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Why Bootcamp?

Why Bootcamp?

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Over the last four years of running CFEH I have met so many people!  Prior to my years of owning and operating CFEH, I spent 13 ½ years as fitness professional and utilized so many different training methodologies. I worked the entire spectrum of fitness; membership sales, training sales, managing a team of trainers, one on one training, group training, high intensity, corrective exercise and all that this field has to offer.  During this time, I have learned a tremendous amount and I realize that as much as I believe in the CrossFit methodology and use it for my own health and fitness, it just may not be for everyone.  I was disappointed turning people away from my gym because we didn’t offer something else for them.  My mission has always been to help people, and I knew there was something I could do…

                  As a solution, I am excited to announce that I will be offering Ascension Bootcamp! I chose the name “ascension” because of the definition of the word; “The act of rising to an important position or a higher level.”  I feel that whether it is through CrossFit, one on one training, or any methodology that we may utilize, we are working towards ascending to a higher, better version of ourselves. I’m also happy to say that I will be launching a Groupon to offer an incentive to prospective members to give Ascension Bootcamp a try!

              What’s the difference between Bootcamp and CrossFit?  The Bootcamp classes are 45 minutes long and will not incorporate heavy barbells. There will not be Olympic lifts like cleans, jerks, snatches and overhead squats. Movements done from the rack, like front squats and back squats won’t be incorporated.  High level gymnastics like toes 2 bar, muscle ups, and handstand push ups are not a part of Bootcamp. Instead, members can expect fun workouts that include lots of bodyweight movements, kettelbells, box jumps and step ups, work on the rings, sled pulls, sprints, running, circuit style workouts and partner drills.

               It is an incredibly effective training style that will help people reach their goals!  If you have a friend that is intimidated by CrossFit because of barbells or heavy lifting, please share our new Bootcamp with them.  I will link our Ascension Bootcamp web page in the newsletter and I will share the Groupon on the CFEH FB page when the Groupon has launched.Classes will be on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 7:30pm and Saturdays at 11am beginning next week on Tuesday 9/12. Thank you as always for being such valued members of the CFEH family, and for helping us expand to serve everyone!

 

Sign up for 1 Week of FREE Classes at Ascension Bootcamp! (Until Sept 30th)

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If your overall plan is to end 2017 fitter than you started ...

For me, September is always the time of year when I reflect on what could have been achieved over the spring and summer, accept what goals I didn't hit and reset to end the year strong. Unlike the winter holiday season - a few days of unbridled eating and drinking for many of us - summer stretches into weeks of skipping the gym to go to the beach, grazing through many picnics and barbecues, spontaneous meet ups for beer or cocktails at sunset and an opportunity to unwind with friends and family with a less frantic schedule. Don't get me wrong, I love summer but I love getting back into a routine and focusing on the 11 week opportunity that presents itself between Labor Day and Thanksgiving Day.

If your overall plan is to end 2017 fitter than you started it you need to think about your training, nutrition, sleep quality and stress and what resolutions you need to make now to achieve that goal. Our programming at CFEH takes care of your basic training needs, but if you have a specific goal in mind, such as getting your first pull up or running a 5k, YOU  need to put some extra work in. Talk to your coaches, make a plan, come to open gym, put the work in and you’ll reap the rewards.

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If you wanted to eat better this year and maybe lose a few pounds, that is still an achievable goal. Join the Lurong Challenge starting on September 18 or book a nutrition consult to set you on the right path. Make your goals realistic, achievable and measurable. It is possible to lose 10-15 lbs by the end of the year, if you take action and change some habits. Don't set yourself up for a quick failure by saying you're going to workout everyday, or multiple times a week. Take a long hard look at your schedule and be realistic. If you can only get to the gym twice a week, make sure you show up twice a week, every week. In between times have a plan on increasing your general level of activity - can you walk or bike somewhere instead of drive? Can you park further away from your office and walk an extra 20 minutes a day? Find a basic stretching/mobility/yoga routine that you can do every morning or evening - just set aside 15 minutes a day.

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Achieving your goals requires you to change. Change is hard - you need to find time from somewhere to work at your goals, you need to be a little selfish, you might need to invest some money, you need to change your habits and find some motivation to stick to them. Share your goals with your coaches. We can hold you accountable, help you and cheer you on to an awesome end of the year.

- Coach Louise

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The newest Lurong Challenge is starting later this month and I can’t wait! This year, we will replace the Sunday WODs with the weekly Lurong WOD. You can also do the workouts during open gym on Tuesday and Thursday! We have had such fun in the past and people have really dedicated themselves and seen some great results. This year, they are also offering a Macronutrient option with the meal plans, as people are beginning to understand the importance of macronutrient tracking and how well your body can respond to a well-balanced macro plan.

I think it is especially important for our new members to join the Lurong Challenge because it’s a chance to learn about nutrition and test yourself against other people around the nation that are in your age range and experience level.

 It’s also pressure free. We will do the workouts in our home gym. You do the WODs, track your food and then just enter your scores online. It’s really as simple as that. The knowledge that you can gain about your nutrition and performance is well worth the registration fee. When we do the challenge again in 2018 you can compare your score to the prior year and see how far you have come.

One of the main reasons why I love Crossfit is that it offers you the chance to regularly challenge yourself. Mentally and physical venturing outside your comfort zone is a great way to feel alive!!! Also, obsessing, strategizing and worrying all day about the workout you’ll have to do once you arrive to the gym, is a great way to take your mind off of the other things in life that might be stressing you out!

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Happy anniversary to me!! 1 Year of Macro Tracking!!!

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Happy anniversary to me!! 1 Year of Macro Tracking!!!

Last July Coach Damien and I went to a talk about Flexible Dieting and it has turned out to be one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.

