Fasting Seminar Bullet Points

Intermittent fastin concept - empty plate on blue background

There’s been talk around our community about the benefits of fasting. Therefore Sara and I decided to attend a seminar at Palm Health about the “Essentials of Fasting.”  Here were the take always:

There are different types of fasting but the two most talked about at the seminar were:

*Time Restricted Eating:  Eating within an 8 – 12 hour window.  For example, stop eating at 8:00 pm and don’t have a meal until 12:00 pm the next day (drink plenty of water and you can have black coffee).  So your meals fall between 12pm-8pm.

*Intermittent Fasting: This can be 1-3 days of fasting, 4 or more (considered prolonged), alternate day fasting (Day 1 – 500 calories, Day 2 – regular day, Day 3 – 500 calories, etc).

One of the prolonged fasting regiments discussed was a 6 day plan. Here’s the breakdown:

Day 1: 1100 calories (500 carbs, 500 fats, 25 plant)

Day 2 – 5: 800 calories (400 complex carbs, 400 healthy fats)

Day 6 – Transition day (back to your regular diet)…1100 calories but predominately veggies, rice, quinoa, fruit (minimal protein).

*Note:  This regiment should be done during a low stress week and is easier to do with an accountability partner.  Also, a few important tips to maximize results:  no alcohol and minimal caffeine, light exercise, at least 64 oz of water a day (add pink Himalayan salt to increase electrolytes), get plenty of sleep and plan your meals ahead of time!

For optimal results, this fast should be completed once a month for 3 months then once every 3 months.

So you might be asking yourself, “Why in the he** should I put myself through this?” Here were the benefits discussed:

*Fasting promotes cellular clean up the leads to cellular regeneration (autophagy) and an increase in circulating stem cells.

*It improves longevity.

*Positively impacts weight loss, cholesterol, blood glucose, bone health, body mass.

*Reduces inflammation and various chronic diseases.

If you’re interested in the nitty gritty and want more info, check out the book Longevity Diet by Walter Longo.  His research is fascinating!

Lastly, a few of us are interested in trying the 6 day fast after the holidays.  I’m thinking we’ll have an informal get-together to share ideas and support each other.  More to come!

Holiday Family Adoption

Thanks to LT, we have once again adopted a family to help out this holiday season.  This family is a level 1 priority meaning they need a lot! Let’s make this holiday season the most memorable for them and show them that there are people out there who want to make a difference in their life.  Here are the specifics:



We are working to get tags up at the gym so you can pull them off, shop for your items, and bring them to the gym. There will also be an envelope if you want to donate cash and have us do the shopping.  We’d love to change their life this holiday, so I challenge everyone of us to donate something!  I know we can do it!!

Why Come To Yoga??


Quite a few of you have heard me shooting my mouth off about going to hot yoga and how much I love it.  Let me share a few benefits of yoga (doesn’t have to be hot).  First off, as we get older, it’s super important to work on balance, mobility and flexibility.  These gradually become more difficult with age, however, if we work on it, we can maintain it! Next, yoga helps you learn how to breath effectively which can calm the body. When you hear people talking about deep breathing when stressed, it’s because there is a nerve that runs all the way into your gut. Learning how to control your breathing and doing some deep breathing exercises helps calm this nerve and lets your body know it’s ok ( this nerve is called the vagus nerve). Yoga also helps to develop body awareness and has a calming effect on your nervous system.  With the stressful world we live in, it is important to learn how to calm the body.  Chronic stress disrupts nearly every system in our bodies. It can suppress your immune system, upset your digestive system, increase the risk of heart attacks and strokes and even speed up the aging process. Lastly it builds strength! Think about it…you’re lifting your own body weight!

We are lucky to have our very own yoga instructor at CrossFit Kirkwood.  It doesn’t matter what level you are, give Mandy’s class a try.  I promise you won’t regret it. Mandy is extremely knowledgeable and being a Crossfitter herself, she knows where we all need work. Her class is Sunday from 3-4. You don’t need anything. You can put the kids in the office for an hour, use our mats, and start your week off right. Sign up in MindBody and it is a free class.

One last thing…if you’re interested in trying a hot yoga class, Namaste is allowing it’s members to bring a friend to any class the whole month of November.  Shoot me (Brooke) an e-mail or text if you want to join me.

