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admin | Multivitamin Benefits | 14.12.2014
It’s the first of the year and that means it’s time for me to reflect back on what I did throughout the past 12 months. The first big change was that I made a conscious decision to distance myself from the BMX industry and focus my career in the fitness industry. The next giant shift in my life was that I decided to stop traveling and concentrate on my new career path.
With that said, there had been a void in my life for a while that couldn’t be filled with worldly adventures. My life may not be as exciting as it once was, but I still hope to inspire people simply by setting a good example of how I live—through my fitness, my vegan lifestyle, my career, and anything else that I can do to show people a positive message.
I want to thank everyone for their support over the years and show my appreciation to those who have taken an interest in my life’s path. A few years ago I posted a gallery of photos of me standing and sitting on picturesque rocks around the world. It goes without saying that the Grand Canyon is absolutely breathtaking, mind-boggling, and awe-inspiring, so to be able to experience its vastness up close and personal was a real treat! Well, when it came time for Steph to start her new podcast Harder to Kill Radio, she returned the favor and interviewed me.
I plan to release an new episode every week, so please subscribe and help spread the word by telling a friend or sharing a link on your social networks.
Most people know I’m an open book, and I’ve posted a ton of personal things on my social networks and here on the blog over the years, but this post is about to divulge the most intimate information I’ve ever shared. About three years ago I added another section underneath my goals that outlines what an ideal life looks like for me.
For some practical tips on setting goals, Wikihow has a pretty good article you can check out. For several years now I’ve been keeping track of my trips and travels on Facebook by uploading on photo from each place I visit.
Now it’s time to do a quick reflection here on my blog of the 110 days I spent away from home, starting with January in Central America in ending with Asia in December. About a week ago I started eating eggs again after being on a whole foods, plant-based diet for more than a year and a half. When I transitioned from a fully carnivorous diet to “being vegan” in January 2013 there were a lot of factors that came into play including health reasons and compassion for animals. When considering compassion for animals or “animal rights”, eating eggs has a little bit of grey area. Most of the eggs available for mass-consumption in the US come from factory farms, and even those labeled “organic” or “cage-free” come from places that I don’t think hatch, raise, and treat the birds ethically. When I got on a vegan diet I had my blood checked by my primary care physician to make sure my biomarkers were where they should be. Shortly after I transitioned to the whole foods, plant-based diet I also began working out and doing CrossFit. After giving this a lot of thought over several months I found a small, local farm just four miles from my house that sells fresh eggs one day a week.
For now I’ll continue to refer to myself and my diet as “vegan”, but again, that’s only out of convenience. It’s that time again… The time when I start wrapping up things on the year and preparing to start the New Year with a clean slate.
Since I’ve gotten so into CrossFit (and post about it all the time) a bunch of people have told me they are interested in trying it out. The idea behind CrossFit is to combine strength and cardio workouts that include functional movements that change all the time, and to do them at high intensity. A good way to think about this is to picture bicep curls like you see people do in a traditional gym. This is probably the most important thing to keep in mind when you start out…finding the right gym for you can make you or break you! I can see where people may be intimidated to try out CrossFit for the first time, but if you know what you are getting into ahead of time and a little of what to expect at the gym it will help keep you calm. Everything in CrossFit is scaleable, and the coaches are there to make sure you are challenging yourself, getting a good workout, and most importantly, staying safe. One of the great things about CrossFit is that you have a coach leading the class every day, so not only do you have the gym programming your workouts for you, you have a trainer with you at all times to make sure you are getting the most out of your workout and staying safe. I’m a goal-oriented person who loves to see progress, and everything in CrossFit is measurable.
Also, being a competitive person by nature, I can compete against myself and other people in the gym every day. I’ve heard CrossFit referred to as a cult, and I’ve heard many people say that it is addictive. Part of what makes me feel alive is traveling to new places and seeing what kind of incredible things can be found in nature. After driving down the PCH for the third time recently I started to think about what I could consider to be the most breathtaking places I’ve ever been to, so I thought I’d break them down here.
While staying on Ton Sai Bay in Thailand I took a kayak out to explore some of the small island rock formations off the shoreline. After riding bikes and hanging out with friends in Gold Coast, Australia for several weeks I decided to venture away from the BMX scene in search of some nature.
I’m a sucker for coastlines, beaches, and tropical settings, and the drive up or down California’s PCH offers plenty of each of those. If this list were in order, and if I had better photos of it, the Grand Canyon in Arizona would probably be at the number one spot. I feel the need to start this by stating the obvious…this is my personal health and fitness plan, and I’m not necessarily recommending it to anyone else.
