Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Primary Foods

So I've been off the grid so to speak.  I feel a bit like I've been living under a rock.  

 It's summer, and when you work in a school for a living, the last thing one might want to do is be inside and on the computer. At the same time, I've been working on my second career. I'm studying to become a Nutrition and Health Coach through The Institute for Integrative Nutrition. Through my own path to wellness, I've come to realize that I want to relay all the tips, tricks, and hard work I've put in to me into others because quite frankly the things I've done have radically changed my life.....for the better....forever. However, I've discovered that the path to whole wellness is never ending. In fact, sometimes, it's a struggle. Shocker, huh?!

One of the many great things about the I.I.N. program is the promotion of Primary Foods

You can see the Primary Foods on the outer ring of the IIN Food Pyramid below.

I've thought a lot about my own Primary Foods throughout my training and how they impact my health and fitness.  As an avid Crossfitter, I am most interested in eating to get leaner, perform better athletically, and to be the healthiest me I can be.  Imbalances in my primary foods directly impact the food choices I make.  So being in touch with these four items (spirituality, relationships, career, and physical activity) are key.  For me, I often get overwhelmed with things and have issues prioritizing.  In turn, this impacts my relationships with others and so now I have two primary foods out of whack, my relationships and my career.  As my stress levels increase, I, like everyone else out there, will look to food to compensate:  hence, the never-ending battle.  So that's me. 

If you are interested in learning more about how your primary foods impact you, feel free to drop me a line at...


I am available for individual health consultations which would give you a preview of what it would be like to work with a Nutrition and Health Coach.  The consultation is free of charge and can be done in person, over the phone, Skype, whatever. 

You can see more about what I do as a Nutrition and Health Coach by clicking on the logo below.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Grow it Yourself

This video speaks for itself and no words from me can do it justice other than I think I'd like to try this......

Saturday, June 18, 2011

New Page Added

I started this blog October 16th, 2010 with one purpose in mind:  To have a creative outlet that will keep me motivated to stay on track with my food and fitness.  At that time, I was four months into my Crossfit training and found major success with the Paleo dietary lifestyle.  Today, nine months, 124 blog posts, a few dollars, and a Facebook page later, I find myself thirteen weeks into a one year program to become a Holistic Health and Nutrition Coach through The Institute for Integrative Nutrition.

My mission:  To help individuals young and old make good food choices to accomplish their own health and wellness goals.

With a Health and Nutrition Coach clients will learn about:

increasing energy levels
learning what foods are right for them
understanding how life stressors impact diet
managing food cravings
creating a fitness plan that is sustainable
bridging the gap between food and fitness

If that means losing weight, great.  If that means, eating to gain athletic performance, wonderful.  Or if that means, to just learn how to eat and feel better, perfect!  I've mentioned a few times that I work in a school for a living.  My mission their is to help students grow academically and socially.  That passion extends to my work as a Health and Nutrition Coach as well.  

So I've added a new page to the blog.  Give it a look and drop me a line if you have interest in working with me as a client, if you have interest in the Health Coaching field, or if you just have general questions.  I'll be taking clients starting in August, 2011, and I am available to conduct talks in your office, home, wellness center, or anywhere that you'd like to gather some folks and discuss issues about food and wellness.  I have a variety of topics.  I'm also available to provide free health histories, a chance for you and I to sit down for no more than 50 minutes to discuss your health and wellness.

Don't forget to check cSpinHealthy out on Facebook.  I'd love it if you'd "LIKE IT".

Thursday, June 16, 2011

A Superior Visual

Thanks to my Crossfit buddy Nick for bringing this amazing visual to my attention.  While I've come to incorporate many dietary habits into my life, I have seen great results with the Paleo Diet.  You can see my 30 Day Challenge  and several of my posts related to all things Paleo.  But again, despite where you are with food, this visual is a great commentary about our society and food and needs no further commentary from me.  Thanks Nick!

Paleolithic Diet Explained
Learn more about the Paleo Diet.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

In and Out of the Rut

A few posts ago I mentioned a new movie I discovered titled, Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead.  If you have not had a chance to see it, it's super.  It's a documentary about two guys who transform their lives after being incredibly unhealthy and obese.  A major theme of the movie is Reboot Your Life which has become a trademarked product.  Check it out.  I'm always up for another inspirational movie, quote, book, story, whatever.  It keeps things fresh and helps me avoid ruts.  However, I've found myself in a new rut.

