Just a reminder with winter here and the snow stating to fall...
If the decision is made that training will be canceled you will be notified via our email newsletter, a post on our regular Facebook Page (http://facebook.com/getfitnh), And a post on the Get Fit NH Family page (https://www.facebook.com/groups/getfitnhfamily/) on the following schedule:
Morning training cancellation details will be sent by 4:00am
Afternoon and evening training cancellation details will be sent by 3:00pm
Of course if there is statewide power outage that is subject to modification, but we will do our best!
And absolutely use your own best judgement. We have clients from all over the state, (and I want to keep your coaches safe too!) and it may be worse conditions than where you live. We will not hassle you (too much) for missing class on days of inclement weather.
If you have any questions, please give us a call or send us an email.
Thank-you for choosing to train with us!
All I really want is a cup of coffee. Yet every time I drive into my local coffee shop (you know who you are) it's staring me in the face. A Peppermint Mocha, Eggnog, or Gingerbread Latte.
SOOOO good, but also enough sugar to put me into a coma.
But there's gotta be a way to get that holiday taste AND get some good nutrition in, right?
A few years our favorite protein supplement provider, Beverly International, put out some recipes they called "The 12 Mugs of Christmas", using their absolutely delicious "Ultimate Muscle Protein".
We decided it was time for an update, so we tweaked a couple of the recipes, gave an option to use one of their newest flavors - Graham Cracker, and compiled it into a full color downloadable .pdf you can have for absolutely free.
With a selection of both hot and cold drinks, coffee based and not, this recipe booklet is sure to please your taste buds this holiday season. Check out the names of these recipes:
A Baker's Dozen!
Not convinced, Mr. Scrooge?
Here's a sample of just one of these delicious recipes:
Candy Cane Delight
1 cup unsweetened Almond Milk
1 scoop UMP Chocolate
1 tbsp Sugar Free Peppermint Mocha Creamer
¼ tsp Peppermint extract
8-10 ice cubes
Blend all ingredients for 1 minute
Want to turn it into a hot drink? Substitute hot coffee for the almond milk and ditch the ice!
A tip from the head elf: Use a blender for your hot drinks too. It ensures the protein is fully mixed and adds a wonderful froth to the top!
Just enter your email below for your FREE instant download. Grab it before it goes away!
You don't want to miss this article by Josh Hillis, one of my friends in the fitness industry. He is an really cool guy, and offers some really important insights.
I saw a lot of myself in his article from back in the day when I had a very unhealthy relationship with food, and a very unhealthy body to prove it.
The take home for me is this:
It's about picking your battles.
I talk and write about it often. Fitness and lasting weight loss is a LONG game. One day is not going to make or break your long term results. Yet I too have been guilty of being "that guy" - trying to make every Thanksgiving dish the absolute healthiest version it could be, and making everybody else suffer along with me.
Mistake number one is focusing on Thanksgiving DAY, while ignoring the rest of November and December. Josh describes the behaviors of people like me, who failed at weight loss for so many years as missed opportunities. We "miss the opportunities to mindfully and intentionally enjoy more food with friends and family. Instead (we) eat more mindlessly at times when it doesn't really add much enjoyment to (our) lives"
Boom - hit me right between the eyes.
But he is exactly right. As my relationship with food has improved, the thing that allows me to maintain a 100 pound plus weight loss is what I do daily, not one or two days a year. So while you don't have to intentionally overeat on Thanksgiving day, relax just a little.
Mistake number two is too often focusing on everything around me that is going wrong, instead of continually practicing gratitude. Full disclosure: I am writing this article a day after I caused myself to have a horrible day (which never affects just me) by doing this very thing - focusing on everyone that was going wrong, irritated me, and ultimately I could not control. Yes, I can be really dumb.
For most of us gratitude does not come very naturally. We must continually PRACTICE. Recent studies have shown that expressions of gratitude can have profound and positive effects on our health, our moods, and our social life.
Robert A Emmons, Ph.D. at the University of California at Davis and Mike McCullough at the University of Miami randomly assigned participants to one of three tasks. Each week participants wrote a short passage in their journal. One group described five things they were grateful for the previous week, another group recorded five daily hassles that had aggravated them, and the last group was asked to list five circumstances that affected them, but were not told whether to focus on the positive or the negative, Ten weeks later, participants in the gratitude group felt better about their lives as a whole and were a full 25% happier than the hassled group. They reported fewer health complaints, and even exercised an average of 1.5 hours more.
