Archive | March, 2012

Is There Such a Thing as Type 3 Diabetes?

30 Mar

The short unconfirmed-by-the-scientific-community answer to the Title of this article is: YES.

According to a paper published this past January in the journal Drugs written by Dr. Suzanne M. de la Monte, Type 3 diabetes is otherwise known as Alzheimer’s disease, the most common cause of dementia in North America. Growing evidence supports the concept that Alzheimer’s is fundamentally a metabolic disease that results in progressive impairment in the brain’s capacity to use blood sugar (i.e. glucose), because the brain cannot respond to insulin and insulin-like growth factor (IGF) stimulation. Insulin is an important hormone that behaves as “the gatekeeper” to get glucose into our cells, including brain cells. Insulin in the brain not only modulates glucose uptake, but also promotes the health of brain cells — their growth, survival, remodeling, and normal functioning.

De la Monte presents a plethora of data that strongly support the notion that there is clearly a similarity between Type 2 diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease (AD) that could not be ignored. The biochemical, molecular, and cellular abnormalities that precede or accompany AD neurodegeneration, are characteristically common, yet they lack a clear origin. Reevaluation of the older literature revealed that impairments in brain metabolism occur early as the symptoms of AD develop. This led de la Monte’s team to develop the concept that impaired insulin signaling has an important role in the pathogenesis of AD. Because this is similar behavior of muscle cells prior the onset of Type 2 diabetes,  de la Monte proposed that AD represents “type 3 diabetes.”

Type 1 diabetes mellitus  is “juvenile” diabetes that is diagnosed early in life as the pancreas does not produce insulin. Type 2 diabetes, the most common form, is caused by insulin resistance in peripheral tissues, but not the brain necessarily. However, Type 2 diabetics have a 50% chance of developing AD.  Individuals with Type 2 have high blood sugar and high blood-insulin because the insulin and glucose are not properly absorbed into the targeted cells.

Therefore, Type 3 diabetes is suggested to have similar physiological symptoms as Type 2 diabetes, however it is only specific to the brain, not necessarily in the rest of the body. A diagnosis of Type 3 diabetes would suggest that the brain alone does not absorb insulin properly. De la Monte’s hypothesis gained more support this past week as another study showed that insulin resistance in the brain precedes and contributes to cognitive decline above and beyond other known causes of AD.

Because we know that lifestyle and dietary choices influence the development of Type 2 diabetes, perhaps the same should be suggested for Alzheimer’s disease. Diabetes is a disease defined as an inability to properly utilize insulin. This would suggest that we should monitor our dietary choices that keep insulin at a low-to-moderate level and participate in regular activities. Talk to your doctor if you have a family history of AD and/or diabetes and what you may be able to do in order to minimize developing either of these.

Coach Rick Advances to NorCal CrossFit Regionals

28 Mar

When we last left our heros, FIT coaches Rick D., Scott K., and Matt B. were taking on the 2012 Reebok CrossFit Open competition, a worldwide test of fitness, along with fellow CrossFitters Jenny Lewis and Dan “the man” Atler. As of our last post, heading into the final workout of the grueling five week competition, Rick stood just outside of the top 40 male athletes out of nearly 1500 in the Northern California region.

Coach Rick Answers the Question

And what was the final workout? A classic CrossFit couplet of two very challenging movements: the “thruster” with a barbell weighing 100 pounds and pull-up in which the athletes must bring their chest in contact to the pull-up bar for the repetition to count. With a seven minute time limit, Rick had to follow an ascending pattern: 3 thrusters, 3 pull-ups, 6 thrusters, 6 pull-ups, 9 thrusters, 9 pull-ups, and so on. The more reps he could complete in seven minutes, the higher the score. Here’s a clip of Rick’s first minute of the workout.

An incredibly strong performance of 137 reps catapulted Rick into the top 40 athletes. Considering each worldwide region only allows the top 60 athletes to move on to the Regional competition, Rick feels happy with his placing so far: “I’m definitely more confident about where I finished this year considering I just barely made it into the Regionals last year. I’m looking forward to two months of preparation to get mentally and physically ready to compete with the big boys in May.”

If you’ve never witnessed first hand a CrossFit competition, the NorCal Regional will be an awesome opportunity to watch your own FIT coach take on some of the best athletes in the world. The NorCal Regional competition is a three day event beginning on Friday May 18th through Sunday May 20th.

So mark your calendars, write a note in your iPhone. Believe me, you won’t want to miss this. You can find details for directions here and tickets here. See you there!

