Nutrition 101: Real Food

In our Nutrition 101 series, we cover basic principles of a healthy diet. These simple guidelines are the building blocks of a good nutrition plan. Because, as we all know, nutrition is the secret pill. Proper nutrition is the only way to burn fat, build muscle, and prolong your life all at once.
Today we’re talking about one of the most important aspects of nutrition: eating real food.

Real Food

 
Good nutrition starts with real food.
 
Before you start counting calories, decreasing sodium intake, or buying low fat butter, ask yourself…am I eating real food?
 
Because that’s step one.
 
A healthy diet is made up of real, whole foods.
 
And if you’re not eating a diet made primarily of real, whole foods then you’re wasting your time worrying about the other stuff.
 

What is real food?

 
Real food is food in it’s most natural state. The kind of food that you find at a local farmers market. Or while shopping around the perimeter of a grocery store.
 
Real food is perishable. It has a short shelf life. Because it’s natural. And without chemicals, real food goes bad after awhile.
 
Boxes and bags of food that can sit on the shelf for months are not real food. They’re food-like substances.
 
Real food is simple. It usually only has one ingredient. Like broccoli, chicken, or eggs.
 
Real food is what we’re made to eat. It’s what we’ve been eating since the beginning of time. And it’s what your diet should be based on.



 

Ready for a change? Want to fix your diet once and for all? Take our FREE 30 Day Nutrition Challenge and start today!


What is not real food?

 
Virtually everything else is not real food.
 
If it’s processed, packaged, refined, boxed, canned, or deep fried…it’s not real food. It may have been real food at one point, but with the added ingredients, it’s no longer real food.
 
Any food you get from a fast food place, convenience store, or vending machine is not real food. Unless you’re buying fruit. Or a salad.
 
And anything that contains more than 5 ingredients is not real. It was created somewhere to taste good. That way you’ll eat it and buy more.
 
It may taste good but it’s not real.
 

How do I eat real food?

 
When it comes to a general nutrition plan, a good goal is for 80% of everything you eat, or drink, to be real food.
 
That means cooking your meals instead of eating out. Planning lunches ahead of time. And ditching the sodas, fruit juices, and sports drinks.
 
But that doesn’t have to happen all at once.
 
In fact, you don’t want to do it all at once any way. That just means you’re more likely to get overwhelmed and give up.
 
The trick is to start slow.
 
Make one change at a time. Stick with it for a few weeks. And once that change becomes second nature, make another change. And another. And another
 
Incrementally work your way towards a better diet. One change at a time.
 
Start by cooking dinner. Every night. (Or at least Monday thru Friday night.)
 
Use real, whole foods. Make things like chicken, pork, or steak. Couple that with green vegetables and potatoes. Or use a crockpot.
 
Just keep it simple.
 
But cook dinner. Every night.
 
Once you’ve got a handle on that turn you attention to breakfast. Ditch the processed food and start making your own breakfast.
 
Things like bagels, pastries, donuts, and yogurt. They’re all processed or refined.
 
(Plain yogurt’s not bad. But most yogurt you find on the shelf is not plain. It’s full of artificial ingredients.)
 
Instead of the refined sugars and processed pastries, make something using real food. Like scrambled eggs or an omelet. It doesn’t have to be complex. Or big even.
 
Just use real food.
 
And your final step is to look at your lunch.
 
Are you eating real food? Or grabbing a slice of pizza every day or a microwave meal?
 
Skip the junk they provide at work and start preparing your lunches ahead of time. It’s not that difficult.
 
Take an hour or two in between football games on Sunday and plan out a week’s worth of lunches. Cook them all at once then pack them for the week.
 
Invest in a sturdy set of Tupperware. It will save you in the long run.

 
The process of changing your diet over to real food could take a month. Or it could take 6 months. Or a year. Who knows. You just have to get started. Make a decision to start moving forward.
 
A successful diet starts with real food. No matter how you get there. Whether you do it all at once. Or you take your time.
 
Whatever your plan, step one is to start consuming real food.

Holiday Extravaganza

We’re doing things a little differently this year for our annual holiday party…

the Holiday Extravaganza!

We’re turning our regular Saturday class into a Holiday-themed event. Complete with refreshments, a Gift Game, and a silent raffle.

