Ep 88 – From Hypocrite to Advocate: Dr. Rebecca Blonsky

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“And then in clinicals, I’m actually seeing people who are suffering from complications of obesity.  I remember seeing a patient whose BMI was I think 34 or 35, and they’re like she’s obese.  And all I can think is my BMI is 43, and I’m like…  I can’t do this.  And, as I’m going through and seeing patients in clinic as a medical student, “Well, you need to watch what you eat, and you try to exercise,” and the only thing I can think about is, “I sound like such a hypocrite.” All you have to do is look at me and obviously I don’t do any of these things.” – Dr. Rebecca Blonsky

As a young medical student, Rebecca Blonsky was morbidly obese, weighing over 320 pounds at her heaviest.  Growing up as an overweight child more interested in music and debate than athletics, Rebecca had long-struggled with her weight, but had never found the impetus to make a lasting change.

That all shifted when she started seeing patients as an upper level medical student.  Rebecca felt like a hypocrite when counseling her patients on making healthy lifestyle choices to manage their weight and medical conditions while she herself was on the road to diabetes and heart disease. By taking baby steps and making small, manageable changes to her diet and exercise routine, Rebecca has lost more than 150 pounds and now uses nutrition and exercise as a first-line approach when working with patients as a nephrologist.  Today she is an active CrossFit athlete preparing to take on her next challenge as an attending physician at Marshfield Clinic, the same place where her health journey began.

In this episode we discuss:

  • How Julie and Rebecca met
  • Rebecca’s childhood and personal health journey
  • What attracted Rebecca to nephrology
  • Rebecca’s struggle to educate patients on obesity when she herself was morbidly obese
  • How she started her weight loss journey and how she uses her experience to encourage her patients
  • Rebecca’s realization that she lacked strength despite having improved her endurance
  • Her introduction to CrossFit
  • How she encourages her patients to find a form of exercise they love
  • The realization that the need to be “in shape to start” is false, and the advice she gives to people who are nervous
  • How Rebecca uses her weight loss journey to help her patients
  • What encouraged Rebecca to continue with her healthy lifestyle
  • How CrossFit and her healthy lifestyle has influenced Rebecca as a physician
  • The importance of educating patients on how they can control their own health before prescribing medication
  • Rebecca’s experience with talking about CrossFit among her medical peers
  • Using diet and exercise to slow the progression of kidney disease
  • How Rebecca realized she had the power to influence her own health markers and risk factors
  • Her advice on how you can help friends, coworkers, and loved ones start their journey to health
  • Three things Rebecca does on a regular basis that have the biggest positive impact on her health
  • One thing she struggles to implement that could have a big impact on her health
  • What a healthy life looks like to Rebecca

Links:

Related Episodes:

16 – Pete Katz and his physician on using CrossFit and Paleo to overcome chronic disease

Ep 31 – Robert Porter and his Coach, Patrick Flannery on Losing 90 Pounds with CrossFit and Finding the Right Community For You

Ep 33 – Bob Harper on CrossFit, The Biggest Loser, and Prioritizing Health

Ep 44 – 5 Trips for New Year Nutrition and The Healthy Self Reset with ‘BeingBrigid

Ep 66 – Cleveland Clinic CEO Dr. Toby Cosgrove on Lifestyle, Healthcare, and Persistence

Ep 69- From “Obese to Beast” with John Glaude

If you like this episode, please subscribe to Pursuing Health on iTunes and give it a rating. I’d love to hear your feedback in the comments below and on social media using the hashtag #PursuingHealth. I look forward to bringing you future episodes with inspiring individuals and ideas about health every other Tuesday.

This episode is brought to you by MobilityWODDo you struggle to get into good positions in your training and workouts? Are your movement compensations causing you undue pain and grief?  M|Wod’s belief is that every human being should be able to perform basic maintenance on themselves. Join hundreds of Olympic and World Class athletes, College and Professional Teams in the NFL, MLB, Basketball, Hockey, Rugby and Soccer by using MobilityWOD to train and compete at your best.  Visit www.mobilitywod.com to receive 20% off your annual membership with code JULIEFOUCHER.

This episode is also brought to you by Butcher Box. Butcher Box delivers 100% grass-fed and finished beef, free-range organic chicken, and heritage-breed pork directly to your doorstep, on your schedule. You can order curated or custom boxes of meat, and they always come with recipe ideas for you to explore. Visit butcherbox.com/Julie to recieve an exclusive offer for being a listener of Pursuing Health: $20 off your order + a free order of bacon!

Disclaimer: This podcast is meant to share the experiences of various individuals. It does not provide medical advice, and it is not a substitute for advice from your physician or health care professional.


Ep 87 – Stacie Tovar: From Legendary Competitor to Thriving Coach

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“Having a husband as a business owner, it’s literally all we do. It’s all we think about, and whereas before, when we weren’t owning the gym, I cared about it.  I really cared about it, but I wasn’t nearly as involved.  And then when we owned it and I was still training, knowing what Dustin was doing every day, just so I could do my thing, and what my coaches were doing every day just so I could do my thing, and what my community was doing in support of me… we talked about being selfish… oh man… you know, that just blows my mind.  So yeah, I’m heavily invested, and I want things to just be done really well.  And I want the quality of life of everyone to improve, and It’s my responsibility to do that… and program, and coach, and lead my coaches to make that happen, so… there’s a lot of work.” – Stacie Tovar

With more Games appearances under her belt than almost any other athlete, eight-time individual CrossFit Games competitor Stacie Tovar eloquently left her shoes on the floor and stepped away from competition at the 2017 CrossFit Games.  A former collegiate volleyball player, Tovar was introduced to CrossFit by her now-husband in 2008, and by 2009 she was competing in her first Games and making big lifestyle changes to support her goal of becoming the Fittest on Earth.  Throughout her career, she was celebrated for her drive, her tenacity, and for redefining Beauty Beyond Strength.

Now enjoying the next phase of her career, Stacie has shifted her focus to owning and running her affiliate, CrossFit Omaha.  She is actively working to improve corporate wellness, and she is a fitness expert for the Omaha World-Herald’s health and fitness website, Live Well Nebraska.

I caught up with Stacie at the 2018 Central Regionals in Nashville, where she was coaching individual athlete Josiah Naig and Team CrossFit Omaha.

