With lots of new family demands, and a wife that wants me home for dinner, I’ve had to change my Crossfit schedule to the morning WOD at Ute Crossfit East Draper, instead of my normal evening WOD. It’s early on (and so far the results are mixed, but I’m SO hungry after) but I’m curious if anyone else has had definite change in results for the better or worse, because of changing to morning workouts from evening? Comment and let me know what happened and what you did with the results.
We just did another Spartan Race. This time it was the Vegas Spartan Super. Other than a cool cargo net obstacle and an actual swim, there was nothing really new; even the barbed wire crawl was WAY short in this race??? In fact, I’d say the race is getting a little stale. Anyone else out there feeling the same way?
I’m going to go through the line-up for Coachella this year, on Spotify, and see if there are any hidden gems. I’m going to start at A and work through them alphabetically. If you have any favorites in this list, let me know and I’ll give them a listen! If you say something like, Check out Social Distortion or RHCP you’ll be systematically dismissed from my consciousness. Tell me about your favorite Non-mainstream band, artist. OK? Cool.
I started with 2 Chainz. To be 100% fair, this style of rap, hip-hop, whatever does nothing for me. The slow, monotone rhyming about how cool you are and how many ho’s you got is not my bag. So, I listened to 7 songs from “I’m different” and “No Lie” to “Yuck and “Birthday Song”. Not a fan, I would go get a snack somewhere if I was at Coachella and 2 Chainz was on stage. Next!!!
3BallMTY - this is tunes in the Mexican Tribal Guarachero style. I don’t really even want to spend time on this. I don’t drive a low-rider with hyrdaulics, I would never listen to this stuff - ever. I might LEAVE Coachella, or not come until these guys were done. Note: I don’t have a problem with verse I don’t understand because it’s in a foreign language I don’t know, but this style doesn’t speak to me in any way at all. Not even just for dancing. OUT.
Action Bronson - ugh. Better than 2 Chainz, still…I’d never pay to listen to this stuff. 5 songs and I’m good for the rest of my life. I think this arrogant hip hop stuff that is popular right now is the new pop music, it’s just being cranked out of some generic factory in Trenton on the East Coast and El Segundo on the West. Speaking of El Segundo, How about getting Q-Tip and A Tribe Called Quest back and put them on the docket, NOW we’re talking…
Adrian Lux - some pretty standard EDM. I had it on in the office as I worked and it served as some acceptable background noise. This is mainly how I listen to this genre anyway, and this was serviceable. I’m certainly a connoisseur of electronica, but if it doesn’t bug me as I work, I’ll listen to it. This falls in that category, I do like “Teenage Crime” - catchy. Not bad.
Aesop Rock - This is a little more my speed when it comes to hip hop style music. Sounds a bit more old-school and has some depth. I still wouldn’t listen to this much as it’s rare I WANT to listen to Hip Hop. At Crossfit it works, but really I don’t hear the music when I’m WODing anyway, This isn’t bad, I’d hang around and listen while waiting for Pretty Lights or someone…
Alex Clare - Straight up boring.
Allen Stone - Great voice. I could see him winning American Idol. Very easy to listen to. I’d probably listen to this while making out with my girlfriend (soon to be wife) - though she prefers JT. He’s kind of a mix between JT with a bit more legitimate soul and a popster like Jason Mraz - ish.
**So far, I’m unimpressed.** I need some guidance to get some quality music up in here on my journey through Coachella!**
Alt-J - More acceptable background music. Completely uninspiring. When would I listen to this? I don’t know. In an elevator I guess. I may have to skip ahead to some bands I know I like…
Baauer - I’ll be adding this to my wake up in the morning mix! I like it, it’s way catchy and well done. And of course Spotify has about 4 total songs - weak. Maybe he’s just starting out and only has 4 songs. I don’t know but Harlem Shake is pretty sweet. Dum Dum and Yaow! are cool too. I listed through them twice. Go Baauer, get some more tunes on Spotify, pronto. Thanks.
Band of Horses - I bet they were cool on Portlandia for half an episode. No, actually I like them for a chill, slow down type vibe. I like their sound, they’re totally listenable. My leanings aren’t toward much in the slowdown category. I do like some, say like the Shins, but mostly I prefer something a bit more upbeat, whether it’s in the rock, mellow, or hip hop genres. But again, as slow jams go, these guys are good.
Bassnectar - Already a favorite in my wake up in the morning mix, I can listen to this guy all day. VaVa Voom, is one of my fave pump songs. I can let these tunes just auto-play on the iPhone to the Jam Box and not even worry about it being good. For me, I’d put him up with Pretty Lights (a person favorite), Deadmau5, Kaskade and Infected Mushrooms for faves. Play more.
