“My Body Experiment: Meat as Medicine”

This short piece by a Equinox trainer Derek Beres and his personal experience with food is an interesting follow up to my  last post.

“But one thing is certain: We don’t eat food as much as chemistry, and that is a problem. Food companies and the scientists and engineers they employ are concerned with the bottom line, not your health. Fads are their cash cow; misinformation is valuable.

Yet claiming that I eat a mostly plant-based diet with a healthy serving of organ meats and shellfish is not sexy. There is no trend to manufacture, no antioxidant or reverse-aging promises, no Amazonian or Tibetan superfood eaten only by monks and yaks. There’s no romanticizing of purity, as if food is an elixir guaranteeing vibrant health if only you can dial in (and pay for) the perfect diet.” 

Food Fact or Fad?

In my mind, the validity of health trends is comparable to news articles found in US Weekly- meaning, I believe neither to hold much factual weight.

I took a few nutrition courses while attending Smith College. I learned a lot about how the body works and what it needs to function properly, but the big takeaway was when the teacher told us that these textbooks we were using would be moot in a few years due to the ever-changing landscape of the health and nutrition industry. Scientists are constantly experimenting, testing, researching, and hypothesizing. They do labs involving test subjects and statistics, which culminate into major claims about certain food or food products.

Bone broth, fats, turmeric, coconut water, collagen, lemon water, etc… have all had (or are having) their time in the spotlight. “Health” has become a trend in and of itself, which has prompted food stores, restaurants, and brands to incorporate these trending ingredients into their products and subsequent marketing of them.

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That’s not to say that science is always wrong. Consuming these trending health foods will probably not harm you in any way. In fact, the claims are sometimes correct. Healthy fat is good for you –  the nutrients found in avocado, olive oil, coconut oil, and nuts have been scientifically proven to improve the quality of your hair and skin and lower your bad cholesterol, along with a number of other benefits. However, my concern comes from the claims that were founded through small study groups or outlandish hypotheses promoting the benefits of a certain food or food group. Usually, there are only one or two articles that come out if there isn’t a lot of science to back up the claims, but with social media these days. Even the most minuscule piece of news can make its way onto the main stage of digital platforms.

Not everyone has the time or interest to look into every healthy trend that pops up. We want to stay healthy, so we do what those do around us. We eat the avocado toast with gluten free bread and hot sauce while sipping our bullet proof coffee because that’s what the countless “health” bloggers are advising us to do. Because butter in coffee is proven to do what exactly? And what is the science to back that up? And has there even been enough time to prove what the longterm benefits of doing that are?

A few days ago, it came out in the news that turmeric has not actually been proven to do anything positive for our health or wellbeing (besides dye our towels and hands orange). And you know my thoughts on bone broth

My point of this post/ramble is to be mindful and wary of trending ingredients or food items. Inform yourself, do the research, be particular and unique about what you choose to put into your body. I’m not saying smoothie supplements such as maca or pearl are going to harm you in any way, but you might as well save that $10 you’re about to spend on bone broth and put it towards a whole roasted chicken because WE KNOW protein is good for you.

When in doubt, stick to the (Michael) Pollan way. “Eat food, not too much, mostly plants.”

Workout Class Review: Rumble (NYC)

Not to brag, but I think I’m at a point in my fitness-confidence level to pretty much try any workout, alone, for the first time. TRX, Crossfit, HIIT, Pilates, Hot yoga… You name it, I’ve pretty much tried it or something similar. In New York, I have access to studios that specialize in a particular form of workout – SLT, ModelFit, Barry’s Bootcamp, 305, Shadowbox, Y7, etc.

I’m what some might call a fitness class junkie. I have never experienced a “runner’s high,” but I have experienced a “group-fitness-class high.” I have exceeded my fitness limits by having instructors push me to “failure” in new workouts. I’ve found that my body is happiest when I’m never doing the same workout. And studies show that variety in exercise is a good way to prevent your body from that dreaded plateau. And for me, changing it up just keeps me coming back because it’s always a new experience, new music, and new people.

That’s why I was super interested to read about a new class, RUMBLE ,that involved a sport/workout that I rarely do and had already planned to do more of in 2017. Boxing is a sport that I find more intimidating than the rest. I’m not sure why, but it could be because there is a level of technique involved that I have yet to perfect. I’m a little bit competitive with myself when it comes to working out. I like to have perfect form, sweat buckets, and not be able to stand in order to feel like I truly worked out. Ok, so exaggerating a little, but you get the idea. There are very few group boxing classes that I feel challenge me physically, are fun, and are worth every cent. Because did I mention, these classes can run up to $45 a pop!

Rumble Breakdown:

  • Founded by four entrepreneurs: Noah Neiman, Eugene Remm, Andy Stenzler, and Anthony DiMarco. Each with an impressive and varied resume.
  • What kind of workout is it? A combination of HIIT, strength training, metabolic conditioning (METCON), and cardio.
  • 10 Rounds, 45 Minute total – alternate between bag and floor work (two rounds each).
  • Marketing on point. Think cute/cool (pick your adjective) gloves, Basquiat at the entrance (it’s real), dark room with bomb music. (And the instructors are all pretty much instagrammable/insta-famous in the fitness world.)
  • For beginners? Absolutely. The nice thing about boxing is that it’s dependent on how much you give. It’s you and the bag. There’s no treadmill telling you to continue running at 9 mph for 30 minutes. It’s a series of hooks, jabs, undercuts that you can dole out as fast and as hard as you feel you can. The conditioning or floor half of the class is dependent on weights and body weight.
  • Safe? Their bags are filled with water instead of sand, which is better for your wrists and hands.

I walked away feeling challenged and energized. Hitting a bag with all your body weight to great music in a darkly-lit red room is (in one word) therapeutic. 

If you’re not convinced already to try out this new class. I’ve added a few links below to inspire you!

RUMBLE WANTS TO TOTALLY CHANGE HOW YOU THINK ABOUT BOXING WORKOUTS

Vogue: Why Boxing May Be the Best Way to Break Out of a Fitness Rut This Year

The New Workout: Boxing Without the Bruises

Why You Should Box

And then some visual inspiration:

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Southpaw
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Muhammad Ali
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Gigi Hadid (Well + Good) `