In this episode we discuss:

  • Stacie’s decision to decline her invitation to Regionals
  • Why the timing was right to step away from competition
  • What she’s enjoying now that she’s retired
  • Her favorite competition memories
  • What’s on the horizon for Stacie
  • Stacie’s experience writing for the Omaha World-Herald
  • Her goals and mission, and how they haven’t changed since retiring
  • Her plans to start a family
  • How Stacie structures her training and what keeps her motivated
  • What it’s been like to coach Regionals competitors and how she’s using her experience as a competitor to mentor her athletes
  • What a typical day looks like for Stacie
  • Why being an affiliate owner is harder than she imagined
  • Stacie’s turning point from being the life of the party to dedicating her focus to fitness
  • Three things Stacie does on a regular basis that have the biggest positive impact on her health
  • One thing she struggles to implement that could have a big impact on her health
  • What a healthy life looks like to her

You can follow Stacie on her website, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Links:

Related Episodes:

Ep 18 – Scott Panchik and his father on running an affiliate, competition, and recovering from injury

Ep 27 – Adrian Bozman on teaching CrossFit, judging at the CrossFit Games, and garage gym training

Ep 29 – Dave Castro on applying lessons learned as a SEAL, his daily routine, and directing the CrossFit Games

Ep 49 – Ben Smith on why he trains and the evolution of the CrossFit Games

Ep 62 – Becca Voigt: The Woman, The Myth, the Legend

Ep 68 – Pat and Taz Barber on CrossFit, Coaching, and Kids

Ep 72 – Finding Balance with Two-time Third Fittest Man Patrick Vellner

Ep 74 – Brooke Wells & Jessica Griffith on Forging Friendships & Striking a Balance

If you like this episode, please subscribe to Pursuing Health on iTunes and give it a rating. I’d love to hear your feedback in the comments below and on social media using the hashtag #PursuingHealth. I look forward to bringing you future episodes with inspiring individuals and ideas about health every other Tuesday.

This episode is brought to you by MobilityWODDo you struggle to get into good positions in your training and workouts? Are your movement compensations causing you undue pain and grief?  M|Wod’s belief is that every human being should be able to perform basic maintenance on themselves. Join hundreds of Olympic and World Class athletes, College and Professional Teams in the NFL, MLB, Basketball, Hockey, Rugby and Soccer by using MobilityWOD to train and compete at your best.  Visit www.mobilitywod.com to receive 20% off your annual membership with code JULIEFOUCHER.

This episode is also brought to you by Siete Foods. When Veronica Garza was facing a series of major health challenges as a teenager, her entire family of seven jumped on board to help. Together, they adopted a low-inflammation, grain free diet. As a Mexican-American family living in south Texas, they couldn’t imagine life without tortillas and it wasn’t long before Veronica came up with a delicious solution and Siete Foods was born. Visit www.sietefoods.com to try some of their delicious grain free and paleo-friendly tortillas or tortilla chips yourself and use code Julie for 10% off your order.

Disclaimer: This podcast is meant to share the experiences of various individuals. It does not provide medical advice, and it is not a substitute for advice from your physician or health care professional.


Ep 86 – James Maskell on Fighting Chronic Disease with Community-Based Healthcare

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“A transparent system by which people come together to share their cost is the way that things will be done in the future, and ultimately we’re trying to get to that future.  And what the pool will be made up of at that time in the future, who knows…Incentivizing people to help each other is an evolutionary priority.  You know that from CrossFit or otherwise, and… again, as I said earlier, if you look at the solutions that have been most successful at getting people healthy and keeping people healthy, it’s community-based solutions.”  – James Maskell

James Maskell has spent the past decade encouraging a shift away from conventional western medicine and toward a wellness-centered, functional medicine model. To that end, he created Functional Forum, the world’s largest integrative medicine conference.

He’s also the founder of the Evolution of Medicine, a community e-commerce platform that provides highly curated and customized resources, tools, products, and services, making it easier and more affordable for conventional doctors to embark on a new way of delivering healthcare. James lectures internationally, and has been featured on TEDMED, Huffpost Live, TEDx and more, and contributor to Huffington Post, KevinMD, thedoctorblog and MindBodyGreen. He serves on the faculty of George Washington University’s Metabolic Medicine Institute.

In his second visit to Pursuing Health, I was excited to talk with James about his most recent project, a health cooperative called kNew Health and his upcoming kNew Vision Tour, both of which are poised to fight chronic disease through prevention and by using functional & integrative medicine.

(Bio adapted from goEvomed.com and FunctionalForum.com)

In this episode we discuss:

  • The best way to showcase what is going on with health systems in America
  • The driver for James’s book, The Evolution of Medicine, and what he’s seen it accomplish
  • How James hopes to increase the number of doctors interested in integrative and functional medicine
  • How having a micro-practice is currently the best way to practice integrative and functional medicine, and how getting started can have low overhead, which in a way parallels the CrossFit affiliate model
  • How James envisions the functional medicine movement taking over despite the current shortage of primary care physicians
  • The importance of addressing healthcare for people who do not have acute conditions but may be in danger of developing chronic disease
  • Using nurses, health coaches, and caregivers other than doctors to promote health and provide preventative healthcare
  • Incentivizing health in a way that drives patient engagement and community support
  • The history behind James’s new health cooperative, kNew Health
  • How kNew Health helps individuals keep their healthcare costs down
  • How kNew Health uses an open ledger to prevent fraud
  • James’s goal of creating a resilient pool of healthy individuals so that all different types of health risks can be accepted
  • What his kNew Vision Tour will encompass and how it will encourage people to take control of their own healthcare
  • How James intends to change the American healthcare model and set an example for the world of an effective chronic disease healthcare model

LEARN MORE about James’ kNew Vision for Healthcare HERE.

You can keep up with James and his work via the kNew Health website, and you can learn more about the kNew Vision Tour here.  You can also check out The Evolution of Medicine podcast. Follow James on social media via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

James’s books are also available for download:

Links:

Related Episodes:

Ep 07 – Dr. Mark Hyman on Functional Medicine, the future, and community
Ep 26 – James Maskell on Functional and Integrative Medicine and the Impact of Community on Health
Ep 35 – Coach Greg Glassman on CrossFit, Chronic Disease, and the “5 Buckets of Death”
Ep 66 – Cleveland Clinic CEO Dr. Toby Cosgrove on Lifestyle, Healthcare, and Persistence
Ep 80 – Greg Glassman on Networking CrossFit Physicians and Fighting Chronic Disease

If you like this episode, please subscribe to Pursuing Health on iTunes and give it a rating. I’d love to hear your feedback in the comments below and on social media using the hashtag #PursuingHealth. I look forward to bringing you future episodes with inspiring individuals and ideas about health every other Tuesday.

This episode is brought to you by MobilityWODDo you struggle to get into good positions in your training and workouts? Are your movement compensations causing you undue pain and grief?  M|Wod’s belief is that every human being should be able to perform basic maintenance on themselves. Join hundreds of Olympic and World Class athletes, College and Professional Teams in the NFL, MLB, Basketball, Hockey, Rugby and Soccer by using MobilityWOD to train and compete at your best.  Visit www.mobilitywod.com to receive 20% off your annual membership with code JULIEFOUCHER.

This episode is also brought to you by Siete Foods. When Veronica Garza was facing a series of major health challenges as a teenager, her entire family of seven jumped on board to help. Together, they adopted a low-inflammation, grain free diet. As a Mexican-American family living in south Texas, they couldn’t imagine life without tortillas and it wasn’t long before Veronica came up with a delicious solution and Siete Foods was born. Visit www.sietefoods.com to try some of their delicious grain free and paleo-friendly tortillas or tortilla chips yourself and use code Julie for 10% off your order.

Disclaimer: This podcast is meant to share the experiences of various individuals. It does not provide medical advice, and it is not a substitute for advice from your physician or health care professional.


