How is your diet?
This will be the first blog post I write about nutrition. What you put into your mouth everyday affects your whole life in such a profound way, and I don’t think it gets enough attention. In my opinion health starts with nutrition. Exercise is great and very important, but if you exercise like a maniac but don’t pay attention to what you eat, I think you are just spinning your wheels. Before I go any further let me just say that I am not judging anybody, I want to help you improve your diet and overall health. Maybe this is a wake up call to look at your diet, but don’t take it the wrong way, I’m not criticizing anybody for anything. I want to see you take your health to the next level!
What you put in your mouth affects everything inside and outside of your body. What you eat affects your hormones, organ function, energy levels, mood, and body composition. This isn’t limited to just food either; it includes things like soda (yes even diet), juices, and most other beverages. So let’s talk about the things that you should include in your diet, and the things that are best to avoid.
As a general rule you want to try to eliminate most thing that come in a package, especially ones that have lots of ingredients. When I’m looking at a plate of food I am about to eat no matter what time of day I shoot to fill most of the plate with vegetables, and a small amount of protein (meat, fish, chicken, turkey, eggs). If I need a snack between meals I have more vegetables, or some fruit. Nuts and seeds also make a great snack. This type of eating strategy will ensure that you are getting lots of nutrients, and also you won’t be ingesting all the chemicals and overall CRAP found in most packaged “food”.
There are so many great tasting and nutritious foods found in the produce section, that I am confident you can find many that you like. The great thing about most vegetables is you can eat them raw or cook them in any number of ways. I have three basic ways that I prepare vegetables: steaming, roasting in the oven, or throwing them right on the grill. I have yet to find a vegetable that I don’t like prepared in any of these ways.
Speaking of the grocery store, I will give you one tip that will help you immensely in your shopping success. I’m sure you’ve heard it before, but it needs repeating because it really is the truth. Stick to the outside of the store when you shop, and avoid the middle aisles like the plague. That’s where most of the things we want to eliminate are located. Of course there are some staple items that you may need, but generally I don’t venture too often into the middle aisles. So just for an example here is my basic shopping trip. I start in the produce section and load up on my fruits and vegetables. Then I go to the meat section and get whatever protein sources I need. From there I pick up my eggs, and hopefully that’s all I need. Occasionally I may need to get things like olive oil, sardines, nuts and seeds, mustard, salt and pepper, but that’s basically it.
So how do you start to eat more real food, and less fake, processed, frankenfood? It’s actually easier than you think. Just like anything else start slowly, with baby steps. Try to switch one food a week. Instead of grabbing a bag of chips, get 5 or 6 apples. Instead of getting that package of cookies pick up a big bag of carrots. Just make some slow changes and build up momentum over time. I can guarantee you after a short amount of time you will begin to feel better, have more energy throughout the day, and be in all around better spirits.
I mentioned beverages at the beginning of this article. There are three things that I drink almost exclusively plain filtered water, black coffee, and tea. Things like soda, juice, and other sugary beverages are just as harmful to you as cookies, chips, and fast food. Don’t fall into the trap of forgetting about what you drink. Just because it has “zero” calories, does not mean it’s good for you.
Obviously there is a lot more information I could go into on this topic. I have developed a Lifestyle Shift Program that takes you step by step through this transition from fake processed garbage to eating a whole, real food based diet. If you would be interested in trying this program out, let me know and I will send you the introduction that gives you all the information you need about the program. Also if you have any questions or want more information about anything diet or fitness related, don’t hesitate to reach out to me!
So, just to wrap it up and give you a final takeaway cut out the CRAP and eat real food!
Don’t forget, the F.I.T. Force challenge will be held at Diamond Hill State Park in Cumberland, RI on October 11, it’s going to be a challenging and awesome event, don’t miss out!
Facebook- William Ferullo
Run the Hills!
Mon, 28th July, 2014
Run the Hills!
This is the first training specific post on the F.I.T. Challenge Blog, and one that may cause you some discomfort. Actually it should cause you some discomfort, if it doesn’t you aren’t doing it right!
The F.I.T. Force Challenge is going to be run at Diamond Hill State Park in Cumberland, Rhode Island on October 11. Guess what, there are hills at this park. It was once a ski area, and there are some pretty steep hills. If you want to train for this race specifically, and most OCRs for that matter, you need to start incorporating some hill work into your training. The benefits of hill work are numerous, not only will it prepare you for the terrain you will see on race day, it will also boost your fitness faster than just running on flat ground, and will increase the strength of your legs. My hill training days are by far the hardest workouts I do.
First things first you need to find a suitable hill, or even better hills to train on. Ideally you should look for an area that has multiple grades and distances of hills. First a short steep hill, something that would take you less than 30 seconds or so to run up, the steeper the better on that one. Second would be a much longer and less steep hill, something that would take you 2 or more minutes to climb. It would be perfect if you had an area that had both of these types of hills together, but if not it’s ok, just try your best to locate something close to the above descriptions.
If you truly can’t find any hills in your area, you can always use the treadmill to do your hill work. I know some people swear by using the elevation settings on the treadmill, I personally am not a big fan of treadmill running in general, but if that’s what you have to do, that’s fine too.
So now that you have found your hills to train on, I will give you some examples of some great workouts to start doing. I would encourage you to do some hill training at least once a week. I will provide you with two sample workouts, which you will rotate week to week.
Workout number one are short hill sprints. This is an all out effort to get to the top of that short steep hill you found. First start with 10 seconds of all out sprinting up that hill. Jog back to the bottom and give yourself about a minute or two of recovery time. Repeat that 10 times. As you get used to doing these hill sprints gradually build up your actual working time, while keeping your rest time the same. For example week one you do 10 seconds of work and 1 minute of rest. The next week do 15 seconds of work and one minute of rest. Slowly increase your working time to about 30 seconds of all out effort.
Workout number two is to be done on the longer less steep hill. This workout is all about just putting time in on the incline. Going at a fairly moderate pace, just get up that hill. Consistency is key here, set a pace you can maintain throughout the whole climb. Keep your legs churning and get up that hill! Jog to the bottom and repeat. Work yourself up to about 30 minutes of total time.
Rotate these two workouts every other week, so one week you do short hill sprints, the next week you do the long slow climbs. Keep trying to build your working time and reduce your recovery time.
Another great way to build up your fitness and really fatigue your muscles is to incorporate some bodyweight exercises during your workouts. For example do 10 push-ups at the bottom of the hill and 5 burpees when you reach the top. Another one would be 10 lunges (each leg) at the bottom and 10 squats at the top. Throwing these type of exercise in will greatly increase the benefits of your workouts.
The last thing I would recommend when you get fairly comfortable doing these workouts is to start carrying some weight with you. A weight vest or a sandbag would be perfect here. Obviously weight will slow your speed down, but will dramatically increase the difficulty. Go slow here, don’t try to do too much too soon.
One last note of caution, these are pretty difficult workouts. You have to know where you are at physically before you try these out. It is important to push yourself to get better, but don’t push yourself to the point of injury. Take it slow at first with these workouts. Listen to your body. If you feel like you can do more the next time great, but don’t bite off more than you can chew right out of the gates.
If you would like a more personalized training plan or workouts, or want some nutrition advice please don’t hesitate to reach out to me at:
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Change Your Frame of Reference
Mon, 14th July, 2014
Change Your Frame of Reference
Change your frame of reference. This is a phrase I first heard from Spartan Race founder Joe De Sena. This is something he has used to complete numerous insane endurance races and challenges, and I’m sure he applies it to his everyday life as well. If you want to hear him talk about it check out his book, Spartan Up. If you want to hear what I have to say about it, read on.
Change your frame of reference. It’s something that has made a big difference in my life. Applying this one saying has improved countless tough situations, and made even bad situations, or at least uncomfortable ones, somewhat comfortable. It really hit home for me this past week while on a camping trip. I was in the deep woods of Maine camping. We had excellent weather for 3 days, and then a lot of rain for 2 days. At first I was totally bummed out about the rain, I was “stuck” under the tent all day, and it was pretty boring. I was “afraid” to get wet. Well after sitting under the tent for a few hours, guess what I did?
I changed my frame of reference. I decided to embrace the rain. I put on a sweatshirt and took off into the woods with a new attitude. Instead of looking at the rain as a foe, I looked at it as a friend. I decided that the rain wasn't so bad; I just accepted it for what it was. I will not melt if I get wet, I will be fine. So I went for a hike in the woods, and it was AWESOME! The forest really looks more alive when it’s wet. The greens are greener, and everything just seems more vivid. It was a great experience, and really opened my eyes to what is possible if you can…change your frame of reference
I want to relate one more camping trip story to this topic. Bugs. Flies, mosquitoes, etc. it is part of being in the woods; you have to deal with bugs. Well let me relate two examples and you tell me who had the better approach. My girlfriend does not like bugs, so basically the whole trip she was spraying herself with bug spray (nasty chemicals that are doing who knows what to your body), swatting, and cursing at the bugs. It looked and sounded pretty miserable to me. I took the approach that I would change my frame of reference and just accept the bugs for what they are. Yes, they are pesky and annoying, but if I just let them be and didn't get worked up, or bothered by them, they were really a non-factor for me. I didn't use bug spray once, and I didn't get all that bothered with the bugs. I changed my frame of reference towards the bugs, instead of looking at them as the enemy, I just accepted them for what they are and moved on. Simple as that.
