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By Mairead Rodgers, RD PHEc

We’ve all been there. We have an amazing vacation or even just a weekend away, and feel super relaxed coming back, but also just feel like we’re lagging more than a little bit. Your body doesn’t feel it’s normal healthy shiny self and you want to get back to that! Heading into summer, you might be needing to feel like yourself again after a longer family vacation, a weekend out of town for a wedding, or even just a couple nights at the cottage. Either way, try some of these tips to get back to your normal YOU in no time!

  1. Drink some water. This is by far the easiest place to start. You know how plants perk right up after you’ve watered them? People can be the same. When we’re traveling, we’re not in our normal habit of getting enough water to drink, whether it’s because you’re driving and don’t want to stop all the time or because you’ve found tastier things to drink. Start by getting in some water as soon as you get home. Then as you go about your day the next day, make a special effort to drink enough; try carrying your water bottle with you, or track your water to make sure you hit at least 2 liters. You’ll be feeling better soon.
  2. Pack in the fruits and veggies! Do you eat as much fruits and vegetables when you’re traveling as you do when you’re home? I’m willing to bet that even if you did your absolute best, you still might not have your normal amount. So let’s get back to that! Make a special effort to start getting fruit and vegetables back into your normal food right away. Not “one more night of junk food and we’ll start tomorrow”. While we’re not likely to develop a deficiency of most of our vitamins and minerals in a matter of days, they are still important. So is fibre! Getting your GI system back to it’s “regular” self will definitely help you feel better too!
  3. Pair your carbs with protein and fat. Get off that roller coaster of eating something and then being hungry an hour later. By adding some protein and fat to your meals or snacks, you’re going to be better able to get back to your normal eating routine. Try cheese with your apple or crackers, some hummus with your veggies, half a peanut butter sandwich, Greek yogurt with a bit of cereal…. anything that’s going to help you stay full a little bit longer and not be crashing after an hour or two. 
  4. Get organized! If you get home and the fridge has absolutely no fruits and vegetables in it, how likely are you to eat them? If it takes more work to make a healthy meal and you’re tired from unpacking or your first day back at work, how likely are you to order pizza instead? So with any energy you can muster, do a super quick grocery run for your normal foods that make you feel good. Take 5 minutes while dinner cooks or the laundry is in to chop up some fruits and veggies, or get tomorrow’s breakfast organized. Future you will thank you.
  5. Get moving! If your body is used to moving regularly and you stop, often you might start to feel more sluggish. Also, nothing keeps the post-vacation blues at bay like some workout-induced endorphins. The longer you wait to get back in the gym after vacation, the harder it is. So don’t want  another 2 days or a week, which often turns into two weeks or a month. Do what you can to get moving the next day, even if it’s not a perfect workout or your best effort. Your body will still thank you. And every CrossFit-er in our gym knows that your first workout back is always the worst, and then it gets better, but the longer you put it off, the worse it’s going to feel.

More nutrition questions popping up as the seasons change? Email maireadrodgers@degreecrossfitseaforth.com for answers, or click here to book your FREE 15-Minute Bite-Sized Nutrition Chat to find out how we can help you!

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By Mairead Rodgers, RD PHEc

Raise your hand if you’re a busy person. I can’t see the sea of hands but I’m sure they’re mostly in the air. Whether you’re busy with work, kids, sports, traveling, or just have lots of other commitments, sometimes nutrition gets pushed to the back burner in the interest of just grabbing something to eat before we’re on to the next thing. But I bet if we paid just a titch more attention to what we’re grabbing for a lunch or dinner in a hurry, odds are you’d feel better and more satisfied, and be better fueled as you’re running off to tackle the next thing. 

Here’s my top tips for grabbing quick meals on-the-go:

  1. Veggies! If you’re grabbing pieces to put together a meal, pre-cut veggies with dip or a pre-made or bagged salad can be a super quick and easy way to go. If you’re leaning towards frozen or pre-made meals, pick something that has more than the smallest handful of peas in it. Try to find a meal that looks like it might have close to half a cup of vegetables if you can. Frozen veggies can also be cooked really quickly in the microwave and added to any kind of meal for a nutrition boost.
  2. Protein! Protein keeps us full, and gives our body what it needs to recover after a workout (if you’re coming directly from the gym). If we’re going the frozen meal route, try to choose a meal that has some kind of lean protein in it, whether that’s chicken or turkey, lean beef or pork, or beans or tofu. Canned tuna or rotisserie chicken can also be an efficient way to get some protein in a hurry.
  3. Check the sodium! While we do need some amount of salt in our diet to keep our bodies functioning, most of us eating like a normal person get more than we need. Getting in too much salt all the time can lead to high blood pressure. Check your labels on pre-packaged and frozen meals: if there’s more than 15% of your daily value of sodium, that’s a lot. Aim for something a bit lower, and compare labels to find your best option.
  4. Fibre! We’ve got to read the label again here. Men need 38 g of fibre each day and women need 25 g. When we’re looking for meal on-the-go, things like whole grains, beans, and fruits and veggies can up our fibre content. Check your labels to see if you’re getting close to what you need.
  5. Need dessert? Bananas, apples and can all be quick to grab and eat on the go. Pre-cut fruit can get you more variety, and lots of grocery stores (and even gas stations sometimes!) have yogurt handy.
  6. Water! If you need something to drink and quench your thirst, go for water or unsweetened soda water over sugary drinks to help keep you hydrated. 
  7. Don’t overthink it! Not every meal we eat is going to be the most nutritionally well-rounded culinary masterpiece, and it doesn’t have to be. At the end of the day, remember that anything you can do to bump up your nutrition is worth the effort.

Need more ideas or solutions customized for your life? Give me a shout at maireadrodgers@degreecrossfitseaforth.com with questions, or click here to book your FREE Bite-Sized Nutrition Chat to talk goals and see if our nutrition programs would be a good fit for you!

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5 years ago I took a trip on whim to Park City, Utah. It was for a “gym owners meet up” …. I didn’t own a gym. I was nervous as hell. Some of these people had owned gyms longer than I’d even been working out! I almost didn’t talk to anyone the whole first day. Until I met Chris Cooper- my first mentor. I decided for the rest of the weekend I was going to introduce myself to as many people as possible. I still see and talk to many of those people to this day. 

Ever since then, the right things just seem to drop into my lap at the right moments in life. The building that Degree is in “just happened” to come up for sale right at the time I was looking to start this “gym thing for real”. Coach Kelly dropped into the first nutrition challenge I hosted in my garage, and a year a half later become a coach at Degree (with a little encouragement), Coach James lives across the street from the gym and was one of the first people to register for our Founders Club. 

Now I seek out and continue to inject myself into these uncomfortable, terrifying, sweaty- palm (and arm pit) situations. I try things that I’m not sure will work, I invest money in places that I’m not 100% sure if it will pay off or not. I hardly ever play it safe. I always introduce myself first. But that’s being an entrepreneur, isn’t it? I have a feeling that being a parent is similar. You have no idea what this will bring you, but you are excited at the opportunity to try and grow and maybe even fail. 

So how do you get “lucky” in life?

  • Expose Yourself to More: more people, more ideas, more events, more countries… Seek experiences instead of money. 
  • Go First: If I’ve said this once, I’ve said it 1000 times. Make eye contact and say hello, reach out for the handshake, extend coffee date invitations. Very few people “go first” anymore- but we’re all thrilled to be invited! Tell them how excited you are, it will pull them out of their shell and ultimately out of yours (if you’ve met me, you know I have no issue showing you how excited I am to be around you). 
  • Work Wicked Hard- but be humble: When people see successful people, they often say things like “Wow you are so lucky, I wish I could do that”. Those people are usually incredibly gracious and usually offer some encouragement. What they don’t say is, “well it’s taken me years of incredibly hard work, long hours, not seeing my friends or family, many failed attempts and many tears to get here”. What you see of a successful person is just the tip of ice burg, they won’t show you the rest. Put your head down, and master your craft. 
  • Cull People From Your Life: If someone is constantly dragging you down, stop seeing them. If something is really upsetting you, stop doing it. Sounds simple, but I know that’s not easy. My first mentor quotes Emerson all the time, “Heartily know, when demigods go, the gods will arrive”. 
  • Open Yourself to Mentorship and Learning: Your ego is like a closed baseball glove. You could very well be missing easy pop flies because you don’t want to catch the ball “your way”. Instead of trying to re-invent the game, or running faster… try walking, with an open glove. 

You don’t get to where you want by expecting things or waiting for opportunity. You create the opportunity you want- and sometimes, just sometimes, you get really lucky.

Some people believe in fate or luck, I believe in driving the car. I believe in earning the fuel. 

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Written By:  Kelly Miller
You’ve seen the headlines:

“Drink this drink and feel more invigorated!” “Make sure you get 15 hours of sleep a night!”

Just kidding, those are pretty outrageous – BUT – not unheard of!
 What is the secret to improving your energy levels? 
 First things first, let’s keep it simple. Hopfully you’re still reading and not completely bummed that it’s not a fancy supplement, or a super expensive, never before seen something.
 Water. Water. Water.
Did you know that most of us are in a perpetual state of dehydration? Whether minimal or extreme, most of us aren’t drinking enough water.
 For most people, a minimum of 2L, or 30-35ml per kg of bodyweight. Another way? Take your weight in pounds and divide it by 2 and aim to drink that much in ounces. 
Psst, email maireadrodgers@degreecrossfitseaforth.com for more info on that!
How do I get more water in?
Keep it simple.

We just ended our April Nutrition Challenge at Degree, and the very first ‘challenge’ was to drink one big class of water at every meal. This simple step made SUCH a huge difference in everyone’s day!

Try it for yourself; you just may be surprised.

But Kelly, water is boring!
Is it? It’s a pretty basic molecule, but think of all the amazing things it does for your body!
 your digestive system works better your skin may become clearer, eyes more shiny than they already areyour mental capacity will improve (goodbye brain fog!)and SO much more.
It may be boring, but man, look at the pay off. 

Try adding some fresh fruit, or cucumber to your water over night to add a bit of flavour, and a fresh taste!
 What is the secret to improving your energy levels?
Start with water. Make that a habit, a non-negotiable, and then we can chat about the next step =)

Until then, drink on (H20, folks!) and keep being awesome,
Coach Kelly 
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By Mairead Rodgers, RD PHEc

Someone asked me this question the other day during an early morning WOD, and if I’m being honest, I wasn’t awake enough or having enough oxygen going to my brain during the workout to have good answer besides “it depends”. Which is still my answer, but I’ve got more to say about it. 

How long it takes you to get in good running shape depends on a lot of things. It depends on what that goal of “good running shape” looks like for you. Do you want to run 400m without stopping? Do you want to run the 3.5km Hog Jog with our Degree crew in June? Do you want to run a half marathon? A full marathon? Do you want to keep getting faster at these things? What that goal looks like for you might be entirely different than what it looks like for someone else, and there’s no right or wrong answer. 

It also depends where you’re starting from. Have you run much before? Is running something you try to avoid? Have you had an injury that means you haven’t been able to run for a while? Again, this might be different for everyone.

Everyone’s goals around running might be totally different and that’s ok! The bottom line here is that if you want to get better at running, guess what you’ve gotta do? RUN! And if you do want to start running, or run more often and more efficiently than you might be now, Running Club might be just the program for you!

This awesome program kicks off May 23rd and runs Mondays and Thursdays at 6:30pm at Degree until June 17th, and spots are starting to fill up! Click here for more details or to sign up! Or email maireadrodgers@degreecrossfitseaforth.com with any questions!