Ep 121 – Christy Adkins & Lindy Barber on Transitions in Life and Fitness

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“So, you get to the CrossFit gym, and you see- or I see other moms, I see other dads, I see people who have competitive aspirations and I’m able to mentor, and so, it kind of feeds a lot of things at once.  And that’s 45 minutes to an hour and a half, and then you walk away feeling very fulfilled and able to be your best at the rest of your day.” – Christy Adkins

Christy Phillips Adkins is an 8-time CrossFit Games athlete, competing as an individual seven times between 2009 and 2016, and once on team CrossFit Balance in 2017.  Over the course of her career, she overcame both physical and psychological challenges, including narrowly missing the cutoff for the 2015 Games, and recovering from a torn biceps tendon in time to qualify in 2016.  After retiring from competition to focus on starting a family, she quickly became pregnant with her now 15-month-old son, Bo, and has embraced what it means to train for longevity and health as a post-partum athlete.

Lindy Barber is a former collegiate soccer player who began competing in CrossFit in 2012 after rehabbing a fractured vertebra in her back.  She has competed at the CrossFit Games twice as an individual, and has had three podium finishes as a member of Team CrossFit Mayhem Freedom.  In Lindy’s final season, she found herself losing some of her excitement for training as her back injury flared up and she knew that her body was asking for a break. She knew it was time to shift gears with her training to protect her long-term health and to preserve her joy for the sport. The 2019 season marks the first year that Lindy has not been training for the CrossFit Games, and it has been a huge transition for her to figure out what life looks like when not training 6-7 hours per day.

I had the chance to sit down with Lindy and Christy during the 2019 CrossFit Games in Madison, WI for a live podcast recording at the Reebok tent. We shared stories about the life and fitness transitions all three of us have undergone over the last few years, and what it looks like to shift from training as a competitive athlete to training for health and longevity.

In this episode we discuss:

  • The recent life and fitness transitions Christy and Lindy have been through, and the factors that helped them make decisions about these transitions
  • What training for health and longevity means, and how that differs from training like a competitive athlete
  • Body image and how their relationship with their bodies have changed
  • How they structure their time and find balance now that their primary focus is not competition
  • The need to cultivate other interests and what they’ve found to be important outside the gym

You can follow Christy on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. You can follow Lindy 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.

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 120 – All About Keto with Dr. Dom D’Agostino

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“So, for me, it was kind of liberating that once you’re in ketosis you’re not that hungry.  And then, in the context of elevated ketones, they’re sort of anti-catabolic, and I talked about that a little bit.  And, it liberated me from food.  But when I… I like to enjoy food; I think food should be- I don’t think we should deprive ourselves of food.  So, depriving myself of carbohydrates, that’s not something that I miss.  So, and if people really miss that and enjoy that, I don’t think they should eliminate it from their menu or their meals.   I think we need to enjoy food, that’s part of the process.  But I enjoy food much more if I’m a little bit hungry.  I appreciate the food, I enjoy it.  Ketogenic food is like indulgent to me because for years that’s the stuff I avoided. So, I’m more happy with my food now than I ever was, I think.  And I don’t have irrational food behavior.” – Dominic D’Agostino

Dominic D’Agostino, Ph.D., is an assistant professor in the Department of Molecular Pharmacology and Physiology at the University of South Florida Morsani College of Medicine and a senior research scientist at the Institute for Human and Machine Cognition.

With a diverse background in neuroscience, pharmacology, nutrition and physiology, Dom brings a unique perspective to the ketogenic diet.  He believes it can be applied not just in treating medical conditions but also in contributing to overall health and optimizing human performance.

The findings from his research on nutritional ketosis have been utilized by Navy SEALs and NASA, and he recently has been at the forefront of research involving the use of nutritional ketosis as a tool to treat cancer.

I had the opportunity to sit down with Dom at the 2019 CrossFit Health Conference in Madison, where he presented on the emerging applications of ketosis.  We talked about the basics of the ketogenic diet, how it can fit into the everyday person’s lifestyle, and the exciting research he’s conducting to learn more about using metabolic therapies in the treatment of cancer.

In this episode we discuss:

  • What brought Dom to the CrossFit Health Conference
  • His background and what influenced him to become a research scientist
  • What led him to study nutritional ketosis
  • A broad overview of the ketogenic diet
  • Whether it’s necessary to actually measure ketones
  • The physiological impacts of being in a state of ketosis
  • The known and emerging applications of nutritional ketosis
  • Whether there is an advantage to being in a state of ketosis versus simply eating low carb
  • Populations for whom keto might not be a good fit
  • Why keto can appear to affect men and women differently
  • How ketosis can fit into a typical CrossFitter’s lifestyle and a competitor’s lifestyle
  • What we know about ketosis and the microbiome
  • The metabolic theory of cancer and why ketosis may be a tool for treatment
  • How press-pulse therapy can be used as a metabolic management tool in the treatment of cancer
  • What drives Dom to do self-experimentation and what he’s learned from it
  • Three things Dom 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 Dom

You can follow Dr. Dom D’Agostino on his website, Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter,

Links:

Related episode:

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.

