Unlock Your Nutrition By Understanding Macronutrients

If you’re trying to improve your nutrition, you’re going to need to know about macronutrients.  After understanding calories, macronutrients are the next step for honing in on your nutrition.  Keep reading to learn the basics, and dive a little deeper into each macronutrient category!

There are three macronutrients that, for the most part, make up our food.  Each macro has its own unique function and will comprise a different percentage of total caloric intake based on an individual’s goals.  

The Basics


4 Calories Per Gram.  Proteins are the building blocks of all cells and are made up of amino acids.  There are 9 essential amino acids (which means you must obtain these through diet) and 11 non-essential amino acids (which means your body has the ability to create them on its own).



4 Calories Per Gram.  Carbohydrates are the only macronutrient that is not essential to consume, as the body has the ability to create them itself.  But that doesn’t mean carbs aren’t important!  Depending on your sport or lifestyle, carbs can be the best way to fuel your performance and enjoy your life.



9 Calories Per Gram.  Fats are essential for all cellular and hormonal functions in the body. Contrary to popular belief, eating fat does not make your fat.  Low fat consumption can lead to hormone dysregulation, low energy, and low libido. 


-Bonus! Alcohol:

7 Calories Per Gram. Alcohol is not technically a macronutrient, but it does still affect your overall caloric load as well as your ability to break down protein.  While alcohol can have a positive role in a healthy lifestyle, it can significantly hinder fat loss.


A Deeper Level of Understanding


Protein is an essential nutrient to the body, composed of carbon, hydrogen, and nitrogen.  Its building blocks, or smallest levels, are called amino acids.  Amino acids can be broken down into three categories:

  • Non Essential Amino Acids – The 12 amino acids we can make in our body, and consumption in our diet is not necessary.
  • Essential Amino Acids – The 8 amino acids that cannot be made in our body and must be consumed in foods.
  • Conditionally Essential Amino Acids – These amino acids are only essential under certain conditions such as childhood, extreme stress, or the aging process. 

It is important to remember that we are always breaking down and rebuilding new proteins.  And while our bodies have the ability to store carbohydrates and fats, we can’t store protein in the same way.  Amino acid loss is always occurring, and this is why it is essential that we take in enough protein to keep the process of protein turnover happening.

Protein Sources

Because of the diverse amino acid sequence of each protein source, it is important to consume a wide variety of protein sources in the diet.  Non processed foods, and seasonal foods will always be preferred, but supplements can certainly help.

Primary protein sources in the diet will be:

  • Meats like beef, steak, or wild game
  • Poultry such as chicken or turkey
  • Seafood like wild caught fish or shellfish
  • High quality deli meats
  • Dairy like greek yogurt or milk
  • Jerky
  • Beans and lentils
  • Tofu and tempeh
  • Protein powders and bars

Protein Intake Recommendations

There’s a lot of controversy around protein intake recommendations, but most of it comes down to specific application.

To start, we want to consider several factors: overall calorie intake, whether or not the individual is resistance training, body weight, body composition, and biological age.  Prescription for protein intake will vary based on goals, but most studies give a range around .7-1.2 grams per pound of body weight.  However, for those carrying a significant amount of body fat, using a target body weight or lean body mass might be a better number than current body weight.

The more physically active you are, the higher your protein needs will be.  And as you age, your protein needs continue to rise as well.



Fat has several functions in the diet, including: 

-Energy source

-Hormone production

-Formation of cell membrane

-Nervous system support

-Providing essential fatty acids (which we cannot make and must consume)


Omega-3 and Omega-6

Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids are both important parts of our diet.  Omega-3fatty acids are often considered to have anti-inflammatory effects.  They help dilate blood vessels, decrease pain, and reduce systemic inflammation.  Omega-6 fatty acids have a pro-inflammatory effect on the human body.  They increase inflammation, cause blood clotting, and can increase pain.  While that sounds pretty bad on the surface level, also understand that we need them – and without them we wouldn’t be able to recover from training or injuries.

Both of these fatty acids are important to our body’s function, and both fatty acids are competing for the same enzymes internally.  For this reason, it is recommended that we consume a diet that is balanced at a minimum of 1:1 omega-3 to omega-6.  (Unfortunately, the current North American diet provides a ratio closer to 10:1!)


Fat Sources:

Food sources that are highest in saturated fats are:

  • Fatty beef
  • Lamb
  • Pork
  • Poultry with skin
  • Coconut
  • Butter
  • Chese
  • Full fat dairy products

Food sources that are highest in monounsaturated fats are:

  • Nuts
  • Avocado
  • Olive Oil
  • Sunflower oil
  • Nut butter
  • Macadamia nuts
  • Egg yolks
  • Almonds

Food sources that are highest in polyunsaturated fats are:

  • Walnuts
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Flax seeds/oil
  • Sesame seeds
  • Fish
  • Chia seeds
  • Grapeseed oil
  • Mayonnaise



There are several different lipoproteins, but the two most famous are Low-Density Lipoproteins (LDL) and High-Density Lipoproteins (HDL).  You may recognize these numbers associated with cholesterol in your blood work.

LDL – often called “bad” cholesterol – transports their content INTO arteries, while HDL – often called “good” cholesterol – transports their content OUT OF artery walls.


Fat Intake Recommendations

It is important to understand that fat is the most calorie dense macronutrient.  While fats have many health benefits, eating them in excess will not contribute to positive physical changes.  The quality of fat intake is also extremely important, with a ratio of 1:1 omega-3 to omega-6 intake as the goal.  In the athletic and aesthetic world, fat intake can have a wide range, anywhere from 20%-70% of daily calories.  Of course, training age, training modality, current intake, hormonal status, previous dietary status, and time of year relative to periodization are all factors that will influence your ideal fat intake.



Carbohydrates are a significant source of energy in most diets, but they are not considered an essential nutrient, meaning we do not need them to survive.  However, it is important to note that in relation to fiber, inadequate intake has been linked to increased mortality.

Are some carbs BAD?

Over the years, carbohydrates have been classified as “simple” or “complex,” but the truth is these terms do not serve justice to the nutritional quality of food as they do not address the micronutrient content or even the blood sugar effect of the given food.  The glycemic index was developed to help classify carbohydrates better by tracking how quickly food raises our blood sugar. Foods like sugar, candy, and cereals will have a higher glycemic index while high fiber foods like veggies and whole grains will have a lower glycemic index. 

The reason this matters is in relation to insulin, our storage hormone.  When blood glucose quickly shoots up, it usually triggers a release of insulin.  High levels of insulin can lead to high levels of fat storage.  Unfortunately, the glycemic index is flawed, as it does not take into consideration food pairings or time of day (pre/post workout) into consideration.



While virtually all carbs end up as glucose in the body, it is important to make a note about dietary fiber.  Fiber is indigestible, and it comes in two forms: soluble and insoluble.

Soluble fiber attracts water and turns to gel during digestion.  Found in oats, nuts, seeds and some fruits and veggies. Because soluble fiber can help decrease cholesterol levels, it may help lower heart disease.

Insoluble fiber is found in foods like wheat bran, root veggies, and fruit and veggie skins.  These fibers help us feel more full, keep things moving in the GI, and boost our overall gut health.


Carbohydrate Sources

Fruits and veggies are the ideal carb sources.  Others include:

  • Oats
  • Pastas
  • Whole grain breads
  • Beans
  • Legumes
  • Quinoa
  • Rice
  • Potatoes


Carbohydrate Intake Recommendation

There is no “optimal range” for carbohydrate prescription.  Typically, when creating a macronutrient prescription, carbohydrates are the last macronutrient to be decided upon, as fat and protein recommendations are more important for specific goals.  If calorie, protein, and fat recommendations are done correctly, carbohydrate ratios will take care of themselves.


There’s a lot to understand when in comes to nutrition.  If you’re wanting to dive deeper into your own nutrition and learn how to eat to fuel your goals, we can help!  Send us an email to get started!

My Wish For You This New Year

New year, new me!  To be honest, I hope you don’t force this this year.  


It isn’t that I don’t want you to improve.  After all, if you aren’t growing, you’re probably slowly dying. No, change is necessary, and change is inevitable. Life happens in seasons: winter brings spring, which begets summer, which gives way to fall, to return once again to winter.  These cycles of rebirth, growth, and death are the foundation of life itself.


The thing is, we humans can sometimes get out of sync with nature.  And it really doesn’t get more obvious than the trend to try to transform our lives at the beginning of the new year.  While the natural world around us is just now sinking deep into hibernation and rest, we try to dive head first into rebirth.  We set early morning alarms to start fitness routines we’ve never done before and throw out our “bad” food to force ourselves to eat in a way that causes more stress and shame than results.  Is it any wonder that most people have already given up on their goals by the third week of January?


