Thursday, July 8, 2010

The Dirty Dozen (and clean 15), Finding Truth, and a SHOWDOWN

It's easy to be confused

SO it's summer, farmer's markets are in full gear, you're training is dialed in, and you've decided it's time to delve into the organic produce.  Bravo!  But...damn, son, that shit is EXPENSIVE!!!  How can one eat "clean" without taking out a second mortgage?  Here's how, via the Environmental Working Group's Dirty Dozen and Clean Fifteen:
If you can't remember these when shopping, think of it like this:  Anything thin skinned, buy organic.  Like apples and strawberries.  Anything thick skinned can be conventional, like avocados.  Personally, as a general rule, I buy spinach, strawberries, bananas, avocados, celery and broccoli organic; the price isn't vastly different, and I eat these items regularly.

For a full list, check the Environmental Working Group's website.

And I'm looking for it!

If you'll note the sidebar to the right under "About Me", I have the cheesy line of "looking for the truth in nutrition and athletics 24/7".  Why?  Because unlike any other science I've come across, it seems like black and white doesn't exist in nutrition.  Lots of variables, lots of opinions, and lots and LOTS of bad science.  But I digress.  I have found some truth, and I'm more than happy to share it.

One of my most highly recommended books is Lights Out: Sleep, Sugar, and Survival by T.S. Wiley; I came across it via Robb Wolf, and was lucky enough to borrow a copy from the well-read co-owner of CFLA, David.  One of the recommendations was to avoid taking melatonin, due to down-regulation of endogenous (your own) secretion.  To me, this was profound, as a TON of folks, including myself, have sleep issues, and a TON of folks take melatonin.  Down regulation of natural secretion?  Bad JuJu, Hombres.

Seeking the Truth:  Being who I am, I flipped to the back endnotes, looking for the study reference (of which there is a plethora in the book) to the melatonin statement, but there was none.  Hmm.
Seeking the Truth, pt2: I was catching up on my Paleolithic Solution Podcasts (episode 33, to be exact) when Robb mentioned this exact issue, and stated he's never come across anything that mentioned down regulation (or not).  Hmm!!!
The Truth
J Pineal Res. 1997 Jan;22(1):42-4.

The amplitude of endogenous melatonin production is not affected by melatonin treatment in humans.

Department of Psychiatry and Neurology, Asahikawa Medical College, Japan.


A physiological dose of melatonin (0.5 mg) or placebo was given at bedtime to night shift workers (n = 21) for seven days, and endogenous melatonin profiles were measured on the eighth day. The amplitude of endogenous melatonin secretion was unchanged by treatment. Also, a melatonin treatment trial using a 50 mg daily bedtime dose for 37 days to a blind subject resulted in no change in the endogenous melatonin profile. We conclude that circulating melatonin can shift the phase, but does not alter the amplitude, of pineal melatonin secretion.
PMID: 9062869 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

Huge props to my man behind the scenes, Adam, who got me the full copy of this study; while the follow up of the subject after cessation of the exogenous melatonin was short, I think the dosing, especially for the blind subject, speaks volumes. 

This weekend marks the First Annual CFLA Showdown!  Cory has put a HUGE amount of work into organizing this event, and it's going to completely kick ass!  We have roughly 38 competitors (at last count) coming from all over Alberta and possibly some from Montana!!!  I want to send a big shout-out to Dawn, owner of Sister's Pub and Grill, for putting together a Paleo-friendly menu for the athletes and spectators this weekend.  Very cool!

While I love my job as a firefighter/paramedic, which enables me to work as a Crossfit trainer during the middle of the week, there's times I curse shiftwork.  Like this weekend.  I have to work dayshift on Saturday, so I'll miss the triple-play WOD day.  Luckily, I'm on nights Sunday, so I'll be there until my captain comes looking for me and drags me to the station at 6PM.

See you there!

Various Training
June 28th, 1PM, CFLA
5 rounds bodyweight benchpress (165#) superset with max pullups. No time limit between rounds.
4/20 for a total of 157. Wish I could have busted out 3 more reps, but I was at pretty much max failure that last set. Fun Wod!

July 1st (CANADA DAY!), approx 1PM, Lethbridge Coulees

Did a wickedly fun run through the coulees with David; we hit singletrack, hills, gravel, some pavement for what I estimate was around 6-7km.

Felt fantastic---until I bashed my foot on a rock hidden in the grass.  Vibrams are pure heaven to run in, but don't offer much in the way of protection.  Thought it was initially busted (5th metatarsal, my pinky toe/joint/bone above) based on the bruising and swelling, but I'm thinking just a major sprain.  Walking sucks, but thankfully, I can still ride, as pressure on my forefoot doesn't aggravate it.  Carry on!

July 2nd, CFLA, 1PM
Snatch Grip Deadlift
305#x3  Previous PR of 275#, but this movement is strictly limited by tolerance to hook grip.  Thumbs?  Bah, they'll grow back.

Weighted Chinups

July 3rd, 10:30PM, Lethbridge Coulees
7KM Coulee nightride.

An obvious part of the 24 Hours of Adrenaline is that, well, it's 24 hours....and that means nightriding.  And let me tell you, nightriding is a blast...but a seriously trippy blast when you are alone.  Ripping through the coulees with just a tight beam of light ahead of you and black all around is a wicked rush.  I gotta admit, I love it!! 

July 6th, 10PM, Lethbridge Coulees
16KM Coulee nightride

Rode with John Power, captain of our team for the 24Hr, and owner of Power Health.  John is a wicked rider, both mountain and road, and blazed some trails that I had never come across in Lethbridge.  Super fun ride, so fun, in fact...

July 7th, 2PM Lethbridge Coulees
16Km ride
...that I repeated it the next day, just to check the terrain in daylight.  Legs gassed, but damn, fun loop!