Planning vs Preparing: Setting yourself up for success with nutrition (and more)

Eating a healthy, nutrient-rich diet is one of the hardest lifestyle changes to make for many of the people who we work with.  Oftentimes, eating better does not happen because of inconvenience, whether it’s difficulty deciding what to eat, how much to eat, or finding the time to prepare healthy dishes.

 

In our experience, healthy eating comes most naturally when it is made convenient, or in other words, when you don’t have to think about it.  We do this through planning and preparing.

 

While planning and preparing seem very similar, it is valuable to recognize the difference between the two to better see where you should spend more of your focus!

 

Planning

Planning is like writing a script. You are predetermining what you are going to do and when. This makes execution simpler because you no longer have to weigh the options and make decisions multiple times per day because you already have a game plan.  When the reminder goes off on your phone or you get to your scheduled action time, all you’ve got to do is act, no thinking required!

 

Ultimately, planning is developing a strategy. You are way more likely to find success if you have a strategy. A strategy does not make it certain, but a lack of strategy makes failure as close to certain as anything!

 

Preparation

Preparation is like packing your suitcase for the trip. When you are prepared, you will know how to respond to the environment.  Preparation provides you with motivation. Motivation is action on reason.

 

Planning is your what and when.  Preparing is your how and where.

 

If you combine planning and preparation, you have covered your what, when, where, and how. Which leaves you only missing your why. Your why is the most important determining factor of success.  Without a strong why as a foundation, the rest of the process remains weak.  Taking the time to determine your why will give you the fuel to continue to make positive choices, even when the negative ones seem tempting.

 

Let’s recap 3 take-aways for establishing healthy eating habits:

  1. You must define your why before you can start planning.
  2. Planning comes before preparing, so refine this skill first.
  3. Preparing is the action taking phase… AKA… Execution baby!

 

Now, how do you actually put this into practice?

Start by picking the least stressful day of your week (likely one where you do not work), and give yourself 30 minutes to plan the next week. I like to do this in the morning hours when I am fresh, but sometimes it makes more sense for me to do in the afternoon. In this 30 minute window, you will be thinking about the week ahead, your meetings, obligations, and appointments, and planning when will be the best time to set aside time for eating (or whatever important tasks you want to be sure to prioritize).

 

For me this is 8-8:30, 11:00-11:30, 2:00-3:00, 6:00-7:00, and 8:00-8:30. This gives me ample time to consume my food, and when that time is blocked I know other distractions cannot get in the way. This also gives me 5 opportunities to eat! That way I can get all the food I need to nourish myself and support optimized body function.

 

Once you know your time blocks, you’re going to plan what you are going to eat. You can start general and get specific as the skill improves!

A general plan might look like this:

8:00-8:30 = 40g Protein/30g Fat/50g Carb

11:00-11:30 = 30g Protein/10g Fat/20g Carb

2:00-3:00 = 50g Protein/30g Fat/ 100g Carb

6:00-7:00 =  30g Protein/15g Fat/ 70g Carb

 8:00-8:30 = 20g Protein/20g Carb

And a specific plan might look like this:

8:00-8:30 = Kodiak Cake/Peanut Butter/ 3 Whole Eggs/ 2 Egg Whites/ 1/3c Milk/ Coffee

11:00 – 11:30 = Protein Shake/Yogurt/Apple

2:00-3:00 = Chipotle Burrito

6:00-7:00 = Chicken/Rice//Olive Oil

8:00-8:30 = Protein Shake/Banana

*I did not include my veggies as they are relatively negligible towards my macros, but they are a vital part of any healthy diet and for most, the simplest change to make.

This plan is specific for me and my activity level. This is 2,485cals and that is fine for me on a non-workout day.

 

Now that you have practiced planning for a more successful nutrition plan, you can implement the same thing into your work week.  But why stop there? This time blocking exercise can be used for anything that you would like to make a priority in your life. Time-block your family time. Time block your workouts.  You can get more and more detailed over time and before you know it, you’ll be a success machine!

 

When it comes to preparing, you’ve got a lot more flexibility. Here is what you want to know though. 

