Dec 5th, 2012

Giving Back During the Holidays

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Ann, Carrie, and Beth

With the holiday season upon us, we thought it would be great to get into the spirit of giving.  A big thanks to Lydia for bringing this program to our attention.


From now until December 20th, we’re going to be collecting donations for a program called Alternative Family Services.  The donations can be cash or non-cash items.  As you can see from the list below, there are many needs.

About Alternative Family Services

Alternative Family Services (AFS) is a foster, adoptions and mental health agency that has been creating safe, permanent connections for foster children and youth in the Bay Area since 1978.  AFS is committed to:

  • Supporting families at risk
  • Creating permanency options for all foster children
  • Providing mental health and other supports to children, youth and their families
  • Preparing foster youth for adult independent living
  • Responding to needs in the community as they arise

How You Can Help

AFS has published a Needs List, as follows (you can also view the list online here):

  • Funding for extra curricular activities:  HIGH NEED, monetary donations can be given by going to the AFS Needs List website.
  • Gift Cards:  HIGH NEED, including any and all of the following: gas cards, clothing retailers, school supplies, sporting goods, movie passes, art/crafts stores, restaurants, etc. (Please write the amount on the card.)
  • Diapers and Bath Supplies:  HIGH NEED
  • Backpacks and School Supplies for ALL ages:  paper, pens, pencils, rulers, calculators, colored pencils, binders, etc.
  • Packs of Socks and Underwear and T-Shirts: ALL sizes, colors. Onesies for babies, underwear in youth sizes, socks in ALL sizes.
  • Hygiene Supplies:  toothbrushes, deodorant, shampoo/conditioner, lotions, etc.

** Update **

There’s also an opportunity to help hand out gifts to the kids and foster families during AFS’s Open House on December 21 and December 22.  If this is something you’re interested in doing, email Lydia directly and she can add you to the list of volunteers.

You can drop off any donated items at CFO.  We’ll have a giant box to make things easy.  As you can see from the list above, there are lots of options for giving.  Let’s do our part to make this holiday season special for those in need.

All donated items are being picked up and dropped off on December 20th, so this gives us a little over a couple of weeks to make this happen.  Let’s get it done!

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Dec 4th, 2012

CrossFit Total This Sunday Dec 9 at 2pm

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This Sunday, December 9, beginning at 2pm, we’ll be doing the CrossFit Total. The CrossFit Total (CFT) is the sum of your 1-rep max back squat, shoulder press, and deadlift. Each year, we’ve gotten more and more people to participate in this Super Sunday event. And I hope we get an even bigger turnout this year. It’s the one time that we test you guys on these three lifts, and it only comes up once a year, so take advantage of it. Plus, you’ll have a lot of fun lifting with all your fellow CFOers. And finally, it’s a great feeling to see the product of all the hard work you put into your training. Almost everyone PRs at least one of the lifts, if not all three.

The CFT will be run a bit differently than a normal group class. We’ll be running it kind of like a powerlifting meet, which means we need a few things from you so that we can put people into groups that will be lifting roughly the same amount.

By no later than Saturday at 11:59pm (and preferably much earlier, like right after reading this post), you need to email us your opening squat, press, and deadlift numbers. We’ll then assign you to a group, and then we’ll publish the list here on the blog on Saturday night.

Here’s how the CFT will go down. The doors to the gym will open at 1pm. You’re expected to come and do what you need to do to warm up. The first squat of the day will go down at 2pm sharp. Everyone will be assigned a group, and everyone will squat, one person at a time, one attempt at a time. We’ll have multiple racks going (up to 13, if needed), so you won’t have to wait forever, but you will have to wait your turn and stay in the designated order.

After everyone finishes squats, we’ll then proceed in the same fashion through the press, and finally, we’ll do the same thing for the deadlift.

You only get three attempts for each lift, so be sure to pick a weight you know you can get for certain on your opener, because you can’t move down in weight after you’ve opened (using a 3-rep max is a good idea for your opener if you haven’t done a heavy single in training before).

All the rules for range of motion for each lift are covered in the CrossFit Total PDF here.

Do the CF Total! You’ll have a blast and you’ll get a great benchmark for you training heading into 2013.

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Dec 3rd, 2012

Amazing Edible Holiday Gifts

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Karen and Louise at last year’s CFO Holiday Party (photo courtesy of TomC)
 

Who doesn’t love FREE food!? Especially when it’s made with love. This holiday season consider giving a gift that will feed one’s tummy as well as their soul! This week I picked some of my favorite edible gifts that are sure to please all the special people in your lives. Just put these delicious treats in a nicely decorated basket or beautifully wrapped box and viola! They make great stocking stuffers too!

Spicy Almonds
source: marksdailyapple.com

1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp curry powder
1/2 tsp garlic salt
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp powdered ginger
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tbsp olive oil
2 cups of whole almonds
1 tbsp sea salt

1. In a skillet heat the olive oil and spices over low heat for 3 or so minutes.
2. Place the nuts in a bowl and pour oil mixture over the top, toss and stir.
3. Then, spread nuts into a single layer on a  baking sheet and pop in a oven at 300 degrees for 15 minutes, shaking the tray about every 5 minutes to cook evenly.
4. Remove from oven and sprinkle with sea salt.
5. Let cool two hours. Store in an airtight container.

 

Easy Applesauce
source: sooopaleo.blogspot.com

8 pounds organic apples
2 tablespoons cinnamon
1 cup water

1. Wash apples, and chop them into slices or chunks keeping the skin on
2. Put apples in a large pot and add the water and cinnamon
3. Bring the pot to a boil
4. Cover pot, reduce heat to medium, and cook for 45 minutes (stirring every 15 minutes)
5. Ladle out any excess liquid to avoid making your applesauce too watery
6. Using a blender or food processor, blend all ingredients until smooth

 

Pumpkin Granola
source: paleomg.com

1/2 cup sliced almonds
1/2 cup pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
1/2 cup pecans, chopped
8-10 dried dates, pits removed, then chopped
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1/3 cup coconut oil
1/3 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1/3 cup maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons cinnamon
1 tablespoon nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
pinch of salt

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
2. In a large mixing bowl, add your pumpkin puree, coconut oil, maple syrup, vanilla extract, and all spices. Mix well.
3. Then add your nuts, seeds, and dates and mix well with your wet ingredients.
4. Place parchment paper on a large baking sheet and pour your granola mixture on top. Use a spoon to spread out the mixture evenly so everything will cook at the same time.
5. Place in oven and cook for 30-40 minutes, moving the granola around half way through to be sure it doesn’t burn.

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Nov 30th, 2012

CFO Shop & Brunch at Lululemon TOMORROW 12/1: 9am-10am

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Our friends at Lululemon Berkeley are opening their store at 2956 College Ave one hour early (9am) tomorrow morning, just for CFO members.  Not only that, but our own Sarah B. is cooking us all a paleo-friendly brunch to nom on while we shop.  Should be a fun time – don’t miss it!  Open to all CFO members!  Gentlemen, don’t forget there is a ton of cool gear for the guys too!

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Nov 29th, 2012

Tamara Competing in American Open this Friday!

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Annie, Tamara, and Joey at last month’s Veterans Day Open

Tomorrow Tamara flies down to Palm Springs so that she can compete in the American Open on Friday.  The American Open is one of this country’s two national Olympic weightlifting meets (the other being Nationals).  You have to qualify for this meet by virtue of having a high enough total (the sum of your best snatch and best clean-and-jerk), and this total has to have been achieved in a sanctioned weightlifting meet.  

In other words, Tamara is strong and will be competing with this country’s best!

Also, for those of you who know the lifters who compete for Max and Jo Ann, Sandra and Mike (MJ) will be competing this Friday as well.

Let’s wish these lifters luck and send them lots of CFO love!

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Nov 28th, 2012

Sometimes good stuff happens in High School…

 

Check out this video that tells the story of a high school project gone right.  Here is a write-up on the program: 

"Sacramento High’s visionary project—Edible Sac High (ESH)—is transforming students relationships with food. As the first high school of Alice Waters Edible Schoolyard Project, ESH is expanding it’s small organic garden to be a hands-on lab—providing produce for nutrition education and cooking activities and a focus of community engagement and environmental education. ESH’s low-income, minority students are at high risk of obesity and related health issues. ESH will empower students to change this by adopting good food choices. Community partners will teach nutrition education, sustainable gardening, and healthy food prep. Students will test recipes for healthy lunches, advocate for a better salad bar in the cafeteria and host new food samplings. Student-grown produce will be used, reinforcing the "farm to fork" concept. By mastering GROW ideas of eating seasonal, locally-grown food, students will promote healthier eating in the school and community." (http://growmethod.maker.good.is/projects/ediblesachigh)

