Five Tips to Help You Stay On Track

Five Tips to Help You Stay On Track

Recommendations for health and fitness always seem to be changing. Studies conflict each other. One minute a food is a super food, and then you’re not supposed to eat it. New exercise routines that are all the go, and then they say it’s dangerous. This is all tiring and confusing.

Personally, I believe it’s not exactly about the diet or exercise you choose, it’s just that you commit to it and give it a solid go. There’s no “magic pill” for health and wellness.

The secret is find what works for you, then to stick with it.

Problem is, it’s bloody hard to stay committed…and it’s way too easy to fall off the health and fitness wagon. The big problem is it’s hard to stay on a healthy path for weeks, months, and years, but that’s what it takes to achieve real, long-lasting results.

Fortunately, there’s are a few tricks that will help you stick to a new diet and exercise plan. Here’s five tips for sticking with a healthy routine over the long haul.

1. Make an Appointment

One way to create accountability is to hire a personal trainer. Nothing will get you out of bed faster than knowing someone is waiting for you to show up. When I book a training session with a private coach…I’ll never miss it, because I couldn’t stand the thought of them standing alone in an empty gym. Not to mention the wasted money from skipping a session.

If you don’t want to pay for a personal trainer, enlist a friend as a running partner or a gym buddy. Knowing you’ll get a “where are you?” text if you don’t show works wonders.

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2. Plan Ahead

Before I figured out how to make exercise a non-negotiable part of my life, the biggest obstacle preventing me from achieving my goals was a cold winters night…I’d easy stay at home.

In Winter, I’d work all day, come home, and flop down on the couch for “just a minute” and then I’d never get up. One day, I had the bright idea to pack a bag in the morning, run my gear to to work and then get a lift straight from work to the gym. 

It worked. Instead of going home, I’d be straight to training. After training, I walked in the door of my house feeling victorious, instead of useless and unmotivated.

The whole thing was a silly mind-game with myself, because there was nothing actually preventing me from going straight home after work. 

A similar strategy works with nutrition. Sitting around thinking, “I really should eat better,” is not going to work, especially if your house is filled with junk food and you have no idea what good nutrition involves.

Pick a nutrition plan and commit to it. Fill your house with delicious food and “meal prep” for when you know you’ll be short on time. If you’ve put the work into preparing it and spent the money on it already, you’ll be more likely to eat it.

3. Find Something Challenging to Enjoy

Unless you have paralysis of the brain and love being bored out of your mind, the treadmill will never be your path to fitness. It’s just ridiculously boring. There’s nothing to learn from it and there’s absolutely no skill involved.

The treadmill is fine if you live in a war zone and you can’t venture outside, but the secret to committing to an activity is to find something that you enjoy that also requires some level of skill. That’s why people are obsessed with a sport like Golf. Golf gets its hooks in peoples brains and pushes them to keep working for improvement.

We all need activities that stimulate our brains…for me, it’s Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, but yours could be ballet or mountain biking or yoga or rock climbing. If you haven’t found this thing in your life yet, keep looking. The search is fun, and when you find your “thing,” you’ll never be short on motivation again. It’s worth getting off the treadmill and finding your passion.

4. Go Public

A good way to wholeheartedly commit to something is to tell others about your new lease on life. Our Lifestyle Challenges have teams for that reason. A team will keep you motivated, on track, and accountable.

If you’re not currently on one of our Challenges, ask a few people you see regularly to check in on your progress. Knowing one of your mates is going to ask you on Friday if you managed to avoid eating out all week may be the motivation you need to prepare your meals ahead of time on Sunday.

Posting on Facebook or Instagram, while very public, lacks the personal accountability you need to make this work. If it’s a post out to everyone, nobody will take ownership. A better idea is to choose a friend and get them to hold you accountable with regularly scheduled check-ins.

Maybe offer to do the same for them, a good trade-off. Then you won’t feel like you’re putting them out.

5. Spend Some Money

We all know that money can’t buy health, but investing money in your wellness can help you stay committed.

By spending money, you’re more likely to follow through and stay in the game, more so than when you do something for free. Perhaps, a more expensive gym membership might be the thing that finally get’s you to training on more consistent basis.

It doesn’t need to be a huge investment…just not free. Putting money down and getting some skin in the game may help you stay engaged for the entire 6 weeks of a Challenge.

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Taking the Reins of Your Health and Fitness Wagon

Good health isn’t achieved through only one lifestyle change. For example, it’s not enough to change your diet, you also need to exercise, connect with others, and manage stress.

