By Coach Meredith
I hope you all have been enjoying the milder Ohio weather and may have even gotten outside for some recent physical activity. Which brings me to my next topic: Physical Activity in the new year.
There are a number of reasons why we exercise. Although one of the main goals is to lose weight or maintain fitness, some of those reasons have absolutely nothing to do with losing weight. Regular physical activity can boost mental health benefits, improve quality of sleep, strengthen our immune systems, and is an overall essential component of a healthy lifestyle. Exercise doesn’t have to be just about losing weight. For some it is a source of therapy or even just an escape from their day to day routine.
That being said, if your goal is to lose weight, you should know that working out isn’t enough on its own to actually make that happen. There is so much else that goes into weight loss and body fat loss; one of the main factors being good nutrition. Majority of weight loss regimens will include exercise because it is a great tool and is healthy for you. Something to remember: because there are so many aspects that go into weight loss and living a healthy lifestyle, even if you are doing everything “right”, working out regularly and eating appropriately may not be enough. Lifestyle habits such as sleep and stress as well as health conditions (thyroid issues, depression, chronic disease) can get in the way of your weight loss efforts. Weight loss is an extremely personal journey that doesn’t look or work the exact same way for each individual.
That being said there are definitely certain exercises and workouts that can be useful in helping you lose weight or burn fat or change your body composition to gain lean muscle mass for a fitter, healthier you. These exercises are generally high-intensity and they burn a lot of calories in a short amount of time. Let’s explore a few common high-intensity exercise routines:
This is any form of exercise where your heart rate spikes and then comes down repeatedly within a period of time. This type of training keeps your heart rate elevated in a general range according to your age, which in turn keeps your metabolism going. The result: you burn more calories.
If you are generally crunched for time, Tabata workouts are your solution. Tabata is high-intensity interval training (HIIT) that consists of 20 seconds of all-out effort, followed by 10 seconds of rest, or any combination of work to rest in a repeated fashion. You can perform Tabata-style exercise for any length of time as long as you are focusing on a work to rest ratio in order to spike and recover the heart rate. This is also great because you can use different exercises to constantly keep the body guessing and increase the metabolism. Think this is your style of workout? Check out The Bar Athletics’ new B-FHIIT class held on M-W-F from 6:30pm-7:15pm. This class is an instructor led, 45 minute session that is guaranteed to get you sweating! This class is perfect for anyone interested in losing weight, increasing stamina, or just trying to have a great time. You can expect great music, great coaches, great friends all while achieving a great workout! This class is for all levels of fitness, beginner to advanced. All movements can be scaled to accommodate for any personal mobility restrictions. Furthermore, the importance of nutrition will also be discussed to promote a healthy lifestyle in and out of the gym.
CrossFit is a form of interval training and can also be considered high-intensity. Traditional CrossFit classes include a skill-based warm-up, skill or strength training, the Workout of the Day (or “WOD”), and mobility work. The workouts can always be scaled so that new athletes can workout alongside veteran athletes. Some days the WOD will be a 10-20 minute metabolic conditioning workout that combines several movements grouped into sets to be completed for time or in as many rounds a possible (“AMRAP”). Other days, the class will focus on a strength piece (like a 1 rep max deadlift) followed by a shorter metabolic conditioning “finisher” workout. We encourage all CrossFit athletes to record their workout times/scores in the ‘Beyond The Whiteboard’ app in order to track their progress over time. Because the workouts vary every single day, you may be doing anything from kettlebell swings to rope climbs and box jumps to front squats. That is the beauty of it: NO MONOTONY. Every day is different and there is always something to work on improving. Many people are intimidated by CrossFit, but must realize that the movements performed are basic fundamental movements you use in your daily life (aka deadlift- picking something up off the ground). And remember: ALL movements can be modified according to your individual skill level and limitations. So if you’re having hesitations because of your age or limitations, don’t. Come try out a class! I guarantee you’ll leave learning something about your own body movement and strength and make at least one new friend!
