Tagged: Crossfit

Getting to grips with Paleo

It’s been 16 days since I blogged – whoops. I have been extremely busy and there are a couple of pretty cool things that have happened to me. So let me update you:
1) I got cast in a production of Chekhov’s Three Sisters as Natasha! This will be performed in February or March 2013.
2) Mrs Lee’s Ladies (which was the name of a sitcom I filmed last year) will be put on as a play in Oran Mor in February 2013.
3) It was my birthday. I got lots of lovely Underarmour kit from lovely Paul ILOVEUNDERARMOUR some new sneaks for Crossfit (New Balance Minimus) and the most amazing surprise zombie apocalypse/party with all my favourite people.

It’s been a great couple of weeks settling into my new flat and having some well needed good things happen to me career wise. HOWEVER, the bad thing that comes along with celebration and birthday’s is that the healthy eating plan goes tits up. I was doing a sampling job in Ayr for a few days leading up to my birthday but the bad thing when I’m sampling sweets and cakes is that I often end up sampling an awful lot too. I also seem to be surrounded by friends that are amazing bakers and when my birthday came I made my way through several zombie finger sausage rolls, slices of delicious graveyard chocolate cake, brain cupcakes and eyeball tophats! Delicious, but not going to help me achieve my beautiful body goal.

I was given a Paleo cookbook for my birthday (The Paleo Diet Cookbook by Loren Cordain) and I was advised to read Robb Wolf’s 30 day Total Transformation by Bobby at my gym. As far as I can see – from reading about Paleo online – it seems to be very popular amongst people who do Crossfit. Excuse me for the crude description but the idea behind Paleo, or caveman diet, is to try and replicate what cavemen used to eat ie fresh meat, fish, vegetables and nuts and eradicate any “modern” foods that cavemen didn’t have access to like dairy (you can’t milk a dinosaur apparently), wheat, grains, salt, sugar, anything artificial with additives or sweeteners. Supporters of Paleo argue that these foods are the causes of modern diseases such as cancer, diabetes, heart disease, parkinsons, alzheimers and depression and that cutting them out reduces the risk of getting them.
Most of the books and information online seem to agree on the principles but I am finding there is a bit of a grey area on things like fruit and dairy. One of my books says No Fruit apart from maybe a couple of pieces a week later in the day and another book gives a whole list of fruits to include day to day. I have also seen Paleo recipes that use cheese although I thought dairy was no no. The whole thing is a little confusing so On Monday I decided eat Paleo for a couple of weeks and see how I got on. There is no better way than to try myself. I’m a nerd when it comes to things like this. I like to read arguments for and against idea’s before trying it myself to make my own mind up. I’m not sure if this is a fad but I do like the ideals that this way of eating comes with. I like that it is encouraging me think about what I am putting in my body not only in terms of how healthy and fresh it is but also where it has come from. I am buying in season fruit and vegetables. I have never eaten non free range eggs but before I didn’t really check where the meat came from. As far as funds will allow me I am now trying to buy grass fed meat from the butchers instead of the supermarket. There can’t be anything bad about that if it’s good for me and the environment.
I don’t want to feel like I’m depriving myself so to ease myself into the Paleo way of living, I am not going to remove dairy from my diet just yet. I might try it next year when I am more comfortable with this. I’m still going to eat fruit now and then just not go crazy on it. It’s nice to eat for dessert to satisfy my sweet tooth. I am also, to start with, going to have 3 non Paleo meals a week (not all in one day) not necessarily unhealthy meals just non Paleo. It also allows me to still socialise with friends who don’t eat Paleo.
I’ll keep you updated with how I’m getting on and any interesting recipes. Most exciting so far has been the chicken fajita muffins that I have been having for breakfast!

Shona x

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Getting back on it

As you’ll know from my last blog I’ve been pretty ill recently. I tried to go back to crossfit on Monday. It was a pretty tough WoD with loads of thrusters (thanks Walex) and after a couple of minutes in I felt light headed and shaky and had to give up. I’m a bit embarrassed to admit that I might have had some angry and frustrated tears in the car home.
I tried again on Tuesday morning and managed to finish the WoD but had to take loads of rest and ended up with a rubbish time.
On Wednesday I was moving flat. One intensive day of lugging stuff from two flats into one meant that not only did I not have time to train, I had absolutely no energy to do it either.
Come Thursday and I was feeling pretty demotivated in everything. It’s such a horrible feeling when you can’t be bothered doing anything. I found it so difficult to drag my ass to Crossfit but I’m glad I did. I must have been back to 100% and I really enjoyed it.
Today I tried to get my rep max for back squats and I managed 60kilos at a good depth and then couldn’t get low enough at 65 (bodyweight) so I no-repped myself. I have managed 65 before at a good depth but haven’t worked on squats for a while.
I’m going to work towards 70kg and I WILL achieve this in four weeks.
I learned this week that you CANNOT ignore your body and you can’t force it to recover: you just need to wait, ride it out and look after yourself.
And also in other news:

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Shona x

Feeling the Pinch

Yesterday I had my squishy bits measured by a lovely man called Nairn. By that I mean I had my body fat percentage calculated. I figured that it would be a good idea to have the done at the start of my journey and I plan to do this again in about 6 weeks time to see how I’m getting on.

The whole process took about an hour and involved Nairn conducting two different types of test. The first one was the skinfold test where Nairn basically took a wedge of squidge and measured it with a set of calipers. He also took measurements of the girth of my bicep (normal and flexed which I enjoyed…) around my middle, bum and calf. He did each of these measurements two or three times so that he could get the most accurate measurement. A friend who had been before me said that the calipers hurt when they pinch but I think she was just being a wimp.

Nairn then conducted a “Bioelectrical impedance analysis” test. Four little wires were stuck to my foot and wrist and then a small electric current was sent through my body. It measures your fat by the resistance to the current (electricity passes quickly through water and fat doesn’t contain much water) I thought I’d feel the current passing through my body but was disappointed when I didn’t start involuntarily twitching.

So here are the results:

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Nairn told me that the number we want to focus on and look at reducing is the total skinfold (mm) but my own little personal goal is to also increase the girth of my arms flexed because I love giving the lads a gun show.

I wasn’t really sure what 19.3% body fat meant. Was it good, bad or average? Then I found this delicious little nugget on Wikipedia:

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To which I did this face:

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*coughathletecough*

For me, body fat is a good measure of success. I’ve learnt when it comes to improving your body and fitness there are two things to avoid:

1) Measuring your progress in terms of weight loss.
When someone tells you how good you look they haven’t checked what you weigh on the scales. If you are exercising then you could be losing fat but gaining muscle at the same time, so you weigh the same as you did before but look smaller

2) Looking at BMI
A few christmas’s ago, my family got a Wii Fit which can measure your BMI. Well we weren’t having a happy Christmas when the bloody thing told half of us we were overweight and according to it my brother in law Donald was obese! (He’s not)
BMI bases whether you are healthy or not on just your height and weight. It doesn’t really take things like muscle into consideration.

So I’m looking to reduce the measurements of the total skinfold and the body fat %. I’m not sure what to aim for in terms of body fat but won’t drop any lower than 15% because I don’t think that would be healthy or enjoyable for me.

If anyone wants anymore information about the body fat test and to book one yourself, click here to contact Nairn.

Shona x