Developing lifelong healthy habits require a mix of strategies. One of these 5 tips by itself may not make the difference, but employing all of them is awesome. If you can make an appointment, plan ahead, find a difficult activity you enjoy, make it public, and invest some money, you have a high chance of success.

Team Work Makes the Dream Work

Team Work Makes the Dream Work

If you workout in a group fitness class or a small group, you’ve probably noticed how effective it can be…as well as enjoyable. I’ve been coaching groups (and joining them myself) for a number of years now and I can honestly say, working out in a group will boost physical performance, enhance pain tolerance, reduce those feelings of discomfort and fatigue, and promote social bonding.

Outside the physical act of exercise, I can also say that being part of a group (team) delivers loads of other benefits. Teams can help us:

  1. Solve problems

  2. Have fun

  3. Create new things

  4. Share ideas

  5. Feel more engaged, connected and inspired

  6. Define our identity and sense of self

  7. Satisfy our innate need to belong

  8. Increase resilience and provide support

  9. Develop empathy and generosity

  10. Improve social cohesion and cooperation

  11. Share meaning and purpose

  12. Better navigate life’s physical and mental stressors

  13. Improve health and well-being

  14. Reduce feelings of depression and anxiety

That’s a pretty good list…But, why does being part of a team makes us more successful?

Behavioural scientists have worked out and pinpointed the characteristics of successful groups and they can now tell us why the good groups work. So now we can use these findings to build teams, groups and support networks to improve our chances of success in all areas of life. Ie., our health/fitness, careers, relationships and personal development.

From an evolutionary perspective, out of a desire to survive, humans instinctively sought out other people and formed tribes. Forming tribes meant we could share food, warmth, and shelter, and better manage the danger of attacks from animals or other tribes.

Now, once these initial survival components were satisfied, humans developed a psychological need to belong. The tribe made us feel included, accepted, and gave us an identity. We could see ourselves as part of something bigger. We shared a sense of purpose. We began to crave the social contact and bonding that group environments provided.

Fast forward to today, and we now spend a lot of our time in groups. In fact, plenty of our everyday activities occur in groups. Working, relaxing, exercising, learning, socialising, or just having fun. From our immediate families, roommates, social circles, gym buddies and work teams to organisations, communities, societies, and cultures…we’re heavily influenced by group dynamics, whether we realise it or not.

However, just because we gather in groups doesn’t automatically make them effective teams. Most of us, at some stage, would have been in a group that damaged, rather than improved, our lives. So, what makes a great team?

First, to better understand team dynamics, let’s take a quick primer on group psychology and the key elements that create effective teams.

1. Behavioural Synchrony

Behavioural synchrony is that feeling of being completely connected to another person. Where you felt on the same wavelength, totally understood, and just clicked.

You’ll come across it when you’re in that flow state with others. You’re in-sync, you’re coordinating each others minds, moving in the same direction.

Even though you can force this synchrony, it can be developed by physically moving together. Exercising, dancing, singing, clapping in time with music, walking in step, or mirroring each other’s posture. These things help arrange group behaviour, enhance cooperation, and strengthen bonds between group members. Building trust.

2. Hive Psychology

Clearly humans can be self-absorbed. We evolved to find solutions that benefit ourselves, usually making us competitive. These traits aren’t naturally good or bad…they’re just part of our psychology that’s helped us survive and thrive.

But, then there’s hive psychology, where we switch our minds from chasing individual needs to looking after group needs. In this state, we think less about “me” and more about “us.”

Obviously, hive psychology draws its name from the behaviour of bees in hives, where groups of bees act cooperatively, cohesively, and selflessly as a single unit to achieve the best result for the hive as a whole. In humans, groups that utilise hive psychology show greater connection, understanding, and relatedness. They also have higher levels of well-being, happiness, and hope. By temporarily thinking less about ourselves directly, we find ourselves ourselves in the group’s shared purpose and thrive in ways not possible on our own.

3. Social Facilitation and Cognition

Have you noticed you tend to behave or perform better when other people are around (or, when you know someone is watching)? This is known as social facilitation. It describes the extent to which our behaviour is enhanced by the mere presence of other people.

That’s why we tend to perform better when exercising with other people, why we tend to eat better when we’re held accountable by others, and why solo entrepreneurs look for co-working spaces to enhance their productivity and creativity.