Over the past two years I traveled more than I was at home and never had any sort of structure to my life.
Since switching to a very clean and natural vegan diet in January 2013 I’ve also started a pretty solid workout routine that I truly feel is doing great things for my body and mind.
This photo of me carving a fullpipe was taken in Gold Coast, Australia at the Elenora skatepark this January. I’ve never drank alcohol in my life, I never liked the taste of tea or coffee, I stopped drinking sodas and sugary drinks several years ago, and about two years ago I cut out milk and fruit juice from my diet.
I have a few other posts on my blog explaining my vegan diet, but in a nutshell, I aim for an all-natural whole foods plant based diet. To stay consistent with my clean vegan diet, I use a hemp protein powder with no added ingredients. Cutting out sugar was the absolute hardest thing for me to change in my diet, and it is the most recent part of my current health plan that I’ve implemented.
As always, the more reason you have for doing something, the easier it becomes to do, so here’s a video that really helped me to see just how bad sugar is for you.
Taking Sundays off to rest, I work out on my own during the other days when I don’t go to crossfit.
Be sure to follow me on Instagram and Twitter for recipes and ideas for good vegan meals and snacks!
Since transitioning to a vegan diet a few months ago I’ve gotten really into trying new foods, especially ones that I make myself. As much as I love these, I would definitely encourage everyone to experiment and change up the ingredients to suit your own tastes. Here’s a quick video with some behind the scenes footage and photos from Erawan Falls, Thailand where I shot one of my favorite photos of all time.
I got a great response from a previous blog post I made about switching to a vegan diet a few months ago. Most people go vegan because of health reasons or animal rights reasons, and my decision was based on both split right down the middle. There were several things in the films that really stuck out to me and helped me make the mental shift needed to change my lifestyle. Then came the health issues… When watching “Forks Over Knives” the studies that showed the direct correlation between fatal diseases and eating animal-based foods was so overwhelming that I couldn’t believe it. In a nutshell, the information I learned from those two videos was compelling enough for me to completely change the way I felt about eating meat and dairy, causing me to almost immediately change from a traditional western diet to an all vegan diet.
The two toughest mental struggles at first were the though of going out with friends and the though of going to Louisiana to visit my family.
However, as with a lot of things in life (like moving or traveling, for example), I found that it’s much easier to actually do something than to think about doing it.
With that said, I was on a six week international trip when I made the switch and it took a few weeks to really know what to eat in certain scenarios.
I actually learned a lot about reading nutrition labels a while back when researching health and fitness.
I look at the label of everything I buy, and the more you look at them, the more you’ll understand them. I’ve been slowly teaching myself how to cook different things since I moved out of my mom’s house after I graduated high school. I also have a handful of what I would consider to be my personal staples for meals and snacks…things that I pretty much have in my fridge or cupboard at all times.
I still haven’t been to see my family in Louisiana since making the switch, but they were all supportive over the phone, and I know that be the time I go there in a few months I’ll be so set in my new vegan ways that finding the right foods won’t be hard. Probably the easiest, and my favorite option when eating out is Thai or Indian restaurants.
I was pretty healthy and in shape before going vegan, so there wasn’t anything drastic that happened to my body, but the first week or two after making the switch I did notice some unusual things. Since she's gotten serious about honing her skills, she decided to start a Facebook fan page and a blog. Amy started a bootcamp in Richmond, Texas after identifying that there weren't any consistent ones in her area. A few years ago, after working for law firms most of her adult life, kiz4tj decided she wanted to go to law school.
A long, long, long time ago, my best girlfriend arrived in my life in an unexpected kinda way. And we found ourselves, all three of us, having a super deep conversation about how to get over ish that may happen in your relationship which upsets you.
So I listened and the disagreement was kinda silly but the tones were so careful that I knew something BIG was simmering in the background. I was reading this month's More magazine and there was an article about how to have your best hair at 30, 40 and 50. And, of course, I watched my latest Housewifery video on YouTube just because it was cool to do! It makes you think about how the media has always focused on showcasing the most negative thing they can to make the public stay as afraid of Black people as possible.
Sadly, it seems, not much has changed as it relates to gangs in all this time but learning about how he felt his work was depicted versus how he'd HOPED it would be depicted says a lot that is still relevant today. I got to spend some time with her and other of my  classmates from the 1rst grade this weekend and I thought about that saying my mother always said about being careful of anyone who has no old friends.
I met Lisa Kudrow a year or so ago and  I was struck by how lovely she was inside and out.
I saw her last night on Scandal and then again on the late night talk show that comes on after and I was, once again, struck by how amazing her skin looks.


Really makes you wonder what some of these celebrities could have looked like today had they left well enough alone huh?
We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous,talented and fabulous?Actually, who are you not to be? 2015 was a really interesting year for me… While I didn’t achieve all of the goals I set for myself in January, I had a great year and made some monumental changes to my lifestyle design that will help shape the rest of my life. BMX has been my livelihood since I graduated college 10 years ago, so to change directions now was a really big deal for me. In 2007 I went on my first international trip, and since then I’ve been trying to travel as much as possible.
I needed more personal connections and sincere human interactions, and I needed to be in a relationship with someone I loved.
Well, after spending a few days at the Grand Canyon with my dad last week I came home with a grip of new photos with the same theme so I figured I’d make another gallery.
After many months of thinking, learning, planning, and executing, I have launched a podcast that is available on iTunes and Stitcher. The first is a simple introduction, and the others are interviews and conversations with professional BMX riders, a coach, business owners and entrepreneurs, an artist, and an author.
However, if I can help inspire or motivate other people to improve their lives in some way, then I’m all for it, so for the first time ever I’m posting my annual goals document. I took out specific dollar amounts because even though I’m trying to be as transparent as possible, the subject of money and personal finance is still  pretty taboo and I don’t want my numbers to be the subject of conversation.
It saves my page from getting flooded with pointless galleries, and it serves as an easy reminder of the places I’ve gone throughout the year.
The eggs you buy at the grocery store were never fertile and would never produce baby chicks, so it’s not like you are aborting an unborn chicken. There are many issues that go into this such as cutting off the beaks of baby chicks along with housing and transporting the chickens, but another huge issue with egg-laying hens is their male counterparts. Since beginning my fitness journey I’ve gotten to the point where I work out five to six times per week, and sometimes multiple times per day. To help keep track of what I’ve done throughout the year I always do a little “by the numbers” style year in review, so here’s a bit of what went down in 2013!
After telling people the same thing again and again I decided to write out some basic stuff that I tell everyone before they try CrossFit for the first time. The longer you do CrossFit, the more you’ll understand what you like and don’t like based on your goals and personality, but in the beginning you are looking for a gym that you feel comfortable at and somewhere that makes you feel confident the coaches will help you safely reach your goals. I didn’t know what I was doing and wasn’t strong enough to do what they were trying to get me to do, but I didn’t know any better. Whether it’s learning a new skill like rope climbs or kipping pull ups, adding five or 10 pounds to a specific lift, improving my time on a repeated workout, or just learning how to pace myself better, I can always set small goals and track my progress in the gym.
If there isn’t anyone around my skill level in the class I’m working out with to compare myself to, then I set goals for myself for that day and compete against myself.
There’s a good chance you’ll meet new friends by going to CrossFit, but even if you never hang out with anyone outside of the gym, at least you’ll always have supportive, like-minded people working out with you. Sandra Bullock and Keanu Reeves shared an intense experience together that gave them a strong bond. I can appreciate old architecture and ruins, and I have a love for great art, but what really makes me tick is looking at and exploring the things that man could never create. With just a short drive and a quick hike I found myself looking across a valley at one of the most impressive waterfalls I had ever seen. There are countless views along the drive that are each just as spectacular as the last, but the fact that you can drive for hours on end and those views just keep coming is what really makes the drive so special. However, when I visited Mathers Campground in the summer of 2005 I didn’t have a proper camera with me, so all I have to show from my trip there are a few low-quality scans of photos that were printed at Walmart. So now, besides my after-workout protein drink (I’ll get to that later), I drink 100% water. I try my best to stay away from anything artificial and from preservatives, and I steer clear of processed substitute foods like mock meat and soy cheese.
I only use this after workouts when my body is clearly craving protein for muscle recovery.
I haven’t nixed sugar completely, but I’ve probably cut down my intake of added sugars down by about 95%. It’s a long video, and a lot of what is discussed is very hard to follow, but the point gets across loud and clear.
However, crossfit seemed like something I could really get into, and I was absolutely right. My typical routine includes an hour-long yoga class in the morning and a session at a BMX racetrack in the evening on Tuesdays, some kind of running on Thursdays, and road biking on Saturdays.
Most of that will come from clean eating, some of it will come from crossfit and the other cardio workouts I do, and some of it will come from specifically working out my abs. Things I do on a regular basis to keep me active include: riding BMX, snorkeling, various types of hiking, and anything else that comes my way.