Coach Rick takes aim at the Fittest on Earth

20 Mar

Endurance has the Kona Ironman, cycling has the Tour de France, and weightlifting has the World Championships. These marquee competitions crown the best athletes in the world in their respective sports.

In the last 10 years, CrossFit, the new “sport of fitness,” has emerged and with it, its marquee competition: the CrossFit Games. What is CrossFit?  CrossFit is a fitness program that combines a wide variety of movements into a timed or scored workout. In competition, CrossFit workouts include pull-ups, squats, push-ups, weightlifting, gymnastics, running, rowing, and much more. The workouts are always changing, forcing athletes to be proficient in and prepared for anything.

In 2007, the minds behind CrossFit set out on the bold challenge to find and crown the fittest man and woman on earth in the sport of fitness. In brief, the history of the Games began in 2007 as a single event in Aromas, California with a mere 70 athletes competing in three workouts over one day.

Fast forward to 2012. The Games has blown up into a three-stage, worldwide competition open to any athlete in the world. The season begins with an Open competition with workouts are posted each week for five weeks and participants may perform the workouts at any one of the over 3,000 affiliates around the world or videotape it from home and submit it online to be validated. The top 60 male and 60 female athletes from the 17 worldwide regions advance to a Regional competition where they compete in six workouts over three days with only the top three advancing to the world championship, the CrossFit Games on July 15th in Carson, California where the fittest man and woman on earth will be crowned.

For the last four weeks, CrossFit Los Altos/FIT has hosted the Open workouts for our very own coaches and athletes: Rick Dyer, Scott Kolasinski, Matt Brockhaus, Jenny Lewis, and Dan Atler.

While all our athletes have enjoyed the competition and camaraderie, it’s studly coach Rick Dyer that’s been a standout once again in the Nor Cal region. Rick started the competition slow, placing 150th after the first workout in the region. Since then, Rick has been steadily moving up the ranks: 65th after week two, 55th after week three, and currently 42nd after week four.

With only one workout to go in the Open competition, competing against over 55,000 participants worldwide, Rick is poised to qualify to the Northern California Regionals in Santa Clara on May 18-20th for the second year in a row.

With more than 1500 competitors in what is considered one of the toughest regions in the world, Rick’s performance so far is a true exhibition of strength, athleticism, and sheer guts. Stay tuned for updates on Rick’s final performance of the Open.

New Family Favorite

19 Mar

It’s always a special evening when setting the nights meal on the table does not illicit a chorus of “I don’t like that” quickly followed by “how much do I need to eat?” Even better when, following that chorus, the first bites are taken and quiet ‘yumm’s are heard from the youngest diners. I always retest within a week to ensure I have, in fact, found a winning combination and in this case, it’s clearly a winner so thought I’d share.

This recipe is taken from Well Fed by Melissa Joulwan currently available for purchase at FIT.

Blue Ribbon Country Captain Chicken
3 strips of sugar-free, nitrate-free bacon (optional)
2 lbs boneless, skinless thighs (or breasts if you prefer)
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 Tbs coconut oil
4 medium onions, thinly sliced (about 4 cups)
3 large bell peppers (red and/or green) thinly sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 Tbs raisings
1/2 c chicken broth
2 Tbs curry powder (penzeys maharajah is awesome)
3 scallions, green tops only, thinly sliced
3 Tbs sliced almonds, toasted (optional)

Cut bacon crosswise into 1/4″ wide pieces. Place chopped bacon in a large, cold skillet, turn heat to med-high, and fry bacon till crisp (i recommend thick sliced bacon). Remove from pan with a slotted spoon and drain on a paper towel.

Season chicken generously with salt and pepper. add coconut oil to the bacon fat in the pan, and reheat skillet. add chicken in a single layer, smooth side down. Don’t crowd the pan and don’t annoy the chicken! You want it to form a crisp, brown crust so place it in the pan and leave it alone, about 4 mins per side. As the chicken browns remove it from the skillet and place in a single layer in a 13×9 baking pan.

in same pan without draining any of the remaining fat, sauté the onions, peppers, garlic and raisings until the veggies just begin to soften, but are not cooked through. Spread them on top of the chicken and return the skillet to the stove.

pour chicken broth into the hot skillet and use a wooden spoon to scrape up any brown bits. add curry powder to the pan and stir until the sauce begins to thicken. Pour sauce over the chicken and wrap the pan tightly with aluminum foil.

bake 35 mins, then remove foil, increase the heat to 400 F, and bake an additional 5-10 mins. Before serving, sprinkle with scallions, bacon and almonds.