Ep 85 – Back on Track with Carleen Mathews

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“When I have a barbell in my hand, I’m not looking at any flaws. I’m looking at how… I’m seeing how strong I am, and all my focus is [on] putting that bar over my head or getting that bar to my shoulders…And I think that that’s the cool part about CrossFit. It just allows you to be empowered by what your body can do, as opposed to what it looks like.” – Carleen Mathews

Three-time Games athlete and owner of CrossFit St. Helens, Carleen Mathews isn’t your typical CrossFit Games competitor.  A former collegiate softball player, when Carleen’s athletic career came to a close she found herself struggling first with an eating disorder and then with alcohol and substance abuse.

With the help of therapy, her family, and CrossFit, Carleen overcame her addictions and self-destructive habits to return to competition, this time in a new sport.  Since 2012, she has steadily risen amongst the ranks, progressing from a Regionals athlete to a multi-year CrossFit Games competitor.  In 2017, she won the West Regional, but suffered an injury that forced her to withdrawal from the CrossFit Games on the first day of competition.  For 2018, she is back on track, with her sights set on a top finish at Regionals and another trip to Madison.

I caught up with Carleen to learn about her journey from athlete to addiction and back, how her body image has changed since starting CrossFit, and her advice for helping others who may be suffering from an eating disorder or substance abuse.

In this episode we discuss:

  • How Carleen got into softball as a child, and her recent induction into the Longview Girls Softball Association Hall of Fame
  • The identity crisis she went through at the end of her softball career and how that led to disordered eating, and later drug and alcohol abuse
  • Carleen’s experience using fitness to facilitate recovery for youth in an alcohol and drug treatment facility, while abusing alcohol herself
  • How, after her softball career ended, Carleen turned her competitive focus to the scale and her appearance
  • What her days and thoughts were like while her eating disorder was at its peak
  • The best way to help a loved one dealing with an eating disorder
  • How Carleen swapped her eating disorder for substance abuse
  • How treatment and a nutrition coach provide the support she needs to stay on the right track
  • What made Carleen realize she had an alcohol problem
  • How CrossFit helped Carleen mend an unhealthy relationship with exercise and food
  • Her path to becoming a CrossFit competitor, her evolution as an athlete, and how progress motivates her
  • How CrossFit has changed Carleen’s body image and relationship with food
  • How a bulging disc impacted her 2017 Games performance and what her recovery process has been like
  • What a typical day looks like for Carleen
  • Three things she does on a regular basis that have the biggest positive impact on her health
  • One thing she struggles to implement that could have a big impact on her health
  • What a healthy life looks like to her

You can follow Carleen on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.

Links:

Related Episodes:

Ep 14 – Camille Leblanc-Bazinet on moving forward, engineering, and body image
Ep 30 – Nadia Johnston on how CrossFit helped her to overcome eating disorders and depression
Ep 67 – Sobriety Through CrossFit: Brian Reap’s Story
Ep 71 – The Sugar Free Revolution with Karen Thomson
If you like this episode, please subscribe to Pursuing Health on iTunes and give it a rating. I’d love to hear your feedback in the comments below and on social media using the hashtag #PursuingHealth. I look forward to bringing you future episodes with inspiring individuals and ideas about health every other Tuesday.

This episode is brought to you by MobilityWODDo you struggle to get into good positions in your training and workouts? Are your movement compensations causing you undue pain and grief?  M|Wod’s belief is that every human being should be able to perform basic maintenance on themselves. Join hundreds of Olympic and World Class athletes, College and Professional Teams in the NFL, MLB, Basketball, Hockey, Rugby and Soccer by using MobilityWOD to train and compete at your best.  Visit www.mobilitywod.com to receive 20% off your annual membership with code JULIEFOUCHER.

This episode is also brought to you by Siete Foods. When Veronica Garza was facing a series of major health challenges as a teenager, her entire family of seven jumped on board to help. Together, they adopted a low-inflammation, grain free diet. As a Mexican-American family living in south Texas, they couldn’t imagine life without tortillas and it wasn’t long before Veronica came up with a delicious solution and Siete Foods was born. Visit www.sietefoods.com to try some of their delicious grain free and paleo-friendly tortillas or tortilla chips yourself and use code Julie for 10% off your order.

Disclaimer: This podcast is meant to share the experiences of various individuals. It does not provide medical advice, and it is not a substitute for advice from your physician or health care professional.


Ep 84 – Chasing Excellence with Ben Bergeron

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“Having said that, every day we’re chasing excellence.  We’re trying to make it better every single day.  So, I love that differentiation between… Because I think people hear excellence and they think that, like, we have to be the best, we have to be perfect, we have to be everything.  It’s not that at all.  It’s about how to know how to move the needle every day towards [perfection].  And if you’re doing that, that to me is excellence.” – Ben Bergeron

Ben Bergeron is the owner of CrossFit New England and has coached numerous CrossFit Games athletes including champions in 5 different categories (male and female individual, male and female masters, and team). He publishes programming for competitors for free through CompTrain which is followed by thousands of athletes around the world, and coaches Masters athletes through CompTrain Masters. Ben is well recognized in the CrossFit community for opening 3 successful affiliates (CrossFit New England and Tilt I and II), and he shares his best practices for affiliate excellence in seminars and immersion experiences for affiliate owners.  He is also the author of the best-selling book, Chasing Excellence, a handbook on how to achieve greatness in your career, relationships, and life through mental toughness, character, and the process.

I caught up with Ben to chat about his book and to learn more about how we can all take the principles he uses with his athletes and apply them to our everyday lives.

In this episode we discuss:

  • How the idea for Ben’s book, Chasing Excellence, came about
  • How Ben found the time to write amongst his other commitments
  • How the book morphed from strictly a book on mindset focus into a more engaging behind-the-scene story of the 2016 CrossFit Games
  • How Ben developed the hierarchy he uses for coaching athletes: person, process, ability, strategy
  • How Ben focuses on strategy, ability, outside influences, and character with his athletes
  • What Ben looks for in an athlete
  • How working with his team, CrossFit New England, was the beginning of developing his coaching hierarchy
  • How Ben takes his coaching concepts and emphasis on the process and character traits and applies them to regular daily life
  • Why CrossFit New England’s mission is to create humble, hungry, happy people
  • The difference between reacting and responding
  • What is mental toughness
  • How the unknown and unknowable tests from the CrossFit Games select for the most physically and mentally dominant athlete
  • Joe Friel’s quote, “Think like a bumble bee, train like a race horse,” and the theory behind it
  • How removing a self-defeatist attitude can open doors to so many more possibilities
  • The difference between practice and deliberate practice, training and competing
  • The importance of passion and purpose and why it’s crucial to maintaining long periods of deliberate practice and training
  • The importance of the “why” behind your sport
  • The difference between perfection and excellence
  • What it means to chase excellence, and what excellence means to Ben
  • What Ben thinks is the biggest thing that holds people back from chasing excellence
  • What kind of reflections Ben has on the 2017 Games season, and what he’s taking into the 2018 season
  • What Ben is currently working on that he’s most excited about

You can keep up with Ben on his website, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube.

Links:

Related Episodes:

Ep 28 – James Hobart on Teaching, Competing, and the Real Purpose of CrossFit
Ep 56 – Katrín Davíðsdóttir and Ben Bergeron on the Process of Creating a Champion
Ep 73 – RISEing to the Occasion with Olympic Swimmers Caroline Burckle and Rebecca Soni
Ep 77 – Austin Malleolo on CrossFit and Corporate Culture

If you like this episode, please subscribe to Pursuing Health on iTunes and give it a rating. I’d love to hear your feedback in the comments below and on social media using the hashtag #PursuingHealth. I look forward to bringing you future episodes with inspiring individuals and ideas about health every other Tuesday.