I know, I know, this is sounding pretty pessimistic.  You might be thinking to yourself “But you’re a gym… don’t you live for all this new year’s stuff?  Don’t you want people to transform their lives?”


Of course I do!  But the thing is, I’ve been around long enough to know when something is going to work.  And let me tell you this: transformations don’t happen quickly in the natural world (that is, unless they are causing some serious damage), so why do we expect them of ourselves?


In nature, the transformations that make the world a better place… they take time.  And they happen slowly.  Just look at the Grand Canyon or the Redwood Forest.  These iconic, natural wonders took lifetimes to transform.  The changes were slow, painfully slow.  But the result?  It speaks for itself.


Now think back to the natural transformations that happen quickly: tornadoes, floods, earthquakes, fires.  All of these are fast, they transform the landscape, and hey, they might be for the greater good.  But man do they cause some heartache along the way.


Nature finds a way to go on because nature is strong.  It is enduring.  And it knows what it is doing.


We could all learn a thing or two from nature.  The lesson I wish for you this new year?  Despite what every other fitness influencer might imply, you don’t have to transform your life right this second.


If life has been feeling hard lately, if circumstances have you feeling down, if the thought of pushing harder makes you want to cry, remember this: in nature, rebirth comes after times of rest.  And nature certainly doesn’t flip a switch from rest to rebirth in one day (despite what it may feel like if you’re living in Idaho).


If you haven’t had a cycle of rest yet, take it.  Say no to the unnecessary commitments.  Set boundaries in your work/life balance.  And have patience with yourself as you take time for this important part of the life cycle.


Then, once you are ready, when a warmth begins to emanate from within, you can do as nature does: grow.  Not all at once, but bit by little bit, until one day, you look back, and you are a wonder of nature yourself.

Mastering the Double Under

The Double Under.  This CrossFit staple can be a tough skill to master, but with the right intention and progression, you, too, can master this movement.


One of the most challenging aspects of the double under is the level of frustration failure can induce.  Each slip up is annoying in its own right, but add in the red whip lines of the rope hitting your skin, and it is no wonder we hear more swearing on double under days than any other movement.


The same basic principles apply to any skill development, but especially in the double under.  To properly develop a skill, you should: 
  1. Practice fresh
  2. Master the foundations first
  3. Refine without fatigue
  4. Challenge skill under fatigue



  1. Practice fresh 

The first principle of skill development is to practice fresh.  This means, if you want to develop a skill, you must dedicate time outside of your workout to work on it.  In the middle of a workout, you will not have the time or energy to really focus on developing the skill.  Even just a few minutes every day can be enough time to practice progressing your skill levels.


  1. Master the foundations first

Before you begin to link double unders, you must first master these four basic foundations!  Skip over the foundations, and you’ll be in a world of hurt (literally). The four foundations of jump roping:

  1. Rhythm – you need to be able to stay in a rhythm with gravity
  2. Timing – You need to jump at the right time, and spin at the right time
  3. Coordination – You need to be able to coordinate the jump and the spin back and forth
  4. Control – You need to be managing the rope, not the other way around


  1. Refine without fatigue

Again, a key aspect of this principle requires you to work on the skill outside of your normal workout.  In order to refine the skill, you must avoid any fatigue in the movement.  This means, you must not go to failure on each attempt, but rather find a rep scheme that is attainable for you consistently, and drill that rep scheme until you have mastered it.  For example, let’s say you typically can get 7 reps in a row without messing up, you sometimes can get 15, and once you got 20.  Instead of shooting for rep counts of 15, choose a number more attainable, like 7 or even 5.  Practice getting 5 reps without failure, for 5 sets, with plenty of rest in between.  Once you feel like you can do this consistently, bump the number up to 6 reps, then 7 reps a few sessions later.  


  1. Challenge the skill under fatigue

Once you’ve mastered the skill individually, it is time to begin utilizing the skill while under fatigue.  Here, it is still important to scale the workout to your ability levels, while still keeping the skill portion challenging. 



Want to challenge your skill under fatigue?  Check out these classic benchmarks below!




  • 100 Single-Unders Unbroken
  • 10 1,2,3, DU Unbroken
  • 15 1,2, DU Unbroken
  • 20 1, DU Unbroken
  • 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10 Unbroken (this has some degree of variability and is not a true benchmark)
  • 5 x 10 DU Unbroken
  • 4 x 15 DU Unbroken
  • 3 x 20 DU Unbroken
  • 2 x 30 DU Unbroken
  • Same benchmarks as above, but with speed rope
  • “Annie” in sub 9 minutes (50-40-30-20-10 DU + Sit-up)
  • 10 Rounds for time: 10cal Row, 30 DU
  • “Flight Simulator”  5-10-15-20-25-30-35-40-45-50-45-40-35-30-25-20-15-10-5 All reps are unbroken… 10 minute cap

Want to see how an experienced coach can help you master a new skill?   Get Started

Avoiding the “Sunday Scaries”

The Sunday Scaries.  Even if you’ve never heard of them, you’ve probably felt them.


A tightness in your throat. A knot in your stomach.  Worry.  Nervousness.  Unease. Dread. An undercurrent of anxiety that shadows every element of life.  It’s the feeling many of us have as Sunday comes to a close and the reality of a new week starts looming.  


These feelings downright suck.  And yet, they are commonplace in our society.  It is “normal” to feel this way every week, but we don’t believe in accepting “normal” when normal sucks. That’s why we’re on a mission to eliminate these feelings one action at a time!


The key to avoiding the Sunday Scaries? Preparation.


Much of these feelings of worry and dread come from not feeling prepared to tackle the coming wave of challenges that surface within the work week.  

How am I going to feel when the alarm clock blares at 5:45 tomorrow morning?

Will I feel rushed as I try to eat breakfast and get out of the door on time?

What’s going to happen at the Monday morning meeting with the boss?  Am I in trouble? 

How many emails are sitting in my inbox?

How am I going to make healthy food choices when there are so many temptations at work?

Is this project going to get finished on time?

Will I have the energy to make it to the gym this week?

When am I going to have time to get groceries or plan meals for the week?


With all this and more, it’s no wonder we feel nervous heading into a new week.  Now, it is likely we can’t fix these feelings overnight.  But, with a little preparation, we can start to lessen the feelings of dread as we one by one eliminate these stressors from your life.


Here are three ways to set yourself up for success and crush those Sunday Scaries for good:


Plan Ahead

Much of the dread that creeps in on Sunday afternoon comes from the anticipation of the unknown on Monday morning.  One way to combat this is to create a task list for yourself before you leave work for the weekend.  Take the last 30 minutes of your day on Friday, and look ahead at the coming week.  What appointments will you need to plan around?  What major tasks will need to be accomplished?  Start putting your to-do’s down on paper for the week, allocating different jobs for different days.  In the middle of a project? Leave a note to yourself about what you were doing and what must be done next.  Small actions like this can help you to feel at ease about the coming week because you will know that you’ve already given it the thought needed to stay on track.  You can push the worries aside of “what will I be doing tomorrow?” because you’ve already got it planned out for yourself!


Start Slow

The anticipation of a rushed morning can be enough to make anyone a little nervous.  One way to combat this is to intentionally plan your morning to be easy.  Get up a little earlier than needed so you can enjoy your coffee before leaving for work.  Give yourself very attainable tasks to complete first thing in the morning so you can feel like the coming day will be a piece of cake.  Knowing ahead of time that your morning is laid back will make it easier to shake off those Sunday Scaries the night before.


Know Yourself

There will be some challenges that come up week after week.  Maybe it’s a lack of energy to go to the gym after work.  Or maybe it is making healthy choices for lunch and dinner when life feels hectic.  Acknowledge the big challenges that you face every week and then brainstorm how you might be able to overcome that obstacle.  Struggle to eat well?  Maybe preparing healthy meals ahead of time will make it easier to stick to your nutrition goals.  Can’t find the energy to workout after work?  Perhaps changing your routine to come into the gym at a different time would help.  Whatever your challenge is, try to set yourself up for success while you’re feeling good so that it is just too easy to stick to the plan when times are tough.


The Sunday Scaries are no fun, but with the right preparation, you can kick these feelings to the curb and finally enjoy your whole weekend!  

The Benefits of One on One Training

One on one training will get you there, faster.   Did you just roll your eyes? Maybe think “pfft I don’t need one-on-one training. I’m not a beginner.”⁠  I hate to break it to ya, but that thought process is going to hold you back from some major gains.⁠  One on one training is THE fastest way to get you to your goals, and it’s not just for beginners to fitness.⁠

Do you think the best in the world got to be that way on their own? Hell no! They got some serious help from a (or many) trained eye(s), people who know their shit, people who can see below the surface and don’t settle for “good enough.”⁠

And if you’re thinking “actually… so-and-so did this amazing task all on their own… blah blah blah.” STOP IT.⁠  Maybe .1% of the top 1% of humans can do it. Do you think you’re that? Us neither. No shame, let’s just be real.⁠  If the Tia’s and the Mat’s and the Katrin’s and the Rich’s of the CrossFit scene all have one-on-one coaching, then you can bet one-on-one coaching can help you, too.⁠

What do you get from one-on-one training?  Better.  Faster.  Safer.  Stronger.


Better Programming: 

When you’re working with a trainer one-on-one, it’s not the group’s needs that determine the programming, it’s YOU:  your goals, your body, your likes and dislikes.  Instead of doing a cookie cutter program day after day, you get something tailor made for you and you alone.  Want an eye-poppin booty, a faster 5k mile time, AND a ring muscle up?  The class program might get you there in a few years time… but if you’re not willing to gamble on your goals, you should get yourself something that intentionally programs for your goals.  With one-on-one training, your coach programs each and every day of workouts specifically to get you to your goals as efficiently as possible. Which means…


Faster Progress: 

Instead of years of workouts to maybe reach your goals, you’ve got a coach dedicated to your success.  They know the science behind each sweat session they create for you to make sure that each and every workout pushes you closer to what matters most.  And the moment a plateau peeks it’s frustratingly ugly head around a corner, your coach is there to whack-a-mole that sucka outta sight!  Your coach has all eyes on you and can pivot the moment progress begins to slow, ensuring you’re always hurtling towards the target.  But it’s not just the speed of progress that matters; it’s also…


Safer Practices: 

A lot of nasty movement patterns can pop up without the right focus, leading to pain and injury down the road.  No one wants to get hurt.  No one wants to be forced to say NO to exciting opportunities because your body just can’t take any more abuse.  So don’t let it get that way.  With one-on-one training, your coach is there to make sure you’re moving like a jacked panther every single day.  Moving with perfect form and developing your subconscious strength in the gym will help you stay safe outside of the gym when you don’t have your coach’s cues to keep you in line.


Stronger Commitment: 

Making lasting change is hard.  Life gets busy, and more often than not, you may be tempted to put yourself on the back burner.  In the group setting, it is easy to let yourself fade away from your commitments, but with a one-on-one trainer, you’ve got someone to hold you accountable, even when you’re not feelin’ it.  Accountability might mean you go to the gym when you’d rather let your inner couch potato take the wheel.  In the moment, putting on your gym shoes might not feel as rewarding as plopping down for an evening of Netflix, but that moment will pass.  A month from now, you won’t miss all the hours that could have been spent on the couch because you’ll be too busy living the bad ass life of your dreams. One on one training keeps your eyes on the long term prize without getting sidetracked by every distraction along the way.


Any pursuit of health is good in our books.  Going for a walk trumps sitting at home.  Doing 20 air squats is better than none.  And if you’re consistently going to group fitness classes, that’s great.  You’re already lapping a huge portion of our population.  But if you’re tired of coasting by with little gains here and there, and you want to level up your fitness, one on one coaching is where it’s at.⁠

8 Tips for Supporting a Partner’s Fitness Journey

Your partner is ready to make a positive change in their life, and you couldn’t be happier!  Having the right support system can make or break a fitness endeavor, so give your partner the best chance at success with these 8 tips!


  1. Help set realistic expectations 

    Health and fitness goals shouldn’t be a short term commitment.  They are lifelong endeavors that need consistent, continual work.  That work gets easier with time, but it is important to have realistic expectations about what can safely be accomplished in any given length of time.  Any goal that is too extreme will be incredibly challenging to accomplish and maintain.  Help your partner find success by keeping their expectations for progress realistic and sustainable long term.


  1. Share the responsibilities around the home 

    If your partner is going to dedicate more time to their health, that naturally will leave less time for other daily responsibilities at home.  Help them feel less overwhelmed by picking up the slack around the house.  Whether it’s meal prepping, grocery shopping, dishes, yard care, or child care, small adjustments to the roles and responsibilities can make their journey much more sustainable.


  1. Be the positive example 

    For someone new to their fitness journey, it can be challenging to stay on track.  The committed mindset is like any other muscle that needs to be trained and strengthened.  Make things a little easier by showing your partner how to set yourself up for success.  Whether it is setting a solid sleep schedule, meal prepping, or getting your butt off the couch even when you’re not in the mood, be a positive example for your partner and invite them to join in on the fun with you.