Divine! And I have enough veggies left over to make some sort of delicious veggie side later on this week. Let me know what you think!

Busting through those Late Winter Plateaus!

9 Mar

So you’ve made it to March on your New Years Resolution program of eating better, sleeping more, and getting some exercise, but now you’re running out of steam.  I get it: you put all your gusto into changing all of your habits at once, and you’re just a little bit fatigued at this point.  Yes! You HAVE seen some great results, but you want more!  What do you do when the program you have been so diligently following is getting stale and no longer giving you the results that you want?

This is the perfect time to change things up for the better, adjust your program to jump-start progress, and reinvigorate your enthusiasm for health and wellness.  With the weather warming up, why don’t you take your program outside?  There are plenty of ways to create challenging and fun workouts in the sunshine and away from all of the noise and clutter of the gym.  In addition, you’ll give yourself a needed dose of vitamin D after spending all those months cooped up indoors.

How about a complete change in program? After working hard for the last 3 months, nothing will get your exercise passion back like trying something different.  Personally, I like to completely revamp what I’m working on a few times each year.  This keeps me from feeling stale, as well as gives me new challenges to work toward.  For example, if you recently spent the last few months trying to really increase your strength in the gym with a progressive weight program, why not try a completely bodyweight program?  How do you add resistance you ask?  Well take that push up and invert it – handstand pushups are quite challenging, but work the same muscles that you would with a shoulder press or push press.

 

 

 

 

 

Why not finally master those pull ups you have been working on?  Nothing says I’m ready for the impending beach season like well sculpted arms and a nice strong back.  And I know that too many of you have avoided trying those pistol squats for fear of falling and making a fool of yourself.  Now is your chance to master all those 1-leg exercises that looked too intimidating.

And what about learning a new skill or sport?  I myself have endeavored to become proficient in the competition kettlebell lifts and the Turkish Get-up.  While training with kettlebells is en vogue these days, the competition lifts – and the training that goes along with them – is still something that I haven’t really experienced yet.  Even though I have been using kettlebells in my training for the last several years, I have no idea how many 1 arm snatches I can do in 10 minutes.  Think about something new that you’ve been dreaming about doing, and set your heart and mind to it.  Think of this as your New Year’s Resolution version 2.0!  Find yourself a qualified trainer or instructor in a new discipline and dive in.

Outdoor Workout

Sprint 50 yards

10 x Tree Stump Throws (can use a tire, sandbag, big rock)

10 x Tree Branch Pull Ups

10 x Log Lateral Hurdle Jumps

50 yard Bear Crawl

5 Rounds; 1 min. rest in-between

Bodyweight Workout

5 x Pistol Squats (each leg)

10 x Handstand Push Ups

15 x Inverted Rows on rings or bar

As many rounds in 15 minutes as possible

Kettlebell Workout

5 Sets

5 x Snatch/5 Windmill

10 x Swings

5 x 3 Turkish Get Ups (per side)

 

Let me know how you get through the next 3 months!

Score one for the Paleo Diet

6 Mar

Gluten-Free, Casein-Free Diet May Help Some Children With Autism, Research Suggests

Research recently out of Penn State University provides more support for some of the therapeutic effects of a Paleo Diet – exclusion of gluten and casein (wheat and dairy protein, respectively).

It seems that exclusion of gluten and casein may be beneficial for individuals on the Autism Spectrum.  The authors also noted that there might NOT be outward symptoms of allergies or food intolerances, but that the negative interactions from these foods still exists.

 

And some general information from WebMD about gluten/casein-free diets for ASD

What is Paleo?

4 Mar

Sometimes we struggle with how to discuss nutrition with clients.  As enthusiastic health and fitness professionals, our excitement about discussing nutrition can often overwhelm those we talk with, and make it seem as though we are crazy zealots out on a campaign against all the “healthy” foods endorsed in commercials and on box labels.  This is definitely not the case, but we do have an ironically novel message for those who will listen: Eat real foods, the way nature intended, and especially those that were eaten by our ancestors for millenia.

Dr. Willen helps us with this mission by providing a great concise video about the Paleo Diet.  While called a “caveman” diet by some, it really is the diet of our forebears, and what, as humans, we were intended to eat.  Watch the short 4 minute video, and then start a great dialogue about food with your ebullient and committed trainer about how to move you along the path of better health and sustained vitality.

Friday

1 Mar

WOD :
Prowler
DU
Relays!

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