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In the cornucopia of foods which make up a healthy and balanced diet, tree nuts can be a new perfect answer for your snacking needs. Complete with protein, fats, and carbs offset by dietary fiber, you can’t ask for a more portable and easy to store snack. Almonds are even full of potassium, magnesium, and calcium.

How can something so right go so wrong?

The way most things in life can: quantity and ignorance. Maybe someone else prepared your food, maybe some nice almond flour pancakes for breakfast or you’re mindlessly nibbling on a nut bowl at a restaurant or party. You don’t think about how much you’re eating.

A serving of almonds is a ¼ cup.

What does that mean? You just take a bunch of almonds and put them in a measuring cup that says one and four, right? Well, you can. That’ll look like this:


How much does that weigh? 42 grams.


But the package says the serving should only weigh 30 grams! If you eat that ¼ cup, you’re eating an extra 108 calories you weren’t even thinking of!

This is why, if you’re portioning your food, you’ll do better to actually use a scale and weigh your measurements instead. As it turns out, there are only about 23-25 individual almonds in that 30g serving.


Which brings me to almonds as a grain substitution in baking. Many almond flour pancake recipes call for two or more cups of almond flour. That’s at least half a pound of almonds! If you split a batch of those pancakes with someone, you could be eating 100 almonds or more than three servings! That’s about 650 calories for just the almonds in the pancakes. A McDonald’s Quarter Pounder with Cheese on a bun has a couple more grams of protein, half the fat, 120 fewer calories, but more than twice the carbs. I’m not suggesting you eat the fast food burger, though. I’m suggesting you be aware of not only what you’re eating, but how much!  





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It’s time to hit the gym. Training bag in hand, water bottle filled to stay hydrated, shoes laced and ready to go. But how is your attitude today? Are you coachable?

The dictionary defines coachable as – capable of being taught or trained to do something better. Our job as coaches is to communicate with you on how to make a movement more successful, keep you safe, and challenge you more. You, as the athlete, walking in with a preconceived notion of the workout – whether you’re going to kill it, or suffer the whole time – limits the coach on how they can guide you through a rewarding workout.

Some movements are more easily taught, while others take some time and repetition. A willingness to open up and learn about how you came make yourself better as an athlete is crucial to growth. Checking your bad day at the door is just as important as checking your ego. A poor attitude is impossible to coach, and builds a wall that prevents any progress.

Here are some tips on how to refocus your energy and enter a more coachable state:

  1. Stop what you’re doing and meditate.

Take a couple minutes out of your day before you begin getting ready for the gym. Clear your mind of your endless “to-do” list and enter a state of presence. If you check the workout of the day, plan how you’ll warm up. Ask yourself what your sticking points are and how you can work on them today.

  1. A correction is not failure.

Your coach gives you a cue on your exercise, and you’re instantly frustrated because you don’t understand it, or you just started to feel like you were getting it right. Coaching is an open conversation – ask your coach questions if you don’t quite get what you’re doing wrong. We can cue you a million different ways and each is different for every person. A correction can be given to improve or fine tune your movement pattern.

  1. Remember why you started.

Fall back to your why. Why did you start working out and what did you enjoy about it? We can get so caught up in comparing ourselves to others or having a bad day. But this is the hour of your day to get better at whatever is served up in the WoD – so how will you make the most of it?

Next time you’re getting ready for your gym session, ask yourself if you are ready to receive feedback and take a step forward today. If not, how can you refocus?

Nothing is worse than a summer flu. Everyone else is out enjoying the sun and warm weather. You’re trapped in your house. Your joints hurt and seem swollen. You don’t have an appetite? And the headache? Oh good grief, the headache. It hurts to breathe. You’ve got both a fever and chills. And it lingers. Maybe it’s just that bug that went around at the office?

Maybe it’s Lyme disease? Nah, you don’t have a bulls-eye rash.

We’re often told about the bulls-eye rash being THE symptom of Lyme disease but actual bulls-eye rashes only present in about half the known cases. Usually, a rash will occur near the bite and expand outwards. It becomes a “bulls-eye” only if it starts to heal. The rash may or may not heal in that pattern or at all by the time you’ve found it. Another symptom of a Lyme infection is facial paralysis, like Bell’s Palsy.

