Seasonal Depression- It’s Real!

Many of you have probably heard of Seasonal Depression and many of you or your loved ones are affected by this. This is real and you need to be on the look out for symptoms in yourself and in those around you. Since the clocks turned back i have already noticed a DRAMATIC affect in some of our students so that is why this blog is so timely.

When you "Google" Seasonal Depression there are endless articles on how to combat it and get through it, so my blog is not totally biased here! There is consistency in the research. Here are the top 3 things i found when reading about the winer blues...

1.) Exercise. I bet you knew I was going to say that. Exercise recruits all of those happy endorphins and seriously...who leaves the gym wishing they didn't come?

2. ) Stick to a schedule. Sleep, Exercise, Nutrition, Work...all of it. Have consistency in your life, because that has a GIANT affect on you emotionally and mentally.

3.) Get outside. Bundle up and go play outside. Expose yourself to the sun. It might not be a warm sun, but it is a shiny sun and that shiny sun provides the Vitamin D that you are probably lacking! Vitamin D is a happy and energetic piece that we NEED.

Be aware of changes in yourself and changes in those around you. Help someone through it and don't give up. If you are noticing one of your pals is missing more often during these cold months then shoot them a message and let them know you miss them and that you are here for them. This stuff is REAL and we can all use a little more love when it is cold!

It’s Thanksgiving. Don’t Make These Two Mistakes

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.

Wow.

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!

DC

Last Call for the Crockpot Freezer Meal Workshop!

Our crock pot freezer meal workshop is right around the corner. You cannot delay on this because spots fill up FAST!

These meals are another way to make dinner quickly and easily AND a different way to plan and prep your meals for the week or the month.

Sign up for the Crockpot Freezer Meal Workshop on December 2nd and we will do the hard lifting for you.

Here are some of the comments from students who participated in our last crockpot workshop:

"I loved the crockpot seminar. It was fun and has been feeding my family for the past several weeks. We loved the cashew chicken and beef stew the best! I liked how we were able to leave with the meal completed and participate. Thank you for putting this on!"

"THANK YOU so much for sending these. I just loved the workshop and look forward to the next one. What a great way to prepare healthy meals quickly."

"I LOVED the Saturday class on crockpot freezer cooking. My husband and I had the balsamic chicken last night and it was great."

"I thought the class ran smoothly. I liked the set up, and it was fun to work with people I had never met. I really had fun."

Just to remind you, here are the 5 meals we will be making together and you will be taking home:

  • Cashew Chicken
  • Balsamic Chicken
  • Thai-ish Chicken Wings
  • CN's Italian Sausage
  • Savory Beef Stew

Each meal feeds 4 to 6 people, and they are yum-mee!

Space is limited to the first 15 that register, so get in on the Crock Pot Freezer Workshop by clicking the “Register Now” button below.

Crock Pot Freezer Meal Workshop
Date: Saturday, December 2, 2017
Time: 9:00am to 10:00am
Location: Get Fit NH Epsom
Cost: $90 (that's just $18 for each meal that feeds 4-6 people!)

​Workshop Full. Thank-You!

Ski Erg World Sprints Results

Last week we had 45 of ya'll take on the ski erg world sprints! This challenge comes around every year and we are so proud every year to send in your results. Please join me in congratulating our 45 participants! 

BobMagan
PetraBaker
KarenKeeler
JodiAlexander
DanYeaton
DenisBoucher
BrianFox
LauraMurphy
LynRoberts
SherryStrickland
CarinaKeeler
JodiMattice- Collins
DebBerwick
SoniaCormier
DebbieGreenly
NancyCarlson
GretchenWolfe
SaraWithers
LoriNoordergraaf
CaraWiley
LynneMarston
JessicaHaskins
DenisePearl
EvelynGaynor
LoriSmith
PeterHallock
MegMiller
CharleneBetz
MichelleJukoski
MarkNaylor
MelanieKenny
Mae LynnArlinghaus
SueTorrance
TomDuval
NicholeThomas
PeterSerrentino
Mary BethVozzella
TerriGeorge
TerryReed
JohnLaroche
RachelGotbaum
CatherineHofford
AdamRosenthal
EmilyO'Rourke
SusanCroft

Click HERE to see the 2017 results!