Over a year ago, I was nearly 270 lbs. again.  You can see what I mean in the My Progress page.  I spent the year before that running a few half marathons, achieving my personal record with a 2:07 at the Indianapolis Monumental Half Marathon.  That was two years ago.  Last summer, I was down and out.  I'd run half marathons.  I'd tackled the Men's Health Urbanathlon in Chicago.  I'd been with personal trainers, belonged to every globo gym in a 5 mile radius of my house.  Then I found Crossfit.  It was what I was looking for.  It challenged me in every area of my health and fitness.  It pushed me to my limits and it instantly gave me access to a community of like-minded people.  However, arguably the most important aspect of my "new community of like minded people" was the access to others who were concerned with eating healthy.......permanently........forever.  I figured, if I'm going to push myself this hard, then I'm not going to ruin it with my food choices.  After all, finishing a Crossfit workout provides the same feeling of accomplishment as crossing the finish line at a race.  Only it happens several times per week.

So I have not hit the pavement to really run in a year.  A WHOLE YEAR!  While I sometimes am in shock that I let that much time go by, I justify it by saying, "Look what you've done with your body, your strength, endurance, and dietary habits."

"OK, OK," I say to myself.  "Give yourself a break.  Why do it if you are getting the results you have been looking for your whole life?"  The answer I come back to is...."I want to use my new-found strength and endurance gains and apply it to something."  Sounds fair, right?  But I'm not sure I want a typical road race.  I want a challenge.  Something that will test me beyond just running, running, running.  I think I found the answer.  I've registered for the following........
The Super Spartan Race:  An 8 mile course with crazy, challenging obstacles that will challenge my running, strength and endurance.  While there are races closer to home, this one is two miles from my family on Staten Island, NY and will give me something for which to aim.  It will force me to ramp up my running milage and make me learn to apply my Crossfit training to running/endurance work.  More importantly, it will force me to focus on a part of my diet I've not paid a ton of attention to:  body fat content.  I've spent a lot of time concerned with pounds and portion control, but I think to get to where I'd like to be, I'd prefer to be a bit more lean than I am.  

Out of the rut I come.  Stay tuned....

P.S.  If you haven't had a chance to check out the new cSpinHealthy Facebook page, head over there.  I'd love it if you'd "like it".  

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

And the Winner Is.......

Announcing the winner of the first cSpin Healthy giveaway:

    Ellen will received a 22 oz LifeFactory water bottle of her color choice.  

Stay tuned for more giveaways, and thank you to all for supporting cSpin Healthy. 

Also, since the theme of the giveaway is water, I thought I'd repost a great resource on water I came across from my studies to become a Holistic Health and Nutrition Coach.  The FAQ section is superior along with information on why water is so vital to our well-being.  

Monday, June 6, 2011

Reboot Your Life



My wife and I watched this documentary titled Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead.  If you are in a rut, need to lose weight, are interested in juicing, or you just want to broaden your mind about health, fitness, and nutrition, this is a MUST SEE.  Very educational and entertaining.


Sunday, June 5, 2011

Crossfit Total


Saturday, June 4th brought another competition my way.

For those of you not familiar, The Crossfit Total is a series of three olympic style lifts: 

The Back Squat
The Press
The Deadlift

Here is some information about what the Crossfit Total is and the theory behind it from Mark Rippetoe, founder of Crossfit.

If you don't have time to read the above link, Rippetoe states, "The way to bring more strength to the
CrossFit approach is with the CrossFit Total.  The CrossFit Total is the sum of the best of three attempts at the squat, the press, and the deadlift, the three most effective lifts in existence for developing and testing functional strength."

For those of you not familiar with me....I am the LAST guy who has cared much about lifting weights in my life.  While in love with Crossfit, I've never been terribly fond about lifting.  Growing up a soccer player, it just bored me.  That was for "those guys, the meatheads."  

So that begs the question....Craig.....Why enter an olympic lifting competition, then??!?!!!

--Because it was there
--Because it was a challenge
--Because I wanted to see where I am strength-wise
--Because when some pressure and competition come into play, you never know what you can accomplish
--Because of the camaraderie
--Being vulnerable makes me better

What I Learned
--Lifting can me fun, energizing, invigorating.....and not for "meatheads" only.
--The mind is a powerful thing.
--I'm stronger than I thought I was.
--There are a lot of smaller, MUCH smaller guys and ladies MUCH stronger than me. (I knew this, but it was amazing to see!)

