The Big Fat Surprise


Review by:Katherine Martinko (@feistyredhair)
Living / Health
July 13, 2015


Author Nina Teicholz reveals how the past sixty years of low-fat nutrition advice has amounted to a vast uncontrolled experiment with disastrous consequences for human health.

“You may be making yourself miserable three times a day without purpose.” – Edward Pinckney, The Cholesterol Controversy, 1973

Fat, especially saturated, is good for you. With this rebellious statement, author Nina Teicholz wades into a decades-long debate over whether or not eating fat results in heart disease. Her new book, The Big Fat Surprise: Why Butter, Meat & Cheese Belong in a Healthy Diet (Simon & Schuster, 2014), is an eloquent argument for why North Americans should abandon the ‘low fat, high carb’ diet that’s promoted by the official USDA Dietary Guidelines and return to an old-fashioned diet featuring animal products. Continue reading

4th of July at CFF


Hey CrossFitters!

We will be celebrating Independence Day at the Box on Saturday after the 10am class.  Bring a side dish or something good to drink.  Hot dogs and burgers will be provided and on the grill all afternoon.  Looking forward to a fun afternoon!!



Mind over Matter

Earlier this year, my posts concerned goal setting and staying on track…What about when life sends you a curve ball OR our societal norms and cultural engrained ways of behaving creep into our mindset?

Whether you are 20 something or 40 something, our culture has built stereotypes with regard to looking and certainly behaving certain ways. Christiana Northrup, board certified ob/gyn has recently shed more scientific light to the notion that you are only as old as you feel!

One powerful comment she made in her writings is that “aging” and “growing older” are not synonymous. Aging, shows on the outside after it begins from the inside (down to cellular levels). Growing older, is entirely up to you! That’s the beginning of awareness to create a mindful shift.

We need to stop blaming our health problems on our age because the mind believes every word you say. Again, notice your language about getting older or a minor setback due to injury and the messages you receive or even tell yourself.

Think of it this way…regardless of where you are today, this minute…you could become more flexible, happier, more fit, more optimistic, and eat better starting now regardless of your chronological age. The New York Times (Oct 20 2014) wrote of a study that older people with more positive outlooks walked faster, had better handwriting, recover faster from disability, and actually live longer on average by 7.5 years!

Dr. Northrup’s best advice “You can’t change a belief that is unconscious. But once it is, then you are in the driver’s seat of your own life.”

People who have been known to age more gracefully have learned to manage stress in their lives…Whether it’s meditation, taking a couple minutes to unplug from technology each day, walking away from your desk periodically throughout the day, or even forcing yourself to take lunch away from your desk. Exercise is certainly one of the more beneficial methods to tame your stress.

Taking care of yourself should not be delineated to the weekend hours, leaving yourself entirely neglected Monday through Friday. “You are as young as your faith, as old as your doubt, as young as your self-confidence, as old as your fear; as young as your hope and as old as your despair.”- Douglas MacArthur

Be well




Is Grass-Fed Beef Worth It?

WHAT’S YOUR BEEF?  Grass-fed meat is harder to find, more expensive and harder to cook. Is it worth it? Elke S. Nelson, Ph.D. April 28, 2015  - See more at:


Here’s a great article originally written for The Box magazine and also featured on Yahoo! about Grass-Fed beef.

Grass-fed meat is harder to find, more expensive and harder to cook. Is it worth it?

No matter what diet you choose to follow, whether it’s Paleo’s no-grain, no-dairy, no-legume approach or the Zone’s balanced ratios of macronutrients or just a generally eat-as-healthy-as-you-can plan, it’s important to eat the highest quality foods. That often means organic fruit and vegetables, but when it comes to animals, where does quality come from?

