Survey Says…Beans, Protein, Recovery, and Training

Aimee Lyons of CF KoP at Central East Regionals deadlifting heavy.

Q: I read the grains article, but did not see why beans are bad…??
A: Doing a quick Google search for “lectins” and “phytates,” you’ll find a plethora of information about why beans are not ideal in the human diet. To avoid gut irritation (read as: holes in your intestines), stay away from legumes aka beans. Yes, this includes peanuts (anybody realize how much peanut allergies have increased over the years?) and things like black beans, red beans, soy beans, etc. Technically this also includes green beans and peas, but these are less harmful and would be considered ok to include in your diet. Think about how much you need to cook these things in order to eat them. For instance, black beans need a long time to cook in order to be consumed. Meanwhile, green beans can be eaten raw. This difference is not necessarily a rule when it comes to other foods, but a loose guideline. 

Q: how often, and how much, should I consume protein?
A: This answer depends on your goals, but for the most part, aim for about 1.0 gram of protein per pound of bodyweight per day. If you do the math, it actually comes to a lot of protein (yes, real animal protein is what I’m talking about  – fish, fowl, cattle, etc.) and you might be slightly under or slightly over this amount. Those looking to increase strength significantly should be more up around 1.25-1.5 grams per pound of bodyweight, and those looking at just a maintenance level might be around 0.8-1.0g. I am not much of a believer in counting calories or even macronutrients, but those who want to do a quick analysis can go to FitDay and see exactly what their habits are. This can be useful and even enlightening to realize just how much (or how little) you eat in a day. 

Q: Overtraining/undertraining…when to rest, when to work harder, how to tell when its enough, how to tell when you’re fully recovered
A: While this may not technically be a question, I get what your saying. Some others might ask “I heard CrossFit prescribes 3 days on, 1 day off. Should I do this?” The answer really depends on where your fitness level is currently, and where you want it to be. It also depends on things like nutrition, sleep, types of workouts, etc. I don’t think 3 on/1 off works for everyone because of these variables. I do think it’s important to figure out for yourself what is best. Some people like to do Mon./Wed./Fri. because of work schedules. Others like to just get to the gym when they can. Sometimes your arms might be sore as heck, but if the workout is Tabata squats, you’ll get to the box. Sleep and daily food play huge roles in your recovery, as does post WOD nutrition.  If you need a general rule, I’d say rest if the soreness prevents you from a decent intensity for that particular Workout of the Day. At the same time, do something to be mobile and active so that you can get that blood flowing and recover quicker. Stretch, do yoga, go for a stroll or jog, play with your kids, etc. 

Q: Girls going heavy?
A: Do it. For both guys and girls. As long as you are safe about it, you will increase bone density, gain strength, be faster, lean out, and gain a ton of other benefits. I once heard a great quote, “The only way you’re going to swing a 70# kettlebell is if you swing a 70# kettlebell.” Just do it!


Vibram Five Fingers…for the Office?

Vibram’s Cervinia model for cold weather. Now you can make paleo snow angels!
Now, you already know I’m not crazy about Vibram Five Fingers, but I know a lot of you wear them, so here is an announcement. Word on the street is that Vibrams Five Fingers is coming out with a line of “casual” wear that users can show off in the office, at bars, and yes, even in snow. Designed with the eye-catching separate-toe structure, these are sure to turn heads. New models include laces, kangaroo leather, and more running shoe-like appearances. Prices will be $100-$160 and maybe higher for the leather boots. Apparently they will not be out until fall of 2011, but you can bet loyal VFF followers will be lined up to show them off in social situations. Thanks to Gear Junkie and Birthday Shoes for the heads up!  Hit the jump for more pictures.

talk about athlete’s foot…
For $140, you can be the center of attention at the water cooler
-Do you own a pair of current Vibram Five Fingers? Do you like them? What do you think of the new line of Vibrams? Would you wear them?

Survey Says…Q+A part I

Believe it or not, people actually read this blog. People like Bear Grylls. (I don’t actually have any proof of this, but I’d like to think he does) Some of these fine folks actually write in requests for topics or have questions that they submit in the top right corner form. Whenever I get these in, I first think, “Don’t they have anything else better to do?” After I figure out that they don’t, I then think of these elaborate posts where I dive into the minute (my-noot, not min-ut) details to answer their questions. Then it’s two weeks later and I haven’t written anything. So I’m going to just pretend like I’m in the Hot Seat and fire off answers. So heeeere we go.

Q: I know I want to be healthy and fit but why do I always go for the ice cream and cookies?

A: Your body is literally sensing sugar and all derivatives of it as a drug. Opiate sensors in your brain treat sugar like crack. Yes, coming off a sugar-laden diet will be tough and not unlike going through withdrawal, but doing so will keep you from unpleasant things such as Diabetes, cancer, and other nasty maladies. For those that have the CrossFit Journal, Nicole Carroll wrote a classic piece titled “Getting Off the Crack.”

Q: Eggs. Good part of a healthy diet? Is there a limit to how many you should eat?
A: Indeed, eggs are a great, cheap source of protein. No limit, just make sure you eat the whole egg. (exceptions are people with autoimmune diseases where eggs will irritate them) The more you cook it, the more nutrients you lose. Ideally, you are cooking over low temps in coconut oil, making over easy eggs.  If you are even thinking about asking me about cholesterol and eggs and heart attacks, read this post first. If you want to know the most efficient way to boil eggs and have them for the whole week of work, hit up this link. 

Q: What’s the deal with calories?
A: Oh boy, you just had to go there. This I’m actually going to save for one of those mythical longer posts, but essentially they don’t matter nearly as much as you think. Calorie counting has not, is not, and will not work for people looking to lose weight in a sustainable manner. If you want a thorough, yet readable explanation why, hit up Gary Taubes’ new book, “Why We Get Fat.”  Or just wait for that post from me.

Q: What supplements do you take?
A: Daily, I take fish oil and Vitamin D. I forget to take magnesium consistently, but would recommend it. If I am going through a really tough workout, I might have some BCAAs (branch chain amino acids), but don’t take them consistently. For the nitty gritty details and my take on fish oil, Vit D, and magnesium, hit up this link. 

Q: What makes the earth go round?
A: Love. And steak.

……to be continued (as long as you keep asking questions)