Higher Orders of Food

just as in exercise, there are intensities in fuel progression as well.
when wanting to make change in this area, start with one meal like breakfast and make the change over time, call it a hierarchy or order of development into better fuel.
let's take an example of oats with nut butter and eggs on side - combining carbs, fat and protein for blood sugar balance to start your day - and how you can transform this from low to high levels of function. (1=low, 6=high)

1. quaker oats, kraft peanut butter, egg whites from carton scrambled
2. rolled oats, no sugar kraft peanut butter, full eggs scrambled from carton
3. organic packaged rolled oats, natural peanut butter (no sugar/no salt), scrambled eggs
4. nature's path organic rolled oats, maranatha organic peanut butter, boiled eggs - free range
5. organic rolled oats, maranatha almond butter organic, organic boiled eggs
6. steel cut oats (pre soaked), crushed raw almonds, boiled/poached eggs - free range organic

the progression is in quality of fibre and nutritional value as well as live enzymes in oats, progression from low quality/low nutritional value eggs to full eggs with yolk in place (not broken - some new research showing its the smashing of the yolk causing some disturbances in cholesterol - another topic), and progressing the nut butter to a REAL nut butter (not legume butter) with better fat ratios and higher enzymes.
you have to pick your battles for where you want to start; take any meal and its the same thing, but start here at breakfast and we'll move on

we will do this always with exercise but tend to want to make huge changes NOW for food; pick your battles, start small and build

ask questions as needed..we'll answer for everyone on options and choices

OPT OD of Physical Fitness

how do you determine what physical fitness is?
well there are operational definitions..i will not bore you...and there are different versions of physical fitness depending on who you ask.
how about we ask someone who has trained bodybuilders, powerlifters, fitness models, professional athletes, kids, moms, dads, grandmas, grandpas, executives, etc...about what it means to be truly fit?
OK, that's me - i'll answer.
fitness is "being able to do whatever you physically wish to do at a higher level of function better than the norm without even training for it"
being fit invloves MANY aspects..so you can lift 400 lbs but you can't lift your daughter out of the tub or lift the golf ball out of the hole (not fit), so you can run 20 miles but you can't do a push up or a chin up (not fit)..these make you think.
many of my clients typically have a perspective on what is a "fit" individual and they commonly return after the 1st ski weekend, golf trip, hockey game, ultimate match in awe about how they performed the tasks and recovered so easily - THAT is fitness, not what they thought fit was - clients - "well you see, there is this guy at the office who's REALLY fit"; James - "oh yeah, so why is he really fit" - client - "well, he runs marathons and bikes to work every day"
just being honest, most do see endurance athletes (as well as professional or amateur athletes which 1% of us will be - another article) as the most FIT individuals and it is too bad...why should we care?...well, this is creating a role modelling for youth and everyone who wants to be fit that they have to run to become fit - it is one component of fitness - ONE!!: there are others
when you need guidance on where to go for fitness, take the motto that we do at OPT - we want all of our clients outperforming others in all endeavours (hike, volleyball, run race..) without even training for it; living longer, thinking clearer - just outperforming - there's your goal.
why - because you HAVE TO
i learn every day from others, have seen a lot of things, not much REALLY impresses me anymore in regards to fitness and fitness feats...what does impress me though is when someone who thinks they are fit comes in, we make them discover they really are not, then they do change over time their thinking about what is REALLY fit, and then they become fit - now that is impressive to me and keeps me doing what i do - to shape those minds and bodies into truly FIT individuals
what's your definition of physical fitness?

happiness shared

my perceptions as coach/person with my wife as we progressed;
- at YMCA together - she'll do her thing, i'll do mine, girls and guys can't workout together
- living together - maybe we'll go to the gym on weekends together, she'll do her thing, i'll do mine, girls and guys can't workout together
- working together - i'll help her progress as she wants to with guidance, the boys will do their thing, she'll tag along for the ride
- post natal - i'll help her get back into shape and be patient with her decisions/progress
- 18 months post natal - she's my workout partner
this is less about bragging about my wife and her achievements (max DL - 270 lbs, 5K Run - 24 min, max chin ups - 16, max squat - 165, 16 rounds of "Cindy", Fran - 5:55..i could go on) but more about the importance of surrounding yourself with positive energetic people to get you to higher levels
change the rules of the game, find those that you'll learn from, are attracted to, and are passionate about the same things as you are, share those goals and move forward...spend most of your waking time making that happen...and less in an environment that does not welcome that
Leighanne and i are an example of how her and i have dropped egos (me mainly) and enjoy the battle of consistency and discipline TOGETHER in regards to achieving lifestyle, nutrition and fitness gains no one could have ever imagined, she's been there during my peaks and valleys in training and has NEVER done anything but supported it...it's about giving and receiving and giving some more, it's about being open to change, it's about not conforming to norms around gender and exercise...
as you've seen, i've changed, it's been done and can be done (i'll speak specifically to males here - find someone who enjoys this as much as you do, help them, harness it, allow them to blossom) ...speak about the sore muscles, remove calluses together (Crossfit thing), set aside time for both of you to train, modify workouts to compete against one another; it's more fun when shared!

