What you weigh can and should matter, but only to a certain extent.

 

Let’s look at your waist circumference (well…you look at yours and I’ll look at mine).

 

Waist Circumference (AKA “Belly Fat”):

Do you remember the fruity body shape descriptions being like an “apple” or a “pear”?  The apple is kinda round around the middle (you know – belly fat-ish, kinda beer belly-ish) and the pear is rounder around the hips/thighs.

 

THAT is what we’re talking about here.

 

Do you know which shape is associated with a higher risk of sleep apnea, blood sugar issues (e.g. insulin resistance and diabetes) and heart issues (high blood pressure, blood fat, and arterial diseases).

 

Yup – that apple!

 

And it’s not because of the subcutaneous (under the skin) fat that you may refer to as a “muffin top”.  The health risk is actually due to the fat inside the abdomen covering the liver, intestines and other organs there.

 

This internal fat is called “visceral fat” and that’s where a lot of the problem actually is.  It’s this “un-pinchable” fat.  

 

The reason the visceral fat can be a health issue is because it releases fatty acids, inflammatory compounds, and hormones that can negatively affect your blood fats, blood sugars, and blood pressure.

 

And the apple-shaped people tend to have a lot more of this hidden visceral fat than the pear-shaped people do.

 

So as you can see where your fat is stored is more important that how much you weigh.

 

Am I an apple or a pear?

 

It’s pretty simple to find out if you’re in the higher risk category or not. The easiest way is to just measure your waist circumference with a measuring tape.  You can do it right now.

 

Women, if your waist is 35” or more you could be considered to have “abdominal obesity” and be in the higher risk category.  Pregnant ladies are exempt, of course.

 

For men the number is 40”.

 

Of course this isn’t a diagnostic tool.  There are lots of risk factors for chronic diseases.  Waist circumference is just one of them.

 

If you have concerns definitely see your doctor.

 

Tips for helping reduce some belly fat:

  • Eat more fiber.  Fiber can help reduce belly fat in a few ways.  First of all it helps you feel full and also helps to reduce the amount of calories you absorb from your food.  Some examples of high-fiber foods are brussel sprouts, flax and chia seeds, avocado, and blackberries.
  • Add more protein to your day.  Protein reduces your appetite and makes you feel fuller longer.  It also has a high TEF (thermic effect of food) compared with fats and carbs and ensures you have enough of the amino acid building blocks for your muscles.
  • Nix added sugars.  This means ditch the processed sweetened foods especially those sweet drinks (even 100% pure juice).
  • Move more.  Get some aerobic exercise.  Lift some weights.  Walk and take the stairs.  It all adds up.
  • Stress less.  Seriously!  Elevated levels in the stress hormone cortisol have been shown to increase appetite and drive abdominal fat.
  • Get more sleep.  Try making this a priority and seeing how much better you feel (and look).

 

Recipe (High fiber side dish): Garlic Lemon Roasted Brussel Sprouts

1 lb brussel sprouts (washed, ends removed, halved)

2-3 cloves of garlic (minced)

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

dash salt and pepper

 

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 400F.  

In a bowl toss sprouts with garlic, oil, and lemon juice.  Spread on a baking tray and season with salt and pepper.

Bake for about 15 minutes.  Toss.

Bake for another 10 minutes. Serve and Enjoy!

Tip:  Brussel sprouts contain the fat-soluble bone-loving vitamin K.  You may want to eat them more often.

 

References

http://www.precisionnutrition.com/research-abdominal-fat-and-risk

http://www.precisionnutrition.com/visceral-fat-location

http://www.drsharma.ca/inspiring-my-interest-in-visceral-fat

https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/obesity-prevention-source/obesity-definition/abdominal-obesity/

http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/fn-an/nutrition/weights-poids/guide-ld-adult/qa-qr-pub-eng.php#a4

https://authoritynutrition.com/6-proven-ways-to-lose-belly-fat/

https://authoritynutrition.com/20-tips-to-lose-belly-fat/

5 Cholesterol Myths and What to Eat Instead

There’s a bit of an over-emphasis (borderline obsession) about cholesterol in the media and when we talk with our doctor.

