Tag Archives: Primal

Fall is for Food at CFCC!

23 Aug

From the woman who holds the title of CFCC’s second member EVER, deadlifted 300lbs., competed in an Oly Meet, rowed 1k in 3:57, and got her first strict pull-up on a 2-inch thick bar, Meghan Ramos, our master of All the Nutrition Things is here to deliver some serious information. Kick back over the weekend and get your bearings.  You don’t want to miss out on eating like a CFCCer this Fall!  

If you questions about any of this, feel free to contact her at meg@crossfitcc.com – VIVA LA BCCC!


The CFCC Nutrition Team – a plethora of knowledge and options. 🙂

Read more after the jump!

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Tuesday, 8/14/12

13 Aug

HYBRID OLY, with Jim, 530-730pm.
ADVANCED OLY, with Jim, 9-11am and 730-930pm.
CROGA with Tim, 6pm.
INTRO to OLY, with Erin, 7-9am, with Jim 1130-1pm.

Should you consume caffeine before a workout?

How does coffee affect insulin levels? – read: affect your WAISTLINE.

Wanna learn to cook things that actually taste good and are good for you?  Come meet the author of WELL FED, a book that exemplifies this, AT CFCC on August 30th, 630-830pm.  There will be fun snacks and some talk about how a change in diet created a change in a truly inspirational woman’s life.  Come join us! REGISTER for FREE here.

Kevin and Lauren, showing why pull-ups are important. 🙂

SELF-MYOFASCIAL RELEASE: Lax Ball Shoulders, 5 minutes.

POSTURAL ACTIVATION: 1 minute of each: Child Pose plus Internal Rotation Mob (keep chest to the floor), Add Bullwinkle hands plus Rotation, Jimmy Buffetts (remember to switch legs).

DYNAMIC WARM-UP: 2 minutes of: 3 reps Scap Push-ups, 5 second wide-grip pronated Scap Pull-ups on bar, 5 second supinated grip of the same, 4 Jumping Lunges (jump a total of 4 times), Arm Swings as needed.

STRENGTH: Pronated Grip Pull-up, up to a peak of 2.


Every minute on the minute, for 12 minutes:

Attempt your peak of 3 pull-up (choose from the two previous weeks) for one rep.

Then complete, men: 10 push-ups, women: 5 push-ups, followed by 10 jumping lunges (10 total jumps) 

For every round in which you do not complete the total amount of work, you get a point.  Your score is your total number of points. 

*if you must, ask a Coach to estimate a 3-rep max for you.

If you have consistent muscle-ups you may also complete:

AMRAP in 12 minutes of “Nate” – 2 Muscle-ups, 4 HSPU, 8 Kettlebell Swings (2/1.5)

And now… the before and after pictures of the winners of the CFCC BCCC!

31 Jul

It’s no secret to anyone who’s hung around this spot longer than a week or so that we’re a crew that loves delicious food (perhaps because we live smack in the middle of approximately eight million amazing burger, brunch and boozin’ spots). Yes, we enjoy the Good Things in Life, but we’re also committed to training hard and training well – and one of the most important lessons we try to teach is that no matter how hard you try, you can’t out-train a less-than-nutritious diet.

What constitutes “good fuel” is different for each of us, and we’ve definitely learned that at some point, you need to shift your focus to setting a goal – be it leaning out, muscling-up, pulling 300 pounds or simply getting your chronic acid reflux under control –  and committing yourself 100% to doing whatever it takes to achieving that goal.

Back in May and June, almost seventy (!) of you decided it was time to tell your inner two year old to shut it, set some short-term goals, and COMMIT to six weeks of solid   nutrition. There were no overarching “rules” (and there never will be – we’re all different, after all). All we asked was that each participant did what they said they were going to do for the duration of the Challenge.

At long last, we’re thrilled to finally highlight some amazing folks from June’s Body Composition Change Challenge (all details about the Challenge are HERE).

Just in case you missed it – these winners were posted a while ago.  That said, the full details of their experiences have not yet been revealed – until today!  Take a  look at the BEFORE AND AFTERS!

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EVERYTHING you need to know about the latest Nutrition Seminar and how to enter the CFCC BCCC.

22 Apr

Before you address the rest, if you’re interested in seeing some physical results of past challenges, and my progress from about 2 years ago (I really should update!) check out the links below!