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 119 – Josh Bridges on Recovering from Knee Surgery and Paying the Man

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“I remember asking my Chief, I was like, ‘Hey, I think I want to try to go do this CrossFit Games thing, and I’m not going to have to miss a lot of training, are you good with it?’  And he looked at me, and he’s like- and he didn’t really know a lot about CrossFit- but he goes- he knew a little bit- and he goes, ‘Well, what’s your Fran time?’  And I was like, ‘It’s 2:02.’  And he goes, ‘Okay, you can give it a shot.’  And so, I only had to miss a little bit of work for that.  But looking back on 2011, that was the craziest year because we were in the middle of a workup, and a workup is not easy.  We’re out in the desert doing up-down drills at 130 degrees for 12 hours a day, just non-stop.  And so, you’d get these little breaks in between your sessions of workouts with the military and everyone goes and takes a nap or eats food and I literally would go in the gym and workout.  I look back, and I’m like, ‘How the hell did I do that?’” – Josh Bridges

Josh Bridges is a 6-time CrossFit Games competitor who has been doing CrossFit since 2005.  In addition to three first place finishes at the highly competitive California Regional, his top finishes at the CrossFit Games include second in 2011 and fourth in 2014.

A former collegiate wrestler and U.S. Navy Seal, Josh has used the lessons he’s learned along the way to cultivate his impressive work ethic and mental toughness.  He is known and loved for his fiery presence on the competition floor, and for his mantra, “Pay the Man.”

I had the opportunity to sit down with Josh in front of a live audience at the 2019 Reebok CrossFit Games.  We chatted about the tools he’s using to speed his recovery from a recent knee surgery, his background as a Navy SEAL, what it means to ‘Pay the Man,’ and his plans for returning to competition.

In this episode we discuss:

  • The lessons Josh has learned from having to step back from intense training during his 2019 season in order to heal his knee injury
  • The recovery methods he’s using to speed and assist his return to training
  • The origin and meaning of “Pay the Man”
  • How Josh’s time as a high school and collegiate wrestler shaped who he is today
  • The process behind becoming a SEAL, and the qualities that allowed him to be successful
  • The mindset Josh uses to get through tough moments
  • What led to Josh’s decision to train for the CrossFit Games
  • The factors that influenced his decision to retire from the military
  • Josh’s thoughts on the format of the new CrossFit Games season, and how that has shaped his approach to 2020
  • His current goals and priorities, and whether we will see him as a Master’s competitor in the future
  • Three things Josh 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 Josh

Josh also answered some great questions from the audience, including:

  • Lessons he is trying to teach his sons
  • His favorite recovery tools
  • His take on Murph and the significance behind it
  • Josh’s competition goals
  • How he got into the coffee business
  • How Josh maintains his joy for fitness
  • His recommendations for athletes who are looking to take their training to the next level
  • Josh’s favorite music for working out
  • Exercise for older athletes: his thoughts on whether there a time when CrossFit no longer appropriate
  • Where he sees the sport of CrossFit progressing in the future
  • How to buy Josh’s coffee

You can follow Josh on his website, Facebook, 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.

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 118 – The State of CrossFit with Coach Greg Glassman

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“There was an orchestrated mass media campaign by our critics to portray us as dangerous- by the opposition. And that’s all waning now, because of the changes in the website. So, we were actually able to alter the world’s view of things. And you know the living room set? There are people that thought that I was trying to reach out to people in their living rooms, which is really funny. I’m not. I’m not at all. No one that looks like Bob on that couch is going to stumble on crossfit.com and start doing this stuff. It’s not like that. But we all know someone that looks like that, you know? That looks like my grandma’s living room, or my aunt’s living room. And we know people that are sedentary, and we know people that are eating too much carbohydrate and we know that they’re sitting there watching TV and we know that they’re older. And yet, the CrossFit stimulus has more to offer them than it does you in terms of the change in lifestyle. And so, I said to Sevan, I said, “Let’s bring those people into the gym. Let’s reach out into the community at large and let’s bring the, what I’m calling the underserved.” These are the people that no gym wants them walking in. I promise you at 24 Hour-Nautilus or LA Fitness, when you come in with a walker, no one’s getting all excited, “Look, this is gonna be great.” But I did. I would. We can. Our affiliates will.” – Coach Greg Glassman

As the founder of a program that has revolutionized fitness, Greg Glassman is no stranger to controversy. Known to many as simply “Coach,” he grew up in southern California participating in gymnastics and complemented his training with modalities including weightlifting and cycling.

When he later became a trainer, he was kicked out of several globo gyms for employing his unique style of constantly varied, high intensity functional movement before he finally opened the first CrossFit gym in Santa Cruz, CA in 1995. Shortly thereafter, CrossFit.com was created and Greg would post Workouts of the Day, or “WODs” for athletes from all over the world to complete.

Beginning in 2003, CrossFit affiliates began to open and CrossFit experienced exponential growth — today there are over 15,000 affiliates worldwide. During this period, we witnessed the rise of the CrossFit Games, the ultimate proving grounds for fitness which crowns the Fittest Man and Woman on Earth each year.  Most recently, we’ve witnessed a significant shift in the qualification process for the Games and major changes at CrossFit HQ.

We’ve also witnessed incredible stories of transformation in the affiliates, with participants losing weight, gaining confidence, and ridding themselves of chronic disease. With the inception of CrossFit Health, CrossFit has turned it’s focus towards fighting ever-increasing disease rates and medical costs while also networking CrossFit physicians and educating affiliate owners, coaches, and the general public in an effort to combat corrupted medical science and a tsunami of chronic disease.

For his third visit to the podcast, Greg and I sat down just before the 2019 CrossFit Health conference and CrossFit Games in Madison, WI.  We discussed the evolution of CrossFit and CrossFit Health, the implications of scientific misconduct in the medical field, and what he sees for the future of CrossFit.

In this episode we discuss:

  • The evolution of CrossFit Health since the first MDL1 in February 2018
  • The changes that have taken place in CrossFit as a whole over the past year
  • The corruption in the health science research
  • How Greg has developed relationships with key physicians and scientists around the world
  • The key people with whom Greg is working with at CFHQ, and how his team makes decisions
  • Whether he foresees any changes for the next CrossFit Games
  • The direction CrossFit is headed and how CrossFit is uniquely qualified to fight chronic disease
  • Greg’s decision to remove CrossFit from social media
  • His message to affiliate owners who felt caught off guard by changes within the organization
  • His goal for the upcoming 10-year affiliate gathering
  • Greg’s advice to an affiliate owner who is looking to grow their business and serve CrossFit’s mission as a whole
  • The story behind the infamous couch set
  • What CrossFit HQ is learning from working with senior and overweight populations, and how Greg plans to share that knowledge with affiliates
  • What he’s most excited to work on these days
  • The new seminar he’s developing on modern science and the scientific method

To learn more about the CrossFit Health movement, follow along with the daily articles posted at crossfit.com. If you are a CrossFit Physician (MD or DO), email info@crossfithealth.com to find out more about future MDL1 seminars and other events.

Links:

Related Episodes:

Ep 21 – Pat Sherwood on CrossFit, the Games and quality of life and longevity
Ep 35 – Coach Greg Glassman on CrossFit, Chronic Disease, and the “5 Buckets of Death”
Ep 69- From “Obese to Beast” with John Glaude
Ep 71 – The Sugar Free Revolution with Karen Thomson
Ep 80 – Greg Glassman on Networking CrossFit Physicians and Fighting Chronic Disease
Ep 93 – Debunking Nutrition Myths with Gary Taubes
Ep 114 – Practicing CrossFit for Health with Dr. Maude Dull

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.

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.

 


10 “Must-Dos” in Madison during CrossFit Games Week

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2019 will be the third year the CrossFit Games takes place in Madison, WI and for the third year in a row, I’m taking a week of vacation in order to be there to participate in all that “Games Week” has to offer. Below are 10 things I’ve come to call my “must-dos” in Madison:

 

1. Grab an almond milk latte from Collectivo Coffee. Collectivo is a Wisconson-based specialty coffee roaster with three locations in Madison, and it’s one of my all-time favorites. Take an early morning to sip on a cup in the shop, or grab one to go on your way to the Games venue.

 

2. Get out on the water. The lakes surrounding Madison are it’s best feature in the summer. Rent a paddleboard or kayak on Lake Wingra, get a group together to take a pontoon boat out on Mendota, or check out the Reebok Fitbarge on Lake Monona.

 

3. Attend the CrossFit Health Conference. The third annual CrossFit Health Conference is scheduled for Wednesday July 31st, and you don’t want to miss it! This year’s conference will focus on three central themes — the war on cholesterol and fat, the metabolic effects of low-carb diets, and the widespread sacrifice of scientific truth on the altar of the pharmaceutical industry. The conference will feature speakers to the tune of Dr. Zoë Harcombe and Dr. Dominic D’Agostino. If you’re in town, this is the perfect way to spend the day before the competition action starts. It’s also a great way to learn about and join the conversation of CrossFit Health — a major driver of so many of the changes you’ve experienced to the Games season this year.

 

4. Wine and Dine. Madison is home to tons of great restaurants, and during CrossFit Games week many of them have created special menus featuring the type of food the CrossFit community is known to love. Some of my favorites so far include Graft, Graze, Basset Street Brunch Club, and, if you’re feeling fancy, A Pig in a Fur Coat.

 

5. Take a bike tour. Madison is a big biking town, and what better way to enjoy your surroundings and get acquainted with the city than on a bike? There are numerous bike rental shops around Madison, or you can pick up a local B-Cycle from one of many stations.

 

6. Attend the Saturday on the Square Farmer’s Market. Every Saturday in the Summer, the Dane County Farmer’s Market takes over “The Square” in downtown Madison, circling the capitol building. By this point in the week you might be craving a home-cooked meal or at least some fresh fruits and veggies, and exploring the farmer’s market can be a great way to catch a break from all the action happening at the Alliant Energy Center.

 

7. Soak in the views from the terrace. The Memorial Union Terrace is a historical location located in front of the University of Wisconsin Union with a beautiful view of Lake Mendota. Bring your own drinks and snacks and enjoy the lake views as a great way to begin your day or wind down in the evening.

 

8. Partake in the Spectator Experience. The Spectator Experience at the CrossFit Games is always a highlight, and this year will be no different. Peruse the latest and greatest products to support your fitness, catch a workout in the Assault Spectator Workout Area, grab a drink in the Beer Garden while your kids run free in the Kid Zone, or sign up to test your own fitness in events such as OUTWOD, Porsche Auto-Cross & 911 Pull, Go-Ruck Hero WOD, FitAid One-Ton Challenge, or a Ragnar Relay.

 

9. Cool down with an açaí bowl. For the past two years, Sambazon has set up carts around the Alliant Energy Center where they sell some of the best açaí bowls I’ve ever tasted. There’s just nothing better after a long day of spectating in the heat than grabbing a bowl to enjoy as you head into the air-conditioned Colosseum to watch the evening’s events. Get your’s fast, though – they’ve been known to sell out quickly!

 

10. Cheer on the Fittest. Let’s all remember why we’re here in the first place – to celebrate the fittest athletes from across the globe. This year will be extra-special as we’ll have representation from every single country. Make sure to show them your support and celebrate all the hard work they put in year-round in order to put on an amazing show for us. Even if you won’t be in Madison this year, there are still plenty of ways to watch and show your support.

Ep 117 – Functional Bodybuilding & Earning Intensity with Marcus Filly

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“We’re so resilient as people that we can deal with a lot of stuff.  And if you pull back on the intensity, and you give your body a chance to heal, we’re also remarkable healers.  You know, you give yourself the right ingredients, we’ll heal from almost… I mean, from a lot.  And I had to go through that experience first-hand and people watched me go through that experience and they’re like, “Marcus, what are you doing, I want to try that, what’s that thing?” and so I had to give it a name.  I mean, I intentionally gave it a name to let it create an identity.  And now it’s’ a couple years into it and there’s a very clear look and feel to doing functional bodybuilding workouts.” – Marcus Filly

Marcus Filly is a 6-time CrossFit Games athlete, a former medical school student, and the catalyst behind the functional bodybuilding movement.  As the owner of Revival Strength, he is passionate about providing training programs to help his clients build strength and endurance without breaking down their bodies.

However, Marcus wasn’t always so sure about his path.  Following his collegiate athletic career, Marcus entered medical school to pursue what he thought was his intended purpose.  Instead, he found that while he appreciated the knowledge and the discipline of his medical training, a voice inside kept telling him he was on the wrong track.

After a lot of soul searching, Marcus decided to follow his heart and begin a career in fitness.  In doing so, he found a new way to educate and empower people with the tools they need to begin their own pursuit of health and happiness.

Marcus and I had a great conversation about the many parallels in our lives, from medical training to the demands of being a competitive athlete.  In this episode, we discuss the importance of finding your true purpose, the distinction between functional bodybuilding and other styles of training, and why lifestyle stressors are a huge consideration when it comes to earning intensity in a workout.

Topics we cover in this episode include:

  • Marcus’s athletic and educational background
  • The application process for med school and how his fitness experience shaped his intended career path in medicine, with a desire to focus on health
  • The importance of being introspective and taking time to figure out your own path
  • How periods of great stress can lead to revelations about your true purpose, and how Marcus applies his own experience to help his clients
  • Marcus’s CrossFit journey from team athlete to individual Games competitor
  • The factors that drove his decision to step away from competition
  • Where the concept for Revival Strength came from
  • His goals to create careers for his coaches and provide one-on-one attention for his clients
  • The distinction between traditional CrossFit style workouts and functional bodybuilding
  • The value of periodization, control points, tempo, and rest
  • Marcus’s belief that you have to earn intensity in your workouts by balancing the stressors in your life
  • Strategies that he employs to manage his stress and maintain balance
  • Three things Marcus 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 Marcus

You can follow Marcus on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and on his podcast.

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 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 receive an exclusive offer for being a listener of Pursuing Health: $20 off your first order and Burgers All Summer! Sign up before August 8th and receive a pack of 6 FREE burgers in every box you receive from now until October 15th.

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 116 – How Healing Works with Dr. Wayne Jonas

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“I call that integrative health.  Integrative health is a little different than complementary medicine, is different than integrative medicine.  Integrative health is the merger of conventional care like I learned, and you learned in your own medical training.  Evidence-based complementary practices, non-drug approaches, and then self-care: behavior and lifestyle. If you put those three together you have integrative health, and now we’re talking.  Now we’re able to really not only prevent a lot of illnesses, but in many cases, reverse a lot of chronic illnesses that plague our country today.” – Dr. Wayne Jonas

Dr. Wayne Jonas is a practicing family physician, an expert in integrative health, and a widely published scientific investigator. In addition to his medical practice, he has served as President, CEO, and Executive Director for Samueli Integrative Health Programs, Director of the Office of Alternative Medicine at the National Institutes of Health, and Director of the Medical Research Fellowship at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research.  Dr. Jonas is a retired Lieutenant Colonel in the Medical Corps of the United States Army and a Fellow of the American Academy of Family Physicians.

Drawing on his experience from leading hundreds of research studies, Dr. Jonas authored the book How Healing Works, in which he explains the biology of healing and the science behind the discovery that 80 percent of healing occurs outside of our conventional medical care.  His goal is to change the way doctors and patients approach healthcare—away from a disease treatment model to an integrative system that incorporates the best of evidence-based conventional, complementary and self-care approaches.  Dr. Jonas’s advice can help us facilitate our own innate ability to heal after both minor and major medical incidents, change how we consume healthcare, and enable us to be more in control of our own health.

I first read Dr. Jonas’s book during my own residency in family medicine, and his message really resonated with the way I aspire to practice in my career.  I was excited to chat with him recently about the concept of integrative health and how research supports that taking care of the whole person– mind, body, and spirit– is imperative for long-term healing.

*Dr. Jonas’s bio adapted from his website.

In this episode we discuss:

  • What interested Dr. Jonas in a career in medicine and eventually family medicine
  • How he developed an interest in patient-centered care with a spiritual focus
  • The healing paradox: how 80% of healing occurs outside of modern conventional treatments
  • The definition of integrative health
  • How cultural context affects the preferred placebo delivery method and how placebo response should actually be called the healing response
  • Open placebo studies and how they demonstrate that intention, ritual, and belief can create healing
  • How to train the body to give a learned response to a conditioned stimulus
  • How mindset around lifestyle factors, including diet and exercise, can improve health
  • How one can start the process of healing through finding meaning and purpose
  • The importance of stress management and exercising the relaxation response to strengthen your parasympathetic nervous system
  • Where health comes from: the impact of physical environment, love, and social connections on health
  • Using visualization for healing
  • Jonas’s advice to physicians wanting to tap into the extra 80% of healing
  • How doctors and patients can use the HOPE Note to add integrative healthcare to a routine medical visit
  • Dr. Jonas’s daily life and practices he implements for his own self-care
  • Three things Dr. Jonas 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. Jonas

You can follow Dr. Jonas on his website, Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn 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 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 receive an exclusive offer for being a listener of Pursuing Health: $20 off your first order and Burgers All Summer! Sign up before August 8th and receive a pack of 6 FREE burgers in every box you receive from now until October 15th.

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 115 – Becoming a CrossFit Games Athlete: Rookies Fee Saghafi & Erin Vandendriessche

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“I didn’t start CrossFit to be competitive, and I didn’t get into the competitive side until several years later.  And, I would say, I didn’t start getting competitive until 3… 3-4 years ago.  And then I was like, ‘Oh, this is fun,’ I started with local competitions.  I remember seeing Erin at local competitions, and so that was always cool to me and that was always fun, and it wasn’t so much about competing, it was about, I wanted to prove to myself that I could do something that I never thought that I could do.  I always see these- the top-level girls, they have the 10 years of gymnastics, they come from Division 1 swimming, they are- they were- elite track competitors.  And I just didn’t have that background, and I didn’t have those same opportunities, and to be able to prove that I could still get there, over time, was something that I wanted to prove to myself.” – Fee Saghafi

Neither Feeroozeh Saghafi nor Erin Vandendriessche started CrossFit with the intention of becoming competitors, but over the last several years, both women have slowly worked their way from beginners to up-and-coming Games athletes.

Erin Vandendriessche is a former Baldwin Wallace University gymnast and two-time Central Regional athlete, making an appearance on the CTown CrossFit team in 2017, and an individual appearance in 2018.  With the changes to the 2019 Games season, Erin made the surprising decision to opt out of the Open, and instead focused on competing at Sanctionals, most notably the Italian Showdown where she topped the podium and earned her ticket to the 2019 CrossFit Games.  A former nurse and current nutrition coach, Erin trains out of her husband’s affiliate, Root 18 CrossFit in Medina, OH.

Fee Saghafi is a former high school volleyball athlete who started CrossFit as a way to manage her weight and provide direction in the gym while she was in college.  After two appearances at the Central Regional (on team CrossFit Mentality in 2017 and as an individual in 2018) she decided to dial in her training and her mindset and commit to her goal of becoming a Games competitor.  She finished 24th in the 2019 Open, securing her rookie berth to the CrossFit Games.  Fee attended John Carroll University where she earned a degree in Exercise Science and most recently graduated with her Master’s in Business Administration. Fee coaches and trains alongside Scott Panchik at CrossFit Mentality in Mentor, OH.