I've spent the last 35 years or so in a pretty bad relationship with food. I've lost weight, gained weight, starved myself, gone on all out binges and had resigned myself to believing that I had to work out hard every day to keep myself at some kind of acceptable body weight.

Flexible Dieting has given me a new, healthy relationship with food - and a physique - that I wish I had found years ago.

Here are a few of the lessons I've learned over the last year:

  • Be 100% consistent, not 100% perfect
  • “Cheat” with 1 or 2 meals a week, not days
  • You can't out-exercise poor diet choices
  • Having an accountability partner is awesome
  • There is not one solution for everyone...but we all need to eat a calorie deficit for successful weight loss
  • Be honest with yourself, but be kind too
  • You'll be surprised how much food you can eat if you balance your macros
  • Don't be obsessed with the number on the scale
  • A diet break is OK as long as you know when it's ending
  • You can have your cake and eat it, as long as you track it
  • There are no quick and easy solutions to sustained weight loss and maintaining training performance

If you're ready for a change contact me for a free 15 minute No Sweat nutritional consultation at the gym.

Contact Coach Louise, She will email you to set a time! *
Contact Coach Louise, She will email you to set a time!

Check out the Nutritional Coaching we offer.

 

 Look out for a new 28 Day Challenge in the Fall.

- Coach Louise


 

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No Excuses - Keeping Your Nutrition on Track

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No Excuses - Keeping Your Nutrition on Track

Memorial Day weekend is right around the corner - the unofficial start of summer and all of the temptations that come with the season:

  • Beer fuelled backyard BBQs
  • Ice cream

  • Cocktails at rooftop bars

  • Margaritas at the pool

  • Picnics on the beach

  • Boardwalk fried foods

  • Concession stands at the ballpark

The list goes on and on for me. Whilst I want to enjoy my favorite time of the year I don’t want to undo all of the hard work I have put into my nutrition over the last few months. Laying some groundwork now will hopefully help with navigating all of these temptations.

  1. TRACK If you’re not tracking your food - start!! If you track, but not perfectly - get better at it! For me there is nothing more powerful than seeing your macronutrient intake staring back at you. Do I want one sugar laden cocktail, or 3 glasses of wine for the same hit of calories? Do I use all of my fat grams for the day on a cheeseburger, or do I choose a turkey burger and have a handful of chips on the side and a scoop of ice cream for dessert? Knowledge gives you power to make informed choices.

  2. HYDRATE Those of us that participated in the 28 day challenge got into the habit of drinking a lot of water everyday. You should aim for 80 ounces a day. I’m also trying to stick to the habit of drinking a glass of water between each alcoholic drink as a way of keeping those calories in check!

  3. FIND SUBSTITUTES At breakfast eat turkey bacon or sausage for lower fat. Read the labels on those greek yogurts - there are plenty of high protein choices with less than 17g of carbs. Eat carbs at lunch that fill you up for longer periods of time - low starch vegetables and fruits rather than bread and chips. If you want to enjoy a cocktail, substitute soda or sugary mixes with club soda and a squeeze of fresh fruit juice.

  4. PACK LOTS OF SNACKS Always travel with a few healthy snacks to avoid high sugar, high fat offerings at concession stands.

  5. SET A NEW GOAL Talk to your coaches about a specific goal you want to achieve over the summer and we’ll help you stay accountable.

Once the season is in full swing

  1. BE COMMITTED Stick to your workout schedule. Yes, it’s hot. Yes, you’ve been on vacation. Yes, the kids are sleeping in, so why can’t you? You’ll swim laps at the pool later…… Coming to the gym not only maintains all of the fitness gains you’ve made this year, but seeing your WOD buddies and your coaches regularly will remind you that you need to keep on top of your nutrition to fuel the next round of goals you’ve set yourself.

  2. RESET ASAP Of course, I have the occasional blowout on my diet. Since I started tracking my food I try and limit it to one meal, rather than one whole day, but I might do that for a few days during a long weekend at the beach. As soon as I get home I get back on track.

  3. BE REALISTIC Be kind to yourself and enjoy life. It takes a sustained period of over indulgence to undo all of the hard work you’ve done. See #2 - get back on track ASAP

           - Coach Louise

 

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The 28 Day Challenge is over - now the real work starts

The 28 Day Challenge is over - now the real work starts

Our first 28 Day Challenge is over!! Congratulations to everyone who signed up and put the work in over the last four weeks. We have seen some great successes with weight and inches lost, body fat reductions and improved performances in wods. Many of you have had success in tracking your food and understanding what you eat and making more informed choices. Some of you have improved sleep patterns, higher energy levels, less inflammation that eases those aches and pains after a wod.

A 28 Day Challenge gives you an opportunity to reset your diet and lifestyle and reflect on what works for you. Day 29 and beyond requires you to stick with the changes you have made and continue to see amazing results in many areas of your life. I’m starting the seventh month of my journey and continue to lose weight and body fat - I’ve sustained an average loss of 1 lb a week, eating a lot of food, but hitting my macros day after day. This process works but you have to stick with it and figure out how to make it fit your lifestyle.

For many of you planning your food and tracking your meals is something you let go of when life gets busy or stressed. It’s easy to slip back into bad habits, assume you’ll get back on track next week and watch all of that hard work disappear.

Have an accountability system in place!

Think of your nutrition and eating like training for a competition. When you sign up for a competition, you have motivation to get in the gym and work hard. The same thing goes with your nutrition and eating habits to achieve your weight loss and/or performance goals. When you have someone to check in with , give you feedback and revise your plan to achieve your goals, you are much more likely to stick with the program!

On-going Nutritional Coaching Program

We know that nutrition is the foundation for your success in weight loss and achieving your performance and health goals.

Through our partnership with Healthy Steps Nutrition I am available for on-going nutritional coaching. There are two options available.

