Posted by Melody
Paradigm celebrated it's 1st Birthday this week - October 8th to be exact! Our baby is officially a year old and boy has it grown! We are stoked with the evolution that has taken place this year. Incredible people have walked into our community, we've been gifted with awesome coaches, and lives are being changed! THANK YOU to all of you who are a vital part of Paradigm. It's become so much more than a "gym" or a "box"...it's become a second family that we are incredibly grateful for! We can't wait to see what the next year will bring - we are so excited for the changes coming in 2013!
SAVE THE DATE: Our official "Paradigm Birthday Party" will be Saturday, Nov 17th, from 11am-3pm. Even though we already celebrated by pumping out C&J PRs all over the place on the actual day-of, we are gonna celebrate a bit more conventionally at the birthday party! And don't be disappointed - you will get a chance to show your skilz! There will be several individual challenges to take part in, (with prizes to be won!), so wear workout clothes so you can join in. Everyone and anyone is welcome to join. Bring food to share for the potluck lunch - drinks will be provided. See you there!
Workout for Wed, October 10, 2012
Strength: C&J based off of Monday's 1RM
3x2 @ 65%
3x2 @ 70%
3x2 @ 75%
3x1 @ 80%
3x1 @ 85%
Rest exactly 30sec. between sets of same weight, & 1min. between different weights (including time to change weight).
For 3x2's, hands stay on bar for the 2 reps (touch and go).
Conditioning: 50 Pistols (alternating, every rep counts). Beastmode = OH Barbell
Snatch Halting DL 5x3 @ 110% of Snatch 1RM
Heaving Snatch Balance 5x3 (light)
Full Snatch 6x2 @ 80% 1RM
Tue, October 09, 2012
Posted by Melody
Just when I thought I had cooked chicken every way possible, I stumbled across this recipe on Pinterest. I decided to give it a shot since my 2-year old nice, who strangely loves Thai food, was coming over for the evening. This is a must make dinner! It is ridiculously delicious, you can get creative with what veggies you toss in, and it is WLC compatible. It comes from the cookbook "Well Fed- Paleo Recipes for People Who Love to Eat", which, although it's been on my shelf for a while, I haven't really delved into yet. After this recipe, that will be changing soon! Author Melissa Joulwan also has a great blog which you can check out HERE.
-1 batch Sunshine Sauce (below)
-2 large eggs (or 3 if you like eggs!)
-2 tsps coconut aminos (found in soy sauce section in Whole Foods)
-3 tsps coconut oil
-1/2 medium onion, thinly sliced (I used a whole since we love onions)
-1 cup snap peas, thinly sliced lengthwise (technically a legume...WLC people)
-2 cups roasted spaghetti squash
-6-8 oz grilled chicken thighs, diced
**I also added shredded carrots.
Step #1: Bake the spaghetti squash. This is super easy. Wash it, and put it in a pan and bake it for about 40 minutes around 375. When it is cooked, it will slice open easily with a knife. Using a spoon, scoop out the seeds and middle part, and throw away. Using a fork, loosen up the squash and it will shred into noodle-sized strips.
Step #2: While the squash is baking, prepare the Sunshine Sauce:
-2 tbsps lime juice
-1 minced garlic clove
-1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
-1 tbsp coconut aminos
-1/4 tsp powdered ginger
-1/2 tsp rice vinegar (I used coconut vinegar instead and it was great!)
-1/4 cup sunflower seed butter (read the label well - organic type should have no sugar or added preservatives whatsoever)
-dash ground cayenne pepper
-1/4 cup coconut milk
Whirl all ingredients except coconut milk in a food processor or blender. When well blended, then add in coconut milk and process until smooth.
Step #3: Grill the chicken, dice, and set aside.
Step #4: Crack the eggs into a small bowl, add the coconut aminos, and scramble with a fork. Heat a large skillet with 2 tsps coconut oil and cook the eggs. You can either cook them into a large "pancake" and strip with a knife, or just scramble them. Add the cooked eggs to the chicken and set aside.
