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Nutrition

We love the concept of freedom. We live in the land of the free and work hard to help our clients experience freedom from so many of the issues that weigh them down. So, 100%, we’re all about freedom here. But here’s an important, often-missed thing we know about freedom: without accountability, freedom is just a dehydrated, sweaty hippo.

As I’ve stumbled my way through life, falling flat on my face into new phases and winging it when upright, my only hope is to retain some of the information I’ve learned along the way. Maybe to better empathize with others who themselves stumble into my life or to one day share wisdom with my kids, helping them navigate the many responsibilities life serves to us on a rusty spoon we found in the mud after slipping on that ice that our parents missed on the sidewalk out front of our two-story, four-bedroom suburban home.

There was high school (bear with me here), everyone going through a lot of life changes and dealing with four to five different cliques to survive our harsh classmates. After four rough years trying to “find” ourselves, we get shoved out the door of our parents’ house with a few suitcases, $100 for books, a kiss on the cheek, and a fingers crossed to figure out college. If that’s the path you choose.

College throws a lot of things at you: freedom you never knew you had, an alarm clock that goes off too soon regardless of the time of day, laundry that doesn’t fold itself, assignments that neither complete themselves nor end. And somehow, after four years of partying, spending money you never had, you receive a prestigious piece of paper from an institution with hundreds of years of history. You’re an alum now, and if you’re lucky you get some help finding a job that will fill your pockets with money and pave your own cobblestone path through this big new world.

All that struggle. The education. The learning. The piece of paper. The freedom. The solving life. And nobody mentioned nutrition? Not once. What the hell!?

“Progressing through life always throws a different soup of duties at us that we must not neglect, to survive this unforgiving world. So where does nutrition fit into life’s puzzle, how does it fit in with all the responsibilities we all already have, and why are we talking about responsible nutrition?”

With the laundry list of immediate, consequential issues that consume most of our lives, square nutrition tends to get tossed aside early, never to be seen or heard from again. But there are a few who turn around, pick that square nutrition piece back up, and try to shove it into a circular hole. Maybe they manage to make it stick for a few weeks…easy peasy! Its new, it’s exciting, and best of all, it’s only temporary! But then you actually start to look better, you’re sleeping through the night, you have more energy, you’re starting to get the hang of this cooking thing. So magical. So much freedom!

Then you go out with friends one night, have a nice greasy burger and fries and a few drinks (it’s America! Live a little!), and you wake up the next morning feeling like a dehydrated, sweaty hippo. If you’re lucky enough to retain some rational thought in the moment, a light bulb goes off: nutrition isn’t a piece of a balanced life; nutrition is the piece that allows the rest of life to be fundamentally enjoyable.

So how do we reframe our life around nutrition, which isn’t our default and doesn’t always seem clear cut? This is the difficult part. We have to value future us, start saying yes now to things our body will thank us for later (5 minutes or 5 years). We have to share our new knowledge with people close to us, with those who can support our new lifestyle, with anyone one who cares to know about this puzzle piece we finally fit into our crazy lives. It sounds dramatic, but it’s really quite simple at its core: find others with similar values, others you can learn from, and stay true to yourself and what YOU believe.

3 KEYS:
  1. Build a team of like-minded individuals and someone you trust to guide you (like a coach!)

  2. Build a strong belief in your new values

  3. Constantly strive to seek advice from a trustworthy source (like a coach!) 


Noticing any trends here? Let’s just go ahead and say the word: accountability. Accountability is the mechanism that enables us to enjoy newfound freedoms.

Accountability as it relates to nutrition is, at its core, restructuring your life, ensuring the self-promotion of newly structured habits. Before you know it, these new habits will become routines. These routines will actually become more difficult to break than to sustain.
Let us help you create a lifestyle that is simple to implement and effortless to sustain. Catapulting you to a limitless lifestyle!

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Nutrition


At CAN we desire to motivate, we operate on a commitment to excellence, and we are determined to help you reach your individual goals.

