Archives for March 2011

Wall Ball!

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New Research Confirms ADHD Caused By Food

From the nutrition blog Food Renegade:

A study published last month in the British medical journal The Lancet indicated that in at least 2/3 of all ADHD cases, food sensitivities were the cause. Pause for a moment and think of what this means. 64% of the kids out there being dosed with toxic pharmaceutical drugs to treat ADHD simply don’t need them! This number is monumental. In the U.S. alone, that represents an estimated 5 million children.

Gluten, lactose, artificial ingredients and a host of other things can trigger negative responses in our bodies. One of the many ways these sensitivities manifest is through afflictions like ADHD. Mood disorders in adults can sometimes be linked to food sensitivities as well. Think about it, if your guts are not happy, if they are inflamed and the balance of chemicals in your body is off right at the start, at your very engine, then other systems in your body are bound to derail, as well.

For the full article, including ideas on how to halt and reverse the effects of food sensitivities, click here.

–   From CrossFit Los Angeles – CrossFit Kids

CrossFit Kids – DODGEBALL!!

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CrossFit Young Athletes – Push Press

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CrossFit Pre-School – Wall Ball Technique

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Kids Class 3/22/11

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Home School Class Loved The New Dart Game!

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Young Athletes – 10 Minute AMRAP

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Glad you could join us today Shell and Maya!

Gary Taubes, breaking down the nutrition myths….

The Dose of Intervention and the Land of Dr. Oz

Written by GT 

Today marks my appearance on the Dr. Oz Show, which was, let’s just say, an interesting experience and leave it at that.  It was the show, though, that  (finally) prompted me to address an issue I’ve wanted to address for quite some time.

The Dr. Oz Show is one part health advice and discussion and quite a few parts entertainment, as Oz’s producers kept telling me in the days before we taped the episode.  To make for what they consider good television they played me up as the second coming of Atkins  – a persona that my wife likes to refer to as “meat boy”  — while Oz got to play the role of the harvest king, extolling the healing virtues of fruits, vegetables and whole grains.  This made it more difficult than I would have liked to get across the important messages from my books, but television is television and I certainly knew what they had in store for me.

My message and the message of Why We Get Fat was not that we should all be eating nothing but animal products – and certainly not the unappetizing meat and eggs that Oz’s crew prepared as props  — but that carbohydrate-rich foods are inherently fattening, some more so than others, and that those of us predisposed to put on fat do so because of the carbs in the diet. That’s why I called the book Why We Get Fat rather than some variation on The Miracle 24-Hour (or 14-Day or Three Week or Three month) Diet Cure, which is more the norm for lay books in the nutrition genre.

The idea despite all the controversy is pretty simple. I’m arguing, as others have before me, that the same thing that makes our fat cells fat is what makes us fat — a fat person, after all, is a person with a lot of overstuffed fat cells — and what makes our fat cells fat is fundamentally the hormone insulin. Raise insulin levels and we accumulate more fat in our fat cells. Lower insulin and fat is released from the fat cells and the cells of our lean tissue can burn it for fuel.

There’s nothing particularly controversial about the science involved. If you doubt insulin regulates fat accumulation in fat cells, you can literally look it up in any good biochemistry or endocrinology (the study of hormones and related disorders) textbook – the latest editions, say, of Lehningers Principles of Biochemistry or Williams Textbook of Endocrinology, which are the authoritative texts in their respective fields. Look up the word adipocyte (the technical term for fat cell) and this is what you’ll find:

First Williams (and I’ll translate the technical terminology immediately after):

The activity of LPL within individual tissues is a key factor in partitioning triglycerides among different body tissues. Insulin influences this partitioning through its stimulation of LPL activity in adipose tissue. Insulin also promotes triglyceride storage in adipocytes through other mechanisms, including inhibition of lipolysis, stimulation of adipocyte differentiation and escalation of glucose uptake.