Coach Nancy has written a very practical guide, "3 Simple Steps to Practicing Gratitude", which we have compiled into a short but beautiful e-book you can download and refer to.
Just like any other habit or skill, you gotta get in your reps.
I'd be grateful if you would download a copy here. 🙂
I want to take this opportunity to share gratitude.
To my wonderful wife Nancy, who keeps me around in spite of me.
To my kids still in the house; Andrew, KJ, and Amy, who didn't sign up to be kids of busy entrepreneurs, but who bring so much joy into my life.
To my "grown up kids" and their families; Tim, Deb and Lexi, and Jeff, Kimberley, Jack and Janie. I am proud of you and love and miss you.
To the incredible team at Get Fit NH; Meagan, Adam, Brian, Lars and Becky. Never mind can't do it without you - don't want to do it without you. You guys are the best.
To my coaches and friends in the industry, which are too numerous to name, but I'll give you a few; Nick, Kelly, Ryan, Dave, Tom, J-Mark, Anthony, Julie and Brad. To the gang in Watchtower. Thank-you for being there for me.
To my Get Fit NH family, what can I say? The incredible people who we get to coach every day, who we laugh and cry with, sweat with and struggle with. Thank-you. If you are reading this, you are part of that family too, so thank-you.
Have a Happy Thanksgiving!
So my 12-week experiment in plant-based eating is "over".
Or is it?
To catch up, you can read why I decided to embark on the experiment by reading "My Experiment In Plant Based Eating", and "What I have discovered so far about Plant-Based eating and Protein".
Let me fess up right up front. There were two occasions I chose to eat chicken and one occasion where I ate beef during the 12 weeks. All were a conscious choice when I was traveling on two separate business trips, and I was really struggling to get my minimum of 100 grams of protein for the day. That was 3 meals out of over 250. I am confident the results were not affected.
Overall I really enjoyed eating plant-based, no doubt about it. I made pretty much a 180 degree turnaround in my nutrition plan, going from a Ketogenic diet which consisted of high fat, moderate protein, and low carbohydrate to my plant-based version, which was much lower in fat and protein, and much higher in carbohydrate, which was a huge switch for me. I have been "carb-phobic" ever since my 100 pound plus weight loss. It seemed every time I tried to up my carb levels, my body fat would go up very fast as well. This experiment taught me something about that, more later.
I tracked all my food and macros using MyFitnessPal for the 12 weeks prior to the experiment and during the experiment. Here's the before and during.
12-Weeks Prior To Plant Based Experiment (per day)
12-Weeks During Plant Based Experiment (per day)
If you recall my goal was 100 grams of protein per day, and because of the change in protein source from animal to plant based, I found myself needing more calories to hit that goal. Another thing to note is that my overall consumption of fat went down, primarily because I wasn't eating the fat in animal protein. Besides that I was not consciously lowering my fat. More whole grains and legumes meant fiber went way up, and sugars as well. I did not eat hardly any fruit and did our 28-Day "Sugar Free Me" during the 12 weeks, so the fact sugar went up that much was interesting to me as well.
Before I share my blood test and body comp results, allow me to share some practical considerations as well as how I felt during the experiment.
Overall I spent a LOT more time in the kitchen. It is MUCH quicker to throw chicken on the grill than to figure out what I needed to do to hit my protein goal. Because another "rule" was to not rely on pre-packaged foods, I did a lot of food prep and cooking. Fortunately I love to cook, and as the weeks rolled by my skills improved and I got faster. I really enjoyed making some new dishes, trying some new foods, and getting reacquainted with my old friend whole grains. I am absolutely going to try to keep integrating more legumes, lentils, and even the occasional millet, quinoa and amaranth into my diet, and see how my body tolerates. I am going to experiment next with keeping my fat a little lower, my carbs a little higher, and seeing what happens to my body composition. Can I find a happy place so I can eat more carbs and not layer on the body fat? Time will tell.