MY PROGRESS Again, I should update! I now compete in the 58kg class for Olympic Weightlifting (when I am competing) and walk around at about 135lbs. while NOT eating bread or other gluten-containing substances except for on EXTREMELY rare occasions (like, if my 8 year old cousin bakes me cookies, I may try one and live – but usually, this situation is never a problem).  I literally don’t own a pair of normal pants from over 2 years ago because they fall off me (and that’s just embarrassing).  I’ve found that cutting out gluten entirely for me (in spite of still eating some dairy, chocolate, and having wine and cider *some* of the time) has helped my body composition, moods, sleep, strength, conditioning, digestion, skin, and I haven’t felt deprived at all. Feeling good is important to me, and REALLY worth it. 🙂

CFCC BCCC Results, January 2012.

CFCC BCCC Results, August 2011.

CFCC BCCC Results, May 2011.

CFCC BCCC Results, September 2010.

What you will need for THIS CFCC BCCC 🙂

-A BEFORE Measure Date and an AFTER Measure Date.  Before, we will be measuring on Thursday and Friday of NEXT week.  Specific times will be announced to members who have already emailed me – if you haven’t emailed me yet at erin@crossfitcc.com – do it now!  After, we will be measuring for most on June 7th and June 8th (that’ll be 41 and 42 days from the 28th of April, respectively.)  You do NOT need to be present for the entirety of the challenge if you would only like to be involved for part of it and get measured early.

-A goal.  And it would be nice if this was both strength and body composition related.

-A swimsuit, unless of course you opt to pose for your before and after pictures in something else (you are allowed to – but this is, the swimsuit edition).

-A check with the equivalent amount for whichever version (see below) you’d prefer.

-A food log – here’s a sample template, but any medium is fine. You will food log for the ENTIRETY of the CFCC BCCC, but if you can start one now, that’s even better. It is really helpful to keep track of the following: food, amount, time eaten, observations on feelings before and after.  Sleep and Training are also good to include on your log.

-Upon your measurements, a signed consent form (you know we are not docs, etc.)

-Optional attendance (some for an additional fee or given as a prize) to a SLEW of helpful events along the way: a trip to Wyebrook Farm, Yoga Seminar, Shopping Trips, Hiking, Goal Setting Seminars, Paleo Potlucks, Recipe Sharing, and more!

VIRTUAL ($50): Email contact with the team of consultants (myself, Meghan Ramos, and Abbey Sangmeister) and measurements before and after. You are still required to submit a food log and weekly, changes will be required of you! Eligibility for the grand prize and prizes/workshops along the way.

IN PERSON ($100): In addition to email contact, 4 1/2 hour meetings to go over your food log and discuss changes, questions, theories behind alterations – if you have a preference on a consultant – feel free to ask! Measurements before and after.  Eligibility for the grand prize/workshops along the way.

Whether you’re doing this challenge and you haven’t been to the Nutrition Seminar, or whether you’ve been to five Nutrition Seminars – start the challenge off right by taking a look at the outline below.  Knowing the “why” behind the strategies we use during the challenge is empowering and a lot more motivating than just doing something “just because”.  Links to articles, podcasts, and videos pertaining to specific topics are shown after you’ve seen the whole picture.


Sometimes It’s Hard from Whole9
Depression – a huge series of articles on all things related, from Chris Kresser
Lights Out: Sleep, Sugar, and Survival – a quick read, and an indispensable resource… FIRST you’ll think it’s CRAZY, then you’ll be VERY concerned that the author is RIGHT.
Sex, Lies, and Menopause – also an INCREDIBLE read – but more for women than men.
So much awesome information about food and mood, from Dr. Emily Deans.


A basic definition from Wikipedia.

A basic definition of Paleo. (the truncated version of the below)

For those of you who want to skip the details and get right to the WHAT CAN I EAT PART: a Quick Start Guide.

AN ORDER OF OPERATIONS FOR QUELLING INFLAMMATION – start at the top, work your way down.  The more you avoid certain things at the top, the closer you are to knowing what happens when your body is recovering at its best.  The more you your body recovers, the better you feel and the better you are at achieving any number of life and performance goals that are important to you.

EAT WHOLE FOODS: the less that your body has to work twice as hard to recognize and “dissect” a food intro pieces it can handle, the more likely you are to digest it easily and therefore not waste energy or valuable defense mechanisms in dealing with a food.  Here’s a more thorough blurb on “whole foods” as a foundation of a healthy diet. What are whole foods?  Check out this list or, take a cue from many a paleo grocery shopper and stick to the perimeter of the grocery store: eat nothing from a box or package – that is, if it doesn’t have a face, or if you literally can’t imagine growing it and eating it yourself, you probably shouldn’t be eating it in the first place.

AVOID GLUTEN: if there’s one thing that I would actually BEG you to try if you never have, it would be to give up gluten in your diet.  If you must know why – there’s a whole HOST of actual reasons…(the below scratches the surface) but if you don’t need to know why, just DO IT and see what happens.  

AVOID SEED OILS: seed oils are processed at extremely high temperatures which causes them to oxidize and become highly inflammatory once digested.  Saturated Fats are actually some of the most stable fats you can digest.  The more stable the fat, the less likely your chances of incurring cellular damage as a result of having ingested it.  No, you shouldn’t start swigging bacon fat, but yes, you should begin to examine the truth behind what fat is and how too much of it can create a caloric binge, too little of it can cause the hormones that are most responsible for keeping you well to rebel, and the wrong kind altogether may just be the principal cause of heart disease in our nation today.

AVOID NON GLUTEN GRAINS: Once you’re good on living a life without gluten, you can move on and attempt to examine whether or not some of the non-gluten grains are a good idea.  Most find that a few are ok, and many are not.

  • Rice – the lowdown on this is that most are fine to digest it, and some even NEED it in lieu of potatoes, and other commonly “ok” paleo dense carb sources… if a lean body composition is your primary goal you may want to examine your intake – that said, here are some helpful thoughts:

How Bad is Rice Really? From Mark’s Daily Apple.
The White Rice Question – full of great links to other thoughts on practical uses for white rice in a diet.

  • Corn – Corn is Not a Vegetable from Mark’s Daily Apple.  Super-sweet, super-modified, and pretty devoid of any substantial nutritional content, corn just isn’t worth it.  It’s not the devil, but it’s not really worth TRYING to include in your diet for any reason at all.
  • Alternative to Grains: including a question about quinoa, and the fact that being healthy does not always equate with being “low carb”, healthy carb choices are important for many athletes!

AVOID CHEMICAL SWEETENERSOnce you’ve eliminated things that are potentially pretty harmful to your gut as they are, it’s time to take a look at your sugar intake (and by extension, your insulin levels).  As weird as it sounds, fake sugar is the first step.  If you’re reading this with a can of diet coke in hand, fear not: people have lived through where you are to where you can be – and they have not suffered for it.

AVOID SUGAR: This is a tough one, but be aware that sugar can take many forms: glucose in vegetables, fructose in fruits, lactose in milk, etc.  Weening yourself off of a constant stream of sugar (note: it’s not that we NEVER want you to have a sweet thing in your life!) may be the hardest thing you’ve ever done, but in the end, it MUST be done for optimal health, and is something that MOST of you will find entirely fine after the first few weeks of struggle, and HUGELY relevant in the fight for feeling and looking your best.

  • What is insulin resistance? a video by Robb Wolf.  Why does sugar withdrawal happen?  Why do sweet potatoes suddenly taste SO sweet when you’re not dumping 15 sugars in your coffee(s)?
  • The Definitive Guide to Sugar from Mark’s Daily Apple.
  • How Sugar can Suppress Your Immune System, I’d be willing to bet this is REALLY why we get sick around the holidays!
  • What does all of this have to do with diabetes?
  • It could be a really great idea (for more than just lean body composition purposes) to lay off the fruit. Learn more here – and yes the video linked in the article is FOREVER long, but it is actually REALLY fascinating if you have the time.
  • Sugar, Sugar, Sugar – how sugar hides in your foods, from Whole9.
  • Sugar Tantrums – your body is going to do EVERYTHING it can to get sugar because it’s the EASIEST fuel we burn, don’t let it happen!

AVOID LEGUMES: It’s at the end of the list because it’s not the END of the WORLD if you eat peas.  In fact, you may feel worse after eating brussel sprouts than you do after eating peas… but that’s a WHOLE other ballgame.  If you have come this far and you are curious about what being at your best is really like, the BIG legumes are below.

AVOID DAIRY: For those of you who were fortunate enough to be able to digest lactose, I congratulate you on being able to have fun at various dairy-ridden parties as a kid.  Many of you, are in my camp, and find that dairy, no matter which way you swing it, isn’t your friend.  If you’ve come this far you’re used to the idea of just trying things to see if they help, KNOWING in full that you can keep putting heavenly full fat grass-fed cream in your coffee for years to come should you choose to do so. 