While our main focus is nutrition, we use nutrition as a vehicle to help you, the vessel that you are, GROW. We want you to feed your strengths and combat your weaknesses, resulting in a new and improved you that flourishes in any and all environments.


How does nutrition tie into flourishing? We’re so happy you asked! Nutrition seems to be one of the biggest struggles for most of us, when it should be one of the most straightforward facets of our lives. Why? Not because we’re undereducated or because we’re too lazy to cook or grocery shop. The real reason is because of what we’re taught over and over again by commercials, school teachers, and (unfortunately) our largest, even government-level institutions. With all these avenues feeding us primarily incorrect information about nutrition, we lose sight of what’s true and false, what’s best for US and how to sift through the mounds of information. Eventually, we end up living in uncertainty and with a lack of self-understanding.

Nutrition to the Rescue!

We believe in this:

“Educate yourself. When a question about a certain topic pops up, [research] it. . . . When something sparks your interest, read about it. Read, read, read. Study, learn, stimulate your brain. Don’t simply rely on the system, educate that beautiful mind of yours!”

If we’re educating ourselves, gaining knowledge, strengthening our beliefs, and seeing physical results along the way, don’t you think this will help us build some sense of confidence and self-worth? We vote YES!

Our mission is not to tell you that one diet vs another is better. We’re not here to tell you to exercise this way, eat at this time, drink this instead of that (unless it’s water). Our mission is to value you as an individual, to learn as much as we can about YOU. Who you are, what makes you tick, and with this information, work alongside you as your own personal guide. Allowing you to make all the decisions for yourself, but helping you navigate through the muddy waters, so you come out the other side the best possible version of YOU!

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Nutrition

How many calories should you really be eating…

As you aimlessly wander through the local grocery store, perusing the shelves for those 100 calorie snacks, zero calorie beverages, or “light” options, have you ever thought to yourself, “How does the same food have a lot more calories than its close-but-ever-so-distant low-calorie relative?”

Here are a few questions worth addressing to help you make a more informed decision as you seek to answer the question above for yourself.

Do more calories = weight gain/fat?

Well, that’s a loaded question? Let’s see if we can take it one small bite at a time. We go for low calorie foods in the grocery store because we’re often led to believe that fewer calories means less fat, fewer carbohydrates, less sugar, less cholesterol, etc. #alltheless! Fewer calories doesn’t always mean less, and to keep it simple, we have to dive into the fine print.

To give you an example, we’re going to compare* two meals. One is a boxed meal: Roasted Turkey and Veggies (green beans, cranberries, slivered almonds), the other is what we’ve created from whole foods: 3 ounces of roasted turkey, 1 cup of green beans, 12 grams of dried cranberries, 11 almonds.

*In our example, we will do our best to maintain parallel portion sizes and nutrition for a like comparison.

Here’s what we found when using only the ingredients and portion sizes listed above.



Looks fairly harmless when we look at the calories: only 190 for the boxed meal, nice small portion.

Now let’s take a look at this meal if you make it from foods you bought in the grocery store (talking to your butcher at the meat counter, grabbing some fresh green beans from the produce section, then finishing up walking down the aisle to grab some dried cranberries and raw almonds, “a quick and purposeful trip”).

As you can see, there’s quite a difference when you’re focusing on only calories. Now back to our statement earlier: “less is more.” Less calorie content, may mean more fat on our bodies. Why?

Plain and simple when you compare a boxed meal to a whole, minimally processed, nutrient-rich meal, the numbers add up differently. So how does a boxed meal have way fewer calories than a whole food, minimally processed, nutrient-rich meal, but we advocate for the other meal, the exact opposite of what we’ve been led to believe?

The devil is in the details. As you study the ingredient list, you find a lot of words that are difficult to pronounce or may not even be food at all. Most companies throw in a little extra pizazz to their foods to make them look healthier at a quick glance, but when we eat the food, our bodies recognize (and respond to) this food differently than the package reads. Which leads into the next important point.