Singer songwriter for the depressed, heart-broken woman, eating a pint of Ben and Jerry’s in her living room under a blanket. I just can’t relate to this type of music at all. It literally makes me want to go do ANYTHING else other than listen to it. That said, I can appreciate her talent and I understand others could enjoy this. Not me. Next.
Beach House - more talented slow jams artists. I like their sound, I just would almost never listen to this. Too slow, too breathy, too feminine for me.
Beadyman - Ummm I’m not even sure how to describe this. I heard funky hip hop, british ska/reggae -ish vibe, dubstep (I don’t have any preconceived notions about dubstep - I treat it like any other genre - each artist measured according to their own output), various remixes, pretty eclectic electronica-driven tunes. Kinda cool, definitely good for work to keep something catchy going in the background. I can see this coming on the iPod in the car and jamming to this for a bit. I’d listen to him at Coachella.
Ben Howard - Acoustic Singer/Songwriter. Pass.
Benny Benassi - Very popular DJ, especially among my European EDM-fan friends. And for good reason - very well mixed tunes that definitely get things going when you’re in the mood for a dance vibe. Lots of mixes to choose from too! Add it to the EDM mix on your portable player!
Biffy Clyro - 3-piece band out of Scotland and I like them. I’m surprised I haven’t heard of them before now. They have a solid sound. They’re kind of Third Eye Blind, Jimmy Eat World - ish and I like it. I found myself listening for a while without getting sick of it. That’s always a good sign for me with new music. I’d say give em a listen.
Bingo Players - some listenable EDM. Had it going in the background for a good hour at work and didn’t get annoyed, that’s good. I like the remixes of songs like “When I dip”.
Birdy Nam Nam - see above. This stuff is kind of starting to sound all the same. I really need the next act to be something different…
Blur - well, I asked for something different and I certainly got it! If you don’t know “Song 2”, you’ve been living under a rock for the last 15 years. I listened to their Parklive album and they have some catchy tunes. I could certainly see listening to this on a road trip. I’d probably replay Song 2 a hundred times, because I love it but I’d listen to the rest too. Give it a listen if the only song of theirs you know is Song 2.
Booka Shade - More EDM, from Germany this time.
C2C - EDM with a little R&B vibe mixed in. I like all the EDM acts so far, but the variation is so slight to me (I DON’T claim to be a connoisseur, we’d need my buddy, Polish, for that) that it could all be the same DJ’s and I wouldn’t really even know.
Cafe Tacvba - No.
Cassy - EDM.
Cloud Nothings - FINALLY the kind of music I would expect at Coachella. Honestly, it really varies song to song whether I like the guy or not, but that means I like his music. It’s raw, it’s garage-rock, it’s got some depth despite the simple composition. I want to say Strokes-like, but not quite so pop. And I know the Strokes vibe varies quite a bit too. I’m with you. Maybe even a little Beck in there without the sideshow aspect. Give it a listen!
Dam Funk - Kinda cool, kinda Roots-like. Definitely worth a listen.
Descendents - YEP, I skipped ahead. I needed to hear some actual punk music, RIGHT NOW. These guys just straight lay it down, no messing around. How they didn’t blow up more than some of the other punk bands coming out of the 80’s punk movement is beyond me. Listen up kids, this is how it’s done. And if you think they sound like pop-punk bands you are familiar with, it’s because these guys influenced MANY current bands. Enjoy.
Dinosaur Jr. - Old school indie rock! This stuff reminds me of being a “skater” (I put it in parentheses because I sucked at skating) and it brings back good late 80’s memories. Reminds me of my younger brother too because he introduced it to me and it kind of seems to fit him for some reason. This and Fugazi. This stuff isn’t for everyone, it’s noisy, it’s loud, the lead singer has an interesting voice, but I’m a fan. I really like raw-sounding rock - Pearl Jam’s 10 album, Sound Garden’s Bad Motor Finger. Any 311 prior to say 2004. Anyway, I digress.
If you like something a little out of the ordinary with some solid guitar work, give this a listen
Sorry I had to give up on this, just too much crappy music. If anyone has a favorite band that played at Coachella and I should take a listen, let me know.