Continue reading

Happy Equals Change

Pharell’s song Happy burst onto the airwaves and immediately became a number one hit…”Nothing can’t bring me down…my level’s too high.” I remember having a conversation with someone in which I explained that he needed to put himself first…in the context of career, family and changing gears after a traumatic life event. This person felt that it was without question selfish to think let alone act upon such endeavors that would put his happiness first.  There is no doubt that we can all agree there is a fine line between self-preservation, self-compassion and being selfish. Oprah stated “Every day is an opportunity to grow. When you care about yourself enough to embrace change you are on the path that will lead you home to happiness.” So…does that mean happiness and change go hand in hand? Sounds counterintuitive at first, but I do think that life is about adjusting the sails constantly as you adjust for all the variables in life.

Let’s focus on the “change” aspect of this happiness scenario. So many people in our nation have been desperate for change in the area of weight loss, that it has become a billion dollar industry.  In following this desire, we jump to decisions quickly by throwing money at the issue. I think it is because by committing to a decision (such as joining a gym or buying a weight loss program (videos/food etc) the decision alone allows the person to enter the door of opportunity and dream of possibilities that had stopped or never happened until that first step, until that first decision was made…spend the money.

We all know the prevalent outcome of so many of these weight loss programs, even ones provided under medical care. I have racked by brain for years on this subject matter and initially my ideas formulated around “primary foods” affecting the decisions we make in our “secondary food” choices.  Primary foods are categories such as career, social life, finances, stress, home cooking, spirituality, education, and family that all impact our choices daily concerning what foods enter into our bodies. I still hold that ideal to be true today but let’s take it a step further now.  So often we read about willpower, discipline, motivation, restriction, and accountability being key components of many weight loss plans. I do think they are all valid and have their place in an individualized program for someone given their own inner compulsions for success. The key driver however, is that it starts as change, and then somewhere along the way, change turns into “SOUL SHIFT.”

Dr. Barbara DeAngelis said it best that “Soul Shifts are not adjustments in thinking or behavior that we make and have to remember to keep on making. Instead, they are radical, vibrational shifts originating from inside that spontaneously and inevitably transform the way we relate to ourselves, and to the world.” Happy people embrace change and then embody it wholeheartedly that the daily to-do’s become innate and become a part of you. Step one in happiness and self-compassion is to stop being your own worst enemy – meaning turn the channel on judging, condemning and pointing out all the flaws in yourself. We are imperfectly perfect…Seek people out in life that you feel embody the changes you wish to see in yourself, and surround yourself with people who will nourish your soul!

Be well…Be Be-YOU-tiful!



Fearless? or just Daring

It was only just 53 days ago that the clock struck midnight and 2015 was up and running. I had BIG intentions for 2015 but it was daunting to think about it all at once and what it would look like…If training for a marathon has taught me anything it’s to chunk life down into workable components. So far 53 days in and the ship is still sailing and the sails are adjusting as we go! I had my self-doubts (fears) of making it all happen (home renovating, studying for an exam, getting to the gym, and of course work!)

Two of my favorite authors are Elizabeth Gilbert (Eat, Pray, Love ) and Brené Brown (Daring Greatly). Recently Elizabeth Gilbert shared a Facebook post about being “Fearless” and her interpretation of it.  Her meaning of the typical interpretation of how we think about fear is that we want to leave it behind…fight it, defeat it and move on to conquer the next thing. But I agree with her in her opinion that fear has to play a role in our lives. Fear has to come along for the ride and be a member of the family. Brené Brown feels that courage and being vulnerable go hand in hand. Very similar schools of thought I think…Fear is there to push us to the next level, to challenge us, and move us into the unknown…out of our comfort zone!

Elizabeth Gilbert brilliantly writes “make space for your fear, make peace with it as a part of your life.” This is how we begin to integrate all the parts of us into a healthy working whole. Living with fear, is not the same as just trying harder or buckling down or even getting motivated! Firing on all cylinders in your life involves being imperfect, allowing life to be messy but all the while knowing what needs to be done to pick up the pieces and keep moving forward.