I really liked a recipe I found online for raw vegan granola bars, but through several attempts I’ve altered the recipe and found a perfect mix that is high in protein, doesn’t contain any added sugar, and taste amazing! There’s a lot more to the story than I was able to cram into a three-minute video, but I’ll spare you the details about breaking into a dormitory to find a bed for the night and missing the bus back into town and get right to the point! Without even setting an intention to do so, I began to educate myself by watching two documentaries that friends recommended—“The Greatest Speech You’ll Ever Hear”, and “Forks Over Knives”.
The first was an argument about evolution and how by design humans were never intended to be carnivores. Heart attack, diabetes, and cancer were all directly linked to eating meat and dairy in a number of studies across the world. I was worried that I may miss out on valuable social interactions with my friends when they went out for meals.
What I mean by that is when you actually start doing something instead of thinking about it, it all starts to come together and you figure out ways to deal with things—and most of the time it’s much easier than you thought it would be.
I had stopped drinking cow’s milk and significantly cut down on eating cheese a while back, but I didn’t try going vegetarian first before committing to going full-on vegan. After I made the conscious decision to make the change, over the next three to four weeks there were a handful of times that I ate pastas, breads, and other random things that were made with milk, eggs, or cheese. I found a great free Web site where a quirky guy named Scooby breaks things down so it’s really easy to understand.
Once you know some basics and are comfortable with experimenting in the kitchen, cutting out meat and dairy isn’t hard at all. I bought two cookbooks that a friend recommended, but I’ve actually used online recipes more than the cookbooks so far, mainly because the cookbooks don’t have as many photos. However, I have cooked dishes similar to what I used to make with meat and simply replaced the meat with vegetables. Once you find a healthy, balanced base of what you like for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks, you can stick to those things for a while as you learn, grow, and experiment more.
Of course one of the more common reactions is, “I could never do that,” but lots of people have been really encouraging, intrigued, and supportive.
It’s not quite as convenient or readily available as it used to be, there’s no question about that, but at least when I do go out to eat, I know the stuff I’m putting in my body is good for me. They both have a lot of great vegetable curry dishes that are amazingly tasty and super filling. When you switch to a plant-based diet you find a new love for food, and since making the switch, I find it really fun to find new vegan-friendly restaurants where I can try new things. When traveling, you can Google vegan restaurants in the area, and more often than not, something will come up. A lot more often…and a lot of times they stink worse than before, but that’s a small price to pay in my opinion. Pre-Prince pin curls happened so hair could be popping for the Purple One in case he looked out and decided I should be his next music muse.
As always, we were going back and forth catching up on all the important things which have happened in our lives since the last time we had a catch up conversation.
Parks' frustration with Life magazine was warranted as he took lots of pictures which depicted the complete story of who Red Jackson was as a person, gang leader and community activist of sorts. In that time I’ve been to 35 countries and have thousands of incredible memories, experiences, and adventures..
I stared by getting a dog…I figured that was easier and cheaper than finding a girlfriend, so in January I got an incredible Yorkie named Hercules.
I’ve also gone from working more than 320 days a year at a full time job to to working only 120 days a year for myself while doubling my income.
I believe that if you want a certain type of life you can write it out, set goals, and ultimately build that life for yourself. I really identified with the film’s approach to eating, and I like the fact that they refer to a “whole foods, plant-based diet” as opposed to throwing around the term “vegan” everywhere. When factory farms hatch baby chickens, if the chicks are male (meaning they won’t produce eggs for the farm), they often get thrown into grinders and are killed just after hatching. However, my HDL (the “good cholesterol”) was low, which I later found out runs in my family as my father also has low HDL. I have personal goals with my strength and fitness that have been proving difficult to reach on a strictly plant-based diet, mainly when it comes to putting on healthy weight from lean muscle mass.
After my visit to the farm I was convinced as much as I could be that the eggs were as ethical as I could possibly get, so I decided to buy some (For $8 a dozen—eating healthy and ethically is expensive!). The important thing to me is that I’m doing everything I can to ensure my body is healthy, my personal goals are being met, and my mind is at ease knowing that I’m doing what I feel is morally right when it comes to the food I put into my body.
I know you can Google stuff about CrossFit, but I think it helps people to hear things from someone they know.
On the flip side, in a CrossFit gym you’ll do a barbell lift called a thruster where you squat, pick up a barbell, raise it to your chest, then thrust it over your head.
If I had never gone to another gym, I would have signed up for a membership at that place and would have probably gotten hurt or burnt out pretty quickly and never went back. Everyone starts off with their own strengths and weaknesses, and there are people of all ages, shapes, and sizes at every CrossFit gym. I used to mix in running and road bike riding with my CrossFit workouts, but now even those activities seