WhiteBoard Talks - Week Three Recap

WhiteBoard Talks - Week 3 - Monday

Topic - Take the Time, Make a PLAN and STICK to it!

Eating great is not complicated, but at times it can be very difficult. Poor food choices surround us everyday with an ease and convenience that makes it hard to stick with a good diet. How can you stay on track with so many traps around you?

One of the best ways to avoid the pitfalls of poor choices is to build a meal-prep routine. Most imagine that meal prep is this terribly long process that creates a huge mess in your house, takes 5 hours, and leaves you with a fridge that looks like vacuum packed rations for a space mission. No matter what your situation there is a method for you.

The best way to start is to make a plan for your meals. Decide what meals you want to make for the week. Put together the grocery list, and then decide how/when you want to cook them.  If cooking everything at once and eating out of Tupperware for the week is how you operate, choose that method. Or you could cook enough food for dinner to make lunch leftovers for the next day, everyday. The biggest factor is that you choose a method that is realistic to you, and something you can maintain for more than a couple of weeks.

Meal prep doesn’t have to stick with whole meals too. You should prep your snacks as well. That way when you get the craving for something sweet, that snack is prepped and ready for you instead of making a poor choice.

Meal prepping is all about time and how much time you can commit to it. Imagine regaining 135 minutes of your day! According to  Statista.com people spend 135 mins/day on social media, think of what you could do with that time regained. Even if you cut that number in half and devoted it to your food/diet/meal prep/anything!

The common thread when it comes to meal prep, is: take the time, make a plan, and stick to it!

WhiteBoard Talks - Week 3 - Thursday

Topic - Sleep - Stay away from the Blue Light

Sleep, the more of it we get, the better off we will be. A slew of things are happening in the body as we sleep, so much so that researchers willing admit that we don’t know enough about how valuable sleep actually is. The recommended levels of sleep vary by source, but they all tend to come back around to 8-10 hours of sleep per night.

The first part of our discussion will be what effects us, performance-wise, with sleep?

We will start by talking about three hormones that are connected to sleep: 
Growth Hormone, Leptin, and Cortisol

Growth Hormone:
Growth hormone aids in bone and muscular recovery, without it the body doesn’t repair as well. Growth hormone is released when we sleep, especially the early stages of our sleep. While as CrossFitters that are constantly damaging our muscles we should want as much help as we can to repair them. Another benefit of growth hormone is that it helps stimulate the release of triglycerides from fat cells. 

Leptin does a couple of cool things for us at night. First, when asleep, your fat cells will repress your appetite by releasing leptin. While two, leptin regulates insulin. Poor sleep habits do not get the benefits of leptin being released which causes hunger in the middle of the night in the form of a food craving.

Unlike Growth Hormone and Leptin, we do not want a ton of Cortisol in our bodies. Chronically elevated levels of cortisol in the body starts effecting the body in negative ways. It can make the body stop using food for energy, build fat stores and slowly starts breaking down muscle tissue. Two things that increase/elevate cortisol are STRESS and OVERTRAINING. A primary factor to regulate cortisol levels is sleep!

Finally let’s touch upon Blue Light.

Blue Light:
Screens (TV, Laptop, Phone, LEDs etc) give off blue light wavelengths, these wavelengths have been shown to upset our circadian rhythm after the sun goes down. Melatonin typically starts to be released as it gets darker outside. Exposure to blue light 2-3 hours before bed has been shown to have adverse effects on the body by significantly suppressing Melatonin. Melatonin is a hormone that regulates sleep and wakefulness. Melatonin typically starts to be released in greater supply as it gets darker at night. Exposure to light (especially Blue Light) will greatly hinder the bodies reaction to release melatonin.