This episode is brought to you by MobilityWODDo you struggle to get into good positions in your training and workouts? Are your movement compensations causing you undue pain and grief?  M|Wod’s belief is that every human being should be able to perform basic maintenance on themselves. Join hundreds of Olympic and World Class athletes, College and Professional Teams in the NFL, MLB, Basketball, Hockey, Rugby and Soccer by using MobilityWOD to train and compete at your best.  Visit www.mobilitywod.com to receive 20% off your annual membership with code JULIEFOUCHER.

This episode is also brought to you by Siete Foods. When Veronica Garza was facing a series of major health challenges as a teenager, her entire family of seven jumped on board to help. Together, they adopted a low-inflammation, grain free diet. As a Mexican-American family living in south Texas, they couldn’t imagine life without tortillas and it wasn’t long before Veronica came up with a delicious solution and Siete Foods was born. Visit www.sietefoods.com to try some of their delicious grain free and paleo-friendly tortillas or tortilla chips yourself and use code Julie for 10% off your order.

Disclaimer: This podcast is meant to share the experiences of various individuals. It does not provide medical advice, and it is not a substitute for advice from your physician or health care professional.


Ep 83 – Pelvic Floor Health for Athletes with Julie Wiebe, PT

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“So then, what I needed to understand, and as a former female athlete, and still… I love to be fit, I wanted to be fit postpartum.  They wanted to continue in their fitness, so it became my mission to try to understand how to maintain fitness, because there’s so much benefit.  And I’m talking to the CrossFit community, you guys understand; there’s so much benefit to fitness for ALL levels and manner and types of health.  Emotional, mental, physical… and so how can we keep people fit AND help them with their pelvic health simultaneously. That became my mission, to try to blend those worlds.”  –Julie Wiebe, PT

In this episode of Pursuing Health, I chat with physical therapist and pelvic floor health expert Julie Wiebe.  Julie began her career focused on Sports Medicine, and through her own experiences and those of her patients, she identified a need for helping female athletes heal their bodies and maintain fitness before, during, and after pregnancy. Her mission is to revolutionize the way women recover from pregnancy and return to high levels of fitness.  To that end, she has developed a unique and integrative approach to promoting women’s health. Her Diaphragm and Pelvic Floor Piston Science concepts apply to a variety of populations and have been successfully employed to help athletes overcome Diastasis Recti and Pelvic Floor Dysfunction.

Julie has over twenty years of clinical experience in Sports Medicine and Women’s Health, is a published author, and an international lecturer.  She maintains a clinical practice in Los Angeles, and also shares her approach to pelvic health recovery via online courses available through her website.

In this episode we discuss:

  • Julie’s athletic background and what led her to become a physical therapist
  • What factors influenced her to focus on Women’s Health
  • The consequences that can result from exercising with Pelvic Floor Dysfunction
  • The anatomy of the pelvic floor, and how it is affected by pregnancy
  • How the pelvic floor operates as part of a system, and how it can increase athletic performance
  • What are some of symptoms and signals athletes and coaches can look for
  • Pelvic floor dysfunction in men and women who’ve never had children
  • Why we need to stop focusing on abs and have a balanced approach
  • The need for pelvic floor function to become part of our normal conversation, especially with youth
  • Common pre-pregnancy mistakes, and ways to prepare the pelvic floor for pregnancy
  • Guidelines pregnant women can use to approach exercise to maximize their chances of a full pelvic floor recovery
  • How important it is to set yourself up for a long-term life of fitness
  • An overview of diastasis recti, and why knowledge about it is important
  • How most people have a diastasis, and this is normal and natural
  • How to monitor for diastasis recti
  • Techniques athletes can use to kick up tension in their fascia and prevent abdominal separation
  • How she advises women to increase their activity and return to fitness post-partum
  • When a person should seek a practitioner for help
  • The value of consulting with a pelvic physical therapist post-partum
  • The value of understanding how form impacts pelvic health considerations
  • Her goal that professionals understand how important it is to look at musculoskeletal health, performance health, and pelvic health as a unit that works together
  • Three things she does on a regular basis that have the biggest positive impact on her health
  • One thing she struggles to implement that could have a big impact on her health
  • What a healthy life looks like to her

You can learn more about Julie and her programs on her website, and follow her on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube.

Links:

Related Episodes:

Ep 24 – Airrosti Drs. Nickleberry and Garrett on treating soft tissue injury, partnering with CrossFit, and creating a new paradigm
Ep 26 – James Maskell on Functional and Integrative Medicine and the impact of community on health
Ep 66 – Cleveland Clinic CEO Dr. Toby Cosgrove on Lifestyle, Healthcare, and Persistence
Ep 82 – Training During Pregnancy and Healing Diastasis Recti with Lisa Ryan
Ep 81 – Postpartum Training and the Road Back to the CrossFit Games with Lindsey Valenzuela

If you like this episode, please subscribe to Pursuing Health on iTunes and give it a rating. I’d love to hear your feedback in the comments below and on social media using the hashtag #PursuingHealth. I look forward to bringing you future episodes with inspiring individuals and ideas about health every other Tuesday.

This episode is brought to you by MobilityWODDo you struggle to get into good positions in your training and workouts? Are your movement compensations causing you undue pain and grief?  M|Wod’s belief is that every human being should be able to perform basic maintenance on themselves. Join hundreds of Olympic and World Class athletes, College and Professional Teams in the NFL, MLB, Basketball, Hockey, Rugby and Soccer by using MobilityWOD to train and compete at your best.  Visit www.mobilitywod.com to receive 20% off your annual membership with code JULIEFOUCHER.

This episode is also brought to you by Siete Foods. When Veronica Garza was facing a series of major health challenges as a teenager, her entire family of seven jumped on board to help. Together, they adopted a low-inflammation, grain free diet. As a Mexican-American family living in south Texas, they couldn’t imagine life without tortillas and it wasn’t long before Veronica came up with a delicious solution and Siete Foods was born. Visit www.sietefoods.com to try some of their delicious grain free and paleo-friendly tortillas or tortilla chips yourself and use code Julie for 10% off your order.

Disclaimer: This podcast is meant to share the experiences of various individuals. It does not provide medical advice, and it is not a substitute for advice from your physician or health care professional.


Ep 82 – Training during Pregnancy and Healing Diastasis Recti with Lisa Ryan

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“I think the biggest message that I’m trying to get out there is, ‘Take the time when you’re pregnant.  Don’t look at it as a, ‘okay, what can I still do?’ because we all have that feeling of ‘ok, I gotta keep doing this for as long as I can because coming back is going to be so hard… but don’t look at is as what can you still do, but ‘what should I be doing?’… You might still be able to be kipping pull-ups, and it might feel fine, or you might still be able to be… I don’t know, lots of things.  But, reining it in during that chapter, I think, is so important.  It doesn’t mean you can’t CrossFit.  I mean, there’s millions of things to do.” – Lisa Kozian Ryan

As a long-time CrossFitter and member of Valley CrossFit’s Regionals team, Lisa Ryan entered pregnancy in fantastic health.  When she became pregnant with her first child shortly following Regionals, she continued to exercise with modifications as she “listened to her body” and followed the advice of her doctor and her coaches.  Following her son’s birth, she slowly resumed working out, taking care to keep weights lighter at first and slowly rebuild her core.