1. Meat Consumption vs. No Meat Consumption. No matter who you are or how you eat, I can pretty much guarantee you there’s a very good chance that you could do better: more protein of some kind, less sugar in some way, more high quality meat in more meals, and/or less cooking with oils that irritate you and cause your recovery to drop. Here are some thoughts from those wiser than I:

2. Cholesterol? Fat Intake? Heart Disease? OH MY!  For most of us – these three topics seem to be irrevocably linked – the truth of the matter is that many of us have GROSSLY misunderstood each of them.  The resources below are extremely helpful, and if you have questions or concerns about this in the immediate or long-term sense, OR if you have familial hypercholesterolemia, it’s important for you know your way around this topic.
3. What am I going to eat? (Answer: you HAVE to cook) 
4. Cost?
5. Fasting?
 6. What if I want to grow?
  • You HAVE to train.  And hard.  And in some cases, more frequently or harder than others. You HAVE to eat, most likely WAY more than you’re currently eating…and usually liquid (whey protein included, and straight up dairy for those who aren’t sensitive to it) and in some cases, you have to stop eating sometimes, and then eat a WHOLE lot.  The trick is, you ALSO have to rest – only just enough, but not too much.  Yup, mass gain is VERY tricky – but it CAN be done!
  • Clean Mass Gain from Whole9 – get ready to eat tapioca!!!
  • Robb Wolf’s experience with Mass Gain
  • Choose your training WISELY(read, STOP chasing the sexy metcon) – you may be the way you are, but be patient, start by learning what to do for 40 days… and BIG things will happen over time (from Eric Cressey – these before and after shots are AMAZING.)
  • Can you be leaner, stronger, and faster at the same time?  It depends on where you’re starting from – but this is an interesting account from Jocelyn Forest.
7. How am I going to get enough calcium if I don’t have dairy?
8. Supplements?
9. Must I live without coffee? Chocolate? ALCOHOL???

10. How do I fuel appropriately for workouts and after? The real answer is that it really depends on the time that you train and what your goals are.  Here are some good places to start:

  • If you are training and feeling extremely sluggish while training, say, in the a.m. or after work, there’s a good chance that you might need to have something small and carb-ey before training – your work output should be better because of this.  Good examples of easily-digested, pre-workout food would be a coconut water – (my FAVORITE is TasteNirvana which can be found at this store on Walnut in the VERY back, in a green glass bottle), and, if you’re not worried about fructose in general for body composition purposes, something simple like a banana works as well.  If you’re not off coffee for other reasons (see above), it’s not a bad idea to have a bit before training – green tea works as an alternative to this too.
  • Fasted Training, though often thought as being the exact opposite of what you’d want to do, can be an awesome tool for body composition.  We run sessions that work particularly well for this in the morning on Tuesday and Thursday (our Conditioning only sessions).  These are sessions that range in intensity and volume but are generally low enough in volume that if you wanted to, you could attend regular classes later and still be good to go on the strength portion of your training.  If you are just recently acclimating yourself to new habits in eating or in training, fasting should NOT be the first habit you start and should be limited to only one day a week at first.
  • Generally, if you don’t mind the sluggishness of a morning or an after work workout, this is all you’ll need: BCAAs will greatly assist in your recovery ability, especially if you are not training in a “fed” state. You should be slightly hungry before you take them and then train. If you don’t want to wait for the TrueProtein kind, you can always walk to VitaminShoppe and get some.  10g/5-10g (M/F) 15 minutes both before and after your workout. IN WATER. They will taste bitter. It’s worth it. Try using crystallized lime or lemon to mask the taste.  More info on BCAAs is here – they are NOT animal derived, but are chemically created amino acids (the stuff that makes up protein and aids in muscle metabolism, growth, etc.)

11. What is SEX WITH YOUR PANTS ON? Read this.  You’ll understand.

12. How much food is too much? How do I know how much lean body mass I’m trying to support?

    • There are some details about how to determine body fat here, along with some suggestions on just how much you need.  Basically, it’s .8-1g of PRO per pound of LEAN (NOT TOTAL) bodyweight, at least 50g of FAT a day – and sometimes more -, and anywhere from 100-150g of CHO today depending on your size/activitylevel/goals.
    • Then there’s the bod pod – the only ACTUALLY accurate method for measuring body fat to muscle mass ratios, and exactly WHERE you are holding these respectively.  Here’s a word from Emily Tunney on this:

University of the Sciences owns one of only 3 Bod Pods in the tri-state area. If you’re not familiar with the Bod Pod, it’s a contraption that measures total weight, body fat percentage, and resting heart rate. And it’s the most accurate technology for taking these measurements that currently exists (which is why I could imagine that someone like Record would want to use it!).

The Bod Pod is available to the public for $35 per person, or $25 per person for a group of 5 or more. It only takes about 15 minutes to complete the test and anyone who is interested can contact William Rebman to schedule a time. I am told he has some evening hours available.

I may be interested in doing this this time around – so let your consultant know if you’d like to plan to make this happen!