  1. Prepare the meals ahead of time, especially if they drain you. 
    1. Cook in double batches and have the same dinner every 2 nights. 
    2. Cut up all of your veggies for the week so you simply have to toss them onto a cooking sheet or into a pan.
  2. Set up your environment. 
    1. This might mean putting a sticky note on your computer monitor, on your steering wheel, or on your bathroom mirror, every day that reminds you to eat or setting reminders on your phone.
    2. It might be keeping your protein powder out on a counter to cue you to make a drink and stay on track. 
    3. It might also include getting rid of distractions, like closing your email when you aren’t using it (time-block when you can engage in email). 
    4. It may also look like setting most everything out on the counter the night before to streamline the making of breakfast (Disclaimer, don’t leave perishable food out overnight… I feel like I shouldn’t have to say this, but you never know anymore!)

 

Being productive and efficient with your time is most definitely becoming a lost art in our society. There are so many distractions that consume our time in small enough windows, that we do not realize the compounding impact they have on us.  By planning and preparing ahead of time, when you have the energy and mental capacity to do so, you’ll make eating healthy an easy choice, making it a sustainable change!

6 Reasons Your PT or Chiropractic Care Didn’t Work

You’ve been struggling with aches and pains that just don’t seem to go away, so you go to the professionals: doctors, physical therapists, chiropractors.  And for a time, these routes provide relief.  The only problem?  It doesn’t last.  A few months later, those aches start creeping back into your life, starting the cycle all over again.  If this scenario sounds all too familiar, you’re not alone. 

Below, we’ll dive into the 6 reasons your PT and Chiropractic care didn’t work, and what you can do today to get yourself on the right track.

But first, we’d like you to meet Korry. Korry’s a 35 year old office worker and dad who struggles playing with his 30lb child because his shoulder gets sharp pain every time he goes to lift her overhead. Korry has been dealing with this pain for over a year now. 

 

It all started during a game with his co-ed softball league. He went to throw someone out at first, and as the ball left his hand, he was hit with pain in his shoulder.  The pain wasn’t too bad, and Korry’s not one to cause a scene, so he just played through it. But when he woke up the next morning, he could barely lift his arm. There was SO much pain. 

 

Over the course of the next few weeks, the pain settles into a steady ache that never fully goes away. In fact, sometimes the most remedial things would set off his shoulder and the pain would spike again for a day or two.

 

Frustrated and fed up, Korry decides to finally see his doctor. His doctor takes X-rays, checks for swelling, and refers him out to a physical therapist that will work with his insurance. 

 

Great, some professional help I can afford, whew. My insurance will take care of it all and I can finally move on with my life.

 

After his initial check-in and assessment, his physical therapist lays out the plan: he’ll be better in about 8-12 weeks, seeing his physical therapist 3x/week to start and then backing off to 1x/week later. It’ll cost about $540 for Korry, after insurance covers the other $2,160.

 

Korry sees his PT for about 15-20 minutes every session and, although it is hard to tell, he thinks the treatment is working. The PT has him doing a lot of light band rotator cuff exercises that he believes will heal the supraspinatus. 

 

After the initial 3 weeks of 3x/week, Korry’s made enough progress to go down to just 1x/week. The PT gives him some bands and a couple of PDF documents that lay out the homework he should be doing in between visits. 

 

Motivated, Korry knocks out the homework every day, as frequently as recommended by the PT.  Korry is seeing progress!  After a couple weeks of that, feeling a little better, Korry stops taking the homework quite as seriously, skipping a session now and then.  Pretty soon, those skipped sessions add up until he’s rarely doing it, and when he does do it, there is very little focus and effort put into it. 

 

12 weeks later and the physical therapist has seen improvement across the board. Korry’s shoulder isn’t perfect, but it is better than before, so they agree he is ready.  Handy timing since his insurance company won’t cover another round for the remainder of the year. 

 

Korry is stoked to finally get back in the gym. He’s hated falling behind his peers on the team, and the extra weights he’s put on in the last three months off from the gym sure isn’t helping matters. He’s excited to get back into his routine so he can feel better for his daughter, who seems more demanding of his energy each day.

 

Korry hits the gym, but he knows to take it easy at first. So instead of his usually 225lb bench press for 8, he will settle for 185 today and that should do it. He treats the rest of his workouts the same way: a little less weight or fewer reps. He’s playing it safe.

 

After the first week of scaling back, Korry decides it is time to get right back to where he was. He begins to notice the ache that the PT had helped him get rid of is slowly creeping back, but what can you expect after three months away from the gym? He just needs to keep moving and things will be fine.

 

But by week 5, things are not fine.  Korry feels like his shoulder is just as painful as before his PT work, if not worse, and he can’t seem to explain it! He stops going to the gym, but the pain doesn’t seem to go anywhere. 

 

After many discussions at the old watering hole, his coworker convinces him that a chiropractor might be another affordable solution. Thankfully, his insurance company will help out with a monthly visit, but no more frequently than that. 

 

The chiropractor would like to see him 2x/week to start and then taper into 1x/month as symptoms subside. Each session costs $75, which is on par with the national average.

 

8 weeks and 16 sessions later, the pain has started to decrease! Finally a solution! He goes down to 1x/week, and similarly, he gets some homework to do from home. There are no fancy bands, just simple things from around the house. 

 

This time, Korry knows he is going to stick with the homework. He does it religiously. It is boring and repetitive, but overall pretty easy. To help him stay on track, Korry turns on some Netflix to pass the time. Schitt’s Creek is pretty funny! Wait, was that 3 sets? Or 2? I think it was 3. What rep am I on? 

 

And just like that, his chiropractic visits are over and he is back to pain-free living. Time to get back into shape! This time Korry tries a different approach. He goes to a CrossFit box down the road. He was told he was crazy and that they would leave him far worse off than anywhere else. But Korry likes a competitive atmosphere.  The CrossFit gym takes him through a 6 session ONRAMP, and then he jumps into classes 3-5x/week. So far things are going ok. 

 

One day, Korry goes to pick his now 35lb kiddo up and throw her overhead and catch her. Seeing her smile is a real thrill and there is no better way to connect than to be the cause of that smile! It is priceless. 

 

A familiar feeling in the shoulder sends his brain right back to that fateful throw to first base. Is it back? A quick rotation of his shoulder. No, it is still good. Well last time it was worse the next day. We will see. Playtime is over, laughing turns to crying, and now he is reaching for the remote to turn on some Octonauts to settle the child down.

 

The next day, the pain is not worse, but it is definitely still there. This pattern of pain continues and as it does, it begins to cast shade over other areas of Korry’s life. He’s gained weight again, partly because he isn’t making it into the gym anymore, and partly because he has replaced that healthy habit with some less ideal alternatives.  The mental demand of his job is exhausting, as he tries to suppress the looming feelings of inadequacy that have been building. He uses up all of his patience at work and by the time he gets home he feels he is at his wits end, which causes him to become short with his wife and family more often than he would like.

 

The process has failed Korry from getting out of pain and STAYING out of pain, and now he feels like he can never get back to the active life he once had. That is just getting old, right?

 

There are 6 reasons why the process has failed for Korry, and why it has failed for so many well intentioned people just like him:

 

1.Boring homework:   

Homework is difficult to do on a consistent basis. People often lack confidence that they are doing the movements correctly, leading them to avoid it altogether. And for the ones who do power through the uncertainty, boredom takes over. This boredom makes them easily distracted and complacent, so the effort is no longer even effective. And when the motivation wanes, most just stop doing homework altogether.

 

2.Session package built for insurance and not the individual:   

Insurance companies do not care if you can throw a softball or toss your kids overhead. In fact, they would probably rather you not. They care if you can do your activities of daily living with a tolerable pain level.  Insurance might be well intended, but there is no doubt that it is not working for the vast majority of us. Korry might have needed PT for an additional 8 weeks in order to give him the time he needed to totally recover. But because insurance was the deciding factor, not what was best for Korry, he was discouraged from continuing treatment.

 

3.Too specific:   

To get Korry out of pain, all of the treatment was focused in one specific area. This focus is great for recovery, but it certainly does not help the individual with the transition back to normal life. That level of tunnel vision meant Korry was never able to practice the more complex movements that he was going to be going back to. Additionally, it also prevented the PT from exploring other areas where the root of the problem may have been. Perhaps this whole situation could have been avoided if Korry knew how to breathe with proper mechanics and brace for specific movements. Maybe Korry also needed to work on sleeping the appropriate amount or eating the right diet.  With too narrow a focus, the big picture can be missed.