So how can you change your frame of reference? It’s easy if you put your mind to it. Instead of looking at something as a chore, or as a negative, turn it on it’s head and make it a positive, or at least something that is acceptable. The next time you are doing a workout and thinking to yourself how miserable you are, or how much it sucks, change your frame of reference. Realize how lucky and blessed you are to be able to workout, that you are healthy and able bodied to do it. Look around you and embrace your surroundings. Maybe you are out on a trail run; enjoy the heck out of the scenery. Breathe it all in. Embrace the suck. Will this make your workouts easy? No, but it will put them in perspective and hopefully make them more enjoyable.
You can apply this to any aspect of your life. Take your diet for example. We can all stand to eat more vegetables. If your attitude is “I hate vegetables, they are nasty”, well guess what, you probably aren't going to be thrilled about eating them. If you change your frame of reference and learn to embrace vegetables, and say to yourself, “these aren't so bad”, that can be all the difference you need to start eating healthy. Just that small shift can have a dramatic change in your whole outlook and attitude towards the things you don’t necessarily like, or the uncomfortable things in your life.
Another example could be a big project at work, or a chore at home. Instead of building up in your mind how tough it’s going to be, or how much it’s going to suck, just dive right in, and think to yourself, “this won’t be so bad, I can knock this out”. I know personally the more I build something up in my head about how bad it’s going to be, or how much I’m dreading it, the worse it is. When I just accept it and realize that it’s not so bad, I am truly a lot better off, and you will be too.
I encourage you to give this an honest effort. Even if you aren't sold yet, just try it out for yourself. I’m a big believer in the power of your mind, and the effect your attitude has on your whole life. So what if you don’t even believe what you are telling yourself. Fake it until you make it. I challenge you to give this an honest effort and let me know how it works out for you.
Don’t forget the F.I.T. Force Challenge is October 11 at Diamond Hill State Park in Cumberland, RI.
If you are looking for training advice or nutrition coaching for this event or you just want to improve your health contact me:
Facebook- William Ferullo
Sat, 28th June, 2014
Welcome to the F.I.T. Challenge Blog. There is a new race day set, the venue is locked up, now all you have to do is get out there and work your butt off to be ready!!
Following this blog will provide you with all the training information, nutrition advice, and motivation you need to be ready on race day. Whether this is your first OCR, or you are a seasoned veteran you will find something useful in every post.
The F.I.T. Challenge is all about pushing yourself beyond your comfort zone, and reaching new heights you never thought possible in your “past” life. We hope that after you complete the event you will be a changed person. You will not be afraid to take on new challenges in your life, whether that be another physical event, or something in your daily life, like going for a promotion at work, or dealing with a difficult situation at home. You will not be afraid or daunted by anything that comes up in your life. You know you can overcome anything you set your mind to.
The first topic I want to tackle is the idea of starting. Starting is sometimes the hardest part of the journey. Maybe you are considering your first OCR, or you have gotten out of shape and want to get back in shape. My advice to you is to take one baby step in the direction you want to head. Take the smallest step you can possibly take, but take that first step! If you want to get back in shape, do 1 push-up right now. Just 1. If you can’t do a push-up, I want you to lie down on the floor and get back up. That’s it; you have completed your work for the day. Tomorrow I want you to do 2 push-ups. That’s it. Another idea is go for a walk. We all know walking is good for us. So go for a five-minute walk. Just five minutes. Then tomorrow walk a little bit farther. Just a little bit.
Slowly over time increase your efforts, the distance you walk, or just the time you spend doing what you are doing. Don’t try to do too much too fast. If you feel like you can do more, don’t, save it for tomorrow.
The key is to just move that needle a little bit in the direction you want to head. Move that needle everyday. Even if you don’t notice that it moved, as long as you do something to head in the direction you want to, it did. Your efforts will slowly compound themselves over time. It’s that small effort done consistently over time that will get you the lasting results you want.
Remember the fable of the tortoise and the hare? Remember who won the race? The tortoise won, of course. His effort was slow and steady. The hare was inconsistent. Sure he could go real fast for spurts, but he couldn't maintain his speed. Be the tortoise. Steady effort done consistently everyday will win the race. Again, this can be applied to anything you want in life.
The takeaway I want you to leave with is this; stop thinking about what you want, and start heading for it. Just start. Start today. Make one small step forward today. Don’t wait for tomorrow. Don’t wait for Monday to roll around. Do it today!! Do something, anything, right now!!
Let me know what you think about this. Do you need more help or guidance just getting started? In the past what were you hesitant to start at first, but once you did, you succeeded? Are there some other topics you’d like to see covered or suggestions you have for the blog? Thanks for reading.