The Power Hour/Nutrition 101 is a one time consult with the purpose of giving general guidelines on proper nutrition. You receive a Nutrition 101 Handbook, 1-week sample Meal Plan and Food Log.

The Customized Package is the most popular package. You receive a customized meal plan and there is an accountability system in place.

With the customized package you  have two face-to-face meetings with me that last between 60 and 90 minutes. I will test objective data (BMI, body fat, measurements & weight) at the beginning and end of this one month package. You will be given a folder with a 25 page Handbook to have as a resource later as well as 4 weeks of meal plans.

Once the first month of the customized package is complete I am offering on-going coaching.This includes one check-in half way through the month via text, call or email and one in-person follow-up visit.

Contact me if you’re interested in Nutritional Coaching

Coach Louise

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CrossFit Open!

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CrossFit Open!

Hey guys

The 2017 Crossfit Open is two weeks away and we want to try something new this year. A lot of boxes run an Intramural Open alongside the “official” open where the focus is on participation rather than individual performance. We want to see many of our members enjoy being part of a competition without the stress of worrying about their performance and letting team mates down.

We thought some of you guys would make awesome team captains and help us recruit participants from the majority of classes throughout the week. We need you to spend the next few days putting a team together and coming up with awesome team names! The teams do not have to have the same number of members as we’re going to average scores, but ideally we’re hoping for 4 or five in each team.If you have team members that are signed up for the Crossfit Open, they get a bonus point at the outset.

Every team member that completes the open wod at the Friday Night Lights session (typically 6:30pm) gets 2 points. Any other time after the wod is announced on Thursday night and before the Monday evening deadline earns 1 point. We’re hoping to get team t-shirts - every member that remembers to wear their shirt earns a point. Any team member who PRs or achieves a goal during the wods (first pull up, double unders etc) gets a point. The top three scaled males and females each week will earn their team a point. All points collected each week will be averaged over the number of team members who competed that week. There is no cost to be on a team. It’s $20 to sign up for the open on the Crossfit website. Damien and I will make a dinner or throw a BBQ for the winning team.

Team captains:

5:30am class - Anthony

6:30am  class - Brian

9:00am  class - team 1 - Jen, team 2 - Tracy

4:30pm  class - Alley

5:30pm  class - team 1 - Joey, team 2 - Bernadette

So, all we need from is a list of team members and a team name by Monday Wednesday Feb 15th. After that, we hope you can encourage all your team members to take part over the five weeks of the open. I’ll do all of the result collecting and scoring each week.

Thanks so much,

Coach Louise

To sign up for the "official" CrossFit Open register here and join East Hanover Crossfit as your affiliate!  If you just want to join our in house games then please sign up at the gym! 

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Sleeping Well

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Sleeping Well

Sleeping Well

We all know that sleep is important right? Knowing is just half the battle, doing is a completely different thing. I average around 6 hours of sleep 3-4 days a week and about 7 hours on the weekends. That’s not great at all. So what I do is make sure that the 6 hours that I do get are the most restful, deep sleep that I can. During sleep is when our bodies repair the muscles and systems that we breakdown during our workouts. When we don’t get restful sleep or enough sleep we experience a lack of recuperation that can stifle the growth of our muscles and energy systems. I will share with some secrets to getting to and staying asleep!


 

Evening Tea: Try Celestial Seasonings Sleepy time Tea prior to bed. More recently I have been using this recipe. Two teaspoons of Organic Apple Cider Vinegar mixed with 1 teaspoon of honey in a little less than 12 oz of hot water.  Prepare it like a tea and drink in 15-30 min before you hit the sac! I love it!

 

Hot Shower: Try taking a hot shower right before bed. This helps to relax your muscles and adjust your body's temperature making you nice and groggy before bed!

 

Twilight App: To keep this simple, the blue lights emitted from our phones, tablets, laptops, televisions and other electronics are known to reduce sleep up to 1 hour by reducing melatonin production. With twilight installed on your phone a red filter is placed over your screen, reducing the blue light exposure. It uses your location to work in coordination with the sun cycle of the area in which you live to adjust your screen right around the time that the sun sets! Amazing right? Even better, it’s FREE!!!!!  Get it today!

 

https://youtu.be/u0r7JamQTaY


 

Meditation: I have an audio clip that I downloaded from youtube. It’s a guided meditation by Alan Watts. Sidenote, he has amazing content in lectures and essays. It’s hard for me to say exactly what it is, as I rarely make it through the entire sound clip. This works like a charm for Allison and I. We put it on most nights and we are sleeping in no time. Here is a link to the video/clip.

If this video is not for you, I suggest you try something similar!

https://youtu.be/jPpUNAFHgxM

 If you enjoyed that blog send us your email to be added to our newsletter, or try a free class at CrossFit East Hanover! 

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Workout on the go!

Busy schedule? Traveling for work? Too swamped with tasks to hit the gym?

Written above are useless excuses that only get you further from your goals. Everyone has places to go, things to do and people to see!  The truth is that all of the things that you need to do can be done more efficiently if you are energized, well fueled and feeling good! Exercise will help you in all areas of your life, professional and personal! 

Here are a few workouts that you can do on the go.

A)  Set a timer on your cell phone for 10 min and complete the following (5 Push ups - 10 Sit Ups - 15 Squats) record the results and try to beat the amount of repetitions the next time you do the workout!

B) If you are have access to a hotel gym, you are capable of doing a great workout.     Try this: 2 Min Jog/elliptical, hop off and complete this circuit then hop back on and repeat. 

Circuit: 10 reps of Dumbbell shoulder press - 10 reps of bicep curls - 10 Renegade rows (tutorial video link below)------->

C) 20 Walking lunges 20 Jumping jacks 20 Mt Climbers 10 Burpees then rest 1-2 Minutes and repeat for 2-3 rounds!