 

4.Limited accountability:   

The PTs and Chiropractors, even the good ones, aren’t set up well for frequent conversations and check-ins with the people they are serving. If they are to remain profitable, they need to see a set amount of people. That means less time spent doing things like checking in with clients throughout the week. In order to be successful, the PT might have needed to check in with Korry daily to make sure he was doing his homework and working on improving his lifestyle. But since Korry only got a check in once per week, and then never once his sessions were up, the lack of accountability allowed him to drop off on his homework, and he didn’t make the progress he needed to.

 

5.Regressed fitness level:   

PTs and Chiropractors need to take as much control as they can. They are not  likely to prescribe workout routines designed to keep your fitness levels up because of the added risk this unsupervised regime could have to your specific problem. It is easier to just eliminate fitness stuff altogether so that they can ensure you are doing only the right things during their care, as much as possible. In some cases this even leads to treating people as if they are truly FRAGILE, when the opposite is largely the reality.  Korry never learned how to keep his fitness level up while working smartly while his shoulder pain persists.  So when he went back to the gym, he was left guessing at how to improve his fitness while staying out of pain.

 

6.The inevitable cycle of pain:   

Number 5 leads directly into this. Once you are done with your package of visits and you’re (hopefully) pain free, you’re sent out into the world again.  There is no playbook to take you from where you are now back to your former potential. In many cases, the individual is fine and the cycle won’t continue. But more often than anyone would like, this cycle does happen. We just heard Korry do it multiple times! Many people need a more dedicated plan that they simply do not have the time or knowledge to create on top of the other responsibilities in their life.  So they are left guessing.

 

These are 6 common reasons why PT and Chiropractic care fails for some, but there’s also a 7th reason holding people back from reaching their goals and eliminating their limitations.

 

Reason #7: COST

The route Korry took cost him $1,400 after insurance.  But emotionally it cost him much more. It cost him a fitness level that would allow him to feel confident in his body and abilities, which leads to more bad decisions around the lifestyle and worse yet more frustration. With more frustration, his ability to adapt to his surroundings using a balance of emotion and logic leaves him responding very one sided, inflicting a lot of damage into his relationships. This could end up costing far more for Korry if those habits continue down that path. We are talking costs in therapy, divorce, career shifts, and more. 

 

People spend $50,000 + on education, $300,000 on a home to call their own, and multiple times of $20,000 (per vehicle) or more on vehicles to get them from A to B comfortably.  People spend $5,400+ per year on a health insurance system that is really only doing a great job if a catastrophic life event happens. Rarely are healthy people in need of that much to see their doctor twice a year. Even low balling these numbers, we are still at a cost of $700,000. More realistically it’ll be closer to cool $1 Million.  Shouldn’t your money that you invest actually make you feel better. Aren’t you worthy of leading a life of opportunity, confidence, and fulfillment?

 

You have one vehicle to move about the world in, you need to make smart investments in it if you want it to be there for you in the beginning, middle, and end.

 

At Principia, we set ourselves up differently than the typical PT or chiropractic office. 

We look at the individual as a whole, keeping the focus broad enough to see the whole picture.  We look at lifestyle, previous experiences, and future goals when laying out a framework for recovery.  We rarely assign fitness homework, because we know it is only truly effective when done correctly, consistently, and with the right intention.  Instead, we work those movements into your daily program at the gym.

 

What was their past and present lifestyle?  Where is the low hanging fruit? We rarely assign fitness homework. It is done in a gym so we keep those lives separate. Home is for comfort and vulnerability as much as possible. We prescribe sessions more based on results and progress and less on problems. In other words, you don’t move on just because you are out of pain, you move on because you are out of pain and the next progression will afford you with more opportunity to drill, keeping it off with added intensities, frequencies, or movements. We check in regularly. Almost daily! We want to make sure you are getting everything done and progressing as quickly as we can. We are always pivoting as a team to build the best version of you as quickly as possible. We keep your fitness level on the incline even when we are getting you out of pain! You can never fall back into the cycle of pain because the daily interaction with your coach makes those pivots happen before they come to a head. And in those scenarios where a set back happens, your coach is right there to make sure your focus is on the right things and it doesn’t send you spiraling.

