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Upcoming Programming Focus

It’s October – do you know what that means? The CrossFit Open is 6 months away. What better time to get super strong before we work towards higher volume, conditioning work! We are going to demand more strength from you in both barbell and gymnastic movements. In order to further our development in movement we must abide by Mechanics – Consistency – Intensity. We are going to opt for strict movements before adding momentum whenever possible. That’s right – no kipping!

There will be a major focus on developing prerequisite strength before attempting skill work, reasons for this is to develop exceptional movement in everything we do. There are positive benefits to kipping – changes in work capacity, allows for higher power output (intensity) etc, however it does not benefit those who are unable to perform the movement with control. This is where strength comes into play.

Gymnastic focus will be on pulling, inverted and ring strength in the form of volume and intensity. Intensity how? Strict gymnastic movements in WOD’s.

Barbell focus will be on developing absolute strength prioritizing proper mechanics, balance and coordination. Movements you will see: Back Squat, Front Squat, Deadlift, Sumo Deadlift, Strict Press and the Floor Press.

Your coaches are looking forward to coaching you towards better movement. Remember… strict is sexy!!!

– Coach Rachel

I Want You to Keep Sugar In Your Diet

Now that you’ve almost completed our No sugar, More Sleep September challenge, I’m sure a lot of you at this point are  ready to go pile your face into a box of powdered donuts. Or maybe you’re feeling absolutely fantastic, have never felt better and are ready to go 100% sugar free for the rest of your life because you’ve finally realized that sugar is the devil… right?

In order to make sure that you don’t regret any drastic decisions come Monday morning, I’ve put together 6 great reasons to keep sugar in your diet and feel good about it. Whether you find yourself feeling guilty from eating too much sugar all the time, or you think that sugar is going to kill you at first contact with the lips, here’s some middle ground.

1 – Sugar in it’s natural form.

Sugar addicts – Sugar naturally occurs in fruits, vegetables and dairy. Curb your sweet tooth with some raspberries or blueberries (natures candy) or add in some Stevia to your yogurt. There are tons of ways to curb that sweet tooth without resorting to processed, refined sugars.

Anti-Sugar – Sugar’s contribution to conditions like obesity and heart disease has more to do with it’s abundance in diets filled with highly processed foods. It also includes many other factors like physical activity, smoking etc. It’s not black and white. If you’re trying to eat foods in their natural forms (whole fruits instead of juice), you’re exposing yourself to tons of amazing vitamins.

 

2- Make it a minority

Sugar Addicts – Crave something sweet every morning? Instead of reaching for a donut and some coffee with your sugar, try making some overnight oats with a little brown sugar and dried fruit.

Anti-Sugar – Adding a little honey to your tea or maple syrup to your coffee might just do more good than harm. If you’re thinking that sugars and sweeteners will make you fat, think of it this way – a warm beverage like coffee or tea is known to suppress hunger.  If you’re one of those people who seem like they’re hungry all the time, drink a little sweet tea or coffee. Your caloric intake will decrease even though you’ve added a sweetener to your diet.

3 – It makes things taste better.

Sugar Addicts – So you hear that vegetables are good for you, but you can’t bring yourself to eat any ‘cause… gross. Add honey to your dressing for your salad. Add some dates to a veggie green smoothie or make a brown sugar balsamic glaze for your baked green beans or asparagus.

Anti-Sugar – If it makes you eat your kale and raw broccoli a little less reluctantly (because I don’t care how healthy you are, no one likes a dry kale and raw broccoli salad and I care about your happiness and well-being) add those dried cranberries and honey balsamic glaze.

4- Great quick fuel.

Sugar Addicts – Maybe eating that chocolate chip muffin with the sugar crystals on top (you know which one’s I’m talking about…mmm) isn’t the best choice for a boost mid workout or pre-workout. But having some coconut, cashew date balls that you made in 5 minutes at home are a better option!

Anti-Sugar – Any modern-day folk who engage in physical activity, whether it be a marathon or a family bike ride for a couple hours, need something quick and easily digestible for some energy. You want things that are easily digestible while staying active. Chicken and carrots are going to sit in your stomach and even some fruits can be too fibrous to digest comfortably. No ones bringing a packet of dry oats and boiled water with them on a hike.

5 – You had a bad day

Both Sugar addicts and the Anti-sugar – No one is reaching for a boiled potato when they feel sad. Practice mindful eating and realize why you’re eating that cookie or cupcake. Knowing when to stop is a great way to stay consistent and practise healthy portion control. A cupcake a day isn’t the answer. And purposely making yourself sad for a slice of pity pie isn’t the answer either.

6 – Enjoy the experience, make a memory

Sugar addicts – Structure your lifestyle so that you can enjoy weekends away with friends while you indulge on sundaes and strawberry rhubarb pie without feeling the guilt. If 80% of your life is filled with nutritious whole foods, save the 20% to create memories. When you feel guilty for eating an extra slice of Mom’s pie at thanksgiving, it’s probably because you did the same thing 3 days earlier.

Anti-Sugar – Licking an ice cream cone with your kid at the beach, going to Ribfest with some co-workers, eating that delicious cinnamon raisin bread your roommate made you. These are things that will give you a healthy, joyful life with meaningful relationships. Isn’t that why you decided to become so healthy in the first place – to enjoy life more?