 

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Nov 27th, 2012

Michelle All Over the Interwebs

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Michelle in the middle of a handstand walk (photo courtesy of TomC)

Local women’s athletic apparel company Title Nine has a blog called Timeout, which showcases women who have achieved fitness-related goals, overcome obstacles, or stepped outside of their comfort zone in their training (in some cases, all three apply).


So what does this have to do with CFO?  It just so happens that one of our own, Michelle M, was featured on their blog.  In fact, she penned the blog post (err…typed).

Her story is a really great read, equal parts CF origin and success story, peppered with occasional humorous asides.  And she even manages to explore some of the body-image issues that most women deal with at one point or another during their training journey.

Michelle is a pleasure to have train at CFO and I’m so happy that she’s been able to share her story with a larger audience.  Just remember the little people when you get all internet-famous, Michelle!

Here’s the full blog post:  Timeout:  Kicking Butt at CrossFit and Loving Every Minute

We’ve also copied and pasted the full text below.  Just click on the "Read more" link.

(But it’s much better to go to the Timeout blog because there are some good pictures of Michelle in action.)

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Nov 26th, 2012

Fixing Early Arm Bend in the Snatch

 

When first starting to practice the snatch, one of the most common mistakes is to bend the arms early.  In the video above, Olympic weightlifting coach Glenn Pendlay lays out a nice progression you can follow to fix the early-arm-bend problem.

Next time snatches come up, try throwing one of these drills (whichever one is most appropriate) into your warm-up.

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Nov 24th, 2012

Dr. Jonathan Sullivan on the Importance of Strength Training

Starting Strength Series : Jonathon Sullivan from Stef Bradford on Vimeo.

Back in October, I was lucky enough to see Dr. Jonathan Sullivan give a talk on the importance of strength training at the Starting Strength Coaches Association Meeting. Sullivan is Attending Physician at Detroit Receiving Hospital Emergency Department, and Associate Director of the Cerebral Resuscitation Laboratory at Wayne State University. He has also become a big advocate for barbell training. The talk he gave that weekend is now available to the world at large. The video is just under an hour long and is well worth the time spent watching it. It is a substantial and occasionally profane discussion of how training for strength might be the best thing you can do for yourself. Here is a little snippet from around the 20-minute mark:

The default mode of a metazoan cell, of the cells that we all have, is not to live, but to die. Without growth factors, they will. Conversely, if you take a cell and you insult it with radiation, or a toxin, or a free radical, or something that will cause it to kill itself, you can rescue it. You can talk it off the ledge by administering growth factors. I, along with a lot of other people have now published a lot of material in the literature saying that the administration of high dose growth factors after a stroke or cardiac arrest, at least in certain models, will rescue brain cells.

What’s happening here is you are getting older. You are in a state of physiologic, senescent growth factor withdrawal. You just don’t make as much as much growth hormone and IGF-1 as you used to. Aging is characterized by atrophy. When we squat and our bodies squirt a bunch of IGF-1 and human growth hormone into our system, we are counter-signaling that. That to me is a profound effect. That’s what got my attention. It’s a way for me to self-administer growth factors and to tell all the cells in my body, “Hey, we’re still in this game.” It’s a way for me to send survival factors to all the tissues of my body. It’s just hugely profound.

The video was originally published over at Mark Rippetoe’s Starting Strength Website and discussion of it, along with responses from Sullivan can be found here and here. Sullivan’s other articles at the Starting Strength site, Barbell Training is Big Medicine and Stopping the Spread of Misinflammation are also not to be missed. Enjoy the video and remember to do your squats.

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Nov 23rd, 2012

THANK YOU!!

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‘Danke’ for the beauty of strength

Yes it is total cheese, but THANK YOU to all of you.  CFO is an amazing place because of the people that fill it every day.  Happy Thanksgiving to all of you.  

Gym opens at 8am tomorrow – classes at 8am, 9am and 10am ONLY.  I’m sure you’ll all be thanking us back after tackling "Eva".

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