Step #5: Sauté the veggies in the same skillet in the other tsp coconut oil. Only cook until crisp-tender, about 2 minutes. Add in the meat, eggs, and "forked" spaghetti squash, cooking together till heated through (about 3 minutes).
Step #6: Add the Sunshine Sauce and stir-fry everything till well-blended and hot.
-chopped toasted almonds
-lime juice squeeze
Workout for Tue, October 09, 2012
WOD 4 rounds for total time:
-10 UB front squats @ 70% of yesterday's 1RM C&J, from ground (if reps are broken, 5 burpee penalty before starting again).
Posted by Melody
"Be willing to be uncomfortable. Be comfortable being uncomfortable. It may get tough, but it's a small price to pay for living a dream." -Peter McWilliams
I get it when people say they aren't "comfortable" with CrossFit. In fact, I couldn't agree more! Venturing outside of our comfort zone can be scary, painful, and unpleasant; but it also happens to be the very catalyst for change. The harsh reality is that until we toss aside the desire to remain comfy at all times, we are gonna remain dead in our tracks.
I did not want to CrossFit after seeing it for the first time. It was a scorching summer afternoon in Milpitas, CA, and it just didn't look nice tearing open your hands on blistering hot metal pull-up rigs. And I was sticking with that decision after seeing it for the second time at the 2008 Games. It was an even hotter day in the Aromas dust, and the girls appeared to be from a different planet than me entirely - one where no one seemed to give a second thought to the way they felt, only what they had to do. Ya, not for me...as I applied more sunscreen and took another drink of my cold water. Despite my chosen rejection, I was finagled into a WOD comprised of sprint rows and burpees that had been arranged in a completely mentally demoralizing numerical arrangement. Given the fact that I hate rowing fast even more than I hate burpees, it sealed the deal and I swore CF off forever. I thought of several fairly decent objections, including compromised safety and the fact that I didn't want to look like a female version of Hulk, and returned to my stagnant but better than average training regimen.
4 years, hundreds of WODs, and dozens of uncomfortable competitions later, it hasn't gotten any easier. But through the process, I've changed and strangely become more comfortable with that fact. Although there are many objections that we give for not training or failing to change nutrition, they can mostly be boiled down to the same core issue: our comfort level. Trust me when I say that I value personal comfort as much as anyone - probably more than most! I have a low pain tolerance, am picky about temperature, refuse to wear clothes that are anything other than super comfy, and a cozy couch and bed are musts in my book. But I have learned that if you ensure comfort at all times, you inhibit change. If the fear of discomfort is allowed to take precedence, we guarantee that we remain stagnant. Change is, by nature, uncomfortable. And you simply don't get better by staying the same.
It was ultimately this revelation, coupled with the fact that I realized freakishly competitive people like me thrive in the CF environment, that made me take the plunge. CF has changed my perception of what is possible, and how feelings should never solely dictate what we do or don't do. Running the mile for time is always painful, "Fran" gets worse every time I shave a few seconds, and 4 years later, I still don't find burpees comfortable, and doubt I ever will...what part of flinging your body on the ground and then jumping it up is supposed to feel good?? Yet, if we only do things that feel good, WE ironically feel horrible!
There are times in life where we should be comfortable, and we want to ensure that we can be. We have to learn to make decisions for our long-term comfort rather than instant gratification in the hear and now. We are forged by going through fire. We are changed by embracing discomfort. If you choose to skip the process, you choose to forgo the results.
Workout for Mon, October 08, 2012
Strength: 1RM C&J (full squat required)
Core Conditioning: 5x10 BB Roll-Outs
*Your 1RM number will be used during the rest of the week in various ways. Get in today, do your best, and write down your weight!
Thu, October 04, 2012
Forks over Knives
Posted by Melody
There's two sides to every story. And nothing demonstrates this better than the aged battle between vegetarians and carnivores. After receiving several questions about my thoughts on Forks Over Knives, I recently (albeit a bit late!), watched the 2011 documentary, made by independent filmmaker Lee Fulkerson. The film advocates a whole foods, plant-based diet, claiming that "most, if not all, of the degenerative diseases that afflict us can be controlled, or even reversed, by rejecting our present menu of animal-based and processed foods."
Before we delve into the geeky side of the analysis, let's start with the really simple side of things. The people who were interviewed for this film DID get healthier by changing to a vegan diet (even though the producers like the non-commital term "plant-based", let's call it what is is: vegan). The kindergarten-grade experimenter would deduce that, given the subject's success in the film, the answer is Veganism. But let's not forget that correlation doesn't equal causation. They got healthier for two reasons: #1, their diet before was atrocious, and #2, they increased their vegetable consumption by leaps and bounds and that's where the disease-reversing powerhouse lies...in those antioxidants, which the vast majority of our population eats in fractional amounts at best.
From the beginning of the film, "processed and packaged" foods got bundled directly up with "meat and animal-based products" and spit out to the viewer as one and the same, even though the two surely need to be considered and researched as separate entities. The viewer is really being given the option of either eating a diet comprised of highly processed and packaged, sugary foods, and meat (since these variables were always fused in the film), OR eating a natural plant-based vegetarian diet. Given those two options only, I would advocate choosing the latter as well! If meat is lumped together with the processed crap option, you would be better going vegetables all the way. The American diet that is killing us is not simply rich in protein-that is a grossly inaccurate view. Are our children really overeating on grass-fed beef and free-range chicken? Or are they consuming packaged, preserved, overly sugared and fortified with grain junk?
Furthermore, zero consideration was give to quality or type of meat. Grass-fed vs. conventional farming aside, the film didn't even allow for distinction between wild salmon or packaged hot dogs! We simply cannot lump the two together, and yet that is precisely what this movie does; it throws all animal products under the bus together. If a client came to me and told me that they would like to eat meat as part of their paleo diet but could only afford to buy it from the dollar tree, (yes, I saw "steak" there for sale some time ago, prior to owning an iPhone that would enable photo documentation...), I would advise sticking to the garden 100%!
I love just about any story about anyone who makes real lifestyle changes that reverse their sickness. Our society needs to hear more of these inspiring real-life accounts of people making good decisions and bettering their lives through lasting lifestyle changes. But, relying on sensationalist tactics, such as impressive before and after pictures accompanied by heart-warming music and padded with a plethora of pictures displaying farms devoid of animal cruelty, in place of the needed facts, doesn't cut it. And that's where I ran into some problems with the movie. My initial reaction was that the scientific answers were...questionable at best. The information and bare bone facts seemed glossed over and the biology appeared to be misrepresented.
Google is pretty amazing, and it didn't take long for me to realize that this film got a lot of negativity. Not just from the steak-loving CrossFitters around, but from the academic and scientific world. Put simply, their experiments were pretty crappy and the rejoinders given were bordering on asinine at times. Near the very end of the film, Dr Campbell is asked by a CNN reporter if, even if animal-based protein meats are free of contamination, if he indeed still thinks people shouldn't eat them. Dr Campbell responded with "No, I don't. I think the closer we get to a plant based diet, the healthier we are going to be, for all of us". Wow. Talk about having the response already in your head before you even listen to the question. How is that a satisfactory response to the question asked? Furthermore, why would this film choose that clip to insert near the end of the film? If that is their closing argument, I'm not sold.