Through the years of competing alongside each other in local events, Fee and Erin have grown to become friends in addition to fellow competitors.  While they earned their rookie spot at the Games through different avenues, both women have found that embracing a champion mindset has been an integral part of making the leap to becoming one of the best in the world.  I caught up with Fee and Erin at CrossFit Mentality to chat about their evolution as athletes, and what tips, habits, and practices they used to qualify for their first CrossFit Games.

In this episode we discuss:

  • Erin & Fee’s athletic backgrounds
  • How and why they got started doing CrossFit
  • How the three of us got to know each other
  • Erin & Fee’s first Regionals experience, and how that impacted their goals for the future
  • How their training changed as they made the transition from team athlete to individual
  • The importance of dialing in areas outside the gym to improve performance
  • The lessons Fee learned from her individual experience at the 2018 Regionals, and how she changed her training and mindset going into the 2019 season
  • Their reaction to the changes in the qualification process for the 2019 CrossFit Games
  • Erin’s strategy to qualify for the Games, and why she opted out of the Open
  • Erin’s team experience at the Mid-Atlantic CrossFit Challenge
  • Their experience at the CrossFit Italian Showdown, and finding comfort in competing alongside a familiar face
  • The biggest mindset shift that Erin & Fee made that helped them to qualify for the Games
  • How Fee draws on Games veteran Scott Panchik’s competition experience to improve her training
  • The biggest changes Fee & Erin made in their training and their mentality to support their goal of making it to the Games
  • What their schedule, training and nutrition look like as the 2019 Games approaches
  • Three things Fee & Erin do on a regular basis that have the biggest positive impact on their health
  • One thing they struggle to implement that could have a big impact on their health
  • What a healthy life looks like to Fee and to Erin

You can follow Fee and Erin on 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 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 receive an exclusive offer for being a listener of Pursuing Health: Free Bacon for Life* + $20 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 114 – Practicing CrossFit for Health with Dr. Maude Dull

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I really just… kind of wanted to get more into the CrossFit community.  More interested in sort of where things were going, especially as we were moving, CrossFit as an organization, is moving away from the sort of Games mentality into more of a health mentality.  And I remember saying a lot of times in Huntsville when I was training that CrossFit is wasted on the fit.  I really felt like training for the Games, training for the Open, or people are training for the Games, and stuff like that, and there’s this huge emphasis on this elite fitness and I was like, it’s kind of wasted on people that already have it.  Whereas there’s people like me that needed it so bad.  That had to sort of, we were embraced and brought into it, but not the way we would be embraced now.  You had to sort of… you had to break in a little bit, still.  So, that was always one of the things that I said, was CrossFit was wasted on the fit.  So, I would… when I sort of saw this shift going on, and heard some of the stuff that Coach Glassman was talking about, I was like, ‘You know what? I want to get in on this, I want to check it out.’” – Dr. Maude Dull

Dr. Maude Dull has been active throughout her life, but from middle school through medical training she struggled to maintain a healthy weight, peaking at 240 lbs.  As a young doctor specializing in Internal Medicine and Pediatrics and working in fast-paced intensive care settings, she used martial arts and then CrossFit to provide an outlet for her stressful work schedule but found her weight wouldn’t budge.  Wanting to reach her full potential as an athlete, she enlisted the help of a nutrition coach from Precision Nutrition who focused on changing her habits, and a performance coach who helped her shift her mindset.  Maude was finally able to bring her weight to a healthy level, and along the way she learned valuable lessons about the importance of balance in all aspects of life.

These days, Maude has pivoted away from adrenaline-seeking work and workouts, and instead enjoys moderation with a challenging job in a Step-Down Unit and workouts scaled to help her remain healthy long-term.

I had the pleasure of meeting Maude at a recent CFMDL1 seminar, and was excited to catch up with her at San Francisco CrossFit to share her story of how she changed her habits to overcome obesity, why she made the shift from training for the Open to training for longevity, and what prompted her to join the CrossFit Health movement.

In this episode we discuss:

  • Maude’s childhood and why she decided to pursue medicine
  • The multiple factors that played into her becoming obese as a middle schooler
  • Qualities that contributed to Maude’s persistence in pursuing her goals
  • Deciding on her specialty of Internal Medicine and Pediatrics
  • Maude’s experience with weight fluctuations and the healthy habits she prioritized throughout her medical training
  • Maude’s observations of the differences in critical care for adults vs children
  • Maude’s turning point for her own health
  • How she got involved with CrossFit
  • Her coach’s suggestion that she try Precision Nutrition to spur weight loss when her consistent exercise was not creating change
  • How Maude found success using a personal coach to change her mindset to support her weight loss goals
  • Her realization that her alcohol consumption was holding her back
  • How Maude gets herself into a parasympathetic mindset and away from constant adrenaline seeking behaviors
  • Making choices to support her long-term health, including shifting her career and dialing back her workouts
  • Changing her goals from training for the Open towards training to get out and play
  • The legacy she hopes to leave
  • How Maude’s focus on diet and nutrition has changed
  • What drew Maude to attend the CFMDL1 and what her experience was like
  • The advice Maude would give to someone going through medical training
  • Three things Maude 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 Maude