Can’t be Lyme, you haven’t been outside in weeks!
Symptoms of Lyme may present days or weeks after the infected tick has bitten you.

So what do you do? If you suspect you may have Lymes or at least want to rule it out, you can head to your doctor or for non-emergency services appointment. Tell them your symptoms and if you had a rash, make sure you tell them of the rash. They’ll do a blood draw. They’ll also likely start you on antibiotics right away while they wait for your test results.

New England is a hotbed of Lyme-related infections. Vermont, Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, and even Rhode Island, Connecticut and as far south as Pennsylvania are leading the reports, which are tracked by the CDC.

The best defense is a good offense. Ticks don’t jump like fleas. They either drop down onto their targets or climb on via contact. You can reduce the chance of contact by staying in the middle of walking paths, avoiding walking through bushes or other vegetation. Ticks will climb your clothing until they find skin. You can tape or tuck clothing to reduce skin access.

One you’ve finished your day out, throw your clothes into a dryer on high heat setting for about ten minutes. This will kill any ticks on your clothing. While showering, look for any unusual spots that may look like bits of dirt, freckles or moles. If you feel any little bumps, make sure you check those too: especially good hiding places for ticks on the body are the armpits, hairline, groin, and behind the ears and the navel.

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When you first walk into CrossFit MASS, you might think someone is going to hand you a two hundred pound barbell and tell you to ‘get after it!’, but that couldn’t be farther from the truth.

The first thing we have everyone do is sit with a coach for a few minutes and chat.

We want to know where you’re coming from, what your past workout history is like and if you have anything going on that needs to be taken into account before we begin down the path towards your goals.

Next, (this might even be another day) we start moving. Working one on one with a coach you’ll begin by learning the basic body weight exercises that comprise our workouts. Movements like the squat, push-up and sit-up. These may seem simple on the surface, but doing them correctly, in the beginning, will help you avoid injury and lay the foundation for long-term success.

Not only will your coach show you how to perform theses safely and efficiently, but they’ll take the time to explain the benefits of each movement, and why each needs to be executed in a particular manner.

About 40 minutes in you’ll have covered five core movement patterns. Your coach will then take three of these exercises and combine them into a ten-minute, self-paced workout that will not only challenge you but reinforce the new movement patterns you and your coach have just created.

After you’ve completed the workout, it’s time for a cool down.
Every class at CrossFit MASS finishes with some stretching and mobility, and your first session no exception.

For most people, this format will repeat for another five meetings, which will include integration into the main class or more personal training if they wish to continue working one on one with a coach.

Have questions? Email me at joe@crossfitmass.com or sign up for a No Sweat Intro with a Coach today.


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The 2017 CrossFit Opens season has come and gone. The Thursday night excitement over Dave Castro slowly piecing together these challenging workouts are done. We saw dumbbells for the first time along with classic movements that recur every year. Now back to your regularly scheduled programming.

But wait!
With the workouts still fresh in your mind, ask yourself – which ones did you like the most or the least? What movement held you back and which movement were you completely prepared for?

If you want to improve for the 2018 season, the time to start is now. Just like our ’test week’, the Opens is a way you put your training to the test and see how you perform with a worldwide community. Some movements are a staple during this season, but we also know at least one workout is repeated from the year before to see how your performance has changed. This could be an increase in reps or a better time.

Now is a time for reflection on this experience.
Were you prepared for that one or couple movements because you have been working on it all year?

Write down your experience and efforts throughout the five workouts. What you lifted for weights and scaling, what tripped you up or you flew through, and how you were feeling. All of this is data you can use to your advantage to increase performance a better mental space.

Once you have journaled your experience, you can use that to help you set a goal, short term or long term for the next season. Some goals may require you to go through a progression, but through that, you will see results in you taking one step closer to accomplishing what you set out for.

Talk to a coach today on how you can get started for 2018.
Pay close attention to your workout data as well!
Click here on why it’s important to track your numbers and log workouts.