At 8 months post-partum, she found that she had lost all her baby weight and yet still had a hard, protruding stomach.  After consulting with several doctors and getting no answers, with the help of a friend, she discovered she had diastasis recti, a separation of the abdominal wall.  She began modifying her workouts and seeing a pelvic floor physical therapist, and with time, her separation decreased.  During her second pregnancy, Lisa worked with a team of coaches and therapists to improve her breathing techniques and alignment, and to set up her pelvic floor and abdominals to work together and to be strong to support her pregnancy and recovery.

Today, Lisa is still working to heal her diastasis recti, and she is on a mission to share her message with other moms and moms-to-be that pregnancy and postpartum recovery require specific training and rehabilitative protocols, and that the type of training you do during this time can have lasting effects.

In this episode we discuss:

  • How Julie and Lisa met years ago at HyperFit USA
  • How Lisa got into CrossFit
  • Lisa’s pregnancy story and how she approached combining CrossFit and pregnancy
  • How Lisa’s two pregnancies differed
  • Lisa’s decision to give birth by C-section, and the recovery process
  • Lisa’s experience with identifying her diastasis recti 8 months after pregnancy, and the challenge of finding a practitioner to diagnose it
  • The frustration Lisa felt in dealing with diastasis recti after she had approached fitness during her pregnancy with care and caution, heeding the advice “listening to your body”
  • How certain exercises didn’t feel right for her, even after physical therapy
  • How CrossFit Games athlete Lindsey Valenzuela’s sister, Ashley, connected Lisa with pregnancy and post-partum athleticism coach Brianna Battles, and how that connection set her on a path to recovery
  • Lisa’s concerns surrounding her second pregnancy and how she approached exercise differently
  • How Julie Wiebe’s Piston Breathing Course helped Lisa care for her pelvic floor while still CrossFitting, and how she used this information to change the way she exercised during her second pregnancy
  • Lisa’s realization after her second pregnancy that she needed more assistance than her original physical therapist was able to provide
  • The process of finding additional help, and what her rehab and exercise plan looks like right now
  • Strategies that Lisa uses to train hard but smart, and how she keeps her focus on pulling back when she needs to in order to foster faster healing
  • What Lisa hopes to pass along to other women about pregnancy based off of her experiences
  • How one of the biggest challenges of training while pregnant is that there’s not a one-size-fits-all approach, but avoiding certain things can set your body up to heal better after
  • Applying risk vs. reward to training
  • Lisa’s mission to share information so that all athletic women can be informed about training during and after their pregnancies
  • Three things Lisa does on a regular basis that have the biggest positive impact on her health
  • One thing she struggles to implement that could have a big impact on her health
  • What a healthy life looks like to Lisa

You can follow Lisa on Facebook and her on her blogs, Teacher by Day, CrossFitter by Night, and Helping is Healing.

Links:

Related Episodes:

Ep 23 – Lindsey Valenzuela on Pregnancy, Affiliate Ownership, and Competition
Ep 41 – Graham and Savanna Holmberg: From Fittest Man, to Faith and Family
Ep 81 – Postpartum Training and the Road Back to the CrossFit Games with Lindsey Valenzuela

If you like this episode, please subscribe to Pursuing Health on iTunes and give it a rating. I’d love to hear your feedback in the comments below and on social media using the hashtag #PursuingHealth. I look forward to bringing you future episodes with inspiring individuals and ideas about health every other Tuesday.

This episode is brought to you by MobilityWOD. Do you struggle to get into good positions in your training and workouts? Are your movement compensations causing you undue pain and grief?  M|Wod’s belief is that every human being should be able to perform basic maintenance on themselves. Join hundreds of Olympic and World Class athletes, College and Professional Teams in the NFL, MLB, Basketball, Hockey, Rugby and Soccer by using MobilityWOD to train and compete at your best.  Visit www.mobilitywod.com to receive 20% off your annual membership with code JULIEFOUCHER.

This episode is also brought to you by Siete Foods. When Veronica Garza was facing a series of major health challenges as a teenager, her entire family of seven jumped on board to help. Together, they adopted a low-inflammation, grain free diet. As a Mexican-American family living in south Texas, they couldn’t imagine life without tortillas and it wasn’t long before Veronica came up with a delicious solution and Siete Foods was born. Visit www.sietefoods.com to try some of their delicious grain free and paleo-friendly tortillas or tortilla chips yourself and use code Julie for 10% off your order.

Disclaimer: This podcast is meant to share the experiences of various individuals. It does not provide medical advice, and it is not a substitute for advice from your physician or health care professional.


Ep 81 – Postpartum Training and the Road Back to the CrossFit Games with Lindsey Valenzuela

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“The process of competing and getting to there is super stressful for me. But there is nothing that can…  there are not a lot of things that can replace it.  I feel like I would be okay with not competing because I have my son, but I’m not ready to hang that up.  I don’t know if that makes any sense.  I love the feeling that I get when I compete, and I don’t think I’m done competing yet.  I don’t think I’m physically done competing or mentally.  If something were to happen that I couldn’t compete, I would be okay with it, but I’m not ready to let it go in the sense that I want our son to see me, and I want him to see all the other women competing, too.  I mean that would be a dream come true for him to see me just once at the Games.” – Lindsey Valenzuela

Lindsey Valenzuela has been an athlete all her life and played collegiate volleyball at California Lutheran University. During that time, she began Olympic Weightlifting to train for volleyball and quickly fell in love with the barbell. After her collegiate career was over, she began competing in Olympic Weightlifting and then found CrossFit. She has since become a seasoned CrossFit Games athlete, competing in 4 CrossFit Games, finishing as high as 2nd place in 2013 and most recently finishing in 7th place in 2015. She also represented Team USA in the CrossFit Invitational in Berlin in 2013. Lindsey has coached at several affiliates in Southern California and in August of 2015 fulfilled her dream to open her own affiliate, Autumo CrossFit, with her business partner and former NFL player James Townsend.

In 2016, Lindsey discovered she was pregnant and took the year away from competition. What followed was a difficult pregnancy, during which Lindsey developed pre-eclampsia, gained 90 pounds, spent 2 months on bed rest due to complications, and had a C-section delivery.  Following the birth of her now nearly 2 year-old son, Arsenio, Jr., Lindsey slowly returned to training, focusing on healing her core and pelvic floor.  With time and patience, she gradually built volume and intensity, ultimately returning to competition and placing  an impressive 11th at the California Regional in 2017, less than one year after giving birth.  With another year of training and recovery under her belt, Lindsey is poised to make another run at the CrossFit Games in 2018.

Lindsey and I sat down after week one of the 2018 CrossFit Open to chat about her approach to training during and after her pregnancy, how her life has changed since starting a family, why it’s important to her to return to competition, and what she hopes other coaches and pregnant athletes can learn from her experiences.