Eating vegetables for many people is out of the comfort zone of living…many people give the rationale that they don’t taste good! Ahhh, discomfort! Not a good feeling, but certainly not painful. Although many of us are pleasure seekers when it comes to food and use food to numb ourselves from other life stresses. Remember there is a fine line of numbing behaviors versus comforting ones. Immersing yourself into healthy eating is a life -long process…Expectations are key here! Are you being realistic?  Remember comparison is the thief of all joy!!! Be your perfectly flawed be-YOU-tiful self!

A dream is your creative vision for your life in the future. You must break out of your current comfort zone and become comfortable with the unfamiliar and the unknown. ~ Denis Waitley

Here are a few yummy things to try maybe out of your norm…

magic happens

Check in time…

January is over…so how did you do? Remember, we are not talking about New Year’s resolutions…it’s about the promise to yourself (or as I mentioned in a previous message )

We can all go down the mental road of self-doubt and negativity probably faster than any car that could ever be made now or ever, but reflection and introspective review are the true gifts of feedback that can be put into action…It’s not complicated. In fact, my message for myself this month is “simplify.”

We have all heard the expression, practice makes perfect…that it takes 21 days to make a habit. Around January 20-21st of this year I heard from many different formats of media that it was the day most people lose or give up on their goals. It was sad to think this, but it’s the messages that are blasted out that are most often difficult to ignore. My message is to simplify. If it takes 21 days to make a habit, why is that? My belief is that when you get 3 weeks into doing something it becomes more innate in you, less thinking and more emotion goes into the behavior/activity. Once we allow ourselves to feel more, and stop thinking about the willpower, motivation, or that it’s the right thing to do…you can literally break free and just feel the moment, be in the moment…that is ‘BE-YOU-tiful!”

For February focus more on breaking free from any subconscious story you have repeatedly told yourself about why you cannot or why you should not do something. I have been working on an academic effort for a few years now and it turns out, I am only 4 more classes away from being able to sit for an exam, I thought would never be possible for me…it was a message I told myself, and sadly that I believed (that it was not achievable for me). Make sure to create some goals for this month that you can measure. To know if they are measurable enough, ask yourself, at the end of this month, how will I know if I have achieved the goal? So, for example, “drink more water” is not measurable. (got it?)

Think of those measurable endeavors for this month and then think of the reward.  If you go to Crossfit Fairmount 12x this month, maybe you reward yourself with a well-earned massage, a new book or maybe just relish in that feat and commit to 12x the next month and keep the streak going!

Put your energy and inner strength into observance of your body and it’s response to foods, sleep, stress and its amazing ability to push more when you truly believe you can achieve. I think we have all been in that situation where the coach/trainer tells you 1 more lap and you are done and somehow you bang out the best time after you just thought you were completely spent!

“You got this!”  Once you allow your mind to break free…February is the shortest month of the year to go for it!

Be well-


New Year …New You?

I for one, am someone who relishes in the intangible spirit of a clean slate when the clock strikes midnight in the new year! I consider it a gift of a brand new start although I am not a fan of New Year’s Resolutions…mainly because of the negativity that surrounds the failures that result. As odd as this may sound though, I am 100% a believer in setting goals in the new year…just with no labels attached. Until I came across this website
I loved it when I found it. It is exactly that, “Because I said I would” and on the website it reads “A promise made. A promise kept.” I think human behavior is that we pride ourselves in integrity and keeping promises except when those promises are to ourselves. Not sure why that is that we can so boldly break our own promises to ourselves repeatedly. Give the promise cards a try (template available on the website) and find out what you are truly capable of achieving this year. Remember it is NOT about setting a deadline type goal but about creating a schedule for yourself. As of today my living room is a mess as I take up the old floor, put down new, paint, study and get done my workouts…A challenging start to January but anything less would be ordinary!