Come in early for coffee and snacks. Then go through a typical Saturday warmup. Complete 3 short workouts, or “events.” Follow that up with a 4-prize silent raffle drawing. And finish it out with the *New and Improved* Gift Game. It’s going to be an awesome Saturday!

How it Works

We will be raffling off 4 wrapped items at the end of class. You’ll get a chance to earn raffle tickets throughout the class. And you can use your tickets for any item. At the end of class we’ll pick one winner per item. If your raffle ticket is chosen you get to unwrap the gift and see what’s inside!

There are 7 ways to earn raffle tickets:

  • Complete 1 Event – 1 ticket
  • Play the Gift Game – 1 ticket
  • Ugliest sweater – 1 ticket
  • Win an Event – 1 ticket
  • Bring a friend – 1 ticket
  • Wear a holiday-themed article of clothing – 1 ticket
  • Perform 20 burpees – 1 ticket

 

 The New and Improved Gift Game

white elephant

You know the Gift Game. White Elephant. Yankee Swap. Dirty Santa.

Yeah that game. The one where you swap gifts in order to walk away with the best gift.

We’re going to play that. But we’re going to improve it.

Instead of bringing junk gifts, we’re going to bring something useful. Something handmade, homemade, or locally made between $15-20. Those are the rules.

You’ll bring the wrapped gifts on Saturday and we’ll put them under the tree. After the workout we’ll play our version of the gift game. Your goal is to get the best gift. But you don’t leave with a junk gift.

Remember, the Gift Game is optional.

See you there!

 

Got a question? Let us know!

Sugar is Sugar

Did you know that sugar is sugar?
 
It’s true. Sugar is sugar.
 
At least when it comes to your health.
 

 
There is a growing misunderstanding that different types of sugar are better for you than others. More specifically, that sugar from fruit isn’t as bad as sugar from other sources.
 
And that’s just not true.
 
Sugar is sugar. Remember?
 
Sugars from fruit, while they can be structured differently, are just as harmful to your overall health as added sugars.
 
Because it’s not the type of sugar that makes it a problem. It’s the amount of sugar that causes issues.
Fruit has sugar in it. Some fruit contains more sugar than other fruit. But all fruit is mostly sugar. And water.
When you eat one or two pieces of fruit it’s not a problem. The sugar content is generally so low that it doesn’t have a huge effect your body.
It would take 3-4 cups of fruit for the amount of sugar to become an issue. Thankfully, it’s hard to sit down and eat 4 cups of fruit at one time. So most people don’t do it.
 
Or at least we didn’t. Now most people do. Every day.
 
Open your refrigerator. Got any fruit juice in there? Check the label. How much sugar is there per serving? I bet it’s a lot.
 
Fruit juices are highly concentrated, liquid sugar. That is like eating 4 cups of fruit at one time.
 
And that’s just as bad for your health as the sugar you’re getting from a candy bar.
 
Add that onto the sugar from the beer, wine, sports drinks, granola bars, pastries, cookies, snacks, and nightly dessert and you start to realize that most of the American diet is sugar.
 
The American Heart Association recommends 25g of sugar per day. The actual average daily consumption? 82 grams. Over three times the recommended amount.
 
That’s what’s affecting your health. And it doesn’t matter where it comes from.
 
Sugar is sugar.
 
Cutting sugar intake is the easiest thing you can that will improve nearly every aspect of your health. You’ll lose weight. Improve your heart. Lower cortisol levels. Reduce inflammation in your body. fight depression. And protect against certain cancers.
 
Reducing sugar is the magic pill.
 
And don’t give fruit and fruit juices a free pass just because they’re natural. Too much is too much. No matter where it comes from.

New Service: Nutrition Coaching

What is Nutrition Coaching?

Nutrition Coaching is your chance for a personal nutrition mentor.

Work one-on-one with a coach to create a personalized nutrition plan. Set up a schedule to meet with your coach each week to review your plan. Check in throughout the week to ask questions, get helpful tips, and stay motivated.

 

Nutrition Coaching is for those who need accountability.

We’re adding this Nutrition Coaching service because we know how tough nutrition can be. It’s a challenge to stay dedicated on your own. But if you want serious results then you need to be serious about your nutrition.