 

Why we cannot get enough low calorie foods.

The pizazz we discussed just a second ago; remember the stuff that is most likely getting tossed into our boxed meal is another piece to this puzzle. So far we know that our low calorie boxed meal has had some sort of alteration to deprive the foods contained within it of nutrients/calories. We also know that whole, minimally processed, nutrient rich foods look a little different when we put our calorie glasses on. So why could these lower calorie foods be harming us more than helping us? Pretty simple: our boxed meal is most likely deprived of nutrients and/or has some other stuff added to it to bring those calories down to look good on the box. Unfortunately, when we eat it, our body does not recognize it as food. Our body will do one of two things with our boxed meal we just ate: it will not recognize the boxed meal and will tell us to eat more to satiate us, or it will view it as a foreign substance in our body and start to process it as such. However, if we overload our body with foreign substances, we start to store them until they can be processed and excreted. Regardless of what our body does with them, both scenarios seem like a good recipe for putting on a few extra pounds.



1 calorie, 2 calorie, 3 calorie, 4. 5 calorie, 6 calorie, 7 calorie floor! Wow, that was difficult…

The question of the hour: does counting calories really matter? In some very particular situations under an educated and watchful eye, yes it does. But for our everyday needs, it really isn’t something to lose sleep over. As we saw above, the whole, minimally processed, nutrient rich food was much higher in calories, but the kicker with that meal was, despite higher calories, our body will recognize this meal as actual food, nutrients.


The food we eat is used in our body as fuel and energy for the long list of functions that we need to keep us alive. Notice I did not say the energy to pick our kids up in our arms, throw a ball to our dog, walk up the steps to go to bed, etc. I am talking about the things we don’t think about, our body just does them for us: breathing, heart beating, blinking, etc. Our daily activities cost us extra calories.

In Conclusion…

Since most of us shouldn’t be concerned with the calories that a particular meal contains, what should we be focusing on? It is a fairly simple answer: focus on eating balanced meals containing whole, minimally processed, nutrient-rich foods, while also eating slowly and undistracted. Allow your body to tell you when you’re full and you have enough nutrients to continue with your daily activities.

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Coaches
The owner and creator of CAN, Christmas Abbott has worn numerous hats as a National Best Selling Author, CrossFit Games and National Weightlifting Competitor, Business Owner, and Transformation Guru. Christmas has developed a fool-proof method for dialing in nutrition and lifestyle factors to help you become the best version of YOU.


CREDENTIALS: 

CrossFit HQ Trainer 

CrossFit Level 1 

USAW Olympic Lifting Sport Coach

ACE Personal Training Certification

CrossFit Goals Trainer Course

National Best Selling Author The Badass Body Diet

National Best Selling Author The Badass Life

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Coaches
Jimmy has a knack for assessing client physical and nutritional needs. With extensive knowledge and an incredibly motivating persona, Jimmy embodies everything a great Client Support Coach should be.


CREDENTIALS:

Precision Nutrition Level 1 

BS Environmental Health & Safety – Indiana University of Pennsylvania 

Collegiate Athlete – Indiana University of Pennsylvania 

American Red Cross First Aid, CPR, AED

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Coaches
Jen is a well-rounded coach with many certifications around fitness and nutrition. Her credentials do not stop there… she is positive, highly motivated and is great at communicating with a wide range of individuals. Her empathetic personality has not only helped her succeed as a CrossFit coach but has allowed her to flourish in many professional and personal aspects of her life, one of which is the backbone for the operations of the various moving parts within Christmas Abbott Agency.


CREDENTIALS:

Precision Nutrition Level 1

BS Sport Management – North Carolina State University

CrossFit Level 1

CrossFit Gymnastics Certification

NASM Personal Trainer Certification

American Red Cross First Aid, CPR, AED

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