You can be as creative as possible, running up a bunch of flights of stairs doesn't sound like a great time but it does sound like a great workout. You could even stop on each flight and do squats, push ups, or dips on the bottom steps. We know there is nothing like your Coach kicking your butt at your home gym. However excuses are useless and as long as you are staying active it is better then doing nothing! Good Luck! 

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Clean Eating Challenge - Food is Fuel

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Clean Eating Challenge - Food is Fuel

We have a bunch of members who have agreed to jump into our clean eating personal challenge. I call it a personal challenge because there is not a 1st place winner here. Everyone who sticks to this though the month of January will enter this year with the positive momentum of healthy eating habits. In a sense we are all winners! We know that nutrition is the foundation of a sound healthy lifestyle. Eating right will help you with better performance in your Wods. It will assist you in the recovery that your body needs after we break it down with the tough training that we do. It will also help you sleep better, you will experience more energy through out your day and above all else you will start to feel great look great!

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I always tell you guys to look at your food as fuel for your body because that is exactly what it is. What you put in is what you get out. Once you begin to understand this it just may change your perspective. Ask yourself this question, If you had a Lamborghini would you put regular unleaded into your gas tank? The obvious answer is no, you would put premium. So why then should it be any different for your body? Just because you are not a meticulously fine tuned piece of Italian machinery like a Lamborghini or CFEH's own 1st lady? Ha!

Let's get on the ball and start this year out right! We beat up and break down our bodies so that we can rebuild them stronger, literally breaking and rebuilding our muscle fibers. How fast and how well this rebuilding process takes place is directly correlated to what we fuel our bodies with! I can't say it enough, and I've just about said too much. So below are some cheat sheets to help you get the ball rolling! #LETSGETIT

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My Favorite Supplements!

My Favorite Supplements!

MCT Oil

MCT oil is a great source of MCTs which are (medium chain triglycerides) that come from coconut oil. MCTs are a fast and easily digestible source of healthy fat. They differ from long chain triglycerides, like those found in saturated fats. MCTs  travel to the liver quickly and get burned for immediate energy.

MCT oil  also contains two beneficial acids that aid brain function and strengthen and protect nerve connections in the brain. In essence, they help us learn faster!  MCT oil also assists in anti-aging and immune system health.  Recently, studies show it aids in atherosclerosis (buildup of fats, cholesterol, and other substances in and on the artery walls.)

How to use it:

Coffee: I add 1 tablespoon into my coffee nearly every morning. It really helps energize me for my 5:30am & 6:30am classes!

Smoothies & protein shakes: Yep - I even add MCT to my post workout protein shake.

Where to get it:

I order my MCT oil from a company called ONNIT. www.onnit.com.

I find them to be reliable, although not cheap, but I don't mind investing in my health and longevity. You can find other brands as well.  Just be sure to do your own due diligence.

Alpha Brain:

Alpha brain is a Nootropic supplement.  Nootropics help support certain brain functions like memory, mental speed and focus.  I absolutely swear by this product.

I know for sure that it works for me and I can tell a huge difference in any lapse of time that I am without it.  It also aids me in creativity and deeper REM sleep.  I have some crazy dreams when I am taking this consistently.

How to use it: I purchase a bottle of Alpha Brain in pill form and take 2-3 a day. They also sell a faster acting powder form for immediate results.

Where to get it:

I order my Alpha Brain from Onnit www.onnit.com. Again, this is a pricey product and there are other Nootropics on the market, but this is my go to!

NutraBio 100% Whey protein isolate:

This is a new Protein powder product that I was recently introduced to by my friends at Nutrition Zone in East Hanover.  This protein is the cleanest protein that I have found. There are absolutely no fillers, excipients, proprietary blends, maltodextrin, dextrose, added sugars or artificial colors.  That is an impressive list of no’s.  Most protein supplements are chemical laden soups that are more harmful than good.

How to use it: 1 Scoop into a drink of your choice, then shake or blend.  I like almond milk best, however H20 will also do just fine.  For the best protein shake that you have ever tasted try this recipe.

½ cup of almond milk

2-3 Ice cubes

1 large frozen banana

1 tbs MCT oil

1 TBS of organic peanut butter

1 scoop of NutraBio (add last to avoid clumping on the side of blender)

Blend to preferred consistency and enjoy!!!!!

Where to get it:

Online or at Nutrition Zone in East Hanover.  Tell them Coach Damien sent you! ;)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Reebok CrossFit Team Competition

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Reebok CrossFit Team Competition

Hey all!

                      2015 CrossFit Open

                      2015 CrossFit Open

So I’m sure you have heard about the upcoming Reebok CrossFit sponsored team competition. CrossFit HQ will release workouts online that are designed for two-man, two-woman teams. We have six days to complete each set of team workouts and submit the scores online. Sep 6th and Oct 4th will be the release dates for the wods. Teams will be able to do the wods in place of the CFEH daily wods as long as the whole team is present to do the wod together. Open gym will be the best time to do these team wods. For more details, follow the link below. The cost is $80.00 per team, which you will pay online.  It’s important that we establish teams quickly so that we can get everyone registered by Tuesday Sep 6th! Remember, we have until Sept 12th to submit our team scores.

 

Why should you sign up for this team competition? Here is why...

Find out where you stand:

Testing yourself against your prior performances as well as the performance of others is a great way to find out what level your crossfit game is at. You will learn more about your strengths and weaknesses and find just where you stack up against people in your age bracket and/or experience level. Once you have this knowledge, we can create a new game plan on how to improve where needed.

Get outside your comfort zone:

                      2015 CrossFit Open

                      2015 CrossFit Open

For most of us, competition will yank you out of your comfort zone faster than you can drop a wall ball on your last rep of Karen. Wise ones know that all things great happen just outside your comfort zone. When was the last time you had butterflies in your stomach or that nervousness that takes over you before you do something a little crazy? Exactly… most of us can’t remember the last time we were really challenged mentally and physically to the point that our emotions and instincts took over, sending adrenalin and a surge of energy through our bodies. That feeling will remind you of how alive you are, how young, strong and vibrant you are. Live a little!

 

Face your fear:

Whether it’s a fear of failure, judgment or of performing in front of strangers, it has been placed before you for a reason. Facing my fears is something I actually seek out. I do so  with hesitance, however, I always follow through.  In the process, I learn and I grow.

Facing  fear is one of the most self-empowering things that a person can do. Once the task at hand or the fear you have faced is behind you, it is just that, behind you for good. Count it as one more thing checked off the list. One of the best quotes I have ever heard was said by one of the greatest motivational speakers of all time. Les Brown said “You can live your dreams or you can live your fears”. Sadly most people live their fears.   

The majority of the world is so subconsciously led by fear that they are unaware that a decision has even been made. Don’t fall so far off that you can’t even see your personal patterns of decision making and thought. Live this life, don’t let this life live you. Experience it, for all that it is and don’t just be part of someone else's experience!

Ok, enough out of Coach Robbins over here, now go to the link below to register.

You won’t regret it!

Click Here To Register Here For The CrossFit Team Series Competition!

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         When life gives you lemons ...       I am thrilled that CFEH is participating in the fundraiser for autism awareness on September 10. Last year over 7,500 athletes participated and raised nearly $80,000 for a community that is very close to my heart.         

  
     
    
       
        
           
                
           
        

        

       
    
     
  


        Thirteen and a half years ago my oldest son, Oliver was diagnosed on the autism spectrum. In a few weeks time he will turn 18, but unlike my expectations for my other two children he probably won’t go to college, drive a car or even live independently.     Since I found out about the fundraiser I have been reflecting on the similarities between what it takes to be a special needs parent and what it takes to be a successful crossfitter.    Consistency    Parenting Oliver, especially when he was younger, was a lot like groundhog day. Do everything at the same time, in the same order, on the same day of the week. Things are a little more relaxed these days but consistency and routine makes our lives a lot easier and happier. Maybe that’s why I’ve rarely wavered from my crossfit schedule in 3 years! To feel comfortable, master the techniques and grow as a crossfitter you really do have to be consistent.    Commitment    Commitment goes hand in hand with consistency. I am dedicated to helping my son be the best version of himself and achieve everything we think he is capable of. As a crossfitter I am committed to training hard, eating well, getting enough sleep and taking adequate time to recover. To help me function in both of these worlds I need to take care of myself.    Hard Working    Nothing worthwhile ever happens without putting in some hard work. Oliver can only ride a bicycle because of the many, many hours I spent teaching him, starting with alternately pushing his knees down until his brain caught up that he could use his feet on the pedals. Hard work, countless hours of practice and giving it your all as a crossfitter means you will get your first double under, pull up, handstand push up….. Oh yeah, see also consistency and commitment above!!    Passion/love    Obviously it’s hard to be consistent, committed and hard working if you’re not passionate about or love what you are doing. I love my son, so it’s not hard to be passionate about helping him, finding solutions and a way forward through talking to professionals, reading books and researching issues. I truly love crossfit and our community. I probably think and talk too much about exercise and diet and read too many blogs and watch too many videos on olympic weightlifting!! It’s good to have a passion though, yeah?!    Compassion    The passion and love I use to help Oliver is fuelled by the compassion I receive from family, friends, neighbors, teachers, other special needs parents. It’s not a club you want to be a member of but it is so supportive, tolerant, caring and helpful despite how frustrating, tiring and sad we sometimes find life.    The compassion that I see in the crossfit community is also amazing and probably why I love it so much. New members are welcomed and accepted at our classes regardless of their current level of abilities and we all celebrate each others journey and successes as much as our own. Everyday when that 10 second countdown starts there is a true feeling of “we’re all in this together.”    Grit    I read a definition of grit that said it is “the perseverance and passion for long term goals.”    As both a special needs parent and crossfitter I’ve sometimes felt like I just want to crawl into a corner and cry, but I don’t. You learn to dig deep and find the strength to do what you’ve got to do, to move forward, get stronger and be the best you can be.    I hope to see many of you at the fundraiser on September 10.    - Coach Louise     Join us for the Lift Up Luke Fundraiser on   Saturday, September 10, 2016 at 11:00 AM,  Sign up and order your shirt below!        
 
	 Sign up here 
          

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When life gives you lemons ...

 

I am thrilled that CFEH is participating in the fundraiser for autism awareness on September 10. Last year over 7,500 athletes participated and raised nearly $80,000 for a community that is very close to my heart.

Thirteen and a half years ago my oldest son, Oliver was diagnosed on the autism spectrum. In a few weeks time he will turn 18, but unlike my expectations for my other two children he probably won’t go to college, drive a car or even live independently.

Since I found out about the fundraiser I have been reflecting on the similarities between what it takes to be a special needs parent and what it takes to be a successful crossfitter.

Consistency

Parenting Oliver, especially when he was younger, was a lot like groundhog day. Do everything at the same time, in the same order, on the same day of the week. Things are a little more relaxed these days but consistency and routine makes our lives a lot easier and happier. Maybe that’s why I’ve rarely wavered from my crossfit schedule in 3 years! To feel comfortable, master the techniques and grow as a crossfitter you really do have to be consistent.

Commitment

Commitment goes hand in hand with consistency. I am dedicated to helping my son be the best version of himself and achieve everything we think he is capable of. As a crossfitter I am committed to training hard, eating well, getting enough sleep and taking adequate time to recover. To help me function in both of these worlds I need to take care of myself.

Hard Working

Nothing worthwhile ever happens without putting in some hard work. Oliver can only ride a bicycle because of the many, many hours I spent teaching him, starting with alternately pushing his knees down until his brain caught up that he could use his feet on the pedals. Hard work, countless hours of practice and giving it your all as a crossfitter means you will get your first double under, pull up, handstand push up….. Oh yeah, see also consistency and commitment above!!

Passion/love

Obviously it’s hard to be consistent, committed and hard working if you’re not passionate about or love what you are doing. I love my son, so it’s not hard to be passionate about helping him, finding solutions and a way forward through talking to professionals, reading books and researching issues. I truly love crossfit and our community. I probably think and talk too much about exercise and diet and read too many blogs and watch too many videos on olympic weightlifting!! It’s good to have a passion though, yeah?!

Compassion

The passion and love I use to help Oliver is fuelled by the compassion I receive from family, friends, neighbors, teachers, other special needs parents. It’s not a club you want to be a member of but it is so supportive, tolerant, caring and helpful despite how frustrating, tiring and sad we sometimes find life.

The compassion that I see in the crossfit community is also amazing and probably why I love it so much. New members are welcomed and accepted at our classes regardless of their current level of abilities and we all celebrate each others journey and successes as much as our own. Everyday when that 10 second countdown starts there is a true feeling of “we’re all in this together.”

Grit

I read a definition of grit that said it is “the perseverance and passion for long term goals.”

As both a special needs parent and crossfitter I’ve sometimes felt like I just want to crawl into a corner and cry, but I don’t. You learn to dig deep and find the strength to do what you’ve got to do, to move forward, get stronger and be the best you can be.

I hope to see many of you at the fundraiser on September 10.

- Coach Louise

Join us for the Lift Up Luke Fundraiser on Saturday, September 10, 2016 at 11:00 AM,  Sign up and order your shirt below! 

 

 

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MY BIGGEST TAKEAWAYS OF THE 2016 RIO OLYMPICS

Seeing the perseverance, passion and sportsmanship that the Olympic Games bring out truly move me and inspire to keep doing all I do. Not just at the gym but in life too.

The event itself is so exciting, to see athletes from many different countries come together to show us their greatest gifts and strengths. There was even a refugee team of 10 people. There were so many memorable moments, but to me, it wasn’t just about the winners of medals. There were many lessons to be learned from some of the Olympians. Here are some of my favorites:

Sure, it’s amazing that Michael Phelps has 28 gold medals. But did you know that he won 0 at the 2000 Summer Olympics? What if he had given up?

Nikki Hamblin and Abbey D’Agostino helping each other finish the women’s 5000 Meters after tripping over each other. What if they had just ignored each other? They wouldn’t have created a new bond and friendship.

What about when British sprinter, Derek Redmond’s hamstring snapped on him. He waved away the stretcher, and continued limping towards the finish. His father then ran onto the track, past security, and took his son’s arms to help him finish. Sometimes we have one goal and then something devastating happens so we readjust our goals. Giving up isn’t an option. Those who love will be there to help you through.

Allyson Felix was expected to win the 400 Meters. Instead she had to settle for silver, as Shaunae Miller of the Bahamas literally dove for gold. In this case, Miller showed she wanted so badly to achieve this goal and went above and beyond to reach it.

Sarah Robles won the US’s first weightlifting medal since 2000. She’s happy to shed more light on the sport especially to inspire other women of size. She’s also Mexican-American and looking to inspire other Latinos. 

I love the Final Five, especially Simone Biles. That girl is tiny but fierce! But what about the older gymnasts, like 41-year-old Oksana Chusovitina? She could’ve retired. Instead she chose to stand alongside gymnasts half her age. “I’m alive. I’m well. Then it means everything is ok,” she said.

What were some of your favorite, inspiring  moments?

- Coach Julia

 

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Strong for what?

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Strong for what?

There many reasons why we do what we do at CFEH. To put a simple and plain, CrossFit is a strength and conditioning program. If you're not building your strength and cardio respiratory capabilities (conditioning) then you are really just going through the motions or maintaining mediocrity. Let's not do that. Over the past few weeks we have been going through a strength protocol labeled 531 for the rep scheme. I'm very pleased with the overall results that were achieved and I'm proud of those of you who stuck it out even when the heavy lifting seemed never ending. We will continue to utilize the fundamental lifts like the squat, deadlift and push press, that's just what we do. We lift, swing, throw, pull, push, slam and drag things all in the name of fun anti mundane expressions of health and fitness. In the life cycle of training number will ebb and flow, technique and skill will rise and fall. The toughest part of being a well rounded crossfitter is just that. Being well rounded. We will take some time to revisited the Olympic lifts that have so patently waited for the culmination of the 531 program.  With the new found muscular endurance and strength will work to develop new PR'S with the clean and jerk as well as the snatch. We will keep up with the the very productive short metcons and continue to build camaraderie and report with team and partner wods. I am excited about moving forward with on next few months of programming. Remember all the hard work you put into the 531 program and be confident moving forward and challenging yourself in up coming workouts! Keep up the great work everyone. Thanks for making my job amazingly fun and rewarding. 

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Staying fit on the go!

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Staying fit on the go!

Being away from the gym is no excuse to slack on your exercise routine. There are plenty of movements you can do while you’re traveling this summer to keep up with your goals. If you’re staying in a hotel it will most likely have a gym so you’ll have more options. If not, bring a jump rope and/or exercise band so you can workout in your room or outside.