Among the critiques and analyses of this film that I checked out, none did a better job than Denise Minger in her article "Forks Over Knives": Is the Science Legit? She hit the nail on the head in a remarkably unbiased manner (something that I'm not so good at!). She simply and methodically shows the real science. The only drawback of the article is that it's long. But boy is it thorough! If you have any interest in this issue, questions regarding the film, or are dangling your egg carton over the garbage can wondering if you should take the Vegan plunge, please read this article in detail (or at least give those eggs to me - I'll use them!) For now, I'm gonna give you the incredibly simplified "other side to the story" that Minger presents:
1. The film's take on cholesterol is pretty outdated. As Minger states, "cholesterol from animal foods does not have some magical ability to set up permanent camp in your bloodstream and turn into plaque, just by sheer virtue of its animal-foodness". Furthermore, dietary cholesterol is not "bad". Today we know that high protein diets can actually increase HDL ("good" cholesterol), and high-cholesterol eggs have been show to lower LDL's ability to "stick".
2. 16 minutes in, the film presents the "rat and casein" story, one of the few actual studies alongside the many pictures of vegetables. It was taken from a little-known Indian medical journal published in...are you ready for this?...1968. The movie explains that "It detailed work that had been done on a population of experimental rats that were first exposed to a carcinogen called aflatoxin, then fed a diet of casein, the main protein found in milk. [Campbell:] “They were testing the effect of protein on the development of liver cancer. They used two different levels of protein: They used 20% of total calories, and then they used a much lower level, 5%. Twenty percent turned on cancer; 5% turned it off.” The filmmakers guessed well that by showing the dull excerpt from the medical journal, the average viewer's eyes would gloss over the actual text and settle on the "20%" and "5%", shown in bright red text (mine did!!) Giving the synopsis that lower casein "turned off" the cancer is ludicrous, given the rest of the true story. Directly below the red type, in the movie, it states that 30 rats on the high-protein diet, while only 12 on the low-protein diet, survived for more than a year! Looking at the study in more detail shows that the high-protein rats actually had a much higher survival rate, despite the fact that they were living with liver tumors! The low-protein rats were dying rapidly, and their liver cells were committing mass suicide.
3. Next, Dr John McDougall shares his findings that Asian immigrants in Hawaii became unhealthier as the Americanized youth began replacing rice with animal products, dairy, and meat in the 70's. The Hawaiian youth surely became more unhealthy...but why? The actual graphs, comparing the Asians born in Japan and those born in Hawaii, are fascinating. The big differences we see are that the Japan-born subjects ate more rice and more fish. But the biggest change of all is the bread consumption shot up with the Hawaii-born subjects (I'm not really shocked...has anyone eaten Hawaiian bread before?). Interestingly enough, the data displaying the meat intake shows the least difference between the two generations, out of all of the graphs!! And McDougall clearly states that the Hawaii-born youth replaced "it with the animal foods, the dairy products, the meats… and the results were obvious. They got fat and sick. I knew, at that point, what causes most diseases."
4. I'm gonna end with "The China Issue" argument...so much information here. Out of all of the studies that she sheds light on, Minger perhaps knows her stuff on this one the best. In the film, Chen states that “I think the major message we got out of this correlation analysis is only one message: The plant-food based diet—mainly cereal grains, vegetables, and fruits, and very little animal food—is always associated with lower mortality of certain cancers, stroke, and coronary heart disease.” Minger, pulling data from the very same book Campbell and Chen use, “Diet, Life-style, and Mortality in China”, shows how inconsistent this message is with the naked facts:
*Plant protein has a correlation of 0.21 with heart disease (positive)
*Non-fish animal protein has a correlation of 0.01 with heart disease (neutral)
*Fish protein has a correlation of -0.11 with heart disease (inverse)
*Meat intake has a correlation of -0.28 with heart disease (strongly inverse)
*Fish intake has a correlation of -0.15 with heart disease (inverse)
*Egg intake has a correlation of -0.13 with heart disease (inverse)
*Wheat has a correlation of 0.67 with heart disease (really flippin' high!) - which is not only the strongest association between any food and heart disease, but remained sky-high even when [Minger] tried adjusting for anything that might be confounding it.