Check out the class schedule found under the ‘Schedule’ tab for available class times. See you at The Bar!
Cauliflower- Broccoli Mash
Provided by Coach Meredith
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
Total time: 35 minutes
BRING the broth to a simmer in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the cauliflower, broccoli, garlic, and coconut milk. Cover and cook until the florets are fork tender. 12-15 minutes
TRANSFER half of the florets and liquid to a food processor. (You will need to do this in batches). Blend on low speed until smooth and transfer to a bowl. Puree the remaining florets and liquid.
RETURN all the mash to the food processor and add the clarified butter or ghee, salt, and pepper. Pulse until well mixed. Add the parsley and continue blending on low until completely smooth.
(**This can be made a day in advance. Just reheat mash in saucepan before serving)
By Coach Meredith
Last week, I wanted to start the new year off well rested. This week I want us to take a look at how to fuel our bodies properly. So first and foremost, let me lay this on the table. If you are making a conscious effort to change your nutrition and put nutrient dense foods into your body in order to become healthier and possibly lose weight, IT MUST BE A LIFESTYLE CHANGE…NOT a diet. “Diets” are quick fixes and easily derailed. Here are three reasons why incorporating healthy, daily nutrition habits (aka- lifestyle) and getting rid of diets will be beneficial to your health:
1. Your weight loss and weight maintenance will be realistic and sustainable.
Getting rid of dieting allows you to focus on the proper methods for supplying your body with the energy it needs to function throughout the day as well as a vehicle for fat loss. This can be seen as a balance of the calories you consume with the calories you burn from exercise. If you want to get even more specific, it is a balance of macronutrient content (Protein, Carbohydrates, and Fat) at each meal and foods eaten prior to and post exercise. This isn’t necessarily mind-blowing information, but it’s the only method that has been proven by science to be helpful for realistic weight loss and long-term weight maintenance.
For example: If the only calories you consume in one day is 400 calories of green juice, sure you’ll lose weight. You might even maintain that extremely low calorie intake for a few days, but sooner or later, you’ll feel the effects of consistently under eating: dizziness, headaches, fatigue and hangriness. Yes, hangriness. That feeling when you are extremely hungry and the only way you can express it is through anger. These negative feelings can erode your willpower, and you’ll eventually go back to eating as you typically would. Then bam! Those pounds come right back.
Don’t know where to begin? Start by taking a look your current eating habits and make a commitment to swap them for healthier ones. Healthy eating habits are a long-term commitment, which normally does not happen if you’re yo-yo-ing from one diet to another. In addition, yo-yo dieting may have detrimental long-term effects on your health, such as increased risk for certain health conditions like high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and metabolic syndrome.
2. A balanced diet provides all of the nutrients your body needs
Many diets require you to cut out key food groups, which sets you up for deficiencies of certain nutrients. When you embark on “juice cleanse”, and this is all you eat for an extended period of time, there’s no question you’ll be missing key nutrients.
Even less extreme diets like going gluten-free for weight loss can make your nutrition less optimal. How? Swapping a whole-grain, gluten-containing cereal for a rice-based, gluten-free cereal can reduce how much B-vitamins and fiber you’re getting. This doesn’t mean you can’t eat a nutritionally adequate gluten-free diet; it means you have to be aware of pros and cons of the particular diet.
Whatever it is that you are removing from your diet, think about the consequences from a nutrition standpoint because there usually are consequences. Something will get left behind or replaced and you don’t want it to be nutrients that are critical to your health like protein, vitamins and minerals. Without the confinement of a “diet” that forces you to leave something out, you can be free to enjoy a variety of foods as part of your balanced daily nutritional routine.
3. You will have a healthy, happy relationship with food.
By letting go of diets that spread food fears, you will be embracing a healthier relationship with food. You’ll be happier because you don’t have to constantly worry about what you can and can’t eat. You will be eating a balanced diet the majority of the time, and enjoying all foods in moderation, including a slice of that apple pie you love, without feeling guilty. You will be able to do this because you know how to deal with minor setbacks.