And how did I feel? That's where the story turns, at least for me. For about 8 weeks I felt great. I was actually getting through my workouts better, most likely from the increase in carbs. My lifts were still going up, until they weren't. Somewhere between week 7 and 9 I hit a wall. I had been tracking all my lifts; reps, sets and load. All of a sudden weights that had gone up easy were not anymore. I got weaker in my bench press, squat and deadlift. Not a lot, but I just wasn't feeling it. I checked my sleep tracking, and it had not changed. The other thing is my Heart Rate Variability (HRV), which measures systemic stress, has gone down about 4.5%, which is not good, higher HRV scores are better. Again, interesting.
Below are my measurement and body comp results before and after.
Body Fat %
So what's my take home here? While I lost weight, that was mostly comprised of lean muscle mass. Not cool. At the age of 51 I have been fighting for every pound of muscle I can gain and/or keep. Would have eating more calories overall helped mitigate that? Perhaps. If anything, this experiment reinforced to me how horrible the scale is for measuring weight loss results. Losing 3 pounds of muscle for every 1 pound of fat loss is nothing but trouble in the long term. It is the perfect illustration of why yo-yo dieting occurs.
And now for my blood test results.
Is lower better?
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Some more interesting results here. As I would have suspected, my total cholesterol number is down. Most of us might think (and my plant based friends would be first in line) that would be a good thing. Maybe, maybe not. I discussed my results with my doctors office and his PA, and those comments are below.
As a note, both sets of test are considered within "normal ranges". What interests me here is that in spite of eating much less fat and nearly no animal protein, my Triglycerides went up and my lipid ratios went in the wrong direction. The tests also showed that systemic inflammation increased (C-Reactive Protein), and while my Hemoglobin A1c showed my average blood sugars stayed the same over the last 2 or 3 months, my fasting blood glucose on that Friday morning were significantly up. Again, interesting.
I wrote the following to my doctors office upon receiving my results and having them inquire if I had any questions:
"There are a couple. As you know I have been eating plant based for the last 12 weeks and I am going to be integrating animal protein back in. I am interested in your thoughts on the lipid panel. For some context, I felt great for about 8 weeks; my strength continued to increase, workouts benefits from added carbs. But after week 8 I hit a wall. Noticeable decrease in strength; I really struggled with heavy lifting. Body composition, which was stable, started to get worse as measured by our Fit3D scanner - indicated between 2 and 3 pounds of muscle loss during the 12 week period. Calories had actually increased by an average of about 400 a day, because I had to eat more volume to get to my goal of 100 calories of protein.
Back to the lipids. I know the total cholesterol has dropped significantly, but I don't necessarily think that is a good thing. Correct me if I'm wrong, but while the ratios remained relatively the same, the "bad markers" (Trigelycerides and VLDL-C) actually increased, which I find interesting since fat intake DRASTICALLY decreased. I was on a ketogenic diet (measured my breath and blood ketones - the works) before I started this experiment.
I would be interested in any feedback you and/or Dr. Osborne has. Thanks.
Her (Dr. Osborn's PA) response:
"I agree. I was thinking the same thing when I saw your lipid panel because I remembered your plant based diet change. I attribute the increase in your TG and LDL to the increased carbohydrates and higher glycemic index carbs (ie. fruit etc) I believe this is the same reason you had a decrease in strength and muscle mass. Fat is such a huge necessity for our diets because it fuels our brain and muscles. Obviously the goal of our office is for your body to burn fat not sugar (which you were doing previously on ketogenic diet) but now your body has reverted to burning sugar instead of fat. Energy, brain function and strength would be expected to decrease. I will let Dr. Osborn know the results of the experiment too, he will be fascinated to see more proof :)"
Full disclosure here. I go see Dr. Osborne because we are very like minded in how we approach nutrition and exercise. When I went to see him in September I told him about the experiment and asked him his thoughts. We discussed my "rules" and he was on board for the 12-week duration. I think he was just happy it was me and not him. 🙂
The Bottom Line, At Least For Me
In absolutely no way was I disappointed by this experiment. I have even more respect for plant based eaters who are really trying to make it work, who are spending time in the kitchen, and who don't rely on a bunch of vegetarian junk food. It is a LOT of work, no doubt. But just like any other new skill, it gets easier the more you practice.