Family In Need

Walt Steiner from our gym is hosting a fundraiser for his administrative assistant, Jen Candri.  Jen is battling stage 4 colon cancer and the cost of treatment is putting a heavy burden on her finances. He’s asking for CrossFit Kirkwood to rally around Jen and make a donation and/or attend a fundraiser on Friday, October 18th.  An envelope is going up on the board by the gym door for donations.  Jen is a single mom with two young girls, so let’s help support! Details about the event are below:


Takeaways From Teen Resilience and Adaptability Seminar


Friday I attended a seminar on teen resilience and adaptability.  After walking out of there, I thought EVERYONE SHOULD HEAR THIS!  Therefore, I’m working with the presenter to see if we can offer this somehow to the Kirkwood community…stay tuned.

Here were my takeaways…again, just food for thought:

*Teens experience a high and ongoing pressure to achieve from…parents, schools, peers, cultural values of our country (this is the common belief that there is one path to ultimate happiness and that’s a prestigious college).

*Chronic and frequent daily pressure elevates anxiety, depression, and substance abuse. They escape through technology and substance abuse.

*Teenagers are lacking the ability to ponder, “What do I want? How do I get it?”

*We need to nurture their curiosity to see what they’re interested in.

*Harsh words and disparaging comments have much stronger effects than affectionate words and praise. Perceived parent criticism shows strong negative effects.

*Student perception on the seriousness of consequences for substance use correlates with student use…student use is lower when students perceive strong ramifications.

*In a study, students report consequences correlate with “mattering” to the parents. Kids need to know they matter.

*We need to emphasis integrity, kindness/decency and focus on being a good human and citizen.

Role of Peers

*Comparison and envy is rampant and teens constantly rank themselves against one another…it is constant competition. Envy is also linked to several psychological difficulties.

*Adults fall into this with Facebook.

*Teens look at social status by getting “wasted and hooking up.”

*The Instagram Effect… “Acting effortlessly perfect.” There is an unconscious pressure to project success without effort.  This presenting as perfect is prime for hiding distress.

*There is more striving for extrinsic goals (wealth, fame, being attractive) versus intrinsic goals.

Role of Schools

*High emotional engagement on the school’s part = high student adjustment

*Exposure to caring teachers and adults and a clear sense of mattering is essential to a psychological healthy school.

*Schools need low tolerance for bullying and fairness in enforcing rules.

*However, teachers are overloaded and overwhelmed and have a hard time carrying out these relationships. Teachers need to be well in order to help students be well.

Role of Technology

*Kids feel stress from having their lives on display through parents’ social media posts.  This documenting successes causes anxiety and parents need to be conscientious about what they post.

*Kids feel with all these school programs such as Schoology, Infinite Campus that they are constantly surveillanced. This can lead to constant scrutiny over every academic move. Kids need to learn over time to keep track on their own and develop social skills for talking and asking for help.

Need For Awareness:

*We need to be aware of the dangers of envy and perfectionism.

*We need to foster relationship skills in kids.

*Sleep is hugely correlated with happiness as well as exercise, leisure activities and nurturing relationships.  They need to know they matter.

*Adults need to model emotional regulation and good decision making. We need to help them learn to cope versus avoid and increase tolerance of stress.

*Obviously, there is correlation of smart phone usage and anxiety. How can we teach them to be thoughtful and reflective about how they use it? How can adults do the same thing?

*Model in-person connections

What Matters Most For Teen Resilience

*Ensuring the well being of the adults that are significant in their lives (parents, teachers, counselors, administrators, etc).

*Promote prosocial behavior, integrity and compassion over grades (this will lead to the grades).  Great quote:  “We are more in need of models that we are lessons.”

*Unconditional acceptance is critical for children.

*Nuture but keep structure.

*Provide perspective…teens don’t have a fully developed prefrontal cortex so they have a difficult time projecting how situations may effect them.

*Model calmness.

*Lastly, we need to view our kids as individuals and not extensions of us.

Again, these were take aways that resonated with me as a parent and educator.  My intention on sharing this is to do just that…share. Obviously there is no perfect plan for raising/educating children, but the more we as adults share, talk, become aware of the changing world we live in, we can be better off for our kids!



Open Starts Tomorrow

Yes, the CrossFit Open is now starting in October.  Click here to register if you’d like to compete or see how you rank among other athletes:

Here’s an article explaining the new format:

As of now, we’ll be doing some of the Open WODs on Saturday, however there might be weeks that we’ll offer them at open gym on Fridays or you can come to the 5:45 pm class for Jeff or I to judge you.