Why You Don’t Move Well

In today’s episode of the Principia Podcast, we talk with Mitch and Jake to discuss the advantages of participating in the Principia CrossFit flexibility/mobility workshop and answer the question: If they could chose only one meal to eat for the rest of their life, what would that meal be?

This Changed My Life

In today’s episode of the Principia Podcast, we talk with Duane and Jake about their experience with Principia CrossFit.  This father son duo have been a part of Principia for a while now, and both have seen some big changes!  Dropping body fat and replacing it with muscle, these guys have transformed their bodies and their minds.

My Body is Celebrated

In today’s episode of the Principia Podcast, we talk with Madison about her experience with Principia CrossFit.  Madison used to struggle with body image issues, but her experience with Principia has given her a new sense of confidence and pride!  Instead of hating the parts of her body that others have labeled as non-traditional, Madison has learned to celebrate what her body can do for her!

I got my wife pregnant

In today’s episode of the Principia Podcast, we talk with Jeff about his experience with Principia CrossFit.  Jeff’s wife has been a long time CrossFitter, and after his pants started to get a little too tight, he decided he needed to see what Principia was all about.  He dropped weight quickly, and even got his wife pregnant in the process!  We call that a win for sure!

Do you want to wear the minimum pieces of flare?

In today’s episode of the Principia Podcast, we talk with Trisha about her experience with Principia CrossFit.  This podcast is FULL of great nuggets of motivation. Trisha wanted to feel better and despite being terrified her first day she conquered fear and lost 40lbs! We were able to give Trisha clarity, and then her execution and consistency produced serious results!

Get Out of Pain

One of the BIGGEST reasons people don’t stick with their workout regimen is because they hurt all the time: their back aches, their shoulder hurts, their neck tweaks, their knees throb. When it starts, the pain isn’t always sharp or intense, so they keep grinding. But over time, the minor aches and pains slowly escalate until one day, they just can’t fathom continuing with what they are doing.  Unfortunately, many people ignore the pain, pushing through it for short-term gains, while ultimately causing long-term damage.

 

Watch this 6 minute video to see what is really happening when you push past your minor pains.

 

“Getting older” doesn’t have to mean accepting these aches and pains as facts of life. We have the education, experience, and programs to help guide you out of this cycle and keep you doing the things you love, pain free.  We assess your history, your current regimen, and where you want to be. With the data obtained from your assessments, we create your plan that will eliminate your pain. Period. Follow our guidance, get out of pain, and watch your fitness thrive!  It will be one of the GREATEST decisions you have ever made. Sound too good to be true? Check out some testimonials from our current members.

Are you ready to get out of pain? Schedule an assessment with one of our coaches today!

I am… BULLETPROOF

The little voice inside your head.  It is always talking.

I’m too old.  I just don’t have the time. It’s too expensive. It’s easier for everyone else. I have bad genes. It’s out of my control. It’s never worked before.

It feeds you lies.

You are smart. You are worthy. You are important. Your age does not define your abilities. You are qualified to take action and GAIN CONTROL over your future.  You are ready for the next step. You are not always successful, but you ARE great at learning from your failures. YOU ARE BULLETPROOF.

If this doesn’t feel like you, that’s OK.  But it should be how you think about yourself.  And even if you’re not there yet, we will get you there.  

 

At Principia CrossFit, we work to turn our community into productive, driven, decisive, positive, and resilient people.  We provide challenges, both physically and mentally, honing the systems to conquer life’s obstacles. You will be BULLETPROOF.

And guess what? On that path to becoming bulletproof, we want you to fail.

 

You might be thinking to yourself, “Whoa whoa whoa, pump the brakes. These people have been hyping me up about how bulletproof I’m going to be, and then they tell me they WANT me to fail?”

Yeah, that’s right.  We do want you to fail. Not fail overall all, but we do want to see you fail occasionally.  Failure is important; it means you are trying something new or testing a boundary. 

 

“It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all – in which case, you fail by default.”  -J.K. Rowling

 

Failure is going to happen; it is a fact of life.  When that failure does happen, will you be prepared?  Will you know how to learn from it, to overcome it, to grow?  Or will that failure cripple you, leaving you afraid to ever take another risk?  We want you to fail occasionally, and instead of being crippled, we want you to hunt for the growth and lessons in that experience and turn things around!  