Set some easy goals for yourself for just the month of January (some ideas for thought):
Get to Crossfit a minimum of 12x this month
No eating at a restaurant
Eat at least one serving of something green and unprocessed at each meal
Start with 1 push up, and keeping adding by one each day…until you get to day 100

And maybe even a few more long range goals for the year (some additional examples):
Get to Crossfit 100x
Run 100 miles
Do a 100 mile bike ride
Read 4 books

Why do any of this…Why set any goal? Bill Copeland said it best ”The trouble with not having a goal is that you can spend your life running up and down the field and never score.”
Take the time to find what truly motivates, inspires and energizes you daily. Maybe the secret to life and to growth is to focus all of your energy not on fighting the old but on perpetually building and redefining “you”. The greatest lesson from achieving the completion of the marathon in 2009 was to break down the insurmountable goal of 26.2 into much smaller achievable victories. This leads to more sustained happiness as you continue to climb to the next small victory and getting the most out of each moment. Remember, it’s the journey not the destination…cliché but soo true! Commit to the happiness in each of the gym sessions, in each push-up, in each mile or each book you read. It is not about finding personal worth when you get to the end but finding yourself in the process and what makes you come alive from it!

Be well

Finding Center

I think I may have mentioned in previous comments about the holidays potentially being a stressful time of year. Without question, that can certainly apply to the other 11 months of the year as well! I have heard many many times that happiness is a state of mind, or something alluding to the fact that we can control our emotions by simply not being in that negative space…and I came across this quote;

“Focus on how you want to feel, not what you want to achieve.” – DeAnna Lynn Englezos.

As we all experience bumps in the road or lose our center …how do you find your way back? And can you simply choose your way back? I just had a birthday and each year there are more axioms that I find I just come to accept as the truth more wholeheartedly and without question. So as we are speeding into 2015, I wanted to provide you my top 10 ways of working back to center…

  1. Literally count your blessings and write them down! One day I was experiencing a particularly bad day, so I made a list of all the ‘amazing’ things that have happened to me (amazing comes in ordinary form as well) and immediately I started to feel lighter
  2. Again, back to the list…write down what it is that is eating away at you. How long is the list? You might be surprised it ends up being suspiciously short! Which means its more an emotional response to something …make a more underlying or even reoccurring matter at hand.
  3. Gratitude…okay, if you don’t want to write these down, you can take pictures of your blessings instead! Focus on what you have in your life today, and not on what you do not.
  4. Acts of service are the rent we pay for getting to live on this earth. When you are down, it just may be the best picker upper to do something heartfelt for someone else, whether they are less fortunate than you or not…just do something without the need to get in return.
  5. Forgive, let go, come to terms or get yourself “unstuck” by finding the source. Possibly a “who” is not providing you the space, opportunity or safety to speak your mind, which can eat away at your soul. If it’s a “what” …find a way to get through it and get it done to get yourself unstuck! You may think it’s a little thing but then you could come to find a much larger pattern of you not speaking up, not growing mentally, and getting stuck in relationships, life, work etc.
  6. Find the person or people in your life that “fill your bucket.” When someone has depleted your reserves and you need replenishing, who is in your life that immediately lifts your spirits, offers viable advice, and provides empathy and compassion. And if your bucket is already full, help someone fill their bucket back to the top!
  7. Decluttering and organizing anything always cheers me up. Get rid of something old to make room for something new…I think that applies emotionally too
  8. Do something that costs no money…take a walk, bring the camera, act like a tourist and relish the day to see who you meet and who you come across. Maybe even make your own scavenger hunt list of things to find!
  9. Send a card to someone – the handwritten kind that needs a stamp J
  10. Go to the gym, or do something to get active! It may just change your entire viewpoint and mood!

And finally, try to catch yourself in the midst of a judging moment and stop the record player and mentally change it to something empowering. Find a powerful message that works for you and replace it…here are a few example…

Whenever you feel fear, it means you are approaching the boundary of what you know and what you do not know. If you back down or step back, your growing stops because your learning stops.”- Robert Kiyosaki

Be well-