Ask Erin: training and diet as a newbie?

21 Mar

Recently received this question in my inbox and thought the answers I gave might be helpful for most of you to see! Of course, there’s always a LOT to say when someone asks a question about anything training or nutrition-related – but I do find that paralysis by analysis helps no one – simplify your goals, simplify your strategy for getting there, and you’re more likely to actually DO SOMETHING DIFFERENT.  If you have a question about anything CFCC-related, always feel free to email me at erin@crossfitcc.com – and THANKS to the member who allowed me to pass their question along!

Even for superheroes, making food choices can be tough... especially when there's a lot of EVERYTHING always around... and usually RIGHT where you can get it!

Hey Erin – based on your blog post this evening, I was wondering if we could chat or if you could give me some pointers as to how to use CrossFit to achieve fat loss/ slim down (I.e., how many sessions per week, how I should be eating, etc.).

Dear, ________.

Thanks for emailing!

As far as fat loss/slim down stuff goes – this is TECHNICALLY not programming 🙂  but I’m happy to get you started in the right direction and you are very right in assuming that the two (what you do, and what you eat) go hand-in-hand when it comes to the majority of people’s goals in coming to CrossFit.

To frame my technical note there – I work as a nutritional consultant during three seasons of the year at CFCC and although this sounds very fancy, it’s really not. We run challenges called CFCC Body Change Composition Challenges (BCCC – because acronyms that are hard to say are SO much more fun) and these involve a big group of CFCCers trying to do something different with their diets for just 30 days.  There’s a small fee to be a part of it but that’s mostly because there are some sweet prizes to be had at the end for the two people that make the biggest change, AND because you get 4 private consulting sessions where-in for a half hour you get a food log reviewed and all your questions answered – depending on your needs sometimes you are literally emailed a “menu” for the week.

The next challenge takes place near the end of April and you will CERTAINLY hear a lot about it then.  All that said, until then, my advice would be this if you are looking to take a step in the right direction in letting Crossfit make the biggest change for you:

1. Train at least 5 days a week– but make sure that you are as rested as you can be when you do train these sessions (so, SLEEP!)  If you work a pretty sedentary job your body will see changes just from doing this alone.  You will also acclimate yourself to the pace of CrossFit very quickly and see gains in performance and in body composition ASAP.  It doesn’t ACTUALLY matter that much at this stage whether the 5 sessions you attend a week are yoga, Olympic Lifting, or a regular session. What matters is that you GO.  So if there’s a day when you feel more sore… go to Yoga/Mobility.

2. Start to learn as much as you can about the paleo and/or primal diet. And if that’s a little too confusing for now – at least try a whole two weeks of cutting gluten out of your diet. While there are lots of other things that you can do to make a change in body composition – this one is probably the single-most immediately important one you can change – AND it’s hard enough on it’s own that it’ll take some practice.  This means…

  • beginning to order your burger without the bun (but for now, fries are ok)
  • getting the wings (yes, probably still breaded but not nearly as “bready” as pizza) instead of the pizza. Save the ever-hallowed pizza for nights when you REALLY know it’s going to be worth eating.
  • instead of having pasta when you’re out, you can have something rice based, or maybe potato based, or maybe just meat with vegetables!
  • breakfast will need to be a little more creative than cereal or bagels.  Try some of these ideas out.  Or just buy jerky and fruit or nuts from Trader Joe’s.
  • You will need to plan to have lunch be something OTHER than a sandwich – and this means, if you don’t like salads – you may need to start packing your lunch!  Fear not – there are so many tasty and VERY easy to prepare options. You may even find that you save a little money off of not buying food out.
  • possibly switching from beer to hard liquor (haha!).  Really though, even if you LIMIT your beer to 1-3 drinks, you’ll be better off if you are currently drinking more than that on multiple nights over the weekend.
3. Ask a lot of questions about all of this as you begin – practically every CFCCer who has been here for longer than a month already has some sense of what all of this is like and how it works for them.  The best plan is the one that works for you.

CFCC BCCC Winners!

29 Feb

This past challenge was another game changer – this time, for over 30 participants who, over the course of just 30 days, dramatically changed their health, body composition, and subsequently, their performance!

I could not be happier with the results of the last challenge – everyone learned a lot and put in a ton of work to get the changes they did.  With the growth of this part of CFCC, the prizes have increased! This time around I decided to give out two first place prizes (each receiving $100 gift cards to Lululemon, a stash of Primal Pacs, and a terrific pair of CFCC socks), two second place prizes ($50 gift card), and two third place prizes ($50 gift card).  And of course, the real prize, is knowing you’ve created this incredible change in yourself!