Like all relationships, a healthy relationship with food takes time, and it’s never too late to start. If you’re a chronic yo-yo-dieter, the first step to fixing your relationship with food is to say no to fad diets.
Overdosing on supplements or trying the newest “fat-burn” pill to keep you healthy and at your desired weight is like waiting for pigs to fly. Instead, replace that idea with solid habits of healthful eating and regular exercise. This is the way to live a “diet”-free life forever!
I hope I was able to make it clear that we must make small changes over time in order to take control over our nutritional habits. If you have any questions on “dieting” or need help taking that first step, please do not hesitate to reach out.
Have a healthy week all!
Kitchen Sink Scramble
Provided By Coach Meredith
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes
Total time: 20 minutes
2 T Coconut Oil
½ Onion, finely chopped
½ Bell Pepper, any color, cut into strips
1 C sliced Button, Cremini, or Portabella mushrooms
1 C chopped greens (Kale, Spinach, Chard, Mustard Greens)
6 Large Eggs
1 Avocado, sliced
¼ t Sea Salt
¼ t Black Pepper
HEAT a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add the coconut oil and melt to coat the bottom of pan. When pan and oil is hot, add the onion, bell pepper, and mushrooms. Cook, stirring until the onions are translucent, about 4-5 minutes.
STIR in the greens and cook until they begin to wilt (time varies on type of greens used). Add the eggs and cook, stirring frequently and scraping the bottom and sides of the pan to prevent sticking, until the eggs are scrambled, fluffy, and look wet not runny (5-7 minutes).
REMOVE pan from heat, top with diced avocado, season with salt and pepper, and serve.
** Recipe can be made with whatever veggies you like or have left over to use for the week. Play around with it, be creative!
By Coach Meredith
Hello and Happy New Year!
With the new year, comes new resolutions. Let’s set new standards for ourselves for optimal health and wellness. First and foremost, let’s make rest a priority. Depriving our bodies of sleep is depriving it of recovery and growth that can aid in warding off illness, signs of aging, and obesity.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than one-third of Americans aren’t getting regular sleep. Without regular sleep patterns, our bodies find it hard to function and we begin to slack in other areas of our lives including our overall health. One study has found that insufficient sleep can cause change to more than 700 genes in our bodies. Here are some vital organs inadequate sleep will affect:
Monotonous tasks such as driving have an increased risk because our focus is lessened and we can be easily distracted. Our hand-eye coordination is also affected. When this all adds up it can be dangerous not only for ourselves, but for everyone else traveling around us as well.
Leptin naturally rises during the day and peaks at night, but researchers have found that that doesn’t seem happen if you stay awake. There is an 18% decrease in levels of leptin and a 28% increase in levels of ghrelin when we stay awake longer than we should.
Another explanation for our sleep-deprived hunger, may be related to changes in our brain. We tend to make decisions that we would not have made if we were well-rested. You wouldn’t normally eat a Big Mac, large fry, and a Coke for dinner, but at midnight or 1 a.m., it looks awesome, is fast, easy, and sounds like a good idea. Right?… Wrong!
Sleep is the time when our cells regenerate, so when your sleep is disturbed this important process is thrown off. Our blood vessels are most affected because they are constantly being regenerated. Over time this may lead to stiffness in your arteries and less efficient healing, which impacts our heart health.
So let’s start the new year off right with proper rest habits in order to have our happiest, healthiest year yet!
Have a restful week all!
Roasted Red Pepper Tomato Soup
Provided by Coach Meredith
In a large stock pot, add the olive oil. Stir in the leek and onion. Cook until softened and translucent, about 3–5 minutes.
Stir in the garlic, and cook for another minute. Turn off the heat and transfer to a food processor. Add tomatoes and red peppers, and purée until smooth.
Transfer back to the pot and add the oregano. Bring to a gentle simmer. Add salt and pepper to taste and serve!