The Key Elements of a Productive Team

Now that we understand the psychology behind why teams make us more successful, we should think about how. Here some key factors that make up a highly-functioning and well-developed group:

  1. Participating in common activities

  2. Having shared goals

  3. Encouraging collective discussions and conversations

  4. A strong sense of social support

  5. Having mutual empathy and trust

  6. Sharing knowledge with others

  7. Using accountability and responsibility

  8. Having a unified purpose

  9. Promoting cohesive bonds

From this list, think about your team on the challenge, or your teams at work, or your sporting groups. Which of these elements exist in your groups and teams? Are there areas that are missing or that could be improved? How could those areas be improved?

(Tip: these questions are great topics to discuss within your group.)

Kicking the Sugar Habit

Kicking the Sugar Habit

When it comes to success in our 6 Week Lifestyle Challenge, there's one thing that 100% needs to be kicked to the curb...and it's absolutely everywhere. 

Sure you want to get leaner, but the problems caused by sugar aren't all about weight gain. A high sugar diet can increase your risk for heart disease, type 2 diabetes, arthritis and Alzheimers disease. It also contributes to the likelihood of developing mental health problems like depression and anxiety.

Sugar addiction is a REAL thing, and there have been studies that have found sugar stimulates the same reward circuits in the brain activated by cocaine and opioid drugs. And just like these drugs, your body gets used to sugar and eating more is the only way to get the same result.

So, removing sugar from your diet is obviously a good idea. But before doing that it's a good idea to know where we are all getting sugar from beside the usual suspects of cakes, cookies, and candy.

Sugar is also in almost all conventional (and even many natural) bread, canned vegetables, yogurt, pasta sauce, hummus, sauces, salad dressings, and unfortunately even baby food and baby formula. Educating yourself on all the different forms that sugar comes in on the ingredient list is a great start to build your road map of avoiding certain products.

REMEMBER, here are some sneaky ways to say sugar:

  • sucrose

  • corn syrup

  • corn syrup solids

  • high fructose corn syrup

  • dextrose

  • maltose

  • glucose/glucose syrup

  • sorbitol

  • mannitol

  • lactose

  • barley malt

  • cane juice

  • evaporated cane juice (crystals)

  • fructose

  • maltodextrin

Now that that’s clear, let’s talk about the BREAK UP!

6 Steps to Kick the Sugar Habit.

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Drinking Lots of Mineralised Water

1. Drink lots of mineralised water: 

Mineral deficiency causes sweet cravings and purified or reverse osmosis water often doesn’t contain (enough) minerals. The purification or RO process does a great job getting out the bad stuff we don’t want, but unfortunately it can also filter out the trace minerals which are essential to fully hydrate us.

So, choose mineralised (not mineral) water whenever you can or if you drink RO water, pick up a bottle of essential trace minerals at your local health food store and add a few drops to each glass. A good general rule of thumb for water is to drink 20mL per kilogram of bodyweight daily.

Drinking enough of the right kind of water will slash cravings, boost energy, and do wonders for your digestive and immune system. Speaking of minerals, chromium is a wonderful mineral to use temporarily to stabilise blood sugar and stave off sugar cravings while detoxing.

They suggest 200mcg of chromium GTF (glucose tolerance factor) with both breakfast and lunch for 4-6 weeks.

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Eat Sweet Potato

2. Eat Sweet Potato:

If you are a sugarholic, I challenge you to have 1 sweet potato with lunch everyday for five days and see how you do with sugar cravings. Paleo is a great, healthful diet, but I find a lot of super low carb, die-hard Paleo folks end up craving a lot of sugar.

Paleo doesn’t have to be low carb. In fact, if you are addicted to sugar, you need complex carbohydrates to slow the release of glucose in your blood stream to even out the spikes and dips that cause mood and energy imbalances and ultimately more sugar cravings.

I suggest have a complex carb with breakfast, lunch, and dinner regularly for at least a few weeks. 

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Reduce Coffee

3. Reduce Coffee:

Coffee without breakfast in the morning is a recipe for a sugar craving disaster kind of day. You see, when we wake up (if we have healthy adrenal glands), we are supposed to secrete the stress hormone cortisol, which helps us start our day. Many of us are tired and under-slept, and therefore not producing enough cortisol, so we hit the coffee pot for a substance-induced “hit” of it.

Then this unnatural spike bathes our cells in cortisol and insulin can’t get in to feed them. When the cortisol bath wears off, our cells are screaming for insulin in the form of sugar to put out the “state of emergency” the body is experiencing.

So, if you must have your ceremonial cup of coffee upon waking, no problem, but have it with breakfast. Make sure that breakfast contains both protein and healthy fat. Alternatively or additionally, switch to green tea to lower your coffee/caffeine intake.