  1. Make it a date 

    Making fitness fun makes it much easier to stick with.  Try to turn your time at the gym into a fun date.  Complete partner workouts together, go on an active outing together like a hike or bike ride, or plan a fun event after the gym once a week, like a sushi date night.  Mixing fun, bonding activities with fitness will not only improve your overall fitness levels, but your relationship as well.


  1. Give words of encouragement 

    It can be easy to say things that come across as discouraging: “why didn’t you work out today?” “you’ve got to suck it up and just do it” “it’s not that hard.” While these might feel gratifying or may even be necessary to say at times, these do more damage than good for many people.  Instead of calling your partner out for their shortcomings, make a habit of praising their positive efforts.  Being noticed and appreciated for positive changes can have a big impact on long term consistency, and your kind words will certainly give you fewer days in the dog house.


  1. Accept differences in opinion 

    This might be a hard pill to swallow, but what worked for you might not work for your partner.  Just because you saw great success with Jiu Jitsu, doesn’t mean your partner will, too.  A good workout is all about finding an activity that is enjoyable and effective.  Perhaps that is CrossFit for you.  Perhaps that is Zumba or spin classes for someone else.  It is OK to have different ideas of what is fun and effective, so don’t try to force your partner to love the same things as you do.


  1. Give something new a try 

    If you are wanting your partner to try something new to them, take the first step and try something new yourself.  Before trying to get your partner into a CrossFit gym, maybe take a guest class at their favorite fitness spot (yes, even if that happens to be a pole dancing class).  Taking the first step to try something new will make it easier for your partner to follow your positive example.


  1. Ask how to be a better support system 

    Last, but likely most important, is to ASK how to be a better support system.  You may have all of the positive intentions for being supportive, but if you never ask what your partner needs, you’ll never truly know if you are being as helpful as you believe yourself to be.


These small changes can have big impacts on the support your partner feels as they make positive changes to their health.  If you have any other ideas of ways to help support a partner’s fitness journey, leave a comment below!

Designing your perfect day: Getting macro sized happiness by focusing on micro sized solutions

The human race is obsessed with the idea of happiness.  We search for it in so many places: money, relationships, career, gadgets, travel, you name it!  


When confronted with the question “what does it take for me to be happy?” it’s totally understandable to not know.  Will more time with family make me happy?  Will quitting my job make me happy?  Will getting married or having kids make me happy? Will selling all of my possessions and moving to the desert in a van with my cat make me happy?  Who knows?!


This concept is so overwhelming and unknowable for many that they simply don’t think about it.  They don’t sit long enough with the question to get a good answer, and thus, they never know where they should be focusing their energies to have the most fulfilling life.


One way around this problem is to switch your perspective from the macro, big picture question, to a micro question that is probably much easier to wrap your head around.


Try instead, to ask yourself this: What does your perfect day look like?


A day: 24 hours.  This is much easier to picture than a lifetime.  But by focusing on the smaller picture, a single day, you can begin to understand what really matters in life to you.


For me, I want to wake up without an alarm clock.  I want to start my day slowly with a cup of coffee and a good book.  Or when the mood strikes me, an interesting, creative venture.  I want to eat breakfast with my family and send my kids off to school with a positive attitude.  I want to spend some time outdoors, preferably walking in nature.  I want to eat yummy food that makes me feel good.  I want to accomplish something tangible and worthwhile.  I want to eat dinner together with my family and spend time understanding who they are as an individual.


Your ideal day might sound similar to mine.  It might sound completely different.  Both are OK.  But if you’re anything like I was, you probably aren’t hitting your ideal day very often.  There are some things that might be holding you back from the ideal, like work, your income level, or your proximity to family and friends.  These problems may feel insurmountable, but don’t let these hurdles stop you from even dreaming of change.  


Instead, ask yourself what you can do RIGHT NOW to get a little closer to your ideal.  Choose one aspect and run with it.  Figure out how to make that one thing a reality, do it for a while, see your life enjoyment go up, and then tackle another one from your list.


Pretty soon, your life just might be totally different.  You may, like me, wake up one morning and realize you are actually LIVING the ideal day you wrote for yourself a few years ago that at the time felt like a fantasy.  And living it day after day after day.


These fulfilling days add up into weeks, then months, and then years.  You won’t need to ask yourself what you need to be happy because you will naturally be living a fulfilling life each and every day.

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 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 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?