Unfortunately, the film continues to show incomplete stories again and again, and nowhere does the film make any mention of fish, apparently not even attempting to shoot that one down. The film's message, "eat to live, don't live to eat", is right on! And we need a lot more doctors who, like McDougall and the other doctors shown in the film, actually work with patients to reconstruct their life habits instead of simply prescribing drugs. But we also need the film producers to get the facts a bit straighter. If you only show part of the picture, you can tell just about any tale you like! Don't believe everything you hear - whether it's from the film industry, or from your local CF gym. Do your own research and make sure you are making the best-informed decision possible...I mean, it's only your future wellness that is at stake. Your health is your wealth!
Workout for Thu, October 04, 2012
Strength: Bench Press 5x5
Conditioning: Suicide Sprints
Posted by Melody
Meet Paradigm's very own Vicki Sousa: wife, mom to 3 daughters, grammy to 4 awesome and amazing little people, and CrossFitter extraordinaire, who continues to amaze herself with what she is capable of!
San Jose, CA, born and raised
60 years old
Started CrossFit November 2011
Enjoys spending time with family and friends, cooking, gardening and reading.
Likes "chipper" WODs, dislikes "Karen" (150 wall-ball for time...can you blame her?)
Favorite skills to train are bench press, dead-lift, and strict press.
Current goals are getting a pull-up and seeing general weight #’s increase.
Whatever Vicki does, she does well. Her garden looks like it's straight out of Better Homes and Gardens, her cooking is perfection, and she CrossFits like a boss. I'm gonna start off by bragging about her for a few moments. First, if we ran any type of attendance/punctuality contest in the gym, Vicki would win hands down. She is freakishly consistent, attending 4 or 5 classes a week without fail - the only exception being the occasional out of town vacation. She takes personal daily responsibility for her progression. When she started CF, she studied the terms and acronyms so that she could fluidly speak CF. Today she logs her workouts, celebrates her successes along the way, and forms appropriate goals. When she sets her mind to something...don't get in her way! Now, three weeks into the WLC, (a rather strict challenge that teaches accountability for training, mobility, and nutrition), Vicki still hasn't ran into anything for which she is willing to lose a point!! (side note: WLC participants, Vicki, is the one to chase.)
Two of my favorite aspects of CF are perfectly portrayed in Vicki Sousa. First, I love that the whole family can share CF. After being introduced to us by her daughter, Julie Pitts, she became hooked on early morning training sessions (often in the rain and mud!), and was in the front of the pack in no time. Today, mom and daughter often train together and push one another side by side. Second, I love how CF can radically expand what a person believes they are capable of. When we transitioned from private training and bootcamp into CF, Vicki was initially not so sure about the heavy weights and strength training. Now, when asked her favorite skills to train, she lists three barbell movements!! Even though she says she sometimes feels like she is the back of the pack, the rest of us know that is a bunch of malarkey! She tears it up again and again with a positive attitude and sans complaining.
What is your fitness background story? "I’ve never been very athletic and was always one of the last kids picked to be on a team in elementary school. I played a bit of volley ball in Jr. High and just tried to survive mandatory PE in high school. In college, I took a bowling class and some ethnic dance classes (which I enjoyed) to get that PE requirement out of the way. After graduating from college, I got married and started a family a few years later. I never really gave a thought to fitness. When my oldest 2 girls were about 3 and 5, I started Jazzercise with a couple of friends. I was hooked. I continued for 14 or 15 years going about 5 times a week." (...side note: 15 years?? See what I'm talking about with the pattern of consistency and dedication...) "When that ended, I knew I had to keep it moving and I started walking early mornings with a friend. We walked 5 days a week, weather permitting, for years. She moved on and I asked my husband to be my early AM walking partner. At this time, my daughter Julie was doing boot camp at Hellyer Park with Ronny and Mel. For months she kept inviting me to go to a preview class and I kept declining. I thought she was crazy running through the park in the dark, rain or shine! In December of 2008, I finally went to a preview day, just to get Julie off my back. I was hooked! It was challenging, fun and all the leaders were so encouraging. The best part was doing this with my daughter." (...uh, best mom ever?)