You’ll find, as I did, that excellence boils down to a simple truth: you’ve got to reject where you are before you can get where you’re going. You’ve got to be better than you were yesterday.

-Jon Gilson

More than anything, I feel that this challenge has shown me the importance of the personalization of this process for our membership base – EVERY person is different and requires a different psychological and physiological approach.  There is no cookie cutter way to make change for everyone and ultimately, it is YOUR body that will dictate what is best for YOU.

It is for this reason that the CFCC Body Composition Change Challenge is tailored to every individual’s experience and goals. Each week members are required to track their food in a medium they can choose (and boy, do they choose some interesting mediums!) and to report to me at a weekly half-hour meeting.  We tweak things for the next week and in some cases even talk through the grocery-shopping and cooking process for the week.  We measure at the beginning and we measure at the end – and all we look to do is get closer to their goals at the end than we were at the beginning.

This is a very personal undertaking for many of those who enter the challenge and so, every one of them should be congratulated for doing something that millions of people in America or completing afraid to do: change!  And now, without further ado, I give you… the WINNERS!

(for their privacy, I’m not listing their names – most of you know who they are!)


In 30 days, JH lost a grand total of nearly 18lbs, including over 3 inches at the navel, and about an inch and a half through the chest.  Remarkably, his workouts have not suffered and instead his upper body strength has also remained.  Additionally, he has grown a better beard 🙂


1) What was your favorite meal to eat during the thirty days of the CFCC BCCC?
One of my favorite things to eat was the surf and turf lettuce tacos from nom nom paleo. Another dinner was the chipotle lime salmon from elana’s pantry.

2) What, if anything, did you learn during this CFCC BCCC?
It is very easy to find great substitutes for the foods that you love and it is a lot of fun to cook new things.

3) What would you say to someone who was starting CFCC-style nutrition for the first time?
Try everything, it probably won’t hurt.

4) What will you eat now that you can?
I am not a hundred percent sure yet but there is a good chance it is either going to be some delicious type of pasta or a very large sandwich with a beer or two.

DQ started the challenge honestly never eating enough and struggling to figure out exactly how eating differently would work with her limited experience in the kitchen.  Fortunately, her positive attitude and creativity led her to a winning spot!  In 30 days she dropped almost 11lbs. She lost nearly two inches (1 3/4″) around her waist and an inch and a quarter at the hip.  She also dropped a quarter of an inch in her arms while they are at rest.  She did all of this while still drinking whiskey amaretto and going out with friends – as many on the challenge will tell you, this is the hardest part of the game!  

1. What was your favorite meal to eat during the thirty days of the CFCC BCCC?
My favorite meal probably the beef and broccoli recipe I got from Erin – but meatza comes in close second.

2. What, if anything, did you learn during this CFCC BCCC?
Most importantly this challenge was a lesson in self-discipline for me. I learned how to control my impulses and felt how empowering it was to do that.

3. What would you say to someone who was starting CFCC-style nutrition for the first time?
To someone starting the advice I would give is “cook!” Making meals for yourself is incredibly rewarding (you feel productive and have fun) and makes eating on plan so much easier.

4. What will you eat now that you can?
Eating paleo most of the time and maybe a little bit of primal – with regards to cheese, but honestly almond milk is delicious and I don’t think I’ll go back to drinking cow’s milk.


AS came into the challenge with a solid plan of her own that was often very consistent.  She wanted to do the challenge to see what a month of really strict eating could do for her.  Surprisingly, the biggest benefits AS experienced were understanding exactly how much food was necessary for her, and what kinds of paleo foods would alter her body composition the most.  She lost less than 3lbs. in weight but as we often see in the challenge, the scale is the LEAST of or concerns and instead, a convenient side effect.  She lost almost an entire inch at her waist and more than two inches (!!!) around her waist.  The icing on the (paleo) cake was certainly that she also lost a half inch in her arms as well.  I really think her pictures and her progress are truly amazing and a GREAT example of the fact that sometimes, when you want to know more about what works for you, simple “paleo” needs work!

1. What was your favorite meal to eat during the thirty days of the CFCC BCCC?
Breakfast was my favorite meal: Roasted asparagus, 3 egg scramble with zucchini and red peppers, Plantains
The other meal was an incredible mushroom and beef stew, Kale chips, roasted brussel sprouts

2. What, if anything, did you learn during this CFCC BCCC?
I learned about some new snack options including coconut chips and very yummy kale chips.
I learned what needed to be tweaked while allowing the wisdom of my body to guide me as well both energetically and emotionally. I can’t believe how much I don’t want sugary foods!!! Icky sweet. I didn’t eat many sweets before, but now I want them even less.
I also learned what it takes for my particular body to change composition in a purposeful way.

