Real Food Fundamentals

People will give you all kinds of advice about what to eat and not eat. Most often that advice is based on something they read that reinforces their personal thoughts, or it’s based on something that works for them. All of it may be good advice in general, but it may not be good for you right at this time in your life.

In my last article, I talked about what real food is and how to be sure it’s what you have in your home. Now I’ll jump into a few things that can help you personalize your eating habits so you get the most benefit from your diet.

The Nebulous Nature of CrossFit Programming

Is their such a thing as CrossFit programming?

The CrossFit Journal recently published an article on whether affiliates should do their own programming or get programming from outside. But on closer inspection, it incidentally ends up forcing one to question whether there is such a thing as “CrossFit programming” at all.

The article starts off with details about pricing:

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Barbell Dancing

Have you heard of barbell dancing? You read that right. Have a look for yourself:

28 Day Meditation Challenge

Yes, that is a group of choreographed barbell dancers. The group is known as the Rush Chicks, and they performed the above routine at a recent Rush Club Nation event as entertainment that occurred in between men’s and women’s events.

Rush Club Nation is a slick and commercial functional fitness throwdown showcased on a premier stage. The event has attracted CrossFit veterans like Elizabeth Akinwale, Josh Bridges, and Annie Sakamoto who have participated in the intense, head-to-head competitions.

Build Mental Toughness in Kettlebell Sport

I love kettlebell sport because it’s one of the hardest things I’ve ever tried – and it never gets easier. The weights just get heavier and the pace increases. Of course with time and practice, your body and mind strengthen to face the demands of training and competition. But have no delusions – it’s always hard.

The physical benefits of kettlebell sport are obvious to anyone who’s tried. This style of training builds strong but lean bodies capable of moving thousands of pounds of volume. But the mental toughness that this sport develops is the most valuable. Hours of suffering in the gym have prepared me for any obstacle life throws my way. The sport has taught me what it means to push past my self-imposed limitations to realize a stronger version of myself.

The Art of Standing Still

Before I opened my own martial arts school, I used to practice martial arts at a local elementary school on weekends. I would bring my training weapons and other equipment and choose a secluded area of the school where I thought I could practice without interruption. I would usually go to the middle of the soccer field.

As part of my training, I would start by standing silent and motionless in a series of positions, usually with my eyes closed. Standing with my arms embracing an invisible sphere, I would get lost in the moment. Deep diaphragmatic breath calmed my mind and body. I used imagery to visualize internal energy moving through my body like a golden wave, as I moved deeper into a meditative state. I imagined my body becoming stronger and full of energy.

Turbo Charged Kettlebells: Setting the Foundation

It happens to all of us – after months or even years of staying consistent with our physical training, we begin to get a little bored. Everything feels redundant, boring, and even stagnant. When there is no structure around a strength practice, it quickly slides into aimless wandering.

Knowing when you need external input to jolt you awake and back into growth mode is a mark of true character and maturity. And by growth, I don’t just mean physical growth or muscle growth. I’m talking about the multi-dimensional growth that happens in conjunction with physical challenges and pushes your own limits of self-understanding and capability.

Stay on Track While Traveling

A few months ago, I announced my decision to become voluntarily homeless so I can travel the U.S. and share my “self-care is healthcare” message. I deal with the reality of secondary progressive multiple sclerosis every day, so you can imagine the importance of managing this reality while living on the road.

Food, movement, and mindfulness are at the core of my miracle outcome, but they can be quite a daunting task to maintain as I travel. This reality mirrors the obstacles athletes face when they leave their normal routines and commitments. Recently, while returning to California from PaleoFX in Austin, I took extra care to note the tips and tricks that allowed my journey to support my wellness program without a hiccup. Below are my top five tips for traveling consciously.

“It’s Not You, It’s Me:” 3 Signs You Need to Break Up With Your Diet

A while ago I was talking to a friend about a diet she was trying. She was going on week five, and though she had seen some results in the beginning, her progress was starting to slow and she was pretty much miserable.

As she talked to me about her diet, I could see the spark that had been there just five weeks before was now gone. “I guess I’ll just stick it out,” she said deploringly. As she gazed at my hefty breakfast with a deep longing, I suddenly felt like a couples’ counselor. This woman was clearly in a bad relationship. What had begun as an exciting summer fling had rapidly devolved into mindless, meaningless, lonely tedium. It was time for her to move on. But of course, when I suggested that, she quickly jumped to her diet’s defense.

3 of the Best: This Week’s Top Articles, Vol. 36

Welcome to our weekend roundup, Three of the Best! Every Saturday, we'll post up Breaking Muscle's top three articles of the week. These pieces have caught your attention throughout the last seven days. So here they are in one place for you to consume, digest, and enjoy.

muscular back

[Photo courtesy of Shutterstock]

#1 – A Peek Inside Renissance Periodization

By Lauryn Lax

With training, the muscle groups may change each day, the exercises, reps, and weights we use stay the same week in and week out. Couple that with a diet plan that “everyone is doing” for building muscle and losing fat, and the results are often mediocre at best.

Adrenal Fatigue and the Athlete

We’ve all heard of adrenal fatigue, but what the heck is it? And more importantly, how do you spot it before it creates problems? These questions are important considering the condition impacts 80 percent of Americans at some time in their lives.

Adrenal Fatigue 101

Also known as “chronic stress,” Dr. James Wilson defines adrenal fatigue as “a collection of signs and symptoms, known as a syndrome, that results when the adrenal glands function below the necessary level.” The adrenal glands are responsible for balancing and regulating hormones in your body – namely cortisol. Cortisol is a stress hormone that helps you deal with the “little fires” you experience any given day, including: