How to Save Money on Groceries: Comparison Shopping

Save on your grocery bill!

Inflation, recession, inflation, recession—you can’t check the news without hearing the words.

Money is on everyone’s mind these days, and I’m sure you’ve noticed rising prices at the grocery store.

Can you do anything to “work around” inflation and cut back on the costs of healthy food?

Yes!

Here’s one way to save money: Find the best prices on your staple items.

It’s common to get into a routine: Head to the same store and buy the same stuff without looking at the price. But you’ll find a lot of variety among stores—even those less than a mile apart.

Check out the chart below. It was created using online shopping systems at two stores in close proximity. To get from one to the other, you’d need about five minutes on a bike or two minutes in a car, so the fuel and time costs of a second stop aren’t extreme.

Item

Store 1 (Mega Retail Center)

Store 2 (Grocery Only)

7 bananas

$2.10

$2.38

7 Honeycrisp apples

$8.33

$14.56

2 cucumbers

$3.34

$1.98

Broccoli crowns (500 g)

$3.30

$2.75

1 lettuce head

$1.97

$2.99

Lean ground beef (500 g)

$5.80

$7.70

Chicken breast (500 g)

$6.45

$8.80

12 large eggs

$3.48

$3.79

2 L 2% milk

$3.77

$3.79

Total

$38.54

$48.74

Savings at Store 1: $10.20.

That’s a significant number, and it would be much greater if you bought larger quantities of some items. For example, if you had to buy twice as much ground beef and you did it at Store 1, your savings would jump from $1.90 to $3.80 on that item alone.

But you can find even more money.

What if you used your bike to hit both stores and bought only the cheaper items from each store? That would give you a small workout plus a total of $36.63. That’s another $1.91 saved—and remember, that number would increase significantly if you bought larger quantities of the items with a sizeable difference in price, such as chicken and apples.

Let’s go even further.

What if you bought 7 Gala apples at the cheaper store instead of Honeycrisps? That’s $6.93 instead of $8.33—a savings of $1.40. And the 3-lb. bulk bag of Red Delicious apples? It’s $5.97. If we assume each Honeycrisp or Gala apple is 120 g each, you’re getting 521 g more in the bulk bag that’s already cheaper to start.

You can make other substitutions, too.

For example, at Store 1, bone-in chicken thighs are $3.94 for 500 g. You can actually figure out cost per unit of edible portion so you know if the thighs are indeed cheaper once you account for the bones, skin and gristle you don’t eat. Check out this PDF from the Texas Agricultural Extension Service if you want to dig in: “Cost and Yield Comparisons of Ready-to-Cook Chicken Products.”

Quick tip: Using our online shopping cart and the info from Texas, 755 g of bone-in chicken thighs will give you about the same yield as 500 g of boneless, skinless chicken breast, but you’ll save 51 cents if you buy the thighs.

So let’s redo our table with the cheapest options at each store and a few substitutions:

Item

Cost and Location

7 bananas

$2.10 (Store 1)

3 lb. Red Delicious apples

$5.94 (Store 1)

2 cucumbers

$1.98 (Store 2)

Broccoli crowns (500 g)

$2.75 (Store 2)

1 lettuce head

$1.97 (Store 1)

Lean ground beef (500 g)

$5.80 (Store 1)

Bone-in chicken thighs (755 g to obtain 500 g edible portion)

$5.94 (Store 1)

12 large eggs

$3.48 (Store 1)

2 L 2% milk

$3.77 (Store 1)

Total

$33.73

Additional savings over Store 1 shopping with initial selections: $4.81.

This two-store plan with revised selections produces a savings of $15.01 when compared to the costs of filling your cart just at Store 2.

The point of this simple exercise: You can probably find ways to save money on groceries.

If you always hit the same store and buy the same items without looking at the price, you might be spending too much. With a little extra effort, you’ll be able to drop your grocery bill.

We saved $15 here on small quantities of just nine basic items. Imagine how fast the savings will add up if you’re feeding two to five people. Or if you wait for sales or clip a few coupons.

If inflation and recession talk have got you down, take action in the grocery store aisles so you can eat well without breaking the bank!

Do you need more guidance on your health and fitness journey on this path of life? Come sit down with Beaux Dyson and let’s see what that path could look like for the NEW you: CLICK HERE

How Eating Whole Foods Changed My Life??

For optimal functioning, the human body needs fats, proteins, carbohydrates, and water to transport them. These are the main sources of energy that fuel the cells so that all the body’s functions are performed. Unfortunately, most food is now being overprocessed and has undergone so many modifications it is unrecognizable. This is done because of flavoring preferences or for ease in preparation.

 

Processing is also done to ensure the food retains its flavor or freshness, as many foods remain on store shelves for long periods of time. These processes usually entail the use of preservatives and other chemicals that can be harmful to our health. 

 

This is why I highly recommend adherence to a whole foods diet for health and human performance,  both in and outside of the gym. With numerous advocates and programs that we have for healthy living at CrossFit Alanis, you probably have already heard or read about the consumption of whole foods 

 

Whole foods are not genetically modified or chemically altered. When we talk about whole foods, it means that fruits and vegetables are grown with minimal chemical intervention. Ideally, we strive to consume organically-grown produce.

 

Meats obtained from free-range or pasture-raised animals also belong to the whole foods category. If meat is sourced from factory-farmed animals, there is a greater than 100% chance that they were fed with hormones, antibiotics, and other chemical additives. Feedlot-raised animals are fed a high-grain diet, and this is almost always obtained from non-organic sources and is quite often GMO grain.

 

If you choose to pursue a whole foods diet, it means eating foods in their most natural state. prepared and cooked without the use of additives and other artificial flavor-enhancing agents.

So what are a few of the benefits if you follow this diet?…

 

Our Bodies Obtain More Nutrients

 

When you eat whole foods, your body has more access to unaltered vitamins, minerals, and other nutritional content, obtaining the most amount of nutrients from the food eaten. For example, if you compare fresh juice sourced from organic oranges to one from a bottle with hard-to-pronounce ingredients on the label, the first option will more likely give you a higher dose of Vitamin C in the form most needed and easily assimilated by your body.

 

We Minimize Our Risks Associated With Processed Foods

 

Eating whole foods will minimize your body’s risk of being exposed to the dangers associated with ingesting preservatives and additives. A common example of preservatives is nitrate. This is often used in meat products to prevent bacterial growth. However, according to the U.S Environmental Protection Agency, excessive intake of this preservative leads to increased risks of cancer. Nitrates are commonly found in bacon, ham, sausage and hotdogs. 

 

We Find It Easier To Manage Our Weight

 

While we’re watching our weight or trying to lose weight, whole food consumption is the best way to go. Processed foods that are high in calories and low in fiber are known to contribute to weight gain and obesity, due to the fact that foods that have no fiber are less likely to make you feel full and sated. In turn, you increase your tendency to eat more than you need to. 

 

We Spend Less When We Adhere To A Whole Foods Diet

 

Although processed foods reduce the hassle of preparation because they can be eaten in an instant, the preservatives and other chemicals added add to the higher production costs.  These costs will then be shouldered by you, the buyer. 

Wouldn’t it be better to just buy an apple and eat it raw than fall in line at your favorite smoothie shop for a sugar-laden apple-flavored drink? With processed foods, you are also paying for the packaging that your body does not even consume. 

 

At least with whole foods, you are only buying what you eat, which includes all the nutrients and benefits to your health, so it’s worth every cent spent. Whole foods won’t subject you to side effects and health problems commonly linked to processed foods, which means fewer visits to the doctor and less money spent on medicines.

 

We Have Reduced Risk Of Diseases

 

Whole foods not only give you vitamins and minerals, but also provide your body with much-needed phytochemicals. Phytochemicals can be found in a wide variety of fruits, plants, and grains. Ingesting foods that contain phytochemicals lessens your risk of contracting cardiovascular disease. It also protects your body from the risks of cancer and type-2 diabetes. Bright colored fruits and vegetables are excellent sources of phytochemicals. 

 

We Are Spared From The Dangers Of Sugar 

 

One great advantage of being on a whole foods diet is that you will spare yourself from the dangers of excessive sugar intake. You will be eating more fruits and vegetables that contain natural sugar, and their fiber content helps offset the adverse effects of sugar. Processed foods are often devoid of fiber and taste sweet due to the added sugars, so it is easy to overeat these products. Regularly ingesting processed, sugar-laden foods is when health problems can start. 

 

Generally, maintaining a whole food diet prevents diseases and promotes overall well-being. If you aim to make positive changes to your diet, a simple and healthy way is to start with eating primarily whole foods. 

 

~ Beaux Dyson is a BC Holistic Health Practitioner, Certified CrossFit Trainer L3  and Master Nutritionist at CrossFit Alanis in Wylie, Texas

 

How To Build Muscle on a Plant Based Diet

Muscle builders and weight training enthusiasts typically assume that it is difficult to build muscle on a plant based diet, given its lack of animal-based protein. However, what they don’t realize is that plant based diets feature plenty in the way of plant-based proteins. Moreover, plant proteins contain very little fat as compared to meat that can elevate cholesterol levels and increase the risk of a heart attack.

 

It is protein that builds muscle NOT meat. 

 

Protein contains essential amino acids that are the building blocks of muscle. The body does not distinguish where the protein comes from, and meat is certainly not the only source.

 

For example, a 4-ounce piece of beef liver, beef ribs, or ground beef contains approximately 30 grams of protein. You can obtain about this same amount of protein from soy products, namely edamame and tempeh, both of which provide 29 grams and 16 grams respectively for 4 ounces.

 

There are in fact many serious bodybuilders that are vegan, meaning they eat absolutely no animal products of any kind. Typically, animal protein is filled with unhealthy fat, and since fat intake is of a special concern for those building muscle, a plant based or vegetarian diet offers lower fat plant based proteins.

 

How Much Protein?

 

Athletes should consume 0.7 to 1 gram of protein per pound of lean muscle to build muscle and increase its size. 

 

A Goal That Is Realizable

 

Therefore, the idea of building muscle on a plant based diet is realizable if you know the nutrient information for various kinds of plant based foods. Therefore, the idea that vegetarians and vegans exhibit scrawny, weakly physiques could not be further from the truth, especially when those physiques have been sculpted through strength training.

 

In 2011, plant based strongman Patrik Baboumian of Germany proved that vegan athletes could be exceptionally strong as he hoisted an impressive, record-breaking 1,212.54 pounds over an area of almost three yards (32.8 feet to be exact). 

 

Because protein is the key ingredient needed for gaining and maintaining muscular strength, bodybuilders and weight trainers require regular intake of protein to feed muscle the nutrition it needs to grow strong and get bigger. So, YES,  you can follow a plant based diet and meal plan that features protein-rich foods as a part of your weight training and bodybuilding regimen.

 

Break Up Meals

 

It is best to break up meal times into several small meals during the day. Include macronutrients, such as fats and carbs, to maintain the energy needed for intense workouts and activities.

 

In order to achieve physique goals, CrossFit Alanis recommends that our athletes consume a ratio of 30/30/40 of protein/fat/carbohydrates. 

 

Plant Based Protein Rich Foods

 

Some of the plant based, protein-rich foods that bodybuilders can use to build muscle or weight trainers can eat to build strength include these healthy choices…

 

Nuts and Nut Butters 

 

When it comes to building muscle, you can’t go wrong with nuts as ½-cup supplies as much as 15 grams of protein and healthy fats for heart health and energy during grueling workouts.

 

All nuts are protein rich, and the lower fat varieties include peanuts, walnuts, and almonds. You can select from so many kinds of nuts to eat that they become an unavoidable food source for building muscle. 

 

Of course, some weight trainers are allergic to nuts. However, for anyone who is immune from the allergens, nuts are an ideal accompaniment to a muscle builder’s diet.

 

Add nuts to salad, grab a handful as a snack. Use nut butters on whole grain toast, and fruits. There is even plant based nut cheese. 

 

Beans

 

Beans such as pinto beans, navy beans, black beans, and black-eyed peas along with lentils are high quality protein sources that are much lower in fat than animal proteins. 

 

1 cup of black beans has 15 grams of protein and only 1 gram of fat.

 

They support muscle strength and growth and provide various other essential nutrients the body needs, such as calcium, iron and fiber. 

 

Other great beans include winged beans, kidney beans, chickpeas and hummus, and garbanzo beans.

 

Tempeh and Tofu 

 

1 cup of tempeh contains almost 31 grams of protein and 18 grams of fat. 1 cup of tofu contains 20 grams of protein and 12 grams of fat.

 

These plant-based soy proteins contain the same essential amino acids as beef. They can be used to make a wide variety of tasty dishes and to replace meat in traditional recipes.

 

Quinoa

 

While quinoa does not contain the same amount of protein as tempeh, this whole grain superfood does contain the nine essential amino acids needed for body building purposes and a whopping 24 grams of protein per cup. 

 

Moreover, the selection of quinoa is seemingly endless as there are 120 featured varieties. Quinoa also provides plant based bodybuilders with plenty of carbs for those long, intense workouts.

 

Greek Yogurt

 

6 ounces of nonfat or low-fat Greek yogurt contains 16 grams of protein along with lots of calcium, an ideal protein source for those vegetarians who eat dairy. 

 

Vegetables

 

Soybean sprouts, lentil sprouts, soybeans, and leafy greens are also high quality sources of plant proteins and provide various essential nutrients, such as antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. 

 

Include green peas, corn, sun-dried tomatoes, spinach, kale, broccoli, cowpeas, and lima beans, Brussel sprouts, mushrooms, artichokes and asparagus in your diet regularly to get the benefit of these protein rich plant foods.    

 

As you can see, many great plant proteins will support your muscle training efforts, so NOW YOU HAVE PERMISSION to eliminate meat and animal products from your diet and go strength training!

 

  • CrossFit Alanis’s Head Coach and Practitioner Beaux Dyson has been leading a plant based lifestyle since 2017. Sit down with Coach by scheduling your NO-Sweat Intro at http://CrossFitAlanis.com

 

What is Meant by Holistic Development?

Holistic development is the development of the ‘whole self’. To gain a better understanding on what holistic development means let us first define the term holism. In philosophy, holism is the theory that different parts of a whole are interconnected, and that they cannot exist independent of each other.

However, it would be difficult to understand these parts without taking into consideration the whole which is perceived as the total of all parts.

For example, in natural medicine, holism refers to treating a person’s illness while considering other factors, such as psychological and environmental, rather than just merely treating the visible symptoms. To overcome the condition, the patient is treated as a whole, with all the connecting parts having a role.

So, by these definitions, holistic development refers to how every aspect or part of a person’s life is interconnected. Each part is affected by, and also affects, other parts.

All these parts combine to make up what this person is or will be, whether it be an infant, child, or a mature adult. Holistic development also incorporates a comprehensive learning approach whereby a person’s physical, mental, emotional, and social needs are not just met, but continuously improved.

Understanding the Basics of Holistic Development

Physical Development

Let’s take a look at what holistic physical development means by looking at how children develop. The physical development of a child includes physical growth, such as increase in height and body mass. It also includes control of muscle movements, such as coordination and strength development.

If you’re a parent, you can help your child’s physical development in a positive way, by encouraging the interest in sports and exposing them to activities that help them hone and develop their physical skills.  

Mental Development

Mental development refers to a person’s thinking and comprehension. It also involves the development of analytical thinking, logic, and memory skills. Again, let’s look at a child’s development.

Developing this aspect does not mean that you have to force your child to learn complex mathematical algorithms or play complicated mind games. If you do, there can be a risk that your child may become reluctant in some areas of learning. When overwhelmed, children and adults alike may shut off instead of accepting new and possibly essential knowledge.

Mental development can be encouraged positively by providing stimulating mind games that suit the child’s age, comprehension, interests and preferred style of learning.

Emotional Development

Emotional development ultimately results in emotional intelligence and emotional maturity. This enables a person to respond in a manner that is appropriate to the situation or circumstance, providing the best possible outcome for the person and anyone else involved. Emotional intelligence allows a person to appreciate life’s gifts and to experience more joy, and less destructive negative behaviors.

Emotional development includes the ability to learn and know how to control emotions at the appropriate times. Learning how to control anger and emotional upset, for example, makes a person happier within. If they can control emotional outbreaks and understand why they feel the way they do at certain times, it will help them develop emotional wellness.

Developing the ability to manage different emotions will help prepare a person face complex issues throughout their life.

Social Development

Social development refers to how an individual interacts and communicates with others. It involves the ability to develop, maintain and nurture relationships.

Social development isn’t ‘developed’ through individual efforts. It involves the concerted efforts of family, friends and the people in the community. The knowledge and beliefs you have about yourself are largely influenced by the society in which you live and are surrounded by.

It Is All Holistic

None of the above areas can be either improved or degraded in isolation. If one area is modified for better or worse, there will be compounding effects on the other aspects also. This is the beauty of holistic development – working to improve any area of your life will have great benefit (often unexpected) in other areas too!

Beaux Dyson is a board certified Holistic Health Practitioner (HHP), Certified CrossFit Trainer (CF-L3) and Master Nutritionist (AFPA) – Schedule a chat HERE!

How to Dominate Your Next Rowing Workout! (Do this – Don’t do that)

At CrossFit Alanis we use the Concept2 Rowers to take the place of running for a number of reasons. Here, we’ll walk through some of the most common rowing machine mistakes and provide you with the fixes, helping you to reap the benefits of rowing more effectively.

Firstly, embark on your workout journey with some basics of indoor rowing technique. Rowing is a learned movement, but it’s quite simple. However, if you haven’t acquired the basic technique properly, it’s easy to make mistakes.

Secondly, learn the most common mistakes people make when using a rowing machine and the quick fixes. Increase your awareness and avoid being a victim of these common rowing mistakes.

Rowing Machine Mistakes and Fixes:

Rowing Mistakes: #1 – Rowing with Your Arms Only

Among the most common misconceptions about rowing is that it’s all about the arms. When using a rowing machine for the first time, new rowers tend to let your arms do all the work. However, it’s the exact opposite.

  • Rowing engages 86 percent of your muscles. Each stroke involves 65 to 75 percent legs (glutes, quadriceps, calves) and 25 to 35 percent upper body (arms, pectorals, abdominals, upper back) effort.

Why Fix It?

Reason #1: If you start up the rhythm with your arms, you’ll put a severe strain on your upper body. It will then lead to an injury.

Reason #2: As the rowing machine is centered around your legs. The movement is most definitely responds better to a push. A powerful leg drive starts every stroke and mobilizes your quadriceps, hamstrings, and gluteals to fire up to push you along. Thus, you can create more power and burn more calories.

How to Fix It?

Push, Don’t Pull!

Change the way you approach this movement. Push with your legs and followed by a slight backward hip hinge. Then follow through with a pull using your arms all while keeping the core muscles engaged. Use your whole body to create a proper rowing form. It’s important to use the power of your legs for each stroke by pushing against the foot panels where your feet are strapped in.

 

Rowing Mistakes: #2 – Hunching Your Back

Many rowers row with improper posture on the rowing machine. Most commonly, the rowing machine mistakes come in hunching your back. It causes the shoulders to rise, the chest to sag, and the lower back to slump.

hunching back while rowing will cause back pain and more injuries

If you’ve got a bad habit of hunching over at your desk, odds are good that your body will naturally assume that same position when you sit down at a rower.

You would never want to hunch your back during a Squat or a Deadlift. Likewise, you want to keep your shoulders down and back and your spine in an upright, neutral posture as you go through the rowing stroke.

Why Fix It?

Reason #1: Hunching your back means your muscles aren’t given the space they need. You’re not using the full potential of those muscles. Moreover, you’re putting strain on your back, which will cause low back pain.

Reason #2: Rowing exercises help improve heart and lung function. However, a hunched back will significantly reduce lung capacity.

How to Fix It?

During your workout, focus on engaging your core so that you’re in a strong, supported position. By turning on your abs, you can keep yourself upright and your spine will be always in neutral.

Relax your shoulders but not arch or hunch. In this way, your shoulders can pull back and down.

Work on your posture during your regular day will also help you stop slouching your back when you work out on the rower.

Or, try this: Picture your body as the hand of a clock. Ideally, rower’s happy hour served between 11 o’clock and 1 o’clock. It’s a metaphor describing the positions of your back while rowing. It’s in a 1 o’clock position at “the catch” and an 11 o’clock position at the finish or full extension.

rower’s happy hour for served between 11 o’clock and 1 o’clock for the back positions

Rowing Mistakes: #3 – Extreme Layback

In order to get length in the stroke, you might be inclined to pull the handle all the way to the face, resulting in an extreme layback. This is also a mistake most rowers make at the end of the drive phase or the finish phase.

Why Fix It?

Reason #1: An extreme layback is a weak position. It doesn’t contribute powerful length to your stroke. As the power is lost in this case and you don’t perform an effective stroke.

Reason #2: You’re putting strain on your lower back and hip and will result in muscle soreness, lower back pain, and butt pain.

How to Fix It?

Get long in the front, while keeping the knees just under the arms, the hamstrings loaded and the back tight. Engage your core to find a powerful and comfortable finish.

 

Rowing Mistakes: #4 – Mixing Up the Sequence of Movements

You mix up the sequence of movements and row in the wrong order.

On the drive phase of the stroke, do you use your bodies or your arms too soon.

Are you firing your arms and legs at the same time, leaning back before your legs have finished pushing, or not bringing your arms back out until after your legs are bent at the catch.

Why Fix It?

Reason #1: There is a proper rowing machine technique to follow. If you start out with the wrong pattern, then you might mess up the entire workout.

Reason #2: If you’re ALL SYSTEMS GO, you could be putting unnecessary strain on your upper body and back.

How to Fix It?

Whether you follow the right order? You can try to row without strapping your feet into the machine. If you can’t keep your feet in contact with the footholds, something is out of order.

Focus on pushing with the legs first, hinging your upper body slightly backward, then pulling your arms into your chest at the bottom of your ribcage.

Go through the same order in reverse on the recovery portion of the stroke—arms away, rocking upper body forward, then bending your legs into position to begin the next stroke.

When you hop on a rowing machine, follow a 6-word mantra for the sequence of performing a correct stroke, i.e., “legs, core, arms” and then “arms, core, legs“.

Follow this sequence and stick to it. Slow down, and get the right rhythm.

 

Rowing Mistakes: #5 – Going Too Fast

If your seat bangs into the back of your heels with every stroke, or if you go too fast to get the full range of motion, you might want to slow things down.

Just because you’re rowing at 32 strokes per minute doesn’t mean you’re creating bigger output or producing more power. Rushing the process can not help you achieve success in rowing.

Why Fix It?

Being the fastest isn’t necessarily equivalent to having the best workout.

If you practice rowing, you will be able to row faster and with more confidence. You also want to make sure you also have good comprehension as well. It’s much better to be slow and correct than be fast and make tons of mistakes.

If you’re slow and correct, you can easily improve the way in which you work out on the rowing machine. But first, you’ve got to practice. Eventually, you’ll feel like you can row like a pro!

How to Fix It?

Establish a rhythm. Technically, the ratio of your stroke should be 1:2 (drive, recovery), expending maximum energy then relaxing before taking your next stroke.

Slower, full strokes will win the race! In order to reap the best results, don’t rush. Create a controlled speed and go slightly slower to make sure you’re rowing with the correct form.

Just like the Olympic rower Stephen King said once: “The concept is learning how to turn those muscles on and off at the right timing in order to actually create the biggest output. And that’s where you’re going to become most successful. Slow things down, let technique be the primary focus, and the number will come later.”

 

Rowing Mistakes: #6 – Not Warming Up and Cooling Down

Work out hard without getting your body prepared or stop your indoor rowing workout abruptly without cooling down. Either of them is a no-no in any fitness situation.

Why Fix It?

If you don’t warm up before exercising, this will keep you from getting the maximum benefit from your effort and may even put you at risk of injury. Working hard without warming up can cause unnecessary stress and strain on your muscles, especially your heart.

If you stop your indoor rowing workout abruptly without cooling down, your muscles will suddenly stop contracting vigorously. This can cause blood to pool in the lower extremities of your body, leaving your blood without as much pressure to be pumped back to the heart and brain.

How to Fix It?

A rowing session should incorporate a good warm-up and cool-down.

You can start with some reverse lunges, pushups, hamstring stretches, and walkouts. Add a push-up when you’re in the plank position to help open up your hamstrings, lower back, and chest, as well as fire up your abs. You may also warm up by rowing lightly for 3–5 minutes.

 

A good cool-down should be down for the main muscle groups used in your rowing session. It should take them through a similar range of motions used in the main session but at a gradually decreasing intensity, allowing your body to resume its regular heartbeat and breathing patterns in its own time. Stretches to develop flexibility should also be done as part of a cool down.

 

Rowing Mistakes: #7 – Forgetting to Breathe

It may seem like a given, but many people tense up through their traps and end up holding their breath.

Why Fix It?

Like swimming or running, rowing is a rhythmic activity-and syncing up your rhythm with your breath can make it all feel much easier and help you recover more quickly.

How to Fix It?

Stay Relaxed & Breathe

Focus on staying relaxed in the shoulders and pulling with your lats, as well as breathing on every pull or every other pull.

It’s helpful to coordinate the timing of your breathing with the movements of the stroke.

  • During low-intensity rowing (one breath)—Exhale gradually on the drive, expelling all remaining air at the finish. Inhale on the recovery.
  • During high-intensity rowing (two breaths)—Exhale as you finish the drive. During the recovery, inhale, then exhale quickly. Inhale again just before the catch.

Whatever you do, don’t forget to breathe!

 

Rowing Machine Mistakes: #8 – Improper Grip of the Handle

Very few novice rowers hold their handles correctly. Some clamp on so tightly (death grip) that you can see their knuckles turn white. Others hold the handle so loosely and actually take their fingers off the handle at odd moments (piano playing). Quite a few people even hold the handle with an underhand grip.

Why Fix It?

The improper grip can easily lead to blisters and muscle strain. grip like this will create unnecessary tension in your forearms.

How to Fix It?

Your fingers should wrap around the handle so your second knuckles face forward with your thumbs on the underside of the handle. The top of your wrist should also be completely flat, and not rolled to the outside.

Other tips for a proper grip:

WIDE GRIP with your pinkies on the handle not dripped off the outside.

THUMBS UNDER.

RELAXED GRIP, neither death gripping nor piano playing the handle, but have a nice loose grip.

PRONATED GRIP, also known as OVERHAND GRIP, meaning you grip the handle with your palms down.

Mastering the BEST WAY TO HOLD A HANDLE will give you a better rowing experience.

Right Catching Position

Rowing Mistakes: #9 – Rowing behind Your Hips

Do you row with your back curved and your hips rolled forward? You don’t sit correctly and you are rowing behind your hips.

Why Fix It?

Reason #1: If you don’t sit correctly, you sabotage your power.

Reason #2: Improper sitting may lead to injury.

How to Fix It?

Think of your torso as stacked right on top of your hips. Try practicing rowing with only your torso. With your legs and arms extended, hinge backward and forward from the hips.

By isolating the second part of the drive phase—when your torso hinges after your legs straighten—you can focus on feeling the seat move under you.

 

The Bottom Line

If you’ve been making these common rowing machine mistakes, don’t worry. You are not alone and you do have the power to fix them. Just take a deep breath and tell yourself that making mistakes is just a part of the learning process.

Take the lessons you’ve learned, try the fixes, and row forward. When you turn each mistake into a learning opportunity, you’ll grow stronger and more capable with each mistake you make.

When you get on to the rowing machine, change the height of the monitor to eye level and adjust the footplate to help improve your posture, sit more comfortably and get a good starting position.

Pay careful attention to your stroke, avoid those common rowing machine mistakes that prevent you from reaping the full benefits of the rowing machine. Practice and perfect your form session by session. Before you know it, you’ll get the most out of your time on the rowing machine and reap all its benefits.

 

Ready to take that first step to the new, improved, AWESOME version of you? Come in and sit down with Coach one-on-one and tell us where you want go! Book your No Sweat Intro Here!

How Not To Absolutely Ruin Your Body…Go To Sleep

There is so much of an abundance of scientific evidence that proves the health benefits of getting quality sleep, that you have to be out of your gourd to not heed my advice!

 

Sleeping for at least 8 hours improves your health considerably.

 

If you are reading this for the first time, I’m going to let you get away with 7 hours, for now,  but the more, the better, so our objective from this point, honestly, is to shoot for 9, OK? And you’ll know why very quickly. 

 

Sleep is the ultimate cure-all. During a good night’s sleep, your body has the chance to relax muscles, repair damage, detoxify, fortify your immune system, balance out hormones and neurotransmitters, and completely restore itself. Athlete’s, make no mistake about it, your gains are not only built in the gym, they are in fact built at night, in bed. 

 

Alternatively, chronic sleep deprivation is so problematic; it increases the risk of disease, obesity and so many other serious illnesses, which is why it is crucial to get high-quality sleep every night.

 

If you are coming down with a cold, fighting off the ‘Rona, dealing with a stressful period in your life, or trying to diet and lose weight, the success of your day directly depends on if you slept well the night before. This is Non-Negotiable, gang.

 

Unfortunately the reverse is also true, and at least one-third of Americans live in a bleary eyed state of sleep deprivation. 

 

We deteriorate with chronic sleep deprivation: heart health, blood sugar metabolism, libido and reproductive health, psychological health and skin appearances all go to pieces. Just one or two nights of sleep deprivation diminish your cognition, mood and immune function. Sleeping less than 7 hours a night triples your risk of viral infection. On the other hand, if you get extra rest when you are sick, you WILL recuperate much more quickly.

 

Sleeping for just 5 hours per night can cause you to up your calorie intake, make it harder to stick to a healthy diet and make good self-care decisions, and cause you to gain a whooping 2 pounds in a matter of 5 days compared with sleeping 8 hours a night. 

 

Worse, researchers have found that workers who slept 5 or fewer hours per night had DOUBLE the risk of death from all causes versus those who averaged 7 or more hours.

 

The flip side of this dismal scenario is that getting adequate sleep (which is SOOOO enjoyable (and free) improves almost every aspect of health you can imagine. Again, as I told you before, I need you to aim for at least 7 hours per night and your perfect objective is 9 hours per night.  You’ll begin to reap the rewards almost immediately, I promise!

 

Yet, unfortunately, sleep remains under-appreciated by many people, as they continue to steal their sleep time for ‘catch-up’ work or playtime. Therefore, it’s not surprising that the increase of Alzheimer’s and other mental health issues are on the rise.

 

Sleeping Cleans Your Mind

 

A good night’s sleep allows the brain to restore and consolidate memories. Think of your brain as a computer. A computer needs defragging when it gets clogged to help put all the files back into place. Your brain is similar! Scientists have discovered that it is only when a person sleeps that the brain activates its nocturnal cleaning services. Therefore, the brain undergoes its detoxification process during sleep.

 

The Brain’s Cleaning System

 

A group of researchers discovered that the brain’s glymphatic system is highly active during sleep. That’s with a “g”….The glymphatic system basically cleans out the trash, toxins, and waste, which are the primary culprits, not just for Alzheimer’s, but for many other neurological problems. Researchers have also revealed that during sleep the brain removes much of the beta-amyloid protein, that when left to accumulate also contributes to Alzheimer’s disease.

 

Brain Cells Shrink During Sleep

 

Another interesting fact is that brain cells shrink up to 60% during sleep. This shrinkage allows easier cleaning in and around the spaces of the brain’s cells. This means more cerebrospinal fluid can enter the brain, enabling faster and efficient toxin flushing. The cerebrospinal fluids pass through the gaps in between the neurons, then flow through the bloodstream and into the liver for detoxification. This process gets rid of the toxins and wastes for good.

 

During sleep, there are certain parts of the brain that are more active than any other periods within the 24-hour cycle. This is because there are other functions that need to be carried out during sleep besides cleaning…

 

Sleeping greatly dictates what and how much information we either remember or forget. Through sleep, the brain will be able to enhance and/or preserve certain parts of our memory. Research reveals that the memories that have the greatest emotional value will be enhanced through sleep, while those memories with lesser value will be downgraded.

 

People also need to have at least 7-8 hours of sleep so their brains will be able to carry out automatic processes of the body, such as hormone manufacture and secretion, in an optimal manner.

 

Sleep for Skin Health

 

Living in a high-stress state shuts down attention to the skin, and skin friendly nutrients get sent elsewhere. But, your body gives extra TLC to your skin while you sleep, eliminating toxins via an interconnected detoxification system, repairing damage, and generating new skin cells. Signs of sleep deprivation, including dark rings under your eyes and a gaunt, grayish, wrinkled appearance, will show on the skin in just one night, worsening as the deprivation continues.

 

When you sleep, your body  repairs and replenishes the skin. But, it also spends that same time detoxifying your body and when your body’s standard detox organs get overburdened, your skin gets sacrificed and kicked to the side, and we see a loss of vitality, wrinkles, dark circles, rashes and blemishes. Skimping on sleep can begin to wreck your skin within just a day or two, amplifying wrinkles, dulling skin tone and reducing the vitality of your connective tissue

 

Sleep for Bone Health

 

Better bone health requires quality sleep. Yes, diet and exercise play a part, but sleep is a necessary requirement. Sleep is necessary for the production of healthy bone marrow, which contains stem cells that form healthy blood cells. This complex process cannot be performed without sleep. So if you want to have healthy bone marrow, make sure you get plenty of shut-eye.

 

Sleep for Hormone Health

 

Our body is full of hormones, all of which do different, essential things. We have our stress hormones, such as cortisol, adrenaline hormones, our sex hormones, thyroid hormones and more. All these essential hormones are affected by sleep or a lack thereof. If our hormones are out of balance, so too is our health, either mentally or physically. SO, getting the right amount of sleep will help rebalance your hormones and your health.

 

Sleep for Heart and Liver Health

 

Again, sleep is important for two more major parts of our body, the heart, and the liver. The health of these major organs is essential to our total wellbeing, so it makes sense to start caring for them by getting quality sleep.

 

Although sleep appears to be an easy task for the body to perform, it is actually a complex process. It is definitely more than just a period of quiescence for the mind and body.

 

If you want a healthy mind and body, you need to care for it the best and easiest way possible, and that is to sleep! It doesn’t require you to measure food portions or count carbs or calories, or whatever your preference for maintaining a healthy weight may be, or running around the park, or pushing weights at the gym. It simply means making the time to sleep, and sleeping for an adequate period of time.

 

DO THIS!

 

What is Holistic Nutrition?

What is Holistic Nutrition?

Holistic nutrition is one of the fundamentals of living a holistic lifestyle and is a natural way to approach diet and nutrition. Evidence-based studies are used to improve health with proper nutrition.

As a holistic nutritionist, I will look at your medical history, lifestyle habits and emotional health and factor these aspects into your specific diet plan. My goal is to educate and empower you towards better all-round health through the benefits of healthy nutrition.

What ‘Holistic Nutritious’ Foods Do You Eat?

Holistic nutrition helps the body function at its best by feeding it with SOUL foods. The acronym SOUL stands for Seasonal, Organic, Unprocessed and Local. Therefore, if you want to adhere to holistic nutrition, and reap its endless benefits, you can expect to be eating more whole, unprocessed, organic and locally sourced foods.

The reason there is an importance on eating whole and organic foods is because they are heftier in terms of nutritional content, and they are less likely to (or ideally shouldn’t) contain any chemicals and/or preservatives.

This is one of the reasons why sourcing local is an important part of holistic nutrition. You can personally ask the growers or sellers if the purchased goods, such as fruits and vegetables, have come fresh off the farm, and if they have been grown organically.

If they have been grown organically, it means there haven’t been any health-inhibiting chemicals applied at any time.

Whole, Unprocessed Foods

The nutrients obtained from eating whole and unprocessed foods helps ensure the optimal processing of vital body functions. Holistic nutrition puts greater emphasis on the consumption of foods that are excellent sources of the macronutrients which include fats, protein and carbohydrates.

Foods rich in micronutrients are also an important part of holistic nutrition. These micronutrients play a crucial role in the body’s ability to produce and synthesize proteins, enzymes and hormones.

Holistic Nutrition for People with Illness

In relation to health issues, concerns or medical problems, I can sometimes also consult with your medical doctor, as well as my own Medical Advisory Board. Your own medical doctor or professional can help provide better insights about your health history for me. We then work together to get an understanding of the biochemical imbalances that might be contributing to the illness. Together, we can prevent the illness from progressing or from other illnesses arising in the future.

By being provided with a patient’s medical records, I can provide diet recommendations using evidence-based science and sound holistic nutritional principles.

The Role of a Holistic Nutritionist

Holistic nutritionists are committed to adhering to the highest standards of accountability and integrity. By understanding the role of a holistic nutritionist, people can understand what to expect if they follow our principles.

Holistic nutrition is not only about engaging in treating disease or illness, and we do not make unproven health claims or use techniques that are unproven.

The focus is on utilizing nutrition to make the mind and body stronger, more vital, and more resistant to illness and disease. This allows you to overcome any existing conditions and symptoms and buffers you against future health problems.

As your nutritionist, I advise and teach you to consume fresh, natural foods for optimal health through nutrition. There is always an emphasis on educating you, the patient, on the role of better nutrition and the modification of certain lifestyle habits that inhibit optimum health. Your nutrition plan is then based on the particular needs of YOU. and not based on other methods.

***Beaux Dyson is a Board Certified Holistic Health Practitioner (HHP), Cert. Holistic Nutritionist and Certified CrossFit Trainer, L3 in Wylie Texas. Click HERE to schedule a consultation with Beaux at No Charge.

Why Eat Whole Foods, Coach?

Listen Up!

For optimal functioning, your human body needs fats, proteins, carbohydrates, and plenty of water to transport them. These are the main sources of energy that fuel the cells so that all the body’s functions are performed. Unfortunately, most food is now being processed and has undergone many modifications. This is done because of flavoring preferences or for ease in preparation.

Processing is also done to ensure the food retains its flavor or freshness, as many foods remain on store shelves for long periods of time. These processes usually entail the use of preservatives and other chemicals that can be harmful to our health.

This is why adherence to a whole foods diet is highly recommended. With numerous advocates and programs implemented for healthy living, you often hear about the consumption of whole foods around CrossFit Alanis.

Whole foods are not genetically modified or chemically altered. When we talk about whole foods, it means that fruits and vegetables are grown with minimal chemical intervention. Ideally, you can consume organically-grown produce.

Meat obtained from free-range or pasture-raised animals also belong to the whole foods category. If meat is sourced from factory-farmed animals, there is a greater likelihood that they were fed with hormones, antibiotics, and other chemical additives. Feedlot-raised animals are fed a high-grain diet, and this is almost always obtained from non-organic sources and is quite often GMO grain.

If you choose to pursue a whole foods diet, it means eating foods in their most natural state. They are prepared and cooked without the use of additives and other artificial flavor-enhancing agents. Here are a few of the benefits if you follow this diet.

Your Body Will Obtain More Nutrients

When you eat whole foods, your body will have more access to unaltered vitamins, minerals, and other nutritional content. When you do, your body will obtain the most amount of nutrients from the food eaten. For example, if you compare fresh juice sourced from organic oranges to one from a bottle with hard-to-pronounce ingredients on the label, the first option will more likely give you a higher dose of Vitamin C in the form most needed and easily assimilated by your body.

You Minimize Your Deadly Risks Associated With Processed Foods

Eating whole foods will minimize your body’s risk of being exposed to the dangers associated with ingesting preservatives and additives. A common example of preservatives is nitrate. This is often used in meat products to prevent bacterial growth. However, according to the U.S Environmental Protection Agency, excessive intake of this preservative can lead to increased risks of cancer. Nitrates are commonly found in bacon, ham, sausage and hot dogs.

You Will Find It MUCH Easier To Manage Your Weight

If you are watching your weight or trying to lose weight, whole food consumption is the best way to go. Processed foods that are high in calories and low in fiber are known to contribute to weight gain and obesity. This is partly due to the fact that foods that have no fiber are less likely to make you feel full and sated. In turn, you increase your tendency to eat more than you need to.

You Will Spend Less When You Adhere To A Whole Foods Diet

Although processed foods reduce the hassle of preparation because they can be eaten in an instant, the preservatives and other chemicals added add to the higher production costs.  These costs will then be shouldered by you, the buyer.

Wouldn’t it be better to just buy an apple and eat it raw than fall in line at your favorite smoothie shop for a sugar-laden apple-flavored drink? With processed foods, you are also paying for the packaging that your body does not even consume.

At least with whole foods, you are only buying what you eat, which includes all the nutrients and benefits to your health, so it’s worth every cent spent. Whole foods won’t subject you to side effects and health problems commonly linked to processed foods. In other words, fewer visits to the doctor and less money spent on medicines.

You Will Have Reduced Risk Of Diseases

Whole foods not only give you vitamins and minerals. They also provide your body with much-needed phytochemicals. Phytochemicals can be found in a wide variety of fruits, plants, and grains. Ingesting foods that contain phytochemicals lessens your risk of contracting cardiovascular disease. It also protects your body from the risks of cancer and type-2 diabetes. Bright colored fruits and vegetables are excellent sources of phytochemicals.

You Will Be Spared From The Dangers Of Sugar

One great advantage of being on a whole foods diet is that you will spare yourself from the dangers of excessive sugar intake.You will be eating more fruits and vegetables that contain natural sugar, and their fiber content helps offset the adverse effects of sugar. Processed foods are often devoid of fiber and taste sweet due to the added sugars, so it is easy to overeat these products. Regularly ingesting processed, sugar-laden foods is when health problems can start.

Generally, maintaining a whole food diet can prevent diseases and promote overall well-being. If you aim to make positive changes to your diet, a simple and healthy way is to start with eating whole foods.

~ Want to sit down and take a look at your current eating situation together with Coach? Go to https://CrossFitAlanis.com to book your free No-Sweat Intro consultation, now!

Coach’s Seven Elements of Holistic Fitness

Achieving overall health and fitness does not start and stop at eating a healthy diet and engaging in regular exercise. Physical health is just one element out of seven elements of holistic fitness.

Better health can be achieved, and diseases prevented if all seven elements of holistic fitness are addressed. The seven elements are:

  1. Emotional Fitness
  2. Physical Fitness
  3. Spiritual Fitness
  4. Occupational Fitness
  5. Social Fitness
  6. Environmental Fitness
  7. Intellectual Fitness.

Emotional Fitness

 If you can feel happy and smile at the day, rather than wallow in negativity, it will absolutely reduce your stress and allow you to feel more positive. You will be better able to deal with your emotions, and the people and events that trigger them. Instead of overloading yourself with tasks, seek balance by setting time aside for yourself. When you can do this, it will allow you to stop feeling overwhelmed with life and improve your emotional fitness.

Physical Fitness

Physical fitness can be achieved by adhering to the basic requirements of physical health, such as exercising regularly and eating a healthy, nutritious diet. It is also imperative to have quality sleep every night and make absolutely sure you drink plenty of water too!

Spiritual fitness 

Spiritual fitness goes deeper than your religious beliefs. It also includes your values in life. For example, a big part of achieving spiritual fitness can be found in practicing gratitude. Being grateful allows you to become more positive in life and to look at life differently. 

There’s the ancient saying, “I complained because I had no shoes, until I met a man who had no feet.” Acknowledge where you can be grateful for what you have in life. This greatly reduces your risk of developing depression and feelings of worthlessness.

 Occupational fitness

 The majority of the population worldwide are workers. That doesn’t only mean employees, or those that engage in physical labor. Business owners and anyone in the managerial chain is still a worker. Most of us will have to work in our lifetime. What’s important for your occupational fitness is that you evaluate whether the work you do makes you miserable or happy. 

Don’t waste too much time in a career that can cause your health to suffer. Yes, this can be difficult if you think you don’t have a choice. However, you need to make changes if you want change. If your job causes you stress and anxiety, then only you can do something about it. Waiting for someone else to make changes is disempowering, and usually glacially slow.

Social Fitness

 To better understand yourself and your social needs, first identify your own needs and values. Knowing ‘your self’ is paramount in your ability to set your own boundaries. This will help you to establish positive relationships with only the people you want in your life. It will help you connect with like-minded individuals, which are those people who share the same values as you. 

Surround yourself with positive people and keep in contact with your family. However, let go of toxic people that make your life miserable, even if they are family members. Negative or vindictive people can easily drain your energy and emotional fitness, while contributing to your anxiety and stress.  

Getting involved in the community where you live is another way you can boost your social fitness. You may not be a ‘people person’, so this may not be something you would like to do. However, if it is, it will help develop your sense of social consciousness as you become more in touch with the needs of your society and the people living around you. 

Environmental Fitness

 Our environment has a huge impact on our overall health. We can’t be healthy if we live in an unhealthy environment. Just look at fish in a dirty pond, our fate is the same. Therefore, live in a place that not only promotes your own health, but make sure your own personal environment is healthy too. You can start by maintaining cleanliness in your own home and by removing harmful substances. Even if you feel that some things are beyond your control, take charge of the areas where you can influence the outcome.

Intellectual Fitness

 When we stop learning, we stop living. Make it a point to keep learning new skills! Read books, play music, learn a language, or two or three, just don’t stop. If you keep learning, you are not only becoming more educated by the day, but you are also opening your mind to more opportunities and possibilities. You’ll continue expanding your knowledge and values in life. You’ll be exploring a world full of wonder if you allow yourself to. 

There are so many things you can do to improve your intellectual fitness. If you don’t like reading or playing music, don’t let that stop you. Play intellectually stimulating games that sharpen your brain and/or play against other people and sharpen your wit.  

As you can see you can make many changes in your life to develop complete holistic fitness. It all starts with you. Why not start working on one element or all seven elements today, right now? It’s your decision.

Want to sit down with Coach Beaux Dyson for a 30 minute Free Consultation? Go to CrossFitAlanis.com to schedule right away!

What’s the Big Deal With Sleep?

There is plenty of scientific evidence which proves the health benefits of getting quality sleep. Sleeping for at least 8 hours( the more, the better) can improve your health considerably.

Alternatively, chronic sleep deprivation is problematic as it increases the risk of disease, obesity and many other serious illnesses, which is why it is crucial to get highquality sleep every night.

Unfortunately, sleep remains under-appreciated by many people, as they continue to steal their sleep time for catch-up work or playtime. Therefore, it’s not surprising that the increase of Alzheimer’s and other mental health issues are on the rise.

Sleeping Cleans Your Mind

A good nights sleep can greatly help our brain restore and consolidate memories. Think of your brain as a computer. A computer needs defragging when it gets clogged to help put all the files back into place. Your brain is similar! Scientists have discovered that it is only when a person sleeps that the brain activates its nocturnal cleaning services. Therefore, the brain undergoes its detoxification process during sleep.

The Brain’s Cleaning System

A group of researchers discovered that the brain’s glymphatic system is highly active during sleep. The glymphatic system basically cleans out the trash, toxins, and waste, which can be the primary culprit, not just for Alzheimer’s, but for many other neurological problems. Researchers have also revealed that during sleep the brain removes much of the beta-amyloid protein, that when left to accumulate can contribute to Alzheimer’s disease.

Brain Cells Shrink During Sleep

Another interesting fact is that brain cells shrink up to 60% during sleep. This shrinkage allows easier cleaning in and around the spaces of the brain’s cells. This means more cerebrospinal fluid can enter the brain, enabling faster and efficient toxin flushing. The cerebrospinal fluids pass through the gaps in between the neurons, then flow through the bloodstream and into the liver for detoxification. This process gets rid of the toxins and wastes for good.

During sleep, there are certain parts of the brain that are more active than any other periods within the 24-hour cycle. This is because there are other functions that need to be carried out during sleep besides cleaning, and some of these include the following:

Sleep for Brain Health

Sleeping greatly dictates what and how much information we either remember or forget. Through sleep, the brain will be able to enhance and/or preserve certain parts of our memory. Research reveals that the memories that have the greatest emotional value will be enhanced through sleep, while those memories with lesser value will be downgraded.

People also need to have at least 7-8 hours of sleep so their brains will be able to carry out automatic processes of the body, such as hormone manufacture and secretion, in an optimal manner.

Sleep for Bone Health

Better bone health requires quality sleep. Yes, diet and exercise play a part, but sleep is a necessary requirement. Sleep is necessary for the production of healthy bone marrow, which contains stem cells that form healthy blood cells. This complex process cannot be performed without sleep. So if you want to have healthy bone marrow, make sure you get plenty of shut-eye.

Sleep for Hormone Health

Our body is full of hormones, all of which do different, essential things. We have our stress hormones, such as cortisol, adrenaline hormones, our sexual hormones, thyroid hormones and more. All these essential hormones are affected by sleep or a lack thereof. If our hormones are out of balance, so too is our health, either mentally or physically. Therefore, getting the right amount of sleep will help rebalance your hormones and your health.

Sleep for Heart and Liver Health

Again, sleep is important for two more major parts of our body, the heart, and the liver. The health of these major organs is essential to our total well being, so it makes sense to start caring for them by getting quality sleep.

Although sleep appears to be an easy task for the body to perform, it is actually a complex process. It is definitely more than just a period of quiescence for the mind and body.

If you want a healthy mind and body, you need to care for it the best and easiest way possible, and that is to sleep! It doesn’t require you to measure food portions or count carbs or calories, or whatever your preference for maintaining a healthy weight may be, or running around the park, or pushing weights at the gym. It simply means making the time to sleep, and sleeping for an adequate period of time.

Beaux Dyson, CFL3, HHP

Beaux Dyson, CFL3, HHP
CFL3 CrossFit Coach, Master Nutritionist, Holistic Health Practitioner, Father & Husband — Wylie, TX.