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Gentle Sweeteners & Spices

4. Gentle Sweeteners and Spices:

Ceylon cinnamon (keep in mind that the typical supermarket cinnamon is the cassia variety) has been clinically proven to stabilise blood sugar and to have a healing effect on the pancreas.

Adding cinnamon to your coffee, breakfast smoothie, sweet potato, or whatever else you can think of is a great way to gracefully detox from sugar. It tastes sweet and satisfies your taste buds.

Another favourite natural sweetener to use sparingly that will give you that sweet flavour without the negative biochemical reaction in the body are dark liquid stevia, coconut sugar, raw honey*, and maple syrup*. Start upgrading the way you use sweeteners and soon you will crave less and less.

* Not compliant on Lifestyle or Athlete program.

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Cut Back on Animal Protein

5. Cut Back on Animal Protein:

Too much animal protein can create a “contracted” state as they say in Eastern medicine. The body then craves the opposite state, which is expansion. Sugar makes us feel that way.

When you think about it, the body never makes a mistake. It’s always craving to be in balance and works toward it the best way it knows how.

If you are eating animal protein with every meal, adjust that or maybe eat a bit less, and see if that helps. Alternatively, not enough animal protein creates sugar cravings. Evaluate how much animal protein you consume and begin to play with the amount to see how it affects your cravings and energy level.

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Lifestyle Balance

6. Lifestyle Balance:

There is no replacement for enough sleep. If we don’t sleep enough, the body will, again, try to create a balanced state by craving sugar. Rest and relaxation are underrated in our culture.

Be counter cultural and take time to rest and rejuvenate. Getting enough exercise in the form of movement you enjoy (versus dragging yourself to the gym) is another way to naturally cut down on sweet cravings.

In our 6 Week Lifestyle Challenges, these factors are assessed daily in the 7 Healthy Habits. They also include honest, open relationships with people you enjoy being around, having fun and working play into your life, having a creative outlet you enjoy, and doing things that make you feel connected to the bigger picture.

Adding in more positive lifestyle factors to your life is a sure fire way to get sweetness, guaranteeing you will never miss the actual sugar!

Just Get Started

Just Get Started

So, in the midst of our current 6 Week Lifestyle Challenge I thought it’d be a good time to discuss motivation and the huge impact just beginning a task can have on us, whether we feel like it or not.

It doesn’t matter what the job is at hand. It could be the struggle (is real!) of getting out of bed, psyching ourselves up to pick up the barbell for the next set or getting started on the mundane task of prepping bulk meals to get us through the week. If our hearts aren’t in it we often just won’t do it. We will procrastinate and palm it off until the last second. We see motivation as the necessary starting point for all action to begin and feel we need emotional inspiration in order to find that motivation otherwise our engine won’t start. It looks something like this:

Emotional Inspiration -> Motivation -> Desirable Action

At the moment our mornings are a little crisp and dark? The thought of hitting the snooze is more of a compelling emotional response that causes the motivation for us reach for our alarm in order to stay in bed longer and hopefully get to the night class.

What’s important to note however is those steps aren’t just part of a chain but an endless circle and just like a carousel it doesn’t matter where you get on, you’re going to experience the whole ride regardless. Now I wish I had been smart enough to discover this epiphany for myself but it was actually the much smarter author Mark Manson whose nugget of truth I’m sharing.

It means that even if I don’t feel like starting something at first, the very act of beginning it will set me up for the next stage of the loop and I will start to feel a little more inspired to keep going. That gets me to the next step where I feel the motivation to keep that momentum and before I know it I’m acting on the next stage. And around we go and go.

It’s how books get written. Small pockets of 200 words of action, building every single day whether they’re good or bad or are fed by inspiration and motivation or not. The loop however only works when we find ourselves at one of the three stages. If we can’t will the first two into existence then we certainly can choose to do some form of action even if we feel some resistance towards it. Soon enough that carries us to finding our emotional inspiration if we just stick to our action long enough. When that happens, all that resistance fades away. Even small tasks like our 10 minute mobility or meditation practice can feel like the biggest imposition to our daily routines but if we just consistently get them started before we know it they get absorbed into those daily habits and we no longer struggle to find our motivation to do them.

So as we look upon our challenge this week, even if one of the tasks seems overwhelming just start on something small. Even just for 5 minutes at a time. Who knows, soon enough you may get sucked in and those 5 minutes become 3 hours.

Dairy Talk

Dairy Talk

If we looked at all the advertising, you’d be hard pressed not to believe that milk isn’t good for you. I mean, it’s got protein and it’s the only source of calcium, right? Most people would be flat out trying to name any other food that contains moderate to high levels of calcium. Basically, we’re lead to believe that if we don’t consume dairy, then we’ll be calcium deficient. So, dairy is a staple in the typical Western diet.