I really enjoyed experimenting with a wide variety of recipes, veggie combos, and foods that were new to me. No, I really never had eaten millet before. And there are some veggie "burger" recipes out there that are really good. Angela Liddon's "Oh She Glows" cookbooks are a must for any kitchen, plant based or not. Cooking with vegetable broth instead of water is a game changer. And I absolutely love taking black beans from the bag, soaking them overnight, and then slow cooking in my cast iron pot with onion, garlic and a bay leaf. My mouth is watering just writing about it. You will NEVER eat canned beans again once you try it.
So what am I going to do moving forward?
I have already started adding some animal protein back into my diet. A little fish on Sunday was a good start. I have had one meal of pork chop, and a little bit of beef tonight. I ate plant based on the days in between. I am going to stay away from dairy, as I learned to make some really good almond milk, and dairy and I don't get along anyway. I didn't feel so great anytime I ate wheat, so I'll lay low on that one as well. As I said before, I'll keep the fat a bit lower, play with how much carb I eat, and see what happens.
There really is no "one size fits all" plan. We all have different preferences, tolerances, and convictions. I didn't do this little experiment to prove anybody right or wrong, or make anyone happy or mad. I really just wanted to see what would happen if I really stayed committed to eating plant based the best I knew how, so I could better coach the plant based eaters that come to me for help.
My body is my experiment, the gym and kitchen are my laboratories, and as long as I am not dirt napping, the experiment won't end!
Love to hear your thoughts.
Anyone who knows me well would read this would surely think “is that Adam really writing this?”. I have a very bad habit of jumping to the first negative conclusion about myself, or when something happens in my life. The funny thing about it is that when it comes to others I am very much the opposite. So while some may not believe me when I say this, I can tell you it is true. A lot of good can come out of problems from the past. It’s all about learning to recognize patterns in your life. It is not a simple thing to take a step back and look at a problem from different angles at the time, but once you are further removed, a lot of great information can be gained.
For example, lets say you have trouble at night with eating foods that do not support your goals. You eat it, you feel upset about it and maybe even angry with yourself for indulging. You can learn a lot from those days believe it or not. What happened that day? Did you not eat all day then felt ravenous when you got home? Was it a particularly stressful day? Over time patterns emerge that when realized, can be broken.
I had a pretty bad back injury recently and am realizing just how much I learned from it. That knowledge is now helping me help others with somewhat similar problems. It is hard to see the good in a difficult or stressful situation while it is happening. However if you find yourself falling into the same cycle over and over, it may be time to take a look back and think “how can this happening before, keep me from making the same mistakes now?” or “what strategies did I try last time that worked, and which didn’t?” that may be the key to course correcting. The past is filled with useful information and patterns that can show you how to proceed, all it takes is the time to look.
It is not always easy. It is often filled with pain, and struggles, and tears.
And yet beautiful it remains.
One of the most beautiful things to ever happen in my life is captured in the picture to your right.
For those of you who don't know him, this is our son Derek, born November 7, 2001. He was a big surprise in our lives, born over 14 years after son number two, Jeff.
And then he was gone, taken by SIDS less then a year later, on October 14, 2002.
As I am writing this, the 15th anniversary of that date is tomorrow.
Such a enigmatic word.
For with tomorrow comes new hope that just maybe it will be better than today was. As the book of Lamentations says, there are new mercies that come with the rising of the sun each morning.
But tomorrow all too often in our lives serves as a convenient way to put off today, as we slave away to the tyranny of the urgent.
We fool ourselves into thinking that we will get it done "tomorrow", when the truth is, if we let it, something else will come up that further delays our good intentions.
I'd like to sit here and share that Derek's death took care of that once and for all in my own life.
God chose to give us three more beautiful children after Derek was gone, and I can't even imagine not having Andrew, and Karalynn, and Amy in my life.
I have seen my two older boys follow the paths God has given to them, and also be shaped by the events of those days. I am so proud of them for the men they have become and love their wives and our grandchildren dearly.
And what can I say about Nancy? We have been through some wars together. No man could ask for a better life partner, soul mate, and friend. Without her I am nothing.
And yet so often the very people that make life worth living are pushed aside, as all the things that I "have to take care of" are given priority, as if my family is just a task I can move down my list.
I won't lie. It's been a tough week around the Carlson household. Emotions run high this time of year. I haven't been the husband, father or boss I should be this week. I am grateful for the patience and mercy that has been shown to me.