Did you have any initial hesitations about CF? During Foundations, I was a bit overwhelmed with all the new “terms” and equipment. I was worried that I would forget something that I had been taught once I started a class. But no worries, Ronny and Mel always review moves and proper form. I think my initial hesitation with CF was my age...could I physically do it? Handstands, pull-ups, rope climbs, pistols and L-sits?! Thankfully, everything has a regressed movement. Now I know that I do what I can, working toward doing a movement RX. I love the program - I’m hooked!
What's your trick that enables you to be so consistent with your efforts and dedicated with your attendance? Being consistent for me comes down to dollars and cents; I want to get my money’s worth! I also enjoy working out with those fellow athletes who tend to regularly attend at the hour I do. The 6:00am class works best in my life. All of us are working hard to improve our skills; but most often, the biggest “win” for me is I got out of bed and out the door - especially on those dark, cold, rainy days! There is a huge sense of accomplishment and satisfaction that I got a good workout done and done!
What changes have you seen in your health, body and fitness level since starting CF? My clothes are fitting much better! I just recently got back into my “skinny jeans” that were in the back of my closet. Many women my age or older have upper arms that flap in the breeze and I can honestly say that mine don’t! And cellulite is not something I complain about! I can definitely see more definition in my muscles now than when I started about a year ago. I’ve also been very healthy this past year - I think I’ve only had one cold! My mom has osteoporosis and I know that doing CF will strengthen my bones. Hopefully osteoporosis won’t ever be an issue for me. CF is also a great way for me to work out the stress in my life!
What do you love about CF? I love how positive CF is! Don’t ever say “I can’t”! (If you do, Ronny will give you burpees.) It really makes me think how many times I tell myself ‘’I can’t do this or I can’t do that”. Really? I should give myself burpees! I try to remember the children’s story of ‘The little Engine That Could’ with “I think I can, I think I can” or at least “I will try”! I need to keep this positive frame of mind, not just for my workouts, but for every “NEW” venture that comes my way!
We’re more than just a gym - we’re family. What great fun it was gathering for our throw-down. And we have celebrated outside gym time with a couple of baby showers. I also love how we cheer and encourage each other on. Each success and every trial is met with “great job” or “you got this, tiger”! Ronny and Mel are the biggest cheerleaders of all! It is so refreshing to see this in a world that can so often be “dog eat dog” mentality! We each work at our own level to improve and succeed, but “celebrate” with each other along the way!
Any wise words for people just getting started, or thinking about taking the plunge? Take a deep breath and jump in. Take your time when we are working on a skill; form is so much more important than speed! If I can do this, anyone can do this - it’s so much fun! Mel and Ronny are great coaches. They make a great team. They teach and explain, challenge and push, encourage and cheer. They meet each athlete where they are and work hard to move them forward in meeting goals and finding their full potential. I also attended the nutrition seminar and that was so helpful in giving me direction and providing good paleo cookbooks with a variety of recipes.
Any final thoughts, Vicki? Last November, I ran the Nike ½ marathon with my girls and before that a 10K with them. We did a lot of training for those runs. Just a month ago, I ran another 10k with no extra training - just doing CF 4 days a week. Because of CF, I was prepared! How great is that? The mantra I often play in my head is, “slow and steady wins the race...or at least gets me to the finish line!"
...and she took FIRST in her division! Keep it up Vicki, and everyone else, take notes!
Workout for Wed, October 03, 2012
Strength: 5x5 OHS
WOD: against 12 min clock...
-run mile for time
-AMRAP of G2OH, @ 75% of heaviest 5-rep OHS
3x5 Tall Jerk
6x3 High Hang Cleans