get comfortable with uncomfortable

how does one do this? do you jump into the cold water head first; do you survey and wait; do you wait for others to try; however you approach it you have to ask first what your goals are.
if they are continual improvement in funciton and/or performance - that is for day to day things like work and relationships or tough OPT workouts all the same, you have to get uncomfortable somehow. the practice of this makes perfect; the experiences of being uncomfotable lead to enilghtenment, sometime through embarassment (mostly self assusred) and sometimes through "aha "moments where the learning curve becomes steepened due to your effort in testing the waters...
i have great conversations with people on this topic, some lasting more than the 30 or 60 min we can handle in our consults - "how do i push it past that point" - it takes practice! take some times in your life where you have been uncomfortable, how are you or did you deal with this to create success? take this situtation and carry it over..
i liken it to a storm...you know it's coming, you can see it...wait for it, jump in, put up with the pain, swirling, animosity (sp?) and the like and walk out the other side...then look back and "reflect" - aha! nice carryover
it is interesting that i see people improve their confidence, libido, vitality, chi...as they get more experience with putting up with uncomfortable...i have all the evidence within my office confines - "in the walls" - i see them not put up with people trying to kibosh (sp) them, picking up for themselves, changing the rules of the game for themselves - VERY POWERFUL stuff, all because they have gotten uncomfortable in their workouts and took the storm on.
all good stuff man, all good

automatic mind

reflecion is important; it is the opportunity to take a breath, evaluate, and become creative. we commonly get caught up in automatic mind, forget what we have and what we have accomplished.
a client of mine reflected with me today on her successes with a climb in the Grand Canyon, and how her dedication and persevearance to fitness had paid off - what she called functional strength i call discipline. it gave me an opportunity to relfect on how important it is to reflect after all of our successes and failures - get into "director's mind" and allow things to play out as YOU want, not others. if caught in this automatic mind, it is better from my experience to step out of the vector, look back inside and re-evaluate as opposed to "fighting" your way up. step out, re-evaluate, start over, try again, create success, learn from your mistakes.
take time to reflect, what do you see?

it's snowing, it's snowing

i'd rather rain but i'll take it, more time to row.

since its intro to us through Crossfit a few years ago the rower has been one of the mainstays in OPT programming recently.

we tried it, tested it, hated it, loved it, now recommend and sell it, that's the way it works.

most clients marveled at first, now hate the fact that programming it into the globo gyms is now a competition b/t them and someone wearing jeans, pulling on the oar with one handle and reading a newspaper with the other...

xample programming ideas with rowing based on desired outcomes;

anaerobic power - 500m row time trial; requires a big nervous system warm up, different foot pad position, higher stroke rate and an all out effort; usually resulting in a VERY high accumulation of lactate - warning for first timers, great for individual bench mark testing

anaerobic capacity - 500m x 4, 3 min b/t sets; more things to consider with this test - what else are you doing for rest of day is first...as you'll feel a little "off" if done correctly; this is a perfect test for lifestyle adherence as those that do not maintain adequate feeding/fuelling will perish on this WOD

anaerobic capacity/gymnastics - 300 m row sprint, 30 push ups, 3 min rest x 3-6 sets; challenges what i always thought of a perfect combo with rowing - midline work and sprints

aerobic power - combine the above with 5 rounds for time - i.e. 300m row sprint, 30 push ups x 5; great test. we use this style as well as other combos with other movements depending on what is required

coming from a conditioning, non specific row background, a persons mid line strength in pulling - dead lift and clean, their nutrition and their ability to put up with pain makes them a fine rower...argue limb length, stroke rate, height, weight...give me someone who can clean powerfully, deadlift quickly and eats well to support their training and i'll give you a good rower.

we test folks on it all the time, at first assessment, in their program designs and scores vary across the board...and when one puts all those above together, they have best times comparable to C2 international levels for age groups and ages...it's the way it is.

one of the best home gym investments you can make and an excellent complement for all globo gyms to get people off the less effective cardiovasclar equipment (treads, bikes, ellipticals).

i thought bike sprints sucked until i rowed