3. What would you say to someone who was starting CFCC-style nutrition for the first time?
It may all seem extreme and crazy, but it truly is great having more energy and clarity of mind. Making gradual changes over time can help the new eating habits evolve-it need not be a revolution-all a once change. Have fun with internet resources and recipes for great food and desserts.

4. What will you eat now that you can?
Nothing earth shattering-no pigging out! I will stay pretty much with how I have been eating. I will eat a gluten free scone now and again, a little dairy here and there and a bit more fruit than when I was on the challenge. The challenge wasn’t difficult for me since I had already been eating in the pale/primal life style. It was just some of the tweaking and new foods to add that Erin suggested that was fun that I will continue to eat.

JR came to the CFCC BCCC from an internationally-competitive athletic background with a very typical “female athlete” diet, i.e. there’s some beer, there’s a lot of turkey for some reason, there’s the occasional salad, and breakfast is either skipped or REALLY small.  Oh, and there’s diet coke.  ALWAYS diet coke.  I was so excited to see the changes she was able to make in this small amount of time.  JR’s strength and conditioning numbers have continued to improve throughout her month and with the right tools under her belt, I’m sure they’ll only continue along that vein.  She lost about 7lbs., an inch and a half around her waist, a quarter of an inch around her hips, and I think it REALLY shows.

1. What was your favorite meal to eat during the thirty days of the CFCC BCCC?
Favorite meal- Probably chard or kale cooked in bacon fat and chicken apple sausage.   Pretty basic I guess but I can’t believe something as tasty as chicken apple sausage exists and I had never had it before.

2. What, if anything, did you learn during this CFCC BCCC?
The main things I took from this challenge are that 1.) I actually like vegetables once I discovered all those leafy greens and ways to cook them  2.) I feel wayyy better and have more energy when I don’t drink diet coke- or pour a crap load of Splenda (or “the devil” as I believe Avener called it) in my coffee and 3) I definitely didn’t eat enough protein prior to this challenge and eating enough helped curb my hunger like whoa.

3. What would you say to someone who was starting CFCC-style nutrition for the first time?
If you are starting CFCC-style nutrition for the first time, get rid of all the stuff you used to eat and stay stocked with the healthy stuff.  It makes decision-making a lot easier.  And basically just do whatever Erin says. (haha, thanks, Joey!)

4. What will you eat now that you can?
Cutting out alcohol, nuts and dark chocolate the last week made the most dramatic difference in body composition, but those are a few things I don’t really want to live without, namely the alcohol.  Just kidding.  But seriously.  It’s good to know I can cut it out when I need to but life isn’t as fun without the occasional drink or chocolate!


LS’s goal during the challenge above all else was to feel better!  As a result we attempted to let her body take it’s natural course on body composition and focused principally on not worrying too much about caloric restriction of any kind.  It’s interesting then, that her body responded by still altering in body composition as a nice side effect to her feeling a lot better altogether – even though she was sick during the course of the challenge!  Additionally, she is former vegetarian who has just begun to eat sustainably-raised and humanely slaughtered proteins – this makes making choices harder!  I’m proud to say she has dropped more than 7lbs., lost two inches around her waist, and almost two inches around her hips, and a 1/2 inch around her arms. That’s a tremendous difference coming along with feeling a LOT better!

1. What was your favorite meal to eat during the thirty days of the CFCC BCCC?
In terms of something that was easy and satisfying, I was happy to eat a lot of chicken sausage (various flavors) plus kale chips (my favorite!) and a sweet potato. I also liked making fajita chicken from the fajita spice mix you can get from Penzey’s spices.
2. What, if anything, did you learn during this CFCC BCCC?
I learned what foods I can eat that don’t make me sick. This is really great for me because I’ve been struggling with what Erin calls “leaky gut” for years. Now I know that if I eat meat, eggs, leafy greens and sweet potatoes or squash (maybe with some berries and coconut), then I won’t get sick, and this is pretty much awesome. I also learned that I like I lot of things that I wouldn’t have eaten 6 months ago! I was vegetarian for 12 years until around last October, so the idea of buying stuff like chicken feet for broth was pretty strange.
3. What would you say to someone who was starting CFCC-style nutrition for the first time?
I think the key to being successful at changing your diet is finding a couple of easy, quick meals that you like and are satisfying. There’s lots of cookbooks out there with lots of recipes, and most of them are great for a weekend meal but often not so great as something to make when you get home from work at 7 and are starving and didn’t really plan ahead. That’s why I have a freezer full of different kinds of sausage–it doesn’t have to be thawed for you to cook it so you can make it in a hurry.
4. What will you eat now that you can? 
Lattes! Honestly I haven’t changed much yet, because I have to figure out what foods I don’t get along with, and that’s kind of a long process. But I have been having the occasional latte (which fortunately seem to be okay in moderation).
I kind of feel like our final winner almost needs no introduction – you can tell she’s CHANGED and every time she walks into the gym I feel like I hear someone else notice.  CB is a second-timer when it comes to the CFCC BCCC and this time around she wanted to really dedicate herself to being as strict as possible in order to see the most dramatic changes possible.  It wasn’t easy, but I’d say she REALLY achieved her goal!  She lost over 7lbs., an inch and a quarter around her waist, and an inch in her hips.  Changes like this over just 30 days are just REALLY fun to watch and obviously, as you can tell by her smile, pretty fun to experience too. 🙂