I love body weight exercises because you can really strengthen your whole body  and work on cardio at the same time. We recently did a tabata at the gym and it got me thinking- this is something that can be modified to be done on the road. Tabata training was discovered by Japanese scientist Dr. Izumi Tanata and his team. It consists of 4 minutes of high intensity. You workout hard for 20 seconds, then rest for 10 seconds. You repeat this 8 times. So take 4 or 5 body weight movements (say, double unders, air squats, sit ups, mountain climbers and push-ups) and do 20 seconds on and 10 seconds off, 8 times. You’ll get yourself a heart-pounding workout in about 16-20 minutes.

You can also do circuit training. Take 5 or 6 movements and do each one for 45 seconds before moving to the next one. Complete 4-5 rounds. If you search this blog, you’ll see that I tend to do a lot of these so feel free to find more inspiration here. It might be difficult to work on your deadlifts, but don’t despair. Remember that any physical activity is better than nothing! Try to focus on heavier lifting right before you go away and get right back to the gym once your trip is over. Keep it simple and fun. So if you’re at the beach, go for a jog, play volleyball, do planks and burpees (on a beach towel), walk to the furthest restaurant, or ride a bike.

My advice is to try to get your workout done in the morning. Even if it’s just a quick 10 minute workout in your room; you’ll feel so much better afterwards and you won’t feel as guilty for the multiple margaritas you might indulge in later :) 

So enjoy your vacation but do what you can to stay active while having fun!

Click the button above to visit Coach Julia's personal blog page! 

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It’s Summer and I Really Don’t Want to Cook

I could not have been happier when the recent heat wave came to an end and I ventured back into the kitchen. Between houseguests, vacations, July 4th celebrations and the hot, humid weather I have struggled recently and not eaten as clean as I usually do. Whilst it’s simple to stay gluten free these days, it’s hard to avoid vegetable oils, sugar and dairy if you’re looking for quick, convenient food. Over the last week I’ve been trying to refocus on clean living, mindful of time being in short supply (what happened to those lazy summer days?) and a lack of motivation to actually cook because it’s hot.

First things first though. For those of us that enjoy a cocktail on a warm summer evening I was very excited to find Q Tonic Water and Q Ginger Beer on sale at Wholefoods. By replacing high fructose corn syrup with agave, the sugar content is greatly reduced  - cheers all round!

Of course, salads are a staple of summer eating and my favorite this year is Chopped Chicken Salad with Honey Lime Dressing. Fairly quick and easy to prepare - think ahead and grill extra chicken one night or cook extra bacon in the morning and you can pull this together very quickly. I like to make the recipe as listed, as leftovers taste even better after a night in the fridge. Find the recipe at hewontknowitspaleo.com. Wholefoods sells Tessemae’s salad dressings, many of which are paleo and can also be used as marinades and  dips. Olive oil, lemon juice, dijon mustard and salt and pepper makes a great homemade dressing too. For quick, easy protein with a salad I like to pick up roasted red pepper and spinach chicken sausage from Costco, grass fed burgers and beef hot dogs, and if you buy or make paleo mayo I love to make a big batch of tuna salad - paleocupboard.com is my go to recipe.For an easy alternative to salad I like to buy Coleman Organic Basil and Roasted Garlic Chicken Meatballs, simmer in a sugar free marinara and serve with zuchinni noodles.

When I’m out and about on trips fast food is tricky. I try to find Chipotle (switch grilled veggies for beans and guacamole for corn, cheese and sour cream) or Five Guys - they serve a bunless burger with toppings in a tray, so you can eat it with a knife and fork. When all else fails make the best choices you can in the restaurants that are available. Use the FindmeGF app when you’re in unfamiliar towns and cities - you never know what clean eating gems are hidden away and if you’re staying local check out Squirrel and The Bee Grainless Bake Shop in Short Hills. Amazing selection of items for breakfast and lunch or to take home.









 

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Coach Louise's nutrition blog!

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Coach Louise's nutrition blog!

Remember that challenge you signed up for a few weeks ago? Or maybe you’re still procrastinating about whether to sign up. There are only two weeks to go until the challenge begins and I wanted to share a few tips and tricks to ease the transition to Lurong Living.

In general, the challenge requires you:

  • Eating more whole foods
  • Removing inflammatory and problematic foods
  • Controlling insulin response (prevent blood sugar spiking)
  • Providing your body with a metabolic reset

Whether you choose to eat at the Elite, Pro or General level is driven by your own personal goals and lifestyle, but hopefully, some of the following information will help you eat as clean as possible without feeling too overwhelmed.


 

Resources

There are A LOT of eating clean recipe books out there. These are four of my favorites and I use them weekly. If anyone wants to take a look at them, let me know and I’ll bring them to the gym.

My top 3 go-to websites for recipes and information are:
elanaspantry.com

thepaleomom.com

paleohacks.com

The Lurong Challenge website has a great recipe book and meal plan that you can use.



Food

If you’re like me, when you decide to change something about your diet, you focus on all of the foods you can’t eat anymore. The clean eating movement is booming right now and there are constantly new products and recipes appearing, not to mention the increasing choices of grass-fed meat and wild caught fish in the supermarket, and the continually growing choice of organic fruits and vegetables.

I find some of the following products help keep me on track and are a lifesaver if travelling or short on time.

Organic chicken stock from Costco
Rachel Ray Stock in a Box from Shoprite
A good quality protein powder with no sugar added.
Invest in a Nutribullet and explore tasty smoothies. I have a green smoothie recipe book if anyone wants ideas.

Paleonola from Wholefoods. Eat with almond milk and a few berries - delicious!

Simple Mills almond flour mixes, Primal Kitchen Mayo and Salad Dressing  from Amazon or Thrive market (more about that in a minute). 
Sugar free bacon, Power Snacks and Paleokrunch bars from Whole Foods.

Jones All Natural Sausages, wild caught canned fish and sesame tahini from all markets. Also read the labels on chicken sausage - there are clean versions out there.