I have been living the Paleo lifestyle for the most part of the last year, and I’ve done the Whole30 challenge twice, with no problem, I might add. Most people think I’m crazy or stupid or both. Most of us, myself included, are wildly addicted to grains and sugar. These are staples of the Western diet that has made America the most obese country in the world! 33.8% of our country is obese. So, how has that Western diet worked out? It’s worked out to the tune of more diabetes and heart disease and cancer that any other country in the world as well! Soooo, at some point you gotta ask yourself - who’s crazy and stupid? Well whatever, eat what you want. As I mentioned, I’m totally addicted to sugar and bread and I crave donuts and pizza like a junkie craves the needle. I don’t eat that stuff much, and I do it rarely enough that I can determine some of the effects of those foods on my body. Sure, these are anecdotal and are my experiences, but they’re real. Try the Whole30 challenge for yourself and then watch how your body responds when you eat some bread, pasta or sugary treats. I don’t have any weight to lose really, when I’m eating clean, but here are some of my “symptoms” from not eating so clean:
My skin breaks out in “acne”. I put it in parentheses because it’s worse than acne, the sores are deep and don’t just easily pop and heal like a whitehead. They hurt and persist for a lot longer than standard acne. A Dr. once told me they were inflammation caused by folliculitis and gave me some antibiotic, which may or may not have contributed to my achilles tear - yeah - antibiotics. Anyway, when I’m 100% Paleo, or very close to it, I don’t get these sores. When I start eating bread or sugar they show up like clockwork. They may be folliculitis, but the inflammation is caused by grains and sugar, not some random condition.
My stomach gets…hmmm…let’s use bloated as the adjective here. It’s worse than that, and I’ll bet my parents wish I’d discovered Paleo when I was a lot younger. The ex-wives certainly do :-D I don’t want to get too graphic here but I’m a lot more comfortable in my GI tract when not dealing with the irritation and inflammation in my tummy.
My energy is a lot more even and consistent. Every one knows grains and sugar give you a quick shot of energy, but it also doesn’t last. Eating more fat and getting my body used to using that as the energy source instead of grains and sugar has evened things out a lot.
When I’m eating grains and sugar, stored fat goes right to my love handles. When I’m 100% Paleo - it disappears. I can usually see my abs, and that isn’t SUCH a big deal to me, but not having love handles is a big deal to me (being sick the last 3 weeks and not having energy to work out has brought them out a little and I’m not a fan at all! :-D).
In reading Mark’s Daily Apple and Bulletproof Executive you can learn what inflammation does to your body. It isn’t always easy to see, but signs like my skin condition flaring up are external indicators of inflammation. You can find articles on how inflammation leads to Heart Disease and other chronic diseases in those places or I’m sure a simple Google search will pull up more good information. Either way, I don’t like the inflammation. It’s challenging because I do like the baked snacks. These little annoyances don’t seem like they’re that problematic, but they’re just indicators of what’s happening inside, and frankly, I don’t want heart disease, diabetes, Arthritis, cancer or any other chronic disease, that’s reason enough for me to continue to eliminate grains and sugar.
Finally, I don’t know if there is a direct correlation, but I got sick when I went off strict Paleo for a little while and it lingered longer than it ever had. I really think once my body got used to eating little to no sugar or grains, it truly rebelled against the grains and sugar in a big way.
So there you have it, some personal evidence that Paleo works for me. Give it a try, track the results. Report back and let me know how it goes.
Yes, eating clean Paleo all the time is challenging, especially for me since I’m not a great cook, but it’s worth it and it’s really helped me “eat to live” instead of “living to eat”. And it’s become a constant challenge that is kind of fun - trying to find grass-fed beef, pastured bacon, organic fruits and veggies, etc. Eating is such a huge part of our societal norms, but it’s gotten a little…er…a lot out of control. All I’d have to do is show you the picture of me passed out after Thanksgiving Dinner looking like a beached whale 6 or 7 years ago, and you’d absolutely believe it. Give the Whole30 a shot, you won’t regret it.
You might think what you wear in a WOD isn’t THAT big of a deal. But when you’re in the middle of a serious METCON, the last thing you want is to be worrying about your shorts falling down (happened in a Double-Under WOD!), or binding up around your thighs, or heaven forbid - giving you an uncomfortable wedgie. I use several different styles of shorts to work out in. I’m a fan of full coverage, so you don’t flash any crack and I like comfort in the waistband so there’s no itching or pinching. Flexibility in the fabric is nice too.