In my opinion, this “truth” about dairy products and milk is incorrect. It’s true, dairy does contain calcium, but the way your body digests dairy products might not give you with the benefits that calcium provides.

Here’s an explanation of the real truth about dairy…plus, what you could be eating instead.

Dairy Is an Acid-Forming Food

Everything we eat effects our body’s pH level. Some foods have an alkalising effect and others are acid forming. It’s best for our blood to sit at a pH of about 7.4, which is slightly alkaline, and it works hard to maintain that level. However, our typical Australian diet includes staple foods that are highly acid forming. Dairy is one of them.

When we drink milk, our body responds to the increased acid load by releasing minerals. Calcium, magnesium, and potassium, which are all necessary for strong bones, enter our circulation to bring us back to a pH homeostasis. These minerals may then be lost, flushed out of our system as waste. For those who live on a typical Australian diet, it has been estimated that the quantity of calcium lost through the urine over time could be as high as almost 480 gm over twenty years…this amounts to almost half the skeletal mass of calcium.1

There’s a lot of interest in alkaline diets these days since so much more food is acid forming. Some advocates suggest an alkaline diet can be helpful in reducing numerous chronic diseases and ailments, including hypertension, diabetes, arthritis, vitamin D deficiency, and low bone density, just to name a few.2

A study of ten different countries, performed by a professor of nutrition at Harvard’s School of Public Health and published in 1986, showed that the consumption of calcium from dairy was the lowest in Hong Kong and Singapore, where they also reported the lowest rate of hip fractures. On the other hand, the United States consumed the most amount of calcium from dairy and ranked the highest incidence of hip fractures.3

Drinking heaps of milk, even though it does contain calcium, may not be so great on our bones after all. We should be looking to other sources to get our daily quota of calcium and not just relying on dairy. Try adding more kale and fish that includes the bones, such as sardines and canned salmon.

Dairy Is Difficult for Many to Digest

It is estimated that as much as 65% of the adult population is lactose intolerant.4 This intolerance means a person has an impaired ability to digest lactose, a sugar found in milk and other dairy products.

Lactose is usually broken down by an enzyme called lactase, which is produced by cells in the lining of the small intestine. As infants, we all produce this enzyme to break down and digest our mother’s milk. But after we stop breastfeeding, our body produces less and less of this enzyme, which makes it more and more difficult to digest milk as we get older.

Explaining why most adults have difficulty one way or another in digesting milk sourced from animals. Symptoms of this digestive difficulty can include bloating, gas, stomach pain, and general discomfort.

If you really need to drink milk, opt for almond or coconut “milk.” You’ll have a similar experience to regular dairy milk, but it won’t give you the bloat.

Dairy Is Inflammatory

Inflammation is a necessary part of our body’s natural response to ward off infection and promote healing. When our body signals an increase in inflammation, this also increases blood flow and sends immune cells and key nutrients to the areas that need them the most.

These days though, we’re subjected to everything from pollution, to modern diets, to stress that trigger our body to produce a chronic low-grade inflammatory response. Over time this chronic state of low-grade inflammation has very negative effects on our health.

This leads to our immune system constantly working overtime…it ends up hyper-charged and super-sensitive. So dairy ends up further contributing to inflammation-based symptoms. What people in this inflammatory state typically experience is leaky gut, bloating, gas, lethargy, chronic infection, and allergies. If any of those sound like issues you deal with on a regular basis, experiment with dropping dairy and see what changes.

Other Sources of Calcium and Protein

Dairy is typically promoted as a good source of both protein and calcium, but there are plenty of other foods that are good sources of these items.

  • For protein, try eggs since they have a very high bioavailability and contain all the fat-soluble vitamins.

  • For calcium, go for kale, spinach, figs or almonds.

  • And as I mentioned above, sardines or canned salmon with the bones are good sources of both protein and calcium.

Dairy Products That Aren’t on the No-No List

As much as I’m shredding dairy because of its acidic and inflammatory properties, there are times when dairy is actually a better choice…and in sometimes actually quite good for you. Let’s look at butter, yogurt, and kefir and what makes them a little different.

Why Butter Is Better Than Margarine

Saturated fat has had an unnecessarily bad reputation for the last fifty to eighty years. The food industry created saturated fat alternatives such as margarine and promoted these as “healthier” alternatives to butter. Little did they know that the products they were creating in the lab were far more detrimental to our health than a little bit of animal fat.