When it comes down to it, I think anniversaries such as these are a mercy in themselves, as painful as they may be.
They serve as a reminder that no matter how much time I think I have, in reality I have no control whatsoever.
As I walked out the door to go to work that crisp autumn Monday morning I never expected to get a call less than 5 hours later that my son was dead.
Some would call what happened 15 years ago a tragedy.
But the real tragedy would be to forget.
To learn nothing from the journey we have been on since that day.
I could fill pages with stories of the kindnesses that were shown, the struggles that we shared, and the lessons that we are still learning.
If there were no Derek, life would have been very different.
But avoiding that heartache would have cost so much more. A price too steep to pay.
Someday for each of us there will not be another one. We all know that, but it is so much easier to push it into the back of our minds and not think about it. I am right there with you.
But today I am going to think about it for awhile as I celebrate Derek, whose short life made such a lasting impact on my own.
And Your Today?
Hug someone a little longer. Take steps to mend a relationship. Let someone know you care about them. Say "thank-you" to someone for a kindness shown. Ignore another's offense toward you. Work hard to become the person you want to be, for there is joy in the journey.
Don't put it off to a tomorrow that may never come.
Is It Worth The Trade-Off? It's Your Choice.
by Dean Carlson, Pn2
We have a picture in our head of the "ideal body". But are the pictures in the magazines a realistic picture of what is achievable? Do you have to look like superman or a supermodel to be healthy? And at what cost?
Regardless of your goals, there is going to be work - hard work - to lose fat and get leaner. And there are amazing health benefits to doing do. But there are trade-offs, particularly as you get leaner and leaner. This infographic outlines them and shows you what's involved. We'll take a look at the extremes on both sides, and then have you consider what's healthy and achievable.
Click Here for a fully printable version of this Infographic
For a complete explanation of the infographic, including a review of the research by our friends at Precision Nutrition, check out the accompanying article: The cost of getting lean: Is it really worth the trade off?
I can't even begin to tell you how pumped up I am to be teaming up with Dan DeFigio, the bestselling author of "Beating Sugar Addiction For Dummies", to help you get off sugar and help you take back control of your eating.
The goal of Sugar Free Me is ambitious. To give you the education, resources and support you need to overcome your addiction to sugar and carbs, and regain control of your life!
Now some of you may think I am going overboard with the word "addiction". After all while we know eating too much sugar isn't great for us, does it really reach that level? Evidence suggests it can, as sugar has been shown to stimulate the same pleasure centers of the brain as some drugs.
I don't think it's any big secret that sugar and sweets are a big "go-to" when we are stressed, or tired, or lonely. The kick of dopamine that sugar gives us can lead to a very destructive cycle, actually altering our neural pathways , and it's also no secret the cycle of sugar addiction can be hard to beat.
Sugar Free Me is a 28-day step-by-step education, accountability, and strategy course that helps you understand the root causes of sugar addiction, how to address them to create your plan of action, and help you kick the cycle of eating excess sugar.
What we are going to learn:
We are also going to fill up your "Sugar Free Me Toolbox" with six new tools that are going to help you Avoid Temptation, Find and Avoid Your Food Triggers, and explore What You REALLY Want when you reach for the sweets. (Hint: It's not sugar)
The most valuable thing you are going to get over the course of this course (see what I did there) 🙂 is daily accountability and incredible support from both those taking this journey with you and our incredible team of coaches.
You will have your own account created in a really cool program called "Coach Catalyst". Every day you will get an email or message to your phone that delivers your daily "Sugar Free Me" lesson and asks the question: "Did you avoid eating all added sugars yesterday?"
Don't underestimate the power of answering that daily question honestly. This simple action does a couple of very important things. It creates a record for you to look back on and evaluate under what conditions and in what circumstances you tend to reach for the sweets. But it also helps your coach know when you need a little extra help to get moving in the right direction.
You also get access to our Private Facebook page, where you can hang out with folks on the same journey and where your coaches can offer more support. We have found these groups are a powerful way to stay connected and see that you are not the only one struggling. Take advantage of this page!
I really appreciate Dan making his resources and expertise in this area available to us. His full online course is priced at $95, but we are able to offer the 28-Day Sugar Free Me course for only $27. This is an incredible deal for everything you get!