We are so proud of everyone- can't wait to compare scores next year!!! 


My Plant Based Eating Experiment – Who Woulda Thunk?

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)

Calories

Protein(%)

Fat (%)

Carbs (%)

Fiber (g)

Sugar (g)

1789

33

51

16

18

21


12-Weeks During Plant Based Experiment (per day)

Calories

Protein(%)

Fat (%)

Carbs (%)

Fiber (g)

Sugar (g)

1940

22

39

39

62

50


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.

Fit3D

8/13/2017

11/4/2017

Difference

Body Weight

174.8

171.2

-3.6

Body Fat %

12.47

12.26

-.21

Lean Mass

153

150.2

-2.8

Fat Mass

21.8

21

-0.8

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.

Test

8/13/2017

11/4/2017

Difference

Note

Total Cholesterol

195

134

-61

Is lower better?

HDL "Good"

93

62

-31

LDL "Bad"

93

62

-31

Triglycerides

46

51

5

<# is preferred

VLDL

9

10

1

<# is preferred

Test

8/13/2017

11/4/2017

Difference

Note

Total:HDL Ratio

2.1

2.2

+0.1

<# is preferred

Trig:HDL Ratio

0.5

0.8

+0.3

<# is preferred

C-Reactive Protein

0.3

0.7

+0.4

<# is preferred

Fasting Glucose

81

97

+16

<# is preferred

Hemoglobin A1c

5.1

5.1

0

<# is preferred

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.

Dean"

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.

Coach Dean

New Just For You!

So we have good news and bad new…

The bad news.... We will no longer be ordering the Best Bar Ever. Unfortunately, Best Bar Ever was bought out by new owners who are changing how Best Bars are being made. We take a lot of pride trying to bring everyone the best supplements and bars we can find! The new Best Bars have basically been turned into sugar bars like the “Protein” bars you find at a gas station.

The good news! We have been doing some research and we have brought RXBars into both the Concord and Epsom locations! We are very excited to have these bars in for you to try and hopefully love! We love RXBars because when you pick it up the ingredients are listed right on the front of the package so you know what you are putting into your body! Plus, these bars are dairy and gluten free which is a great choice for anyone with allergies and gives you a difference from the dales bars.

We have ordered every flavor we could get out hands on! So the RXBars waiting for you to come try!

We are selling them 1 for $3 and 2 for $5!

We hope you like these bars just as much as we do!

-Coach Brian

Raking, Shoveling and Weeding – Oh My!

Today I spent the day getting my yard cleaned up. It is amazing how exhausting this chore can be! My husband made fun of my as I volunteered to rake, because it was better exercise than leaf blowing. Something must be wrong with me! 

As the wind blew and stirred up more leaves where I had just raked I was reminded of how important it is to be engaged in what you are doing...even when it is chores!  I didn't do any kind of warm up and I was thinking about how that was kinda numb, because my shoulders were totally burning. 

Raking will soon be over with and winter will approach quickly so let's think about shoveling. Every year we have so many students come in with a sore back or hurt shoulder from shoveling. There is twisting and bending and tossing involved here. I double dog dare you to wear your Myzone this winter when your are shoveling- it is a serious workout, but do we warm up before shoveling? Doubtful. I know I don't.

How about weeding? Every spring we talk about how much our back hurts after spending hours in the garden. We hold this horrid position for hours- of course it hurts! But dang, our gardens look pretty!! We have to pay attention. We have to be engaged in what we are doing.

This is my reminder to be mindful when you are doing your chores. These are the activities that we train for, right? Breathe, brace, warm up and rest!  Be mindful of your form. We are all on a time crunch, but an extra 5 minutes can save you hours, days, weeks of pain and soreness.

Coach Meagan

Crockpot Freezer Meal Workshop is Returning!

Our crock pot freezer meal workshop was so popular in the spring that we’ve decided to bring it back again! This time we're offering it on a Saturday morning in Epsom.

You cannot delay on this because spots fill up FAST!

"I love cooking, but there are times when I don’t have the opportunity to cook each night."

"Oh no, I forgot to pick up ________ at the store when I went."

These meals are another way to make dinner quickly and easily AND a different way to plan and prep your meals for the week or the month.