In this episode we discuss:

  • How she went into pregnancy with an injury, and how that impacted her training
  • How Lindsey changed her training based on how her body felt as her pregnancy progressed
  • What it felt like to set her ego aside and not push her limits
  • How Lindsey enlisted the help of specialist Bri Battles to ensure her training was safe
  • What her training looked like while training with Bri
  • The medical and emotional challenges Lindsey dealt with during her pregnancy
  • What Lindsey’s postpartum recovery process looked like
  • Memorable milestones along Lindsey’s postpartum recovery
  • Why it is important to Lindsey to return to competition
  • Lessons and advice Lindsey shares with coaches and pregnant athletes
  • The importance of preparing for postpartum before a woman is in the postpartum phase
  • Resources Lindsey recommends to learn more about training during and after pregnancy
  • How coaches can best educate themselves to help their clients
  • What a typical day looks like for Lindsey
  • What Lindsey’s nutrition looks like, and how her approach has changed since giving birth
  • How Lindsey’s back is tolerating high volume training, and what she’s doing to keep it healthy

You can follow Lindsey on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Links:

Related Episodes:

If you like this episode, please subscribe to Pursuing Health on iTunes and give it a rating. I’d love to hear your feedback in the comments below and on social media using the hashtag #PursuingHealth. I look forward to bringing you future episodes with inspiring individuals and ideas about health every other Tuesday.

This episode is brought to you by MobilityWODDo you struggle to get into good positions in your training and workouts? Are your movement compensations causing you undue pain and grief?  M|Wod’s belief is that every human being should be able to perform basic maintenance on themselves. Join hundreds of Olympic and World Class athletes, College and Professional Teams in the NFL, MLB, Basketball, Hockey, Rugby and Soccer by using MobilityWOD to train and compete at your best.  Visit www.mobilitywod.com to receive 20% off your annual membership with code JULIEFOUCHER.

This episode is also brought to you by Siete Foods. When Veronica Garza was facing a series of major health challenges as a teenager, her entire family of seven jumped on board to help. Together, they adopted a low-inflammation, grain free diet. As a Mexican-American family living in south Texas, they couldn’t imagine life without tortillas and it wasn’t long before Veronica came up with a delicious solution and Siete Foods was born. Visit www.sietefoods.com to try some of their delicious grain free and paleo-friendly tortillas or tortilla chips yourself and use code Julie for 10% off your order.

Disclaimer: This podcast is meant to share the experiences of various individuals. It does not provide medical advice, and it is not a substitute for advice from your physician or health care professional.


Ep 80 – Greg Glassman on Networking CrossFit Physicians and Fighting Chronic Disease

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“A CrossFit physician is a special physician, that’s not an ordinary doctor.  A CrossFit doc, she knows something that is not a consensus view, and at the same time it’s essential.  And I mean essential like in the sense of like an essential fatty acid or an essential amino acid… this is something that makes a huge difference in maybe whether maybe you’re alive or not and certainly the quality of your life.  And, it’s not trivial. And so how many docs are there, that have this knowledge?  And over about a year and a half, I was asking every affiliate that would talk to me, ‘How many docs in the box?’” – Coach Greg Glassman

Coach Greg Glassman, known to many as simply “Coach” grew up in southern California as a gymnast and he supplemented his training with modalities including weightlifting and cycling. When he began his career as a trainer in 1974, he brought innovation to the industry ultimately redefining fitness with CrossFit, otherwise known as constantly varied, high intensity, functional movement. He was kicked out of several globo gyms before finally opening the first CrossFit gym in Santa Cruz, CA in 1995. Shortly after, CrossFit.com was created where he posted Workouts of the Day, or “WODs.” Athletes from all over the world would complete these workouts and post their scores online. Beginning in 2003, CrossFit affiliate gyms began to open and CrossFit experienced exponential growth over the following decade such that there are currently more than 13,000 affiliates worldwide. During this period, we’ve also witnessed the growth of the CrossFit Games, the ultimate proving grounds for fitness which identifies the Fittest Man and Woman on Earth each year from a pool of hundreds of thousands of athletes across the globe. We’ve also witnessed incredible stories of transformation in the affiliates, with participants losing weight, gaining confidence, and ridding themselves of chronic disease. Coach is currently working to shift the public’s perception of CrossFit from a fitness company to a health company with an elegant solution to the world’s most vexing problem – chronic disease.

For his second visit to the podcast, Greg and I sat down after the first Level 1 seminar held exclusively for CrossFit Physicians at the CrossFit Ranch in Aromas.  We discussed the importance of networking CrossFit doctors, why CrossFit is about so much more than the Games, how he’s using the business of CrossFit to fund public health activism, and his vision for the future of CrossFit.

In this episode we discuss:

  • The impetus for the first Physician Level 1 held at the Ranch in February 2018
  • His plan to build a community around CrossFit Physicians
  • The importance of recognizing that fitness is just the “tip of the iceberg” with regard to health
  • What Coach hopes doctors will take away from their Level 1 weekend
  • Why he is driven to network these doctors
  • How a CrossFit Physician can attend a Level 1 exclusively for physicians
  • Using the CrossFit business to fund activism
  • How doctors can communicate the message of using CrossFit for health to patients who might be intimidated
  • The struggle of conveying that the Games are the least important part of CrossFit, and that individual health stories are where the real magic lies
  • Using media ad space to showcase the everyday people that do CrossFit
  • Coach’s goal of making the Games into the “South by Southwest of Fitness” so that the community gathering and learning takes the forefront
  • His excitement for the speaker line-up for the 2018 CrossFit Games
  • The need for CrossFit physicians to distinguish between their book knowledge and the observations of health improvements they witness in the gym
  • The National Strength & Conditioning Association false statements controversy and ensuing legal battle
  • Coach’s fight to remove Big Soda from the health space and how listeners can support this effort
  • How the cause and solution to chronic disease are exceedingly simple
  • Coach’s mission to shift the public perception of CrossFit from that of a fitness company to a health company
  • What inspires Coach the most
  • Where he sees CrossFit in 5 years

You can follow Coach Glassman on Twitter and Instagram.

To learn more about the CrossFit Health movement, follow @crossfit and @crossfithealth. If you are a CrossFit Physician (MD or DO), email cfdocs@crossfithealth.com to find out more about future CrossFit Physician seminars and other events.

Links:

Related Episodes:
Ep 07 – Dr. Mark Hyman on Functional Medicine, the future, and community
Ep 26 – James Maskell on Functional and Integrative Medicine and the Impact of Community on Health
Ep 35 – Coach Greg Glassman on CrossFit, Chronic Disease, and the “5 Buckets of Death”
Ep 78 – Lifestyle and Brain Health with Dr. David Perlmutter
Ep 71 – The Sugar Free Revolution with Karen Thomson
Ep 66 – Cleveland Clinic CEO Dr. Toby Cosgrove on Lifestyle, Healthcare, and Persistence

If you like this episode, please subscribe to Pursuing Health on iTunes and give it a rating. I’d love to hear your feedback in the comments below and on social media using the hashtag #PursuingHealth. I look forward to bringing you future episodes with inspiring individuals and ideas about health every other Tuesday.