1. What was your favorite meal to eat during the thirty days of the CFCC BCCC?
Breakfasts! I always had two eggs over easy with some type of green (usually spinach) and either one large link of chicken sausage OR 3-4 ounces of smoked salmon.

2. What, if anything, did you learn during this CFCC BCCC?
The difference that small changes make when you’re very consistent with them – and that you really can do anything for 30 days.  Also, that you’ll be completely screwed if, say, you order a bridesmaid’s dress in august to fit your largest measurement, and then have to wear it in february after going through two BCCCs. The sales associate at priscilla of boston recommended that I buy a size 14 based on my measurements at the time – I had that dress taken in FOUR INCHES in the bust and as much as possible in the waist at the beginning of february. When I wore it on February 11, it was still far too big. I ended up trading dresses with a bridesmaid whose size 8 wasn’t working for her – and the unaltered size 8 was still at least a size too big. Thankfully I got through the day with no wardrobe malfunctions.


3. What would you say to someone who was starting CFCC-style nutrition for the first time?
Listen to your coaches, do what they say, and stop thinking that you’re special and “can’t” do this – you can, and it’s worth it.

4. What will you eat now that you can?
The same stuff I ate on the challenge, with the following additions: cream in my coffee every day, instead of just on weekends, and welcoming dark chocolate back into my life with open arms (about 1/2 ounce to an ounce four times a week or so…except for that time on saturday night i ate an entire bar for dinner. whatever).

SO, WHEN THE NEXT CFCC BCCC ROLLS AROUND – don’t wait around for all the great changes – SIGN UP, and watch ’em happen!

What’s the deal with the Nutrition-ey Challenge Stuff?

3 Jan

Four members of the last CFCC BCCC show off their food logs!

Here’s what you need to know about how CFCC is helping YOU to move into 2012 at your best:

This Wednesday (that’s right, today) there’s a Nutrition Seminar happening INSTEAD of classes at 630pm.  Why are we doing this INSTEAD of classes?  Because what you eat affects your mood, your body composition (whether you want to be leaner, or whether you want to gain muscle mass), and both of these things affect whether or not you will show up to class and how you will perform when you get there!  YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT!

We want you to be at your best and that means giving you the whole picture of what optimal health and performance is like – and that’s not just training!  Remember, you can’t out-train a bad diet and we’re not about lying to the people we like most in Philadelphia!

What specifically are we going to talk about?

A quick recap of my personal experience with Paleo/Primal eating.

– what I know from experience

– what I will definitely NOT be assuming I know in today’s time.

– people who know more than me 🙂

Goal Setting: what does Nutrition have to do with training and health?

A comparison between what I eat (Paleo/Primal) vs. what is recommended for me by Conventional Wisdom.

– Insulin Regulation and what it has to do with Body Composition.

– Label Reading and WHAT FOOD IS MADE OF

Common Concerns about the Paleo Diet and a brief review of the phases CFCC has had with this:

Fat intake – fact vs. fiction

Cholesterol and Heart Disease – do I get both if I eat seafood???

Grains, Potatoes, Nuts, and Legumes – are they really the devil?

Is Dairy really scary?

So how do you know if any of these things are affecting you or not?

– What digestion is really supposed to be like – and what it’s not.

– How the phases of BCCC (CFCC’s Body Change Composition Challenge) work for most.

How to eat real, whole, food. 🙂

– for health, for fat loss, for mass gain, for optimal recovery.

– three go-to paleo meals —> EMERGENCY PROTEIN!

The Take-Home Pyramid.

Open Question and Answer Time.