Transitioning Back To CrossFit
Four months ago I wrote a post explaining that due to some serious back issues (that had gone un-diagnosed for six months) I was forced to quit CrossFit and return to the world of three sets of 15 weight lifting. At that point in my time my back (the thoracic mid section) was unstable and would spasm randomly. Resting made it worse. Laying down only magnified the spasms. My bed, my sweet, wonderful, king size bed, was a torture chamber, not a place of rest and relaxation. I thought my lifting days were over and I was left contemplating my future and how I would go about avoiding the slow weight gain (that had already started).
As silly as this sounds, I was beginning to enter a slight depression because intense work outs had become a lifestyle.
Finally my wife made a doctors appointment and he immediately sent me to a physical therapist. Come to find out my back issues were quite common. My thoracic spine had a mild misalignment and looked something like this:
Those red spots (or what I called hot spots) were the source of my spasms. Since my back (vertebrae) was out of alignment, the nerve endings that follow the spine also were out of alignment, sending the muscles surrounding the vertebrae into spasms. Sounds serious, right? Apparently not so much. This is quite common and an easy fix, according to the physical therapist. I was shown some simple stretches and after a week or two my one time nightmare was 99% of the way healed. I’m now back to doing all the things I feared were over. Six months ago I couldn’t lay on the floor and play with my kids. I couldn’t lay on my son’s bed (on my stomach) without spasming. Now I can do all those things and much more a.k.a. CrossFit.
Eating Clean Never Tasted So Good
Along with my return to CrossFit has been a desire to reclaim a healthy diet. I’m an emotional eater and over the last year I had allowed my diet to reach a near pre-100 pound weight loss lifestyle. No, I still haven’t had a Mt.Dew since 2009, and hadn’t yet dived back into fast food, but a majority of my meals were full of fried food and take out. No wonder I had gained 20 pounds since last November.
But what does eating clean mean?
Eating clean is simply ridding yourself of all (or as much as possible) processed foods from your diet. My wife and I have taken it one step further and gone organic with most of our foods but eating organic =/= eating clean. Organic food can be extremely expensive and making all your meals from scratch time consuming, but the positives far outweigh the negative, in my opinion. If you can’t eat organic, just try to eat as many fresh ingredients as possible.
Yes, this means no sugar, processed carbs or meat, and as little canned goods as possible. Instead, we eat fresh organic vegetables, fruit, and meat. Basically, we are following the Paleo diet without all the rigid Paleo-type restrictions (I’m going to use salt when cooking, sorry Paleo purists).
Our bodies weren’t made to process processed foods. The adverse effects processed food has on our bodies are well documented and researched. The most damning of all processed foods would be those which are made using GMO’s (Genetically Modified Organisms)
GMOs are plants or animals that have been genetically engineered with DNA from bacteria, viruses or other plants and animals. These experimental combinations of genes from different species cannot occur in nature or in traditional crossbreeding.
Virtually all commercial GMOs are engineered to withstand direct application of herbicide and/or to produce an insecticide. Despite biotech industry promises, none of the GMO traits currently on the market offer increased yield, drought tolerance, enhanced nutrition, or any other consumer benefit.
Meanwhile, a growing body of evidence connects GMOs with health problems, environmental damage and violation of farmers’ and consumers’ rights.
In the U.S., GMOs are in as much as 80% of conventional processed food. Click here for a current list of GMO risk crops.
Does that sounds like something you want to put in your body? If our food is being genetically altered, what is the genetically altered food altering in our bodies after consumption? I won’t be shocked to learn in 100 years that GMO’s are directly linked to the increase of cancer in our society. After all, what is cancer? A disease caused by an uncontrolled division of abnormal cells in a part of the body. Sounds a lot like what GMO’s are doing to the foods we eat on a regular basis.
But don’t take my word for it; go do your own research. There more than enough documentaries, studies, and books that have been written on this subject.