This episode is brought to you by MobilityWOD. Do you struggle to get into good positions in your training and workouts? Are your movement compensations causing you undue pain and grief?  M|Wod’s belief is that every human being should be able to perform basic maintenance on themselves. Join hundreds of Olympic and World Class athletes, College and Professional Teams in the NFL, MLB, Basketball, Hockey, Rugby and Soccer by using MobilityWOD to train and compete at your best.  Visit www.mobilitywod.com to receive 20% off your annual membership with code JULIEFOUCHER.

This episode is also brought to you by Siete Foods. When Veronica Garza was facing a series of major health challenges as a teenager, her entire family of seven jumped on board to help. Together, they adopted a low-inflammation, grain free diet. As a Mexican-American family living in south Texas, they couldn’t imagine life without tortillas and it wasn’t long before Veronica came up with a delicious solution and Siete Foods was born. Visit www.sietefoods.com to try some of their delicious grain free and paleo-friendly tortillas or tortilla chips yourself and use code Julie for 10% off your order.

Disclaimer: This podcast is meant to share the experiences of various individuals. It does not provide medical advice, and it is not a substitute for advice from your physician or health care professional.


Ep 79 – Sam Briggs on Going Back to Basics and Training for Longevity

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“I think… because I didn’t start CrossFit until I was 27, I’ve already done quite a lot before CrossFit, and I love training.  I just love pushing myself, I love being in that environment, and while I’m still enjoying it, I don’t see myself doing anything else at the moment.  And if it comes to the point where I’m really not enjoying going to the gym and doing it, I don’t feel I need to do it anymore.  I’ve already been at the top, I’ve been through injuries and come back, and still been able to be among the top… So it all comes down to, if I’m still enjoying it, then, why would I [stop].” -Sam Briggs

Samantha Briggs is a six-time CrossFit Games athlete. She earned the title of Fittest Woman on Earth in 2013 and has had five top ten finishes from 2011-2017.  At 35, she is setting the standard for Masters Athletes and implementing smart training strategies to ensure her longevity in the sport.

Sam comes from an athletic background, having played football (soccer) in England’s Northern Premier League, and competed in triathlons.  A firefighter for 10 years, today Sam is a professional CrossFit Games athlete, known as “The Engine” for her indomitable work capacity.  She has overcome multiple injuries, including a debilitating knee injury that forced her to take a year off from competition in 2012, time she used to focus on refining skills and improving her movement quality and weaknesses.

I sat down with Sam at the 2018 Reebok Athlete Summit to chat about how she got started in CrossFit, how she turned an injury into a growth experience, and what’s in store for her in the coming years.

In this episode we discuss:

  • What Sam was interested in prior to CrossFit, and what she thinks she’d be doing if she hadn’t gotten involved with CrossFit
  • What drove Sam’s decision to become a firefighter
  • How while Sam has been an athlete most her life, but also went through a period of a less-healthful lifestyle, and how she brought herself back to fitness
  • Sam’s CrossFit journey, and how taking a step back to recover and improve movement patterns and weaknesses led to great success
  • Sam’s secret to maintaining a large training volume year after year
  • The approach she takes when training through injury
  • What keeps Sam motivated to continue to train at such a high level
  • The importance of finding a coach that supports her desire to train hard but programs in a way that keeps her body safe and fit for training
  • Sam’s favorite competition moment
  • Her impression of Madison and how it differed from previous CrossFit Games experiences
  • Sam’s current training goals and expectations
  • What it’s like to compete against younger athletes, and the importance of focusing on recovery
  • What a typical day looks like for Sam
  • Three things Sam does on a regular basis that have the biggest positive impact on her health
  • One thing she struggles to implement that could have a big impact on her health
  • What a healthy life looks like to Sam

You can follow Sam on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.

Links:

Related Episodes:

If you like this episode, please subscribe to Pursuing Health on iTunes and give it a rating. I’d love to hear your feedback in the comments below and on social media using the hashtag #PursuingHealth. I look forward to bringing you future episodes with inspiring individuals and ideas about health every other Tuesday.

This episode is brought to you by MobilityWOD. Do you struggle to get into good positions in your training and workouts? Are your movement compensations causing you undue pain and grief?  M|Wod’s belief is that every human being should be able to perform basic maintenance on themselves. Join hundreds of Olympic and World Class athletes, College and Professional Teams in the NFL, MLB, Basketball, Hockey, Rugby and Soccer by using MobilityWOD to train and compete at your best.  Visit www.mobilitywod.com to receive 20% off your annual membership with code JULIEFOUCHER.

This episode is also brought to you by Butcher Box. Butcher Box delivers 100% grass-fed and finished beef, free-range organic chicken, and heritage-breed pork directly to your doorstep, on your schedule. You can order curated or custom boxes of meat, and they always come with recipe ideas for you to explore. Visit www.butcherbox.com and use code JULIE20 at checkout to recieve an exclusive offer for being a listener of Pursuing Health: $20 off your order + a free order of bacon!

Disclaimer: This podcast is meant to share the experiences of various individuals. It does not provide medical advice, and it is not a substitute for advice from your physician or health care professional.


Ep 78 – Lifestyle and Brain Health with Dr. David Perlmutter

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“And I became, as a neurologist those first few years, very disenchanted with the notion of pretty much, ‘Diagnose and Adios.’  Meaning, we make these wonderful diagnoses, but we had such little to offer our patients, and I was very frustrated because I’m a do-er, I’m a fixer.  I wanted to be doing things.  So, I began looking at alternatives, and more importantly, I think, began to look at the notion of preventative medicine as it relates to brain health.  Which, I will say, even in those days, was very underrepresented, and even today as we have this conversation, is still very much underrepresented.  The notion that our lifestyle choices have a role to play in the destiny of our brain in terms of its health and functionality still doesn’t gain huge traction amongst professionals, more so perhaps amongst the general population, as they are learning that, matter of fact, our day to day choices are, in fact, important.” – Dr. David Perlmutter

Dr. Perlmutter is a Board-Certified Neurologist and Fellow of the American College of Nutrition.  He received his M.D. degree from the University of Miami School of Medicine where he was awarded the Leonard G. Rowntree Research Award.  He has published in peer-reviewed scientific journals and is a frequent lecturer at symposia sponsored by such medical institutions as Columbia University, Scripps Institute, New York University, and Harvard University.  He also serves as an Associate Professor at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine.

Dr. Perlmutter is the author of four New York Times bestselling books showing the connection between gut health and brain health, including Grain Brain, Brain Maker, The Grain Brain Cookbook, and his most recent book, The Grain Brain Whole Life Plan.  Dr. Perlmutter has also been interviewed on many nationally syndicated television programs including 20/20, Larry King Live, CNN, Fox News, Fox and Friends, The Today Show, Oprah, The Dr. Oz Show, and The CBS Early Show.

He is also the recipient of numerous awards, including: the Linus Pauling Award for his innovative approaches to neurological disorders; the National Nutritional Foods Association Clinician of the Year award; the Humanitarian of the Year award from the American College of Nutrition; the Media Award from the American College of Nutrition; and the Healthy Living Award from The Invisible Disabilities Association.

Dr. Perlmutter and I sat down at his Naples, Florida home to discuss his background, the link between lifestyle choices, gut health and the brain, and what we can do to protect and improve our brain health.