He always tells us to get our numbers lower, right?

Before blindly swallowing a red or blue pill to make that happen, it’s important to understand the why and what.

Let’s jump into some myths of what exactly cholesterol is.

 

Myth #1: “Cholesterol” is cholesterol

While cholesterol is an actual molecule what it is bound to while it’s floating through your blood is what’s more important than just how much of it there is overall. In fact depending on what it’s combined with can have opposite effects on your arteries and heart. Yes, opposite!

So cholesterol is just one component of a compound that floats around your blood. These compounds contain cholesterol as well as fats and special proteins called “lipoproteins”.

They’re grouped into two main categories:

HDL: High Density Lipoprotein (AKA “good” cholesterol) that “cleans up” some of those infamous “arterial plaques” and transports cholesterol back to the liver.

LDL: Low Density Lipoprotein (AKA “bad” cholesterol) that transports cholesterol from the liver (and is the kind found to accumulate in arteries and become easily oxidized hence their “badness”).

And yes, it’s even more complicated than this. Each of these categories is further broken down into subcategories which can also be measured in a blood test.

So “cholesterol” isn’t simply cholesterol because it has very different effects on your body depending on which other molecules it’s bound to in your blood and what it is actually doing there.

 

Myth #2: Cholesterol is bad

Cholesterol is absolutely necessary for your body to produce critical things like vitamin D when your skin is exposed to the sun, your sex hormones (e.g. estrogen and testosterone), as well as bile to help you absorb dietary fats. Not to mention that it’s incorporated into the membranes of your cells.

Talk about an important molecule!

The overall amount of cholesterol in your blood (AKA “total cholesterol”) isn’t nearly as important as how much of each kind you have in your blood.

While way too much LDL cholesterol as compared with HDL (the LDL:HDL ratio) may be associated with an increased risk of heart disease it is absolutely not the only thing to consider for heart health.

 

Myth #3: Eating cholesterol increases your bad cholesterol

Most of the cholesterol in your blood is made by your liver. It’s actually not from the cholesterol you eat. Why do you think cholesterol medications block an enzyme in your liver (HMG Co-A reductase, to be exact)? ‘Cause that’s where it’s made!

What you eat still can affect how much cholesterol your liver produces. After a cholesterol-rich meal your liver doesn’t need to make as much.

 

Myth #4: Your cholesterol should be as low as possible

As with almost everything in health and wellness there’s a balance that needs to be maintained. There are very few extremes that are going to serve you well.

People with too-low levels of cholesterol have increased risk of death from other non-heart-related issues like certain types of cancers, as well as suicide.

Myth #5: Drugs are the only way to get a good cholesterol balance

Don’t start or stop any medications without talking with your doctor.

And while drugs can certainly lower the “bad” LDL cholesterol they don’t seem to be able to raise the “good” HDL cholesterol all that well.

Guess what does?

Nutrition and exercise, baby!

One of the most impactful ways to lower your cholesterol with diet is to eat lots of fruits and veggies. I mean lots, say up to 10 servings a day. Every day.

Don’t worry the recipe below should help you add at least another salad to your day.

You can (should?) also exercise, lose weight, stop smoking, and eat better quality fats. That means fatty fish, avocados and olive oil. Ditch those over-processed hydrogenated “trans” fats.

 

Summary:

The science of cholesterol and heart health is complicated and we’re learning more every day. You may not need to be as afraid of it as you are. And there is a lot you can do from a nutrition and lifestyle perspective to improve your cholesterol level.

 

Recipe (Dressing to go with your salad): Orange Hemp Seed Dressing

Makes about ¾ cup

½ cup hemp seeds

½ cup orange juice

1 clove of garlic, peeled

dash salt and/or pepper

Blend all ingredients together until creamy.

Serve on top of your favorite salad and Enjoy!

Tip: Store extra in airtight container in the fridge. Will keep for about a week.

 

References:

http://www.precisionnutrition.com/all-about-cholesterol

http://summertomato.com/how-to-raise-your-hdl-cholesterol

https://authoritynutrition.com/top-9-biggest-lies-about-dietary-fat-and-cholesterol/