Eating Beyond Breakfast – By Sinead

In my last blog I talked about the reasons why you might want to eat breakfast, and also the kinds of breakfast to choose. So what about eating beyond brekkie?

We know from when we were speaking about breakfast that you want a combo of proteins, fats, and carbohydrates to help maintain sustained energy. Awesome. But let’s think about something else … your gut brain.

‘Gut instinct’, ‘I feel it in my gut’, ‘gut-wrenching’. We have known instinctively for centuries what science is now proving – there is a close connection between our gut and our brain. The Journal of Neuroscience – one of the top journals publishing research on the brain and nervous system – has called this new understanding a ‘paradigm shift’ of enormous magnitude that upsets hundreds of years of neuroscience.

In short, our guts house a whole ecosystem of microbes and it transpires we depend on these not only for digestion but also for weight control, fighting disease, inflammation and stress and anxiety.

So, what do we mean by ‘a broken gut’? And how does a broken gut lead to a broken brain? The details and breadth are still being uncovered, but in broad terms what research appears to be showing us is:

  • A broken gut occurs when the mix of microbes in our gut gets out of balance. This appears to be driven typically by a combination of poor diet, lifestyle and medical reasons
  • We evolved over millions of years with our friendly bacteria … so it is unsurprising that they seem to function best on the whole foods that we have eaten for the majority of this time … as opposed to a bunch of chemicals thrown together in a food processing plant … i.e. the processed foods we have only really started eating in the last half-century.
  • If we consistently give them the wrong food they make us pay, not because they have a grudge against us but because they’ll die back and be replaced by other – much less friendly – bacteria that seem to thrive on refined carbs, i.e. processed sugars.
  • Hey, presto… our gut is broken and we feel like total crap!
  • The bad bacteria produce chemical by-products that are toxic to us
  • Without enough friendly microbes, the food we eat isn’t broken down properly
  • The gut lining becomes inflamed and porous. So-called ‘leaky gut’.
  • The nasty bacterial by-products and undigested proteins from food pass into our bloodstream, where they don’t belong
  • From there, these unwanted chemicals can pass across the blood-brain barrier and mess up our brain’s delicate neurochemistry.
  • Furthermore, 90% of our body’s serotonin (the ‘happy hormone’) is made by the good bacteria … so when we lose these, we also lose a major source of our happy hormone.

Combined result: brain function is impaired, and conditions including anxiety/stress result.

And in a somewhat vicious cycle – stress and anxiety itself seem to play back to the gut and further disrupt the microbes. So if you are leasing a stressful life, have recently had a course of antibiotics, and have been consuming high levels of processed food, you are at risk from some degree of ‘broken gut’.

So, what can you do? We are still working it out, but research suggests …

  • Eat unprocessed food where possible; if you are buying on the go choose cafes where sandwiches, pasta, and salads are made fresh, rather than the packaged supermarket variety.
  • Look at food labels – generally, the longer the list of ingredients, the greater the likelihood it is a chemical shit storm! Particularly where you don’t recognize half the ingredient names!
  • Eat bacteria – NOT food that is not meant to be mouldy!! But fermented foods that contain good bacteria. And eat them with fats. Because the challenge is how you get the good bacteria to the gut without destruction? When eaten within high fat it provides some protection from the gastric acid and bile salts. So – full-fat Greek yoghurt, soft aged cheeses, miso with your sushi, etc.

This doesn’t take all the fun out of eating and drinking. Go to nice restaurants, eat what you enjoy, have ice cream and drink wine. Just, for the sake of your health, training and your career, don’t live off sugar-rich nutrient-poor foods every day!!


Monday

IWT Day
12 Min AMRAP:
(Power Clean ladder)
20 @50%
15 @65%
10 @75%
Max reps at 90%

Rest 5min.

200 cal Ski/AD in teams of 2

(Only allowed to row if out of both the above 🙂 )

Tuesday

Classic CrossFit

A) Skill
Handstands and Handstand Push Ups

B) 2 Rounds of:
10 Deficit Kipping HSPU
400m Run
10 Strict HSPU
200m Run
10 Kipping HSPU
100m

MetCon

Kelly !
5 Rounds for time of:
400m Run
30 Box Jumps, 24” / 20”
30 Wall Balls 9/6kg

Wednesday

A) Back Squat
6×3 @82.5% of most recent 3 Rep Max
– 90 Seconds Rest

B) 2-4 Sets of:
10 Hamstring curls
10 Shrimp Squats Per leg

B) 3 Rounds of , 1 Minute AMRAP Per station for total reps
DB Push Press
KB Front Squat
Push Ups
Calories Of Choice
Rest

Thursday

Classic CrossFit

A) Strict Press
6×3 @82.5% of most recent 3 Rep Max
– 90 Seconds Rest

B) 3 Sets of
8/8 Kneeling Arnold Press

C) 10 Minutes
10 Strict Pull Ups
10 Push Ups

MetCon

12min. to get as far as possible…
5 DB Thrusters
5 Bent over DB Rows
10 DB Thrusters
10 Bent over DB Rows
15… 15… 20… 20… and so on…

For Time: (12min. CAP)
35-25-15
Cal Row
Push-Ups
Alt. DB Snatch 22/16kg

For Time: (8min. CAP)
150 Russian Twist with 5kg plate
*Every time you break or rest, run 200m!

Rest 3min.between each section

Friday

A) Deadlift
10 Sets to build to a heavy single of the Day

B) 5 Sets for max Calories
30 Seconds all out on the Airdyne (Or ski if AD not available)
1 Length KB Lunge 24/16kg (Unbroken)
– Rest 1 Minute

Score is how many calories you get!

Saturday

Team WOD

35min. running clock…
2 Rounds:
50 Cal Bike/Ski/Row
50 Pull-Ups

immediately into:

2 Rounds:
50 Wall Balls 9/6kg
50 Alt. DB Snatch 22/16kg

immediately into:

2 Rounds:
50 Burpees
50 Single Arm DB OH Lunges 22/16kg

immediately into:

20 Rope Climbs 🙂