Dr. Perlmutter’s bio was adapted from drperlmutter.com

In this episode we discuss:

  • The progression of Dr. Perlmutter’s medical career: when he first decided to pursue medicine, then specialize in neurology, and how that morphed into preventative medicine as it relates to brain health
  • The notion that our lifestyle choices are relevant to brain health, and that gut health ties into this equation
  • How the ultimate mechanism for brain degeneration is inflammation, and the need to focus on what causes the inflammation
  • How aerobic exercise may dramatically reduce dementia and other degenerative disorders
  • How changing gut bacteria can affect other body systems
  • The compelling phenomena that our lifestyle choices can impact our inherited genome and change gene expression
  • The importance of challenging prevailing beliefs and providing individuals with knowledge to make informed choices
  • The impact of gluten on the brain, and how individuals might not experience intestinal symptoms, while they still experience neurological symptoms
  • The relationship between damaging the gut bacteria and body weight
  • The danger of genetically modified organisms (GMO) and the impact of glyphosate on gut bacteria and inflammation, and how that relates to the skyrocketing number of Alzheimer patients.
  • The importance of focusing on prevention rather than a cure
  • The dichotomy of nature vs. nurture and how both play a role in health
  • How watching his father die from Alzheimer’s motivates Dr. Perlmutter to take measures to ensure that is not his destiny
  • The need for a doctor’s help and support for blood testing, and which tests should be monitored for optimal brain health
  • What simple strategies we can implement ourselves for optimal brain health, including exercise, a high fat, low carb diet and restorative sleep
  • Which supplements can improve brain health
  • Additional measures and supplements individuals can take to protect their brain health such as a ketogenic diet and intermittent fasting
  • Three things Dr. Perlmutter does on a regular basis that have the biggest positive impact on his health
  • One thing he struggles to implement that could have a big impact on his health
  • What a healthy life looks like to Dr. Perlmutter

You can follow Dr. Perlmutter on his websiteFacebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram.

Links:

Related Episodes:

If you like this episode, please subscribe to Pursuing Health on iTunes and give it a rating. I’d love to hear your feedback in the comments below and on social media using the hashtag #PursuingHealth. I look forward to bringing you future episodes with inspiring individuals and ideas about health every other Tuesday.

This episode is brought to you by MobilityWOD. Do you struggle to get into good positions in your training and workouts? Are your movement compensations causing you undue pain and grief?  M|Wod’s belief is that every human being should be able to perform basic maintenance on themselves. Join hundreds of Olympic and World Class athletes, College and Professional Teams in the NFL, MLB, Basketball, Hockey, Rugby and Soccer by using MobilityWOD to train and compete at your best.  Visit www.mobilitywod.com to receive receive 20% off your annual membership with code JULIEFOUCHER.

This episode is also brought to you by Butcher Box. Butcher Box delivers 100% grass-fed and finished beef, free-range organic chicken, and heritage-breed pork directly to your doorstep, on your schedule. You can order curated or custom boxes of meat, and they always come with recipe ideas for you to explore. Visit www.butcherbox.com and use code JULIE20 at checkout to recieve an exclusive offer for being a listener of Pursuing Health: $20 off your order + a free order of bacon!

Disclaimer: This podcast is meant to share the experiences of various individuals. It does not provide medical advice, and it is not a substitute for advice from your physician or health care professional.


Ep 77 – Austin Malleolo on CrossFit and Corporate Culture

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“My big, my goal… if someone asked me, “What’s your goal for the gym?” I’d say “I wanna get the 50 people in the company that don’t workout, that have never worked out, into the gym.  How do we do that?”  I can get anyone that wants to workout in the gym, and I can…that’s easy, that’s not hard.  And I can get people fitter, stronger, blah, blah, blah, that’s fun.  It’s good.  But I wanna get the person that is sedentary.  And they’re embarrassed, they’re nervous.  They’re intimidated.  Whatever it is that they have more negative self-talk than you could ever fathom.  How do we get that person in the gym and they… to realize that we’re all on the same playing field?  And you step foot in the gym, and you’re fighting the same fight we are.” – Austin Malleolo

Austin Malleolo is a three-time winner of the Northeast Regional (2011-2013) and six-time CrossFit Games competitor, including individual finishes in the Top 10 in 2010 and 2012, and a 5th place finish as a member of Team Reebok CrossFit One in 2017.

Austin got his start in the fitness industry as a personal trainer, and over time, has added an ever-growing list of achievements to his name, including becoming a CrossFit coach, earning his exercise science degree, excelling in his role as a flowmaster on the CrossFit HQ Seminar staff, becoming the head coach at Reebok CrossFit One and owner of Reebok CrossFit One Nation, and developing an online training program, The Ham Plan.

Each year, Reebok brings together CrossFit Games athletes to introduce Reebok’s brand campaign, apparel and footwear for the upcoming year. It’s an opportunity for athletes to give feedback, train together, and spend time with each other in a relaxed environment.  I was excited to sit down with Austin at this year’s Reebok Athlete Summit in the Bahamas to chat about how CrossFit has shaped the corporate culture of Reebok, how Austin’s experiences as a youth taught him the importance of personal responsibility and surrounding himself with the right kind of people, and why he is so driven to keep accomplishing more.

In this episode we discuss:

  • How Austin’s relationship with Reebok began
  • What prompted the move of Reebok’s headquarters from Canton to Boston
  • What CrossFit has done for Reebok employees
  • How Reebok subsidizes their employee’s gym memberships and incentivizes them to attend
  • Austin’s goal to get people who have never worked out into the gym
  • Austin’s belief that corporate responsibility for preventative healthcare is the future
  • How CrossFit has impacted Reebok’s culture
  • What Austin was like prior to starting CrossFit
  • How Austin learned to take responsibility for his actions and surround himself with the right people
  • Austin’s introduction to CrossFit through the benchmark Fran and how he went all in
  • His desire to reach people and kids that have fallen off the straight and narrow path, and what he would say to help them
  • The importance of surrounding yourself with a good team so that you can positively impact more people
  • What a typical day looks like for Austin
  • Why Austin keeps up such a high pace with so many commitments
  • The advice Austin would give to an aspiring affiliate owner, aspiring competitor, someone who is just starting out with their coaching career, and someone who is afraid to get started in the gym
  • Three things Austin does on a regular basis that have the biggest positive impact on his health
  • One thing he struggles to implement that could have a big impact on his health
  • What a healthy life looks like to Austin

You can follow Austin on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Links:

Related Episodes:

Ep 28 – James Hobart on teaching, competing, and the real purpose of CrossFit
Ep 47 – Coffee Talk with Katrin, Jen, and Kelley at the Reebok Athlete Summit
Ep 59 – Annie Sakamoto on the evolution of CrossFit and setting an example for future generations
Ep 68 – Pat and Taz Barber on CrossFit, Coaching, and Kids

If you like this episode, please subscribe to Pursuing Health on iTunes and give it a rating. I’d love to hear your feedback in the comments below and on social media using the hashtag #PursuingHealth. I look forward to bringing you future episodes with inspiring individuals and ideas about health every other Tuesday.

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Disclaimer: This podcast is meant to share the experiences of various individuals. It does not provide medical advice, and it is not a substitute for advice from your physician or health care professional.