Grass fed beef sticks, coconut aminos (great for stir frying)  and grain free wraps from Amazon.

Larabars! Read the ingredients, they are not all clean, but a lot are.

Costco has sliced roast turkey with just salt added.

Amazon and Costco have a great range of products available and I’ve been a member of Thrive Market for over a year. It’s an on line wholesale club featuring healthy food and other non-toxic products. If you want to try any products but don’t think the membership is worth it, ask me to order for you on my membership.

Shoprite carries a great selection of grass fed beef and lamb and their selection of wild caught fish is great.


Surviving the First Few Days

I’m a planner and eating clean requires some planning. The Lurong meal plan can be a big help in that respect but I also add the following items to my refrigerator (clean food goes moldy quickly - keep it in the fridge!):                   

A batch of almond flour pancakes for a quick breakfast.
Bake a loaf of paleo bread for breakfast or lunchtime. I love elana’s pantry paleo bread recipe
Make a simple salad. Whisk together 3 tbsps each of lemon juice and olive oil, 2 tbsps dijon mustard and ¼ tsp each of salt and pepper. Add 1 bunch of chopped kale. Coat all leaves and store in airtight container for up to 3 days. Just add some protein and you have a quick lunch or dinner.
Not in the mood for salad? Trader Joe's pre packaged sliced mushrooms, asparagus and red onion in the produce section. Just stir fry on olive oil and add some protein.
Make a batch of salt and pepper crackers from Elana’s pantry for snacking or lunch. Great with guacamole or sesame tahini.

Dreading giving up dairy? Make a chia pudding - remember you can’t eat it straight away!

Finally, a few of us are thinking of coordinating a food swap, as most recipes feed 4-6 people. I’m not quite sure how we will do this yet, but if you’re interested send me an email at bencara2001@yahoo.com, or email with any other questions or a Thrive Market request. Enjoy the Challenge - it’s worth it

Coach Louise

 

 

 

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6 tips to help you enjoy running!

I’ve been a runner for a long time though I only started calling myself one about 5 years ago when I started training for my first half marathon. I thought if I didn’t run several times a week, year-around, and wasn’t doing high mileage, I wasn’t a “real” runner. I was mistaken.

Running the JP Morgan Corporate Challenge last year when I was about 9 weeks pregnant.

Whether you run a little or run a lot, you’re a runner…or you can become one.

 I remember training for my first half marathon and feeling so daunted by the training plan I followed. But it got easier. What was the secret? I just stuck with it. There were days when I was too tired or too sore or something came up and I missed my run– but that was ok. I allowed myself breaks here and there. I just knew I had to “bring it” next time.

Last summer I held a 4-week running clinic with some of my CrossFitters and other non-members to coach them into finishing a 5K- the first 5K for several of them. I hope to be able to carve some time out to do another clinic this Spring or Summer. 

In the meantime, I’m sharing my tips on making running feel a little easier- maybe even a little more enjoyable…so that you get out there and stick with it

  
1) Stay positive: 

If you tell yourself you hate running, running might hate you back. Just kidding. But seriously. If you can run 400 meters, you can run a mile. If you can run a mile, you can run a 5K, etc. 

Believe it and you will do it. 

2) It’s OK to walk!:

This is important because I know some people feel like if you are not running the whole time, then it doesn’t count. Wrong. There is no such rule. And actually walking is great because it allows you to use different muscles and give a break to the muscles you use when you’re running. When you walk you may feel it more in your glutes, whereas when you’re running, you may feel it more in your quads and hamstrings. 

I had my runners last year do run/walk combos to get them ready for the 5K. All of them beat their goals of finishing under a specific time. For example, I had them walk 5 minutes, then run 10 minutes, and so on until they were walking for a shorter amount of time or distance and running for a longer amount of time or distance. Start slow and build up your endurance.

In the first marathon I ran, I incorporated walk breaks and ended up finishing in 4:02, feeling like I could’ve kept going!

3) Breathe:

Many of my CrossFit trainees ask me about this and it’s actually what inspired me to write this post. How you breathe makes a huge difference in how you feel about not only running but any type of exercise that brings your heart rate up. 

The first thing is to make sure you’re taking big yoga-type breaths through your mouth, breathing from your diaphragm or belly rather than just your chest. You need as much oxygen as possible so make sure you take BIG breaths.

You may want to try following a 2:2 pattern where you inhale for 2 steps, exhale for 2 steps. The ratio can vary from person to person depending on speed (in fact, I’ve read about a 3:2 ratio in a running magazine) but it can give you something to pay attention to as you run to make sure you’re breathing correctly. You can find more info on these ratios on http://www.competitor.com and http://www.active.com. 

Just remember to relax and your body will know what to do. 

4) Practice Good Form:

As with any exercise, like CrossFit for example, the better your form, the more you will get out of it and the more you will prevent injuring yourself. When running, stay light on your feet, land toe to mid foot (not your heels!), and keep your chest up.  Keep your shoulders down and pull your navel towards your spine just like you would in CrossFit.

5) Wear the Right Shoes:

Don’t run in 5 year old sneakers! Go to a running store and have one of their trained staff help you find the right shoes for you. Once you find ones that work, stick with them. 

6) Listen to Music:

Play tunes that inspire you and get you revved up. You may find yourself running faster without even realizing it

One last secret I want to share is that I don’t always love running. My husband says the same thing. We love the feeling we get after a run. That sense of accomplishment. But sometimes the run itself sucks! Haha

I hope this post was helpful in getting you started with running I could probably go into more detail on some of these topics so let me know if you have any questions in the comments. Or if anyone has any additional tips they’d like to share, please do so! 

Thank you for reading,

~Julia

Click the button below to visit Coach Julias blog. The petitefastinsta!

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