You can follow Maude on 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 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 receive an exclusive offer for being a listener of Pursuing Health: Free Bacon for Life* + $20 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 113 – 2009 CrossFit Games Champion Tanya Wagner on Training through all Seasons of Life

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“It was awesome [her first CrossFit Games experience in 2008]…  There were no expectations and there was only one Games so nobody really knew what they were doing, and it was like, we really just wanted to see if what we were doing everyday was really CrossFit.  Like, ‘Is it- are we doing this right?’  Because all we’re doing is watching videos.  Yeah, so, we just kind of wanted to see where we—where things shook out.  And so, it was so cool.  It was so like, raw and real and unpredictable.  It was really cool.” – Tanya Wagner

2009 CrossFit Games champion Tanya Wagner has competed in the sport as an individual, on a team, and most recently at the 2019 Rogue Invitational, as a Legend.  Over the last ten years, she’s managed to strike a balance between competing, running her affiliate, commentating for the CrossFit Games, and raising her two children.

Inspired by the original “CrossFit Girls,” Tanya was a competitor at the second annual CrossFit Games in 2008, where she would narrowly miss a first place victory to Caity Henniger, who has since helped to grow Rogue Fitness into what it is today alongside her husband, Bill. Tanya would come back in 2009 to stand atop the podium and inspire future generations of CrossFit Games athletes.

I sat down with Tanya at the 2019 Rogue Invitational to learn more about what it’s like to be one of the original CrossFit champions, and to hear how her approach to training has evolved throughout the many changes in her life.

In this episode we discuss:

  • Tanya’s athletic background and how she got started with CrossFit
  • Her approach to training for the 2008 Games, and how a narrow loss fueled her training for 2009
  • Winning the 2009 CrossFit Games, and why she chose to switch to the team competition following that victory
  • What it was like to compete while pregnant
  • Making the transition from competitor to motherhood and getting back into CrossFit after giving birth
  • How Tanya got into commentating
  • Tanya’s current approach to the CrossFit Open
  • The life cycle of a CrossFit athlete
  • Her favorite part about being an affiliate owner
  • How Tanya keeps a positive mindset, and how she helps others do the same
  • The adjustments she made to her training routine leading up to the 2019 Rogue Invitational
  • Managing the stress and pressures of being a competitor
  • Tanya’s reactions to recent changes in the CrossFit Games season
  • Her advice to new moms returning to CrossFit
  • The lasting impact of Faith Rx’D and and the legacy of Becky Conzelman
  • Three things Tanya 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 Tanya

You can follow Tanya on Facebook 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 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 receive an exclusive offer for being a listener of Pursuing Health: the Ultimate BBQ Bundle (2 New York Strip Steaks, Baby Back Ribs, and 2 Lbs of Ground Beef) + $20 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 112 – Eating for Longevity with Dr. Valter Longo

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I always say, if you cut yourself, within a couple weeks the repair is perfect and you go back to normal.  How is it possible that inside the body we don’t have any of this?  Right?  So, we just developed an outside repair mechanism but intra-, inside of the organism we do nothing about insulin resistance, liver–fatty liver, inflammation… There is no way.  So, the body has these repair mechanisms.  We just need learn how to trigger them, and trigger them in a way that can result in repair and regeneration, and we believe, also rejuvenation.” – Dr. Valter Longo

Dr. Valter Longo is a professor of Gerontology and Biological Sciences, and the Director of the Longevity Institute at the University of Southern California, and the Senior Group Leader of the IFOM Cancer Institute in Milan.  His studies focus on the fundamental mechanisms of aging in simple organisms and mice, and how they can be translated to humans.

After nearly 25 years of research alongside pioneering scientists, Dr. Longo has applied his extensive knowledge on aging, genetics, nutrition and disease to develop The Longevity Diet.  He believes that by following a low-protein pescatarian eating plan combined with periods of a fasting-mimicking diet, one can improve their cellular rejuvenation, increase their resistance to diabetes and other metabolic disorders, and extend their healthy lifespan.

I recently caught up with Dr. Longo to learn more about his Five Pillars of Longevity, and how his research has led him to believe that the key to increasing your “youth-span” lies in making long-term, sustainable changes to your nutrition.