You could:

  • Find 5 recipes using only ingredients that can be frozen
  • Write out your grocery list (don’t forget the freezer bags, herbs, spices, oil, and vinegar)
  • Go shopping
  • Chop, cut, prep the ingredients and add them to freezer bags
  • Freeze
  • Thaw slightly and put in a crock pot to cook while you are busy with other things

But wouldn't it be better to avoid steps 1 through 3?

I thought so!

Sign up for the Crockpot Freezer Meal Workshop on December 2nd and we will do the hard lifting for you.

Here are some of the comments from students who participated in our last crockpot workshop:

"I loved the crockpot seminar. It was fun and has been feeding my family for the past several weeks. We loved the cashew chicken and beef stew the best! I liked how we were able to leave with the meal completed and participate. Thank you for putting this on!"

"THANK YOU so much for sending these. I just loved the workshop and look forward to the next one. What a great way to prepare healthy meals quickly."

"I LOVED the Saturday class on crockpot freezer cooking. My husband and I had the balsamic chicken last night and it was great."

"I thought the class ran smoothly. I liked the set up, and it was fun to work with people I had never met. I really had fun."

Just to remind you, here are the 5 meals we will be making together and you will be taking home:

  1. Cashew Chicken
  2. Thai-Ish Chicken Wings
  3. Balsamic Chicken
  4. Coach Nancy's Italian Sausage
  5. Savory Beef Stew

Each meal feeds 4 to 6 people, and they are yum-mee!

Space is limited to the first 15 that register, so get in on the Crock Pot Freezer Workshop by clicking the “Register Now” button below.

Crock Pot Freezer Meal Workshop
Date: Saturday, December 2, 2017
Time: 9:00am to 10:00am
Location: Get Fit NH Epsom
Cost: $90 (that's just $18 for each meal that feeds 4-6 people!)

​Workshop Full. Thank-You!


Thanksgiving Schedule PLUS Pies off Thighs!

Can you believe it is already November? I can’t believe it. The brisk weather is here and snow is not too far behind, BUT hopefully before the snow comes we can enjoy Thanksgiving. I don’t know about you, but I could do without the 2014 Thanksgiving blizzard!

Thanksgiving week is going to be a little bit different. Family time for you and us is important stuff so make sure you jot down the whacky schedule so you don’t miss out on the bonus training (and so you don’t show up when we’re not here!)

Monday November 20th- Regular Training Schedule

Tuesday November 21st- Regular Training schedule

WEDNESDAY November 22nd- Regular Training Schedule BOTH locations

Thursday November 23rd- No Training

​Friday November 24th- No training

Saturday November 25th World Famous Pie's Off Thighs ALL family training in Concord at 8AM

We hope you enjoy this holiday season with your family. Thank you for choosing to train with us!
Get Fit NH Coaches

FitRanx Badges! Read All About It!!

Many of you have heard in some form or another about the new FitRanx program we have started rolling out here at Get Fit NH.  For those of you that have not, ask one of your coaches to talk with you about it.  I bet you didn’t know that there is a whole other fun piece to the FitRanx puzzle!   

That comes in the form of Fitranx Badges! These badges can be earned for doing a variety of different things inside and outside of the gym.  I wont lie I’m actually pretty excited about them, it will give myself as well as all of you some other goals to shoot for.  Maybe you haven’t done a Fitranx level yet, maybe you aren’t currently able to, maybe you just want to have some other stuff to shoot for outside of just the levels themselves.  Well then this is for you!  

Each badge has a certain milestone attached to it that you need to reach in order to get that badge.  After you have earned that badge, your coach will present it to you and you will be able to display it proudly on your very own Fitranx nameplate!

Here's the first six releases:

Into Thin Air: Earned by climbing 100 flights of stairs in a month (1 flight= at least 12 steps)

300 lb club: Earned by having a combine Bench Press, Squat, and Deadlift of at least 300 lbs

Checkpoint: 100% Compliance on a monthly goal (must be tracked)

Triple Shot: Finishing levels 1, 2, and 3 back to back on the same day.  

Water Buffalo: Consume half your bodyweight in ounces of water daily for a month.

500 lb club: Earned by having a combined bench press, squat, and deadlift of at least 500 lbs

Let's Make It Happen!


- Coach Adam