Cache Valley Strength & Conditioning

Established in 2008, CVSC is Cache Valley’s premier training facility with services ranging from personal training, program design, athletic team conditioning, HyperFit group classes and more.

Filtering by Category: Nutrition

From Paleo To Doughnuts

Excerpt from Dynamic Nutrition's post:From Paleo To Doughnuts, & the Truth In The Middle

"When I first started noticing the CrossFit craze about 4-5 years ago, it seemed like everyone in the community was eating “Paleo.”  Time went on, and it seemed that more and more athletes were switching from Paleo to Zone, or even better – they were “zoning paleo.”

Today, a few years later – it seems like I rarely hear of or see pictures of meats and nuts, seeds, fruits or vegetables. Instead, I can’t help but notice that common nutritional practices have taken a sharp turn, so far that doughnuts are now recommended as “proper fuel.”
Wow – from paleo to doughnuts – talk about confusing!  This begs the question, how should YOU be eating?
While flexible dieting is new to the CrossFit culture, it is not at all a new concept. In large part it can be explained as follows:  “eat whatever foods you want, as long as you hit your prescribed number of proteins, carbohydrates, and fats for the day.”
1. First and foremost, if you are even considering flexible dieting, you must be prepared to track your macros.
2.Second, understand that not all of your calories will be coming from the “fun” foods like pizza and doughnuts.
If you know your macros, and eat with an emphasis on quality during the critical times (pre workout, post workout, etc..), you should have some wiggle room for a treat or two here or there.  Maybe its at night, or maybe its on an off day, or maybe you have to wait until your refeed day – this will vary from individual from individual.
What I do NOT recommend is using 60 of your 100 grams of carbs on a doughnut preworkout, then using your other 40 on ice cream post workout."
Read the entirety of the article on Flexible Dieting here.
If you are interested in reading more about what exactly Flexible Dieting is, check out this article

Whats in your Supplements?

weight-loss-supplements Recently a few studies have been released about supplements that may have you reconsider your regimen. Now, before you throw out your vitamin cabinet, remember this - the best source for nutrition is food. Every time. Whole foods. That said, I think its important to say that I regularly take Creatine, Beta-Alanine & whey protein. And occasionally take a multivitamin & fish oil. That said - I do my best to buy from reputable companies, I avoid packaged stimulants & I don't use them as a substitute for good diet. So I don't think supplements are universally evil or bad, but should be approached with a skeptical eye & an educated mind. If its sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

The supplement industry is a multi-billion dollar industry that continues to grow largely on the dollars of weight-loss seekers, alternative-medicine enthusiasts & athletes. What many people aren't aware of, is that the industry is largely unpolicied in the US thanks to The Dietary Supplement Health & Education Act of 1994 that "keeps the Food and Drug Administration at arm's length from the supplement industry. A supplement manufacturer need only provide the FDA with a "reasonable expectation of safety," and no proof whatsoever of efficacy." ( Meaning there is a potential mine-field of products on the shelves. A recent study found this:

"Between 2004 and 2012 the FDA recalled 237 supplements because they contained unlisted drugs in their ingredients...In a follow up study the FDA looked at the previously banned supplements that were still on the market. They found that 66.7% of those tested still contained unlisted drugs in their ingredients. Further, 22.2% of the supplements tested contained additional drug adulteration not previously detected."

Bottom line: You don't necessarily get what you pay for. And frequently you get absolutely nothing of what you want.

" A 2013 study using DNA barcoding on herbal supplements found that 59% contained ingredients not on the label. Only 48% actually contained the plant product they were supposed to, and a third of those also contained unlisted fillers and contaminants."

The FDA only tests supplements for 'known or probable drugs', meaning if they are not specifically seeking out an un-labeled drug, they are unlikely to discover it. This means the probability of a much higher percentage of supplements being mislabeled is likely.

And assuming you know what ingredients you are trying to avoid, the intentionally vague & numerous names a given chemical can be given on packaging can be just as confusing.

"DMAA is banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency...and the U.S. military. The stimulant was recently linked to the deaths of two soldiers, as well as a woman running in the London Marathon. Products containing it are marketed as sexual aids and legal-high "party pills" when they're not being sold as workout boosters. The FDA warns that DMAA "narrows the blood vessels and arteries" and can cause symptoms ranging from "shortness of the breath to tightening of the chest and/or a possible myocardial infarction (heart attack)."

DMAA would seem like an easy substance to avoid, except that one list published by the Human Resource Performance Center named a total of 31 different aliases for DMAA, from polysyllabic chemical names, to brand names, to innocuous variations on "geranium" (the ingredient in supplements possesses only a passing chemical similarity to the substance found in flowers), to off-the-wall names like "crane's bill extract."


So what can be done? There's 2 solutions.

1. Get educated & be skeptical.

The NFL Players Association recommends their players only take substances from reputable sources & resources to quickly research products that may contain banned substances.  And this very logic applies to your 'weekend warrior' who's just looking to lose a few pounds or put on a little muscle with an over the counter pre workout or weights supp. It remains in your hands to buy from reputable retailers & stay aware of the ingredients you ingest. Talk to your doctor, talk to your coach - use your available resources before taking a miracle pill.

2. Don't take them. 

The average gym enthusiast may have less need for supplementation than your pro bodybuilder or Olympic athlete.

"Some athletes, particularly amateurs, do not get enough protein or calories before their workout, though Lightsey and others argue that it is a problem best solved with chicken and milk, not expensive powders."

"In the meantime, athletes must know to distrust labels. They should steer clear of unknown suppliers. They should know that even benign health claims are often unverified, that a proper diet can take care of all of their needs, even if they are marathoners or 300-pound defensive ends, and that substances that claim to be powdered antlers or geraniums can not only get them suspended but could cause health risks."

Whatever your choice - be smart & get strong!


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Common Mistakes when Trying to Change your Body

weightsThis article from the Poliquin Group, "Seven Mistakes Women Make When Trying To Change Their Bodies" has great crossover application to men as well but primarily focuses on myths perpetuated in women's weight loss & fitness magazines and popular media.  A couple key being

#1. Focusing on Getting "Toned"

The average training program for getting “toned” has women lifting super light weights and doing bizarre exercises. This is not an effective strategy for changing your body.
We’re going to let you in on a little secret.  Getting toned requires two things to happen:
•    Lose excess body fat •    Increase the size of muscle cells to provide shape

#6. Fearing Dietary Fat

...filling your diet with beneficial fats (nuts, seeds, meat, fish, eggs, dairy, avocado, coconut oil) provides nutrients so the body can produce brain transmitters, build bones, repair tissue, and have a healthy metabolism.
Third, fat is critical for reproductive health in women because it’s used to manufacture hormones and improves gene signaling that regulates hormone balance.

Read the full 7 mistakes list here and educated yourself, male or female, on what dietary and training methods work best for you goals.

Forty Tips to Help You Recover


For the frequently discussed & often debated subject of Post-Workout Nutrition, here's a nice list from the Poliquin Group.  It includes The Forty Best Tips To Speed Recovery From Your Workout.

Don't get too caught up in the list of supplements here, but focus on the quality and quantity of the foods you eat ALL DAY. Nutrient timing is a moot point if you are eating junk food for 3 meals and hitting that protein shake 10 minutes post workout. Success in the gym comes from what you do the other 23 hours of the day.  Some highlight items include:

2: Ensure hydration.

3: Eat high-quality protein and fat at every meal.

11: Eat cruciferous veggies with every meal

24: Eliminate sugar it causes the largest insulin spike of all foods.

36: To reduce muscle pain on the days after a damaging workout, do a moderate intensity concentric-only workout.

39: Sleep! 

Number 39 is a secret weapon with immediate reward, try it. Read the full list here.

The Many Faces of Sugar




Whether you are participating in the CVSC Lifestyle Challenge or just trying to be mindful of your sugar intake, this article from the Poliquin Group is a good refresh on how sugar effects your body, what it is exactly, and how to avoid the excess intake of this addictive, tasty stuff in all its forms. 

Here is a list of some of the possible code words for 'sugar' which may appear on a label. Hint: the words 'syrup', 'sweetener', and anything ending in 'ose' can usually be assumed to be 'sugar'. If the label says 'no added sugars', it should not contain any of the following, although the food could contain naturally-occurring sugars (such as lactose in milk).

Malt Syrup
Corn sweetener
Corn syrup, or corn syrup solids
Dehydrated Cane Juice
Fruit juice concentrate
High-fructose corn syrup
Invert sugar
Malt syrup
Maple syrup
Raw sugar
Rice Syrup
Sorghum or sorghum syrup
Remember, your body doesn't care what the label says, it's all just 'sugar'.

Accept that There Is No Healthy Sugar
Although added fructose may be the worst sugar because of how it slows metabolism and halts fat burning, there is NO nutritional value in any form of sugar except possibly honey. For optimal body composition, avoid ALL sugar. Be aware that “healthier” sweeteners are a myth—agave is one of the worst sweeteners because it is almost pure liquid fructose with an even higher fructose content (88 percent) than high-fructose corn syrup! 

Read  Is Sugar More Trouble Than It's Worth? for their 10 tips to avoid sugar for a better body composition.

Post Workout Nutrition - Robb Wolf

  We'll keep this one simple. Nutrition is not just important, it is KEY in reaching your fitness goals. This post from Robb Wolf discusses in depth what sort of post-workout nutrition you should be aiming for. Its a bit of a read, but very worthwhile if you are serious about fueling yourself appopriately to your goals.

Should one use carbs post workout or not? If so how much, and when? Like a great number of situations, how we manage our post workout nutrition depends on where we are and where we want to go. If you have followed my previous ramblings you might be familiar with the orientation I use for most of my decision making: How does a given decision affect Performance, Health and Longevity. Similarly, how does a given decision affect how one looks, feels and performs? Given all this I’m going to tackle post workout nutrition (PWO) first from the perspective of shoring up health, then performance, then longevity.

via Post Workout Nutrition: High Or Low Carb?


And if you are more of a visual learner check out his Paleo Troubleshooting Guides


Here is an interesting nutrition post courtesy of The Poliquin Group called,

"Why Fat Is GREAT For You: Seven Tips For Eating Fat So You Lose Fat"

Often maligned and villanized as the cause for obesity and heart disease, good fats are actually essential to good health and body composition. Its important that you are getting the correct kind and that it is in conjunction with a non-inflammatory diet of low grain, whole food. The article covers several good sources of fat to include fish, coconut oil, avocados, grass-fed butter and more...

OMEGA 3's help you burn fat

"...Eating the omega-3 fats will raise energy expenditure, leading you to burn more calories than you would otherwise. For example, a study of overweight men found that when they increased their omega-3 intake from 0.43 g/day to 2.92 g/day, they experienced a 51 percent increase in the amount of calories they burned after eating. "

Pair with a  LOW CARB DIET for a healthy heart

"The fats highlighted here will improve insulin sensitivity, decrease inflammation, enhance cellular health and gene signaling, and support hormone balance. But they can't fix the damage that you do if you eat lots of carbs, trans-fats, or processed foods.

For example, recent research shows that it is carbohydrates, not fats, that elevate cholesterol and triglycerides in the blood, contributing to the development of heart disease."


If you already have made the switch to healthy fats and low/no grain diet, and inevitably are questioned by friends and family how eating all that fat isn't making you fat, read up on Mark's Daily Apple on The "Top 7 Most Common Reactions to Your High-Fat Diet (and How to Respond). He talks more indepth on the common misconceptions about a high-fat Paleo/Paleoesque diet. Read up and eat up!