Hopefully through reading this, you realize that there’s a nice, happy, manageable middle ground when it comes to sugar. I know you’re heard the term “everything in moderation” and that really couldn’t be more true when it comes to sugar in the diet. Keep it in there to create some happiness, balance and a positive relationship with food. If this challenge has done anything, I hope it’s created some awareness about how much sugar (or how little sugar) you ate before and how you can make some adjustments moving forward to become more happy and healthy.

Sugar Free Recipe: Sweet Potato Banana Toast

Really, this couldn’t be easier.

What You’ll Need

2 slices about 1/4 inch thick sweet potato, cut lengthwise

All natural peanut butter

1/2 banana

What to do:

Toast sweet potato slices for about 10-15 minutes on high, flipping every 4-5 seconds until tender in the centre

Top it up!!

That’s Peachy

There’s still time to take advantage of our fresh Ontario produce and pick up some ripe peaches. Their natural sweetness will replace the usual sugary culprits found in a fruity dessert.

Makes 1 serving

Ingredients

  • 1 peach – cut up into slices
  • 1 tsp butter or fat equivalent
  • ¾ cup 0% plain greek yogurt
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • dash cinnamon

 

Directions

  1. Melt butter in frying pan over medium heat
  2. Place slices of peach in pan. Lightly pan fry until golden brown.
  3. Place yogurt in bowl and blend in vanilla extract
  4. Place peaches on top of yogurt. Add dash of cinnamon. Enjoy!

 

Nutritional Facts

Calories 185

Carbohydrates 20g

Sugar 10g

Protein 19 g

Fat 3g

Are carbs “bad” for me?

Sugar is a main component of the food we consume. However, too much sugar can negatively impact our physique, stress, cravings and overall health. What is sugar? Sugar is the simplest form of carbohydrate and occurs naturally in foods such as fruit, vegetables and dairy products. Despite the accusations, carbohydrates are vital to your health for several reasons. They are your body’s main fuel source, fibre (also in the carbohydrate family) protects against disease, and carbs can help with weight control. The selection of carbohydrates is important as you should eat plenty of fibre-rich fruits and vegetables along with whole grains. The issue is surrounding refined carbohydrates such as pastries, sodas, and other highly processed foods. These items contain easily digested carbohydrates that may contribute to overeating, weight gain and promote diabetes and other diseases. Refined carbs have almost all their fibre and vitamins removed thus being considered “empty” calories. However, it is crucial to understand the importance of quality carbohydrates. The controversies surrounding carbohydrates arise from added sugars and artificial sweeteners.

In times of stress, we typically favour food high in sugar content such as snacks and fast food. These comfort foods may act as a form of self-medication to avoid unwanted stress. During stress, we release a hormone called cortisol. High cortisol levels, in combination with increased blood sugar and insulin may be responsible for increased intake of foods high in sugar. This is because sugar is associated with dopamine release in the reward areas of our brain. Dopamine is a “feel good” hormone, which counteracts stress and promotes further consumption of these foods. Since fruits and vegetables don’t cause the brain to release as much dopamine, your brain starts to want more sugar in the form of junk food to receive the same feelings of pleasure. Stress not only causes over-eating but also is associated with fatigue, less exercise, and more alcohol consumption, all of which contributes to excess weight gain.

Research reveals that significant amounts of sugar, specifically high fructose can interfere with feelings of satiety. This means that you will still feel hungry, which will contribute to increased food intake. This can cause possible weight gain and risk of type two diabetes.

The concerns of excess sugar intake have translated into an attraction to low-calorie artificial sweeteners. These sugar substitutes are food additives that duplicate the effect of sugar in taste but are often low-calorie. There are some benefits to using artificial sweeteners. They give people the opportunity to eat the same foods they would normally consume, while allowing them to lose weight due to a low-calorie intake. In relation to overall health, those with diabetes often substitute for these sweeteners to avoid difficult regulating their blood sugar. However, there is controversy on whether the usage poses health risks. Research has shown that sweeteners cause increased body weight because they contribute to increased food intake as a response to the sweet taste without the contribution of calories to reduce hunger. Ultimately, the goal is a well-balanced diet. These controversies prove that excessive intake of sugar or artificial sweeteners can contribute to weight gain and pose health risks.

Exercise is one of the best treatments for stress. A long-term commitment to exercise reduces cortisol levels over time. Meditation in the form of exercise, such as yoga, may help to reduce stress and help people become more mindful of food choices. Frequent exercise helps regulate body weight, reduce stress, avoid cravings and contributes to a reduction in disease risk. Overall, it is essential to know the importance of carbohydrates in a balanced diet and to be informed of the difference between refined carbohydrates along with sugar and artificial sweeteners.

Sugar Free Recipe: Apple Pie Filling

What You’ll Need

1 Tbs Butter or Coconut Oil

2 sweet apples, sliced

Dash sea salt

1/2 cup cold water

2 Tbs arrowroot

1 tsp vanilla extract

Cinnamon

Pie spice

What to do:

Heat the butter or oil in a medium non stick pan

Add the apple slices and salt

Saute the apples over medium heat for 5-7 minutes until soft

In a small cup, whisk water with arrowroot and vanilla

One apples have softened, add arrowroot mixture

Raise the heat a little bit and stir apples until thickened

Remove from the pan and heat

Stir in cinnamon and pie spike as desired

Top on pancakes, waffles, oatmeal, whatever!

 

Gooey Sugar-Free Apple Pie Filling