Hydrogenated vegetable oils or trans fats such as margarine are the worst fats you can eat because they are highly inflammatory and effect proper nutrient absorption in our bodies. The problem is simple: our bodies don’t know how to process these oils and fats or how to break them down. Because trans fatty acids are chemically altered substances, their shape does not fit the natural shape of the enzymes and membrane structures our bodies are equipped with. So, these foods clog up our cell walls and block essential nutrients from being able to pass through to the cells. These fats also elevate LDL, which is the “bad” cholesterol in the blood and contribute to a buildup of plaque in the arteries, which can lead to heart disease.5

Avoid vegetable oil like the plague. Shortenings and margarine should also be dodged at all costs. And some dressings, creamers (dairy and non- dairy), and spreads will also contain trans fats.

On the other hand, grass-fed butter (and we do recommend grass-fed) has many benefits. It’s one of the only foods containing butyric acid, which promotes gut health and is generally anti-inflammatory. It’s also a good source of medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs), which can be converted easily into energy for your muscles and organs. It also contains conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), which has been demonstrated in some studies to combat cancer cells. Finally, it is high in arachidonic acid (ARA), which plays a role in infant growth, brain development, and health. To cut a long story short, butter is a much healthier alternative than margarine or any other spreads created in a lab.

Why Yogurt Is Actually Beneficial

The other dairy product that slips through the radar is unsweetened Greek or natural yogurt. This is because of the fermented live cultures contained in this yogurt. These are what we call probiotics and what they can do for us outweighs the bad effects of processed cow’s milk.

Most of us think that bacteria are bad for us, but there are good bacteria, too. Probiotics are live microorganisms, such as bacteria and yeasts, that are good for our health. We need “good” bacteria in our digestive system so we are equipped to fend off any “bad” bacteria entering our system. Our immune system begins in our gut. So, if we have a healthy gut with lots of “good” bacteria, then we’re more likely to have a strong immune system.

In addition, studies have been shown that a small amount of natural yogurt with live active cultures can lower blood pressure and reduce insulin resistance by improving your body’s response to glucose.4

This doesn’t mean you should buy sugar-laden yogurt full of artificial flavours and ingredients, though. Look for unsweetened yogurt. Some brands will even mention the strains of active bacteria present in their products.

I recommend to eat a small amount of yogurt every day to keep your immune system boosted, help reduce inflammation, and help you reach your quota of minerals and vitamins.

The Truth About Dairy

  1. As a general rule, avoid milk at all costs. Opt for almond milk or coconut milk instead.

  2. If you must have cheese, then choose goat’s or sheep’s milk cheese that’s less processed and less inflammatory. Often these cheeses also contain live active cultures that are good for you.

  3. If you must have something on your toast, ditch the margarine and use good old butter.

  4. Unsweetened natural yogurt that contains the live active cultures is beneficial for you, but in small doses. Try about 50g a serving. This will help boost your immune system and regulate blood sugar. Of course avoiding the sweet, processed yogurts that are full of flavours, chemicals, and colours.

References:
1. Gerry K. Schwalfenberg, “The Alkaline Diet: Is There Evidence That an Alkaline pH Diet Benefits Health?” J Environ Public Health 2012; 2012: 727630. 
2. “Alkaline Diet: The Key to Longevity and Fighting Chronic Disease?” DrAxe.com.
3. Alissa Hamilton, Got Milked?: The Great Dairy Deception and Why You’ll Thrive Without Milk (William Morrow, 2015) p 99.
4. “Lactose Intolerance,” Genetic Home Reference: U.S. National Library of Medicine.
5. “How to Avoid Deadly Trans Fats,” Dr. Bob McCauley.
6. Yuting Ruan, et al. “Effect of Probiotics on Glycemic Control: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized, Controlled Trials,” PLoS One. 2015; 10(7): e0132121.

The Mindset Test

The Mindset Test

There are plenty of “tests” in CrossFit. There are lifts to test our overall strength, WODs to test our aerobic capacity, skills to test our gymnastics. But as a CrossFit coach and athlete, there is one test in particular that I hold in the highest regard. This test is given nearly every day we walk in the gym…it reveals mindset and character. The test is simple…

What does an member/athlete do when their workout is over?

CrossFit Invictus coach, Kirsten Ahrendt, has categorised the results into two categories. For the rest of the article, I’ll refer to all members as “athletes”.

Result 1 – The Individual Mindset Result

This behaviour is generally executed in the following way:
– The athlete finishes their WOD and may roll on the floor for a few minutes.
– Upon collecting themselves, the athlete may go check their text messages, social media alerts or email.
– The athlete then proceeds to clean up their equipment – navigating in and out of fellow member’s spaces who are still working out.
– Sometimes this mindset manifests itself in members pooling together in groups sitting on the floor and talking about how tough the workout was and discussing their day.

Result 2 – The Group Mindset Result

This behaviour is generally executed the following way:
– The athlete finishes their WOD and may roll on the floor for a few minutes.
– Upon collecting themselves, that athlete gravitates towards other members that are still in progress of the workout. The athlete cheers them on (whether they know them or not).
– The finished athlete may clap, give words of encouragement, and move between groups of athletes who are still working.
– Upon other members’ completion of the work, high fives and pats on the back are exchanged.
– Workout equipment is put away together as a group.

Your workout is done when everyone is finished

Why did you join CrossFit Da Fonz? Is accountability, group sessions, friends or community part of your answer? If so, then consider this…the workout is not done when you finish. The workout is done when everyone is finished. As a CrossFit coach, facilitating a sense of community is part of my job. It can be scary for others who perhaps haven’t done much team sport to reach out to someone they don’t know well and encourage them. Often people think “who am I to cheer them on? To tell them they can do it?”

CrossFit exploded on the “fitness scene” years ago because of a few key founding principles – 1) simplicity 2) constantly varied exercise 3) community. People could’ve continued CrossFitting solo – but there’s a reason there’s 10,000+ boxes around the world – people crave community. People become their best selves when pushed, encouraged, and surrounded by others that believe in them. As David Byrne, artist and musician writes…

“We’re a social species, we benefit from our tendency to cooperate to achieve what we cannot alone… We do not exist as isolated individuals. We, as individuals, are inhabitants of networks; we are relationships. That is how we prosper and thrive.”

If you came to Da Fonz to be part of a community or for the “push of others” to keep your intensity high when working out, then consider this – you owe it to give back to that community. Consider it part of your social contract with the gym (entirely separate from your financial contract. Talk to management about that one.) You can keep your end of the deal by supporting every last member of your class to the finish line of each workout.

Our challenge to you

At the start of every class, look around. Every single person who came to that class is now your tribe. You should take personal satisfaction in seeing to it that each individual is supported and no one “finishes alone”. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a founding member or this is your first week; it matters not that you chose to do scaled and someone else chose RX+. For that hour, we are one group with a common goal – self improvement through shared suffering. Make sure no one suffers alone.

Company Lifestyle Challenge

Company Lifestyle Challenge

Our online challenges are there to transform your company’s culture.

I know, big call for an online health and fitness challenge, but stick with me.

I completely believe that by providing your team a tool to enhance their lives that actually works, you’ll be doing what no raise, title bump, or feel-good initiative could ever do…you’ll show them you actually give a s**t.

Because you’ll make them healthier and happier. Not in word, but in deed.

In the process, your business becomes a better place to work, with dedication, collaboration, and results-oriented thinking flowing naturally.

When you think about it, sounds like the place you always wanted it to be.

How Does It Work?

We run our Lifestyle Challenge over 6 weeks, we designed it to help your employees build good habits around seven healthy habits.

  • Nutrition

  • Exercise

  • Mobility

  • Sleep

  • Hydration

  • Lifestyle

  • Reflection

While on the Challenge, they’ll learn these habits, becoming happier and healthier, learning better ways to manage stress, and become more connected with their colleagues. Whilst dedicated, they’ll begin to feel fantastic…they’ll lose weight, adopt new levels of self-care, and bond on their journey of growing together.

They’ll literally transform and that will show in everything they do.

Leader Driven

You’ll find most corporate wellness programs are hands-off.

Not this bad boy.

We believe that our Challenge must be led from the front. With your leaders showing that they care not only through their words, but through their actions, joining and leading their teams.

I believe in never asking anyone to do anything you wouldn’t do yourself. Equally, we won’t have you ask your team to do something you wouldn’t do yourself.

And if you’re able to make this commitment, we’ll meet you with 100% support, constant guidance, and training. We’ll help you build your team, lead it to success, and measure how things went.

Not About the Money

Corporate wellness is big on promising financial benefits.

Ringing the register with bottom-line changes. Driving reduced insurance premiums. Promising ROI on every dollar spent.

We don’t make those claims.

(Not because we can’t, but because we don’t think that’s the point.)

Instead, we’ll suggest that making your employees well isn’t a spreadsheet exercise.

It’s an exercise in doing the right thing.

And your culture will reflect every ounce of that effort.

NEXT CHALLENGE COMMENCES:

August 12, 2019

Entry Cost: Team Registration $99 + $39 per participant.

Includes:

  • All the promotional materials you need to build your team, including emails, social assets and posters.

  • Three complimentary player registrations — 1 for your team leader and 2 additional free entries.

  • An online leaderboard unique to your team so you can see how everyone is doing day-to-day.

  • Ongoing guidance for team leaders on boosting and maintaining player engagement.

  • An online communication feed for your team to share, support, and encourage each other.

You also have the option for us to go onsite for a preliminary rally, conducting baseline testing, taking player measurements using Inbody Bio scanners and nutrition talk. (Starts at $30 per participant)

Wounded Heroes - The Inaugural Aussie Hero WOD Month

Wounded Heroes - The Inaugural Aussie Hero WOD Month

Commencing: Monday, May 27

Duration: Every Monday until Jun 24

Total WODs: 5 (1 per day)

When: Every CrossFit class on Monday.

Gym Cartel & CrossFit Da Fonz is asking it’s members to help in funding support services for deployed personnel, the wounded and their families.

We will be running one Australian Hero WOD every Monday for five Mondays. We encourage our members to show support by making a donation to the Wounded Heroes Australia registered charity and then join us each week and give it your absolute best in 5 carefully selected and gruelling Aussie Hero WODs. You’ll find these WODs as “Workout of the Day” on SugarWOD.

There will be a prize for the member with fastest combined time of the 5 Hero WODs completed RX. We will also be presenting a large banner baring the names of all of our members that complete all 5 Hero WODs (RX or scaled). We will hang this in the gym proudly for all to see.

Wounded Heroes Association is a national community organisation established to support Australian servicemen and women and their families, and to ease the financial, emotional and personal hardships of contemporary military life.

Wounded Heroes is a registered charity in Australia (ABN 91644109140)  and is endorsed by the Australian Taxation Office as a Public Benevolent Institution, where all donations are tax deductible. 

Join the #800gChallenge

Join the #800gChallenge

WHAT IS IT?

This challenge was designed by OptimizeMe Nutrition. Eat 800 grams (g) of fruits and/or vegetables, by weight, per day.

No foods are eliminated, but only fruits and veggies count toward the 800g. Eat the fruits and veggies of your choice. Hit the macros you want.

Raw, cooked, canned, frozen; doesn’t matter! If you can weigh it as a standalone and unprocessed fruit or vegetable, you can count it. Yep, that’s it! Here’s a one-sheet with all the rules and scoring details.

So why 800g? It’s associated with increased health and is a simplified way to hit those recommended servings of fruits and vegetables. Read more here.

DATES:

May 6 to Jun 2

SIGN UP:

Register here by May 2nd.

MEETING:

We will host two meetings at the gym to go over all the challenge rules and answer your questions. 7AM and 7pm Wednesday May 1st. Be sure to be there!

COST:

$79 per person, includes two InBody Composition scans. ($69 per person for Gym Cartel Members)

SCORING:

We will be using SugarWOD to log scores, leaderboard and fist bump throughout the challenge. More info on scoring and logging can be found here.

PRIZES SPONSORS:

  • Brisbane Financial Services - Brisbane’s most awarded wealth firm.


#CARTELPODIUMWEEK

#CARTELPODIUMWEEK

Saturday, April 27 marks the kickoff of our first annual PODIUM WEEK. A community centred event designed to give you all a chance to push yourselves to try something new or aim for a bigger goal during your workouts this week. Here is how it works.

Every day this week at the box, you will be asked to look for “Podium” opportunities in the programmed workout and make a goal for yourself before you hit the WOD to do something you have never done before.

Here is an example. Let’s say that the workout programmed is:

“Jackie”

1000m row > 50 Thrusters > 30 Pull-ups

We would take a look at the movements in the workout and try to find opportunities for “Podiums”. In Jackie, some of the podium opportunities might be to row a 1k faster than you ever have, do 50 unbroken thrusters, do “real” pull ups in a WOD, do unbroken pull ups….you get the idea.

Whether it is increasing the weight you use, completing unbroken reps, or trying a new movement as prescribed- there are a number of opportunities to challenge yourself in any given workout.

Coaches will be encouraging members to think about what their podium attempt will be for each workout and we will be acknowledging people’s victories with a picture and the hashtag #CartelPodiumWeek. This should be a fun week and a great opportunity to push ourselves and celebrate some victories. We hope you will share your victories too!

#CARTELPODIUMWEEK