The "Sugar Free Me" Challenge Officially Starts Monday, October 2, 2017, but don't be "that guy", and sign up today! As a bonus, you will get immediate early access into the Facebook Support group.
For someone who loves sweets (like I do), you may be wondering what you might be getting yourself into.
As with anything we do that is "new", it's going to take a little time to adjust to your "new normal". Here's a thought to consider.
Did you know that one of the keys to success and happiness in life is to practice self-compassion?
We are SO hard on ourselves when we don't live up to our expectations for ourselves, and that usually leads to a downward spiral of guilt and feelings of failure. I have lived it, and it usually meant reaching for more food. That's how I got to 280 pounds.
But I learned really fast that to take it off I needed more than education (I knew eating junk food wasn't good for me), or more willpower (when I am tired or feeling blue I have none). I needed a strategy for dealing with the inevitable stuff that comes up to derail me perfect plans - I think it's called life! 🙂
And that is what Sugar Free Me is all about. Sure there is an education component involved, but more importantly we are going to give you real world strategies to set yourself up to succeed, including what to do if (when) you aren't perfect and fall off the wagon.
No program is magic. Change takes effort and self-reflection. It takes a willingness to step out of your comfort zone and embrace something new.
Salespeople everywhere are going to shudder, but DON'T invest in this program if you can't or won't take the 10 or 15 minutes a day it will take to read the lessons and get involved with the group. The last thing I want is for you to have another reason to beat yourself up.
If you want to talk to me or another coach to see if this 28-Day focus is right for you, you can drop us a line here.
To your success,
If the thought of entering into "Sweet Season" (you know, Halloween through New Years) both excites you and makes you dread the 10 pounds you are going to pack on, this is for you.
We are thrilled to be teaming up with Dan Defigio, bestselling author of "Beating Sugar Addiction for Dummies" to bring you a brand new 28-Day program called "Sugar Free Me".
More details coming soon, I just wanted to put it on your radar for a program start date of October 2nd, with registration opening up on September 11.
And here's a freebie for you. Sugar comes in many forms and has many names. It's hard to cut back on sugar if you are not aware of it's many disguises.
Check this list out. It's not even ALL of them!
Brown rice solids
Cane juice crystals
Corn syrup solids
Evaporated cane juice
Fruit juice concentrate
Grape juice concentrate
High fructose corn syrup
Wait, is that real?
I mean vegetables are healthy, right?
Well yes they are, but that doesn't mean everything a plant-based eater eats IS. Nobody would argue that the Vegan food in the picture to the right is. (well maybe, someone, but not many)
Peruse the vegetarian section of your grocery store, and you will find just as much sugar laden, preservative heavy, highly processed food as anywhere else.
Just because you are eating less (or no) animal based products doesn't mean you are automatically eating healthier.
Take a look at the label of that veggie burger, or meat-free breakfast sandwich, or egg-free dairy free dessert. Not pretty.
Now that is less of a criticism of those products, as poor as they are, but really of human nature. We are really good at ignoring what we don't want to see.
I bought some vegetarian/vegan cookbooks with some really great recipes, and for the most part I really like them. BUT there seems to be absolutely no filter in the plant-based world when it comes to sugar. Just because you are using Maple Syrup, or Honey, or Brown Rice Syrup doesn't mean you have carte blanche to use as much as you want. Your body is still going to have a blood sugar response. In fact as a borderline type 2 diabetic who is has increased his carbohydrate load, I have to be MORE sensitive to the sugar response. My rule is to automatically cut sweeteners in recipes by half. At this point I can't even tell.
This also isn't a criticism of plant-based eating, per se. I have always maintained that a plant-based eater who is really doing it "right" is one of the most dedicated, conscious eaters out there. I am 4 1/2 weeks into my plant-based eating experiment, and I have spent more time in the kitchen in that time than the previous 4 or 5 months combined.
The goods news is I really am enjoying eating this way. My body fat is down a little, my strength is still there (Set a PR in the bench press yesterday) and I am eating foods that I had largely removed from my nutrition plan, such as beans and some whole grains. As well as avoiding all meat and dairy, I have not yet eaten any Tofu (not a favorite) or rice. My goal, as always, is to eat the most nutrient-dense food I can. In other words, for every bite, I want to pack in all the nutritional goodness I can!
As always, love to see some discussion below!
See you soon.