To understand what this means you have to know that LPL is the enzyme (in less technical language, the thing) that works to pull fat from the circulation into whatever cell it happens to be sitting on. If that cell is a muscle cell, the fat is used for fuel. If it’s a fat cell, the fat is stored. Triglycerides are the form that fat is stored in fat cells and transported through the blood stream in lipoproteins. Adipose tissue is fat tissue and adipocyte is the fat cell.

So what Williams says is that fat is stored in different tissues (partitioned) depending on how this enzyme LPL is distributed on the cells of those tissues, and its insulin that to a large extent determines this. Then it adds that  insulin promotes fat storage through other mechanisms as well — it creates new fat cells (stimulation of adipocyte differentiation), and it inhibits the escape of fat from the fat cell and its use for fuel (lipolysis), and it also increases the uptake of blood sugar (glucose) into the fat cell, which might not be relevant but the authors of the textbook don’t apparently know this, and neither did I when I wrote Good Calories, Bad Calories.

Now here’s Lehningers Principles of Biochemistry:

High blood glucose elicits the release of insulin, which speeds the uptake of glucose by tissues and favors the storage of fuels as glycogen and triaglycerols, while inhibiting fatty acid mobilization in adipose tissue.

Lehningers uses the other spelling of triglyceride – triaglycerol – to denote the fat in the blood and in our fat cells, and we get high blood glucose by consuming carbohydrate rich foods, which end up as glucose (a carbohydrate) in our blood stream. We also tend to have high blood glucose when we have a condition called insulin resistance, which is the underlying defect in obesity, diabetes and heart disease.  When Lehningers says insulin inhibits fatty acid mobilization that’s pretty much the equivalent of what Williams is saying about insulin inhibiting lipolysis.

The point of both is simple. Insulin puts fat in fat cells. That’s what it does. And our insulin levels, for the most part, are determined by the carb-content of our diet — the quantity and quality of the carbohydrates consumed. (Or if Jenny Brand Miller and her colleagues are right, also by our fat content — the lower the fat in the diet, the higher the insulin and vice verse.) The way to get fat out of fat cells and burn it, which is what we want to do with it, is to lower insulin. This has been known since the early 1960s.

One point I make in Why We Get Fat is that we all respond to this carbohydrate/insulin effect differently. Some of us can eat carbohydrate-rich meals and burn them off effortlessly. We’re the ones (like Oz) who partition the carbs we consume into energy. (This is the fuel gauge metaphor that I use in WWGF and that Oz’s producers reproduced wonderfully on the show.) And some of us partition the carbs we consume into fat for storage, and that partitioning depends on a lot of different enzymatic and hormonal factors — mostly relating to insulin and LPL as Williams Textbook of Endocrinology said).

There are a few obvious dietary means  to reduce the amount of insulin we secrete and ultimately the level of insulin in our circulation day in and day out. One is to eat fewer carbohydrates; one is to improve the quality of the carbs we do eat,  which means eating carbs that are less refined (their glycemic index is low or at least lower) and carbs that come with a lot of fiber attached (green leafy vegetables), and then eating less sugars, by which I mean both sucrose and high fructose corn syrup.

And this brings us to the point of controversy on the show – where Oz and I disagree. (Okay, one of the many points on which we disagree, but the one that needs clarification sooner rather than later). This is also the point that public health authorities, physicians and nutritionists almost religiously refuse to accept or even understand, because one implication of what I’m saying is that the good Dr. Atkins was right all along, and they just can’t get it through their head, as Oz can’t, that a diet of the kind Atkins recommended might be not only healthy but the medically appropriate treatment for the condition – in this case, obesity.

[Read more…]

Another Baby Step Change…

Baby Step #3: Get Rid of the Bad Stuff and Snack Well!

from CrossFit Aspire

Close your eyes and imagine yourself only eating real, whole foods that are good for you. Flavorful vegetables, succulent meat, fresh fish, creamy avocados, crunchy nuts, sweet fruit, etc. Seems pretty easy, right?