And the number one thing I learned.......I have a new appreciation for strength training.  Allow me to elaborate:  A common workout schedule at Crossfit is to spend a few minutes getting stretched out often followed by about 15-20 minutes of strength work before jumping into the actual Workout of the Day, or the WOD.  Over the past several months I found myself looking ahead to the WOD, not caring as much about the lifting, and trying to "save my energy" for the WOD.  At 6'2" and around 240 lbs., I SHOULD be able to lift considerable weight.  While I'm not looking to be a bodybuilder or be a competitive lifter, I am someone who is always looking to get better, to learn, to succeed....especially with things I enjoy and that are good for me. (i.e. my health and wellness!)  So when ladies and gentlemen HALF MY SIZE are lifting 50% MORE THAN ME, it becomes inspiring and motivating at the same time.  Yesterday brought a whole new appreciation for strength training, functional strength training.  

So what were my results?  See below with some explanation and information: 

Back Squat:  300 lbs.  I USED TO HATE SQUATTING!!!  It hurt and it was uncomfortable having all that weight on my back.  Quite honestly, I felt like a wimp as I just could not get used to doing it right in order to PREVENT injury.  Too many people refuse to squat stating it hurts their knees.  However, I'm now a firm believer that IF YOU LEARN PROPER FORM, CHECK YOUR EGO AND USE THE PROPER WEIGHT, THEN YOU SHOULD NOT HAVE PAIN.  I am proof of that!

Press:  145 lbs.  FORM.  FORM.  FORM.  My previous PR for this was 165 lbs.  On my first attempt I failed and was promptly instructed to change my grip.  On my second attempt, I nailed it.  I went for a new PR at 166 lbs. and just could not do it.  I was intimidated, anxious, and not confident.  The mind is a powerful thing!

Deadlift:  375 lbs.  My previous PR was 325, so I was thrilled here, and I think I could have gone heavier, however I would have really compromised form and risked injury.  I think I like the deadlift and I'm not sure why.  It is such a functional movement!

My Crossfit Total:  820
*this is the total number of lbs. from all three lifts.

What does that mean?  Well, it depends who you ask.  If someone asks me, it means the following:
--First, I'm proud of my total.  I never really thought I could break 800.
--I'm proud of 820 as the experienced men strive to break 1,000.
--I now know what my max weights are for these three standard lifts, and they are legit.
--I now have a sound starting point when I go into the gym to lift 60-80% of my max.
--I feel like I have something new for which to strive, and I can focus on good form and getting stronger which in turn leads to being more fit, more healthy.
--I want to break a Crossfit Total of 900 in the next year.  This gives me a goal to reach.  At 39, I'd be thrilled with that.  Remember, I've NEVER, EVER strength trained before.
--This score made me think about how my dietary habits can help aid my strength.  Whew...a whole 'nother topic!

I think this sums this whole thing up for me..........

Saturday, June 4, 2011

First Giveaway

I've been a bit "off the grid" lately.  It's the end of the school year (I work in a middle school.).  Summer is here.  I've been consumed with family and study for my certification as a Holistic Health Coach.  If you read a few posts ago about my new water bottle, I talked about an upcoming, first giveaway.  Well, here it goes.....

I'm giving away a new product I've discovered.....the new Lifefactory water bottle.  

It's all glass.  No leeching issues.  It has a silicone sleeve wrapped around it, so there is no leaking.

Why am I doing this?  Simple.  Because it's something I like and I think it would be fun to pay it forward.

What you Win:  One 22 oz. LifeFactory glass water bottle.

How Do you Win It:  Do one or more of the following:

1.  Post a comment to this blog on what you do to stay healthy.  What do you do for exercise?  What is your diet like?  Or, what do you wish you could do better with your health?

2.  Blog about this post on your blog, and send me the link to cspinhealthy@gmail.com or post link to comments here.

3.  Post this blog entry to your Facebook page and send the link to it at cspinhealthy@gmail.com or in the comment section here.

4.  Tweet about this blog entry on Twitter and send me a link at cspinhealthy@gmail.com or post to comments here.

If you do all four, that is four entry chances to win.  

I'll announce the winner Wednesday evening!  I look forward to hearing from you.


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