The comfort zone is that warm and fuzzy place where everything is safe. We don’t grow in the comfort zone. Body positivity is establishing who we are and firmly rooting that image into our comfort zone. In itself, that isn’t a bad thing, but what happens if you want more? Complacency is the death of progress. No matter how much we wish it the world will not stand still for us. If we stop pushing, and the world keeps moving forward, then we fall behind. Fitness, martial arts, nutrition the same rule applies to them. A martial artist who doesn’t practice her skills will start to loose them. A healthy eater who doesn’t adjust their nutrition as she gets older will start to have problems. A fitness buff who does the same thing all the time will plateau. In order to grow we need training that is going to push us outside our comfort zones. For me high intensity is something outside of my comfort zone. No matter what sport I am in I’m always the slow and steady type. That style has served me well, after all I won a world championship undefeated in martial arts. However, complacency is the death of progress. To keep pushing and keep moving forward with my skills I need to train outside of my comfort zone. With both my fitness and martial arts training I’m working on increasing my intensity. After all I wouldn’t be much of a instructor if I can’t practice what I preach. What is your comfort zone and how are you pushing your limits? Give it a try and see how far you can go!
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Sometime we have trouble figuring out what to eat when we have a really busy day or going on a long backpacking trip. You don’t want to try and pack a ton of food or something you have to cook right? You may have to eat on the go and need a nice kick of energy to boot!
Peanut butter is a good base for some quick energy, fats, oils and protein. When you are looking for something easy to use for a quick pick me up its a good place to start.
The ratios to this are really to taste and to purpose so adjust based on your wants and needs.
“Heat up a small pan and melt down some peanut butter, mix in honey, granola and a little bit of instant coffee. Dump it into a sandwich bag and put it in the fridge.”
Simple right? Credit for this goes to Instagram user edsmanifesto, who has used this to live off of for several days while in the field for his work.
Something like this is light and easy to store and pack, great for a long day of fighting where you don’t want to feel too heavy and need a pick me up!
At Ironside, we do not push anything that we ourselves do not believe in ourselves. That led us to a few of the tenants of our nutritional plan. Our guiding principle: fad diets rarely work and sugar is bad!
We hear about the fad diet of the month all of the time and they gain popularity very quickly in pop culture circles. While some of these have merits to them and if followed through some people can get the results they are looking for. The problem is that most of these diets take away a lot of the enjoyment we get from eating in general. This lack of enjoyment is part of what makes people want to drop off and not follow through with the program or cheat all the time. These actions lead to the diets not giving the results someone wants. Do not sacrifice the enjoyment of your meals it will make your fitness journey harder than it has to be, especially in the beginning.
Sugar. It’s everywhere, in so many food, drinks, sauces, and even in things most people don’t even realize. Cutting back or completely removing as much processed sugar from your diet is a staple for anyone trying to get in shape or be an athlete. Most know that things such as soda, candy, and other sweet things have a lot of sugars, but with sugar being so addictive its hard to just drop it. Dropping sugar is a huge step to having better nutrition. The second thing is to pay attention to some of the products that are labeled “low fat”, many of these products add sugars to make them taste better. Fat isn’t alway a bad thing, but the added sugars are.
Eggs are a great source of easy protein but can easily get boring really fast. Here is a recipe for “Earth Eggs” more commonly known as scotch eggs that is a nice way to change up your eggs. When I made these I was amazed at how filling they are and easy too!
1 lb lean ground beef
1 small onion, minced
2/3 cup seasoned bread crumbs
1/4 cup milk
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
6 hard-boiled eggs, peeled
1 egg, beaten
2 Tbs Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup ketchup
Mix the ground beef, onions 1/3 cup of the bread crumbs, milk, salt, garlic powder and onion powder. Divide into six equal portions.
Form each portion over a hard-boiled egg so that the egg is completely covered.
Dip each into the beaten egg and roll in the remaining breadcrumbs.
Fry the eggs over medium heat until the meat is completely cooked and the crumbs are golden brown.
Remove from the pan and cut each egg into halves or thirds.
Remove excess oil from pan.
Mix the Worchestershire sauce and the ketchup into the frying pans and heat till warm throughout.
Return the egg to the pan and rotate them in the sauce until completely coated.
Source: A Kitchen Witch’s Cookbook, by Patricia Telesco
Nutrition is more than just calories, vitamins, minerals, and protein. A person, not just an athlete, that wants to live a healthier life needs to put thought into what they are eating and when.
There is all kinds of studies and information available as to when it is best to eat different types of foods. I have heard conflicting information as well but that isn’t the topic I am addressing today. Today I bring up the thought of eating based on what you are doing with your day. This simple change can make a difference on your fitness goals and your quality of day to day life.
Growing up on a southern family farm there were many summers that my family got together and bailed hay. Before we got started on the work of the day we would have a big breakfast of tons of heavy and carb filled foods: biscuits and gravy, sausage, bacon, eggs and hash browns. Sounds like a ton of food and not all of it is all that healthy right? The thought here was to make sure that we had the fuel to make it through a tough day of work and not end up dragging halfway through.
That is an example of thinking about eating based on your day. If you are going to do a ton of physical work first thing in the morning or most of your day eating more carbs, such as biscuits and gravy, isn’t necessarily going to derail all of your hard work. Eating an easily absorbed and used source of energy is a good idea for a day of activity. If you are going to work at your desk job and not going to move around a whole lot for a period of eight hours eating a lot less is more advisable. A smaller breakfast of egg whites or a protein shake would suit you much better. Your body wont need to draw energy as much throughout the day and the protein will be used by your body for a more sustained energy gain through the day.
These are very broad examples of food that can do different jobs based on a persons needs. Change what you eat based on your day, this can work for any diet. Think before you eat, think about what you eat.