Now open your eyes. Look around you. You can probably walk or drive less than a half mile and see a fast food ad campaign, neon-signed chain restaurant, or a ‘convenience’ store filled with processed junk that is parading around, looking like food. All of these things are bad for you. And you already know that. But, all of the sudden, for some weird reason, you are drawn to them. You want them. You crave them.

All healthy habits are EASY to stick to, unless you’re battling with the temptation of the unhealthy habits. That’s because most of us are literally addicted to eating unhealthy foods that we’ve been eating for our entire lives. Sugars that are found in all processed foods and desserts cause out bodies and brains to have chemical reactions similar that mimic that of a response to opiates. ( So consider this your intervention). Baby Step #3 is to get rid of the bad foods in your house. All of them!

Does your snack drawer look like this?

So what do you do? You do all that you can to minimize your exposure to the ‘bad things’. Since we’re taking baby steps here, let’s just start with your own kitchen. If you’re making an effort to eat only whole foods, then you shouldn’t have ANY non-whole foods in the house. Makes sense right? A person trying to quit cigarettes probably wouldn’t have much success if they kept a pack in their drawers or on their counter tops. The same idea applies to you and your food.

A proper burial

So our suggestion is to raid your fridge, pantry, drawers, ‘secret junk food stash’, desk drawers, and remove all of the non-foods. Be honest with yourself, and remember to check all labels on questionable items ( ingredients that you can’t pronounce are probably not whole foods, or good for your body). This process should feel liberating, simplifying, and a little overwhelming. Step away from the pantry, breathe, and realize that this is the first step to really making a radical change to the way you think about food. The word “food”, in your future, will be defined as something perishable, locally grown if possible, grassfed (meats), and unprocessed.

You may think that your pantry is bare, and subsequently wonder what you’ll be able to buy in order to fill it up again. Since most real foods don’t have a long shelf life at room temperature,  your fridge should become your new pantry – the place you go to first thing in the morning, when you are preparing for dinner, and when you want a tasty snack.

A "Real Foods" Fridge

If your bare pantry looks a little depressing, try cheering it up with a few minimally or non-processed foods such as Larabar, almond or sunflower seed butter, canned fish, raisins, and all-natural,  low sodium chicken broth. They are the closest thing to fresh real foods as you can get, and they are great options for ‘on the go’ snacks. ( Not the broth – save that for soup, silly!)

A Happy Pantry. (Notice the lack of crappy foods)

Now that the bad stuff is gone, you can clear your head, go food shopping for all real foods, find new recipes, and start making food that you body was actually designed to eat!

Here are a few suggestions for Real Food snacks to keep in the house. Keeping foods like these on hand will make it simple to avoid making excuses.

Hardboiled Eggs

High Quality Turkey Breast from the deli counter

Cooked Spaghetti Squash

Boiled Sweet Potatoes with cinnamon



Fruit  (just one piece per day)

Beef Jerky (check out Steve’s Original)

Guacamole ( eat with cucumber chips)

Kale Chips (bake kale in the oven with some olive oil on baking sheet until crispy)


Roasted Squash, Zucchini and Eggplant with seasonings

Chicken Salad (boil the chicken, drain, add olive oil, a bunch of chopped up veggies, some raisins, and some finely chopped almonds)

Tuna (straight from the can, with some olive oil and sun-dried tomatoes)


Homemade Salsa

Bacon and veggies

Smoked Salmon

Pulled pork, chicken, or beef ( cook in slow cooker and pull apart)

Bottom line is that if you replace all of the Bad Stuff in your kitchen with Good Stuff, you’ll find it next to impossible to eat badly, make a bad decision, or to panic and get fast or fast(er) food.

Hope this has helped!

Please comment below if you’ve had success with this ‘clean out the pantry/desk/drawers/fridge’ method.

CrossFit Kids – Run, Jump, Squat

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