In this episode we discuss:

  • How growing up in Italy influenced Dr. Longo’s interest in researching longevity
  • The increase of diabetes and cardiovascular disease among his own family members when they moved to the United States and shifted away from their traditional pescatarian diet
  • What it was like to work with experts such as Roy Walford and Caleb Finch early in his career, and how that shaped his later research
  • The lessons learned from caloric restriction in the Biosphere 2 project
  • How Dr. Longo looks at his research through the lens of youth-span and “juventology” vs. gerontology
  • The Five Pillars of Longevity
  • The ideal diet Dr. Longo believes we should be following based on these pillars
  • His recommendations on time restricted feeding and occasional inclusion of fasting-mimicking diets
  • Why he recommends a low protein diet for longevity, and how athletes should apply this principal
  • How our nutrient needs change as we age
  • Longo’s take on the ketogenic diet
  • How fasting-mimicking diets work from a biological perspective
  • The differing effects of fasting versus fasting-mimicking diets
  • Three things Dr. Longo 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. Longo

You can follow Dr. Longo on Facebook, Instagram, and his website.

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 Thrive Market. By cutting out the middle man, Thrive Market delivers your favorite healthy food and lifestyle products to your doorstep at 25-50% lower cost than you would spend in the grocery store. Visit http://www.thrivemarket.com/ph to receive an exclusive offer from Thrive Market for being a listener of Pursuing Health: 25% off your first order + a free 30 day trial!

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 receive an exclusive offer for being a listener of Pursuing Health: the Ultimate BBQ Bundle (2 New York Strip Steaks, Baby Back Ribs, and 2 Lbs of Ground Beef) + $20 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 111 – A New Model for Primary Care with Dr. Ken Rictor

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“Well, the one thing was the change in family medicine, and we started seeing family physicians being pushed out of the hospital systems in place of hospitalists.  And you had the decision to make whether you wanted to stay inpatient or you wanted to stay outpatient, and I chose to do outpatient, and that was fine, that was good, I thought I could make my biggest impact that way.   But where we really started seeing the changes was- it was taking more and more effort just to keep your head above water financially.  You had to see more people, you had more paperwork to do associated with that, more coding, more procedure coding, more regulations, more control of the insurance industry that was requiring you to do more and more to do the same job.  And so, I started seeing there’s going to be a critical mass here, there’s going to be a point where I cannot physically see as many people as I need to see and keep my head above water, as it would be.  And then there started to be a breakdown care, where I was not able to spend the time I wanted. I was habitually running an hour to an hour and a half late because I was trying to give that care and the system was not allowing me to do that.” – Dr. Ken Rictor

Dr. Ken Rictor is the founder, owner and sole physician at Scotland Family Medicine, a Pennsylvania-based family medicine practice using the Direct Primary Care (DPC) model.  Dr. Rictor graduated with honors from the University of Maryland Medical School in 1985 and completed his residency at the Washington Hospital in Washington, PA in 1988.

Upon the completion of his residency, Dr. Rictor immediately opened his own private practice and enjoyed helping a broad scope of patients as a family physician.  Over time, he witnessed the healthcare system making dramatic changes and the role family doctors becoming more limited, with many private practices being bought out by larger hospitals.   As insurance contributed to increasing costs, Dr. Rictor fought to keep up with increasing paperwork and overhead, and decreasing time with patients.

After 25 years of practice, he made the choice to convert  to a Direct Primary Care model in an effort to enhance his patients’ experience and reduce overall cost.  Since making the switch, he’s noticed an improved relationship with his patients, and his patients have benefited from high-quality, affordable care.

I sat down with Dr. Rictor after attending the Hint Summit in San Francisco to learn how he made the choice to switch to Direct Primary Care, the benefits he and his patients enjoy from this model of practice, and some of the commonalities he sees between CrossFit and DPC.

In this episode we discuss:

  • What led Dr. Rictor to pursue a career in medicine
  • His early experience with family medicine and the changes he’s seen in primary care and healthcare over his career
  • How he saw other family practitioners changing their practice and shifting towards salaried positions at hospital-owned practices
  • How Dr. Rictor got into Direct Primary Care (DPC)
  • What is Direct Primary Care
  • How DPC works alongside insurance
  • The advantages of DPC for patients and physicians
  • The patient experience and costs of using a DPC model versus an insurance-based model
  • What making the transition to DPC was like for his practice and his patients
  • How Dr. Rictor heard about CrossFit and came to join an affiliate, and the changes he’s experienced since joining
  • His athletic background
  • The commonalities between Direct Primary Care and CrossFit
  • Where Dr. Rictor hopes to see primary care in the next 5-10 years
  • How people can find DPC practitioners
  • Three things Dr. Rictor 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. Rictor

You can follow Dr. Rictor on Facebook and on YouTube at Curbside Consult with Dr. Ken Rictor.

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 Thrive Market. By cutting out the middle man, Thrive Market delivers your favorite healthy food and lifestyle products to your doorstep at 25-50% lower cost than you would spend in the grocery store. Visit http://www.thrivemarket.com/ph to receive an exclusive offer from Thrive Market for being a listener of Pursuing Health: 25% off your first order + a free 30 day trial!

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, dairy-free and paleo-friendly tortillas, tortilla chips, quesos, and hot sauces yourself and use code Julie19 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.