Nutrition For The Brain




Unfortunately the nutrition talk didn’t happen since she disappeared, however, I went to a very informative talk last Friday about foods that support various aspects of the brain.  Here were some important key points:

*Certain amino acids support the neurotransmitters in our brains as well as our dopamine, norepinephrine, and epinephrine.  Foods that support these amino acids are eggs, cheese, fish, milk and beef.

*Choline is an essential nutrient that our brain and nervous system need to regulate memory, mood, muscle control and the membranes that surround our body’s cells.  Foods that contain choline include milk, eggs, salmon.  People that have suffered from brain injuries need to make sure they’re eating adequate amounts of food with choline in them.

*Thiamine is used by nearly all the cells and is responsible for converting food to energy. Thiamine also affects our memory and hormone control.  Foods that contain thiamine include whole grains (brown rice for example), trout, pork and beans.

*Omega 3 Fatty Acids (EPA, DHA, ALA) are essential fats that the body can’t make from scratch so we must get them from food. They affect the cell receptors in the cell membranes and are a starting point for making hormones, regulating blood clotting, contraction and relaxation of artery walls and inflammation. Mackerel, salmon, and sardines are high in EPA and DHA.  Spinach, kale, brussels sprouts and walnuts are good sources of ALA.

*Vitamin K is needed for regulating the calcium in the bones and plays a vital role in blood clotting.  Foods containing vitamin K include broccoli, kale, asparagus, leafy green lettuce, brussel sprouts, and cauliflower.

*Flavonoids are a group of plant metabolites that provide antioxidant effects.  They also protect the neurons against injury.  This is found in a variety of fruits and vegetables as well as various nuts and seeds (almonds, sunflower, hazelnuts).

In conclusion, make sure you’re eating nutrient rich foods (I also found out that cooking your vegetables breaks down plant bonds which allows your body to absorb the nutrients easier) rotating your fruits/vegetables/proteins and eating a variety of colors.  Regular exercise also promotes cardiovascular health which gets blood pumping and boosts improvement of memory and learning.

I know I don’t have a “nutritionist” degree but hopefully these were some helpful take always!

Movement Matters


Friday I attended a seminar on movement.  There were interesting points to think about as well as good reminders on how we move.  Here were the take always:

*Our current lifestyle mismatches our physiology.  Since we have more conveniences, we are less active.  When we move less then try to go do physical activity, that’s when we sometimes have issues.  

*Muscle mass starts to decline at 35.  However, it is never too late to improve it.

*When exercising, we want QUALITY over quantity.  We need 150 minutes a week of moderate aerobic intensity, 75 minutes a week of vigorous aerobic activity, and at least 2 days a week of moving heavy loads in a safe way.  Move well and move often!

*Know your body and adjust for your needs.  For example, do I need more mobility and flexibility work? How is my balance? Start with basic movements, master those, then progress to higher demanding movements.  This is important to remember with injury as well.  Our minds (the software) want to jump back to where we left off, however, our structural capabilities (the hardware) isn’t ready.

*Avoid loading poor patterns and poor joint centration (do the movement well before adding weight).

*Goals when moving: good motor control, appropriate range of motion (flexibility, mobility, stability), good joint positioning

*AWARENESS IS EVERYTHING!! How often do I move? Do I move well? Can I incorporate more movement throughout the day (parking further away, walking faster to my destination, stretching and releasing connective tissue in the morning and after sitting for extended periods of time)?

*Lastly, you are only as strong as your weakest link.  Work those weak links.

I mentioned to some of you the study on being able to get up off the floor being connected to life expectancy.  Obviously there are quite a few factors that play into it, but here’s an article that describes the study:

Movement Study

The end of the article is a great summary of why it’s important to move…especially as we get older.  

Kid/Teen Classes With Abby This School Year

Abby is continuing to do great things with kids of all ages!  I encourage your kids to give it a try.  It’s so important to teach our kids healthy habits and how to move well at a young age.  Check out her website which is linked on our website (go to the Brand X logo on the left side our our website).  However, here’s a quick glimpse of her schedule:

4:15-4:45pm PreK-1st
4:45-5:30 Kids (1st-6th)
5:30-6:30 Teens (Middle/High School)
3:30-4 PreK-1st
4-4:45 Kids (1st-6th)
6:45-7:45 Teens

There might be some additional Monday classes down the road!