And if you’re struggling on your own we’re here to help.

 

 

Get Fit in 30 Minutes a Day

Your day is pure chaos.
 
It’s scheduled to the brim. You barely have time to think. And the holidays are just around the corner.
 
Who has time to think about working out?
 
Not you.
 
But you know that exercise is important. You just have no idea how you can possibly fit it into your day.
 
Good news.

It doesn’t take hours in the gym for a good workout. It just takes focused effort and smart planning.

 

Here’s how we do it at CrossFit 704…

quickfit

QuickFit

In our QuickFit class, we start first with functional movements.
Things like air squats, step ups, and pushups. Occasionally we’ll throw some light weight movements into the mix. But because class is so short we keep the movements simple.
 
We don’t want to spend a lot of time practicing complex movements. We want to move as much as possible.
 
And the way we do that is by using high-energy circuits.
 
Two to four minute intervals of exercise. Repeated any number of times. (It changes each workout.)
 
Sometimes there are rest breaks. Sometimes there aren’t.
 

This type of training does two things:

 

1. It saves time. High-energy workouts get more done in less time. That means you spend less time in the gym and more time outside of the gym.
 
2. It gets more results. Short, efficient workouts make better use of your time, and get more results, than long stints of cardio and isolation exercises.
 

 

And it’s exactly what you can do.
 
You can use this same formula to create effective workouts that last less than 30 minutes.
 
Workouts that you can use when you’re short on time. Or when you have a break during the day. Or when you want to get in and out of the gym quickly.
 
Because you know you need to exercise. That’s a given.
 
It’s just figuring out how to fit it in your schedule that’s the problem.

Write Better Warmups

Warm ups.
 
You know you’ve gotta have one. You can’t just jump right into the workout.
 
So how do you write one?
 
It can’t be that difficult. Right?
 
But every time you get to the gym you stumble around for a few minutes before eventually giving up and moving right into the workout.
 
The desire is there. But you just can’t figure out exactly what to do.
 
There are a ton of ways to write a warmup. And a lot of things to think about when writing warmups.
 
But it can be really basic. And we’re going to keep it simple.
 
Our warmup has three parts:
 

The Warmup part. The ROM part. And the Drills part.

The Warmup Part

The Warmup Part is simple. It’s the part where you warm up. Literally. The first 5-10 minutes of your warmup should be spent getting your body moving and elevating your heart rate.
 
That could mean walking. It could mean jogging. Or it could mean biking. Rowing. Jumping rope. Swimming. Jumping in place. Balancing on a slack line. Or playing Spikeball. (Or Dunderball.)
 
General movement that: a) makes you sweat and b) lightly challenges your aerobic system. Think 40-60% effort.
 

The Range of Motion Part

The second part of your warm up should involve dynamic range of motion (ROM) drills. These drills use movement and muscle contraction to increase blood flow in the body and improve range of motion.
 
Basic dynamic ROM drills are things like arm circles, leg swings, and hip circles. There are more advanced options like the Samson stretch, lying scorpion, or inchworms that stretch the entire body. Or you can use yoga, mobility drills, and prehab exercises here as they improve range of motion as well.
 
Aim to spend 2-5 minutes opening up your hips and shoulders with dynamic range of motion drills.
 

The Drills Part

The final part of your warmup should involve time spent practicing or drilling the day’s movement. This is your chance to go from a general warmup to a specific warmup based on they day’s training.
 
So if you’re squatting that means hitting a few light sets to warm up your legs. Or if you’re running, now’s when you transition to running-specific drills. And if you’re weightlifting, this is the chance to go through your barbell warmup and get a few extra reps in.

 

Writing a warmup doesn’t have to be complicated. It can be. If you want it to. But it doesn’t have to be.
 
It can be really simple actually.
 
So use this formula the next time you’re in the gym, at the track, or getting ready to hit the mats. Start by moving around and getting your heart rate elevated. Then go through some general range of motion drills. And finally, transition to specific drills aimed at your training for the day.
 
That’s it. That’s all there is to it.
 
Pro tip: Want to have a warmup waiting for you every day? Create one warmup that you use all the time. Spend 10-15 minutes creating the ideal warmup. And then use that before every workout.