We coach you physically.  We improve your stamina, your endurance, your strength.  We get you to look good naked. But the biggest transformation–the most impactful transformation–occurs on the inside.  We coach your mindset, training you to be a resilient, education-craving individual.

 

“Most great people have achieved their greatest success just one step beyond their greatest failure.”  -Napoleon Hill

 

Failure sucks in the moment.  It is hard to face. Your family, you friends, don’t want you to hurt. They may even attempt to shelter you from it. Don’t let them.  Cut yourself loose because that failure is going to change your life. 

You will fail, and you will have the tools, the strategies to overcome that failure.  We are going to help you conquer life’s challenges, and right around the corner, you will be more successful than you ever thought you were capable of.

Macro Highlight: Protein

In the world of fitness, nutrition is always a hot topic to talk about.  Any time we think about changing our diet, it is important that we don’t bite off more than we can chew (punny right? #dadjoke). For the month of February, I would like to focus on one macronutrient: Protein. I believe that a solid month of making a change to a macro like this can be great for making more consistent results! This article is a guide to protein broken up depending on your goals.  But every body is different, so this guide is just an approximation to point you in the right direction.

Goal: Weight Loss

As with any weight loss regime, your calories in must be less than your calories out.  Keep in mind that 1 gram of protein is 4 calories. To find out how much protein to eat each day, I recommend that you take your realistic goal weight and consume 90-100% of that in grams of protein. So taking for example a 145lb female who wants to weigh 135lbs, she should consume 120-135g of protein. This is 540 calories of your daily allowance. If she is to consume 1500 calories a day, protein takes up about 1/3 of the overall calories for the day. Why so much? It is very difficult for your body to breakdown protein into carbons to be utilized as energy and therefore the conversion rate is low. This lower conversion not only staves off the storage of extra carbon (fat) it also provides plenty of amino acids for your body to utilize in creating structures and healing and other recovery processes in the body. In layman terms, a high protein diet will discourage fat storage and promote lean muscle building.

Goal: Performance

If you are happy with your current weight and want to focus on performance, your protein intake will likely need to shift a bit.  You should be looking at your current bodyweight, and trying to intake 70-80% of that in grams of protein. Using the same female from above that weighs 145lbs and has a desire to increase Fran times and lift heavier, she should be taking in 100-115g per day of protein. This same person would also be looking at a higher total caloric intake of let’s call it 2000 calories per day. At this rate, protein would account for 460 of the 2000 calories. This is about 25% of the daily caloric allowance, giving the athlete more opportunity to ingest carbs and fat to be used as fuel in workouts.

Goal: Weight Gain

Weight gaining goals are basically an onslaught of eating as much as possible. With this is mind, we would want to eat 100% of the GOAL weight in grams of protein in order to reach the goal. With weight gaining, you really just want to make sure that you have plenty of protein so that recovery is happening quickly and your body is able to focus more energy on the digestion of fat and carbs.  Eating much more protein than this is typically not as useful as one might think because excess amino acids will simply be flushed out when you urinate. Our example female weighing in at 145lbs needs to consume 2500+ calories per day. If she wishes to gain 10lbs she should be consuming 155g of protein per day which is 620 calories. This is also about 25% of the daily caloric intake. 

Commonalities

What do they have in common? 

  1. Well the examples should all be taken with a grain of salt as each individual’s basal metabolic rate (BMR) is different. Because BMR is different the total calories will change per individual. 
  2. That’s a lot of protein!  No matter what the goal, you should probably be trying to eat more protein than you do throughout your day.
  3. Every person, regardless of goal should be looking to get most or ALL of their protein through REAL food. Easy sources are meat products. While supplementing is okay, it is not quite natural. If it isn’t quite natural, you may not be getting MICROnutrients that your body should have in order to better process the food you are eating. Supplements might not give the liver the amino acids it requires to function better along with other organs. If your organs are operating sub-optimally then you might not be as efficient. Even with whole, real foods, getting a good variety of protein is the key to efficiency… so no, you cannot have chicken with EVERY meal!

Conclusion

For the month of February, I challenge everyone to count their protein intake and begin to tweak it little by little. By the time March hits, it will be a new routine and you can shift focus to the next nutrition goal!