I found these Forged WOD Shorts and they are a great pairing to your daily WOD. They’re a board short style with flexible inserts where you need them in the crotch and nice cutouts at the bottom of the outer thigh (not huge like Muai Thai shorts though, thankfully). Then where your typical board shorts are rather stiff, these are incredibly versatile. I don’t want to say you don’t even notice they’re on, I hope you always know your shorts are on, but they are super comfy for this style of shorts. The waist band is wide and the fastening mechanisms - tie and velcro - almost seem a bit overkill, but it all works and it doesn’t bug you at all when working out.
They are light-weight (nothing like my LuluLemon running shorts, but nice), tough and look good. By tough, I mean you won’t worry about dragging the bar up your thighs while doing cleans, snatches or dead lifts. No snags, no rips, no unsightly wear (well maybe after YEARS of use).
I’d wear these shorts anytime, but they’re pretty much designed for working out - MAYBE some beach time, but probably not just hanging out at the mall. Not that they’re not comfortable enough, I just don’t personally like wearing big logos on my shorts around town. I will wear my Forged Flag T-shirt anywhere, with pride, however.
It would be cool if local shops would carry more products like these, but for now order them at the links provided. For me these ran a touch big, but not enough for the shorts to not fit and stay in place. I don’t plan on losing any weight, nor do I plan on putting on any weight around my waist, so it’s all good. The legs are plenty loose to allow for major quad growth as I attack my squats and dead lifts!!!
This is a product review for you folks who are following a Paleo lifestyle or just like Chocolate, either way. This stuff, Upgraded Chocolate Powder from the Bulletproof Executive is quite possibly the best food item I’ve tried as part of following the Paleo lifestyle.
There are a lot of reasons this stuff is good for you (see below). My thing here is, it’s actually delicious. No added sugar. Nothing artificial, but it tastes really good. I mix it with ice, coconut milk or water, and make a really tasty chocolate shake. If you want a little more substance to it, add a couple raw eggs. I also like it with a banana. Nice little energy boost without stimulants as well! I do like that part, I mix it for my pre-Crossfit shake and it’s a winner!
Give it a try, I think you’ll be as hooked as me as fast as me!
I’m quoting straight from the site here (and there’s more, read the site):
Inflammation is a major contributor to almost every disease. Upgraded Chocolate Powder is packed with antioxidants and compounds that reduce inflammation.
Cocoa has a greater antioxidant capacity than black tea, green tea, and red wine (16). Cocoa also has more antioxidants than “super-fruits” like Acai, pomegranate, and blueberry (17). When you eat dark chocolate, there is an immediate boost in your blood antioxidant levels (18). People who eat high quality chocolate have lower markers of inflammation than those who eat regular chocolate (19). And, as mentioned above, people who consume the highest amounts of dark chocolate are far less likely to develop cardiovascular disease or suffer stroke (2).
Upgraded Chocolate Powder is a potent way to help inflammation and make you more resilient.
Your heart is one of the organs most affected by inflammation, and dark chocolate is just as good for your heart as it is for Valentine’s Day.
Dark chocolate is better than a placebo at reducing blood pressure (20). Eating dark chocolate directly improves heart and vascular function (21). Chocolate powder lowers the amount of oxidized LDL cholesterol in your blood, which is a major contributor to heart disease and atherosclerosis (22). Dark chocolate even protects against some of the negative effects of smoking (23).
Upgraded Chocolate Powder shields your heart from disease and keeps your blood flowing so you can be and do more
I have about a million product reviews to write and to kick it off, I’m going with the LuluLemon men’s no show ultimate socks.
I do like hyperbole, and I use it regularly, but I don’t think I can be effusive enough about these socks. Yes, they’re expensive. Yes, they look like a lot of no show socks. YES, they are worth every penny! If I could never wear another pair of socks again in my life but these, I’d be super happy. They are like walking or running or Crossfitting on big, fluffy, happy clouds for your feet. I’ve worn every type of socks to keep my feet happy for soccer, running, Crossfit, football, whatever and everything else gets all soggy and nasty and then blisters start. Not with these babies. Just heaven for your feet.
You can check out the link above for all the tech talk, but all I can tell you is, I’ve done about every physical activity I participate in, in these socks and I never want to take them off. AND, I’d say these are about the best LL product for staying dry instead of holding sweat. I’m kind of surprised how other LL products hold moisture even when they should dry out, in my estimation, but that’s another review. I am going to go check out their compression socks, as I still like to use those a lot and if the LL version are as comfy as these no shows, I’ll be buying stock in LL!
Do yourself a HUGE favor, go to your local LL store, or get on their homepage and get a pair (I’d recommend you start with at least 2 because you’ll regret it if you only get one.) and try them out for yourself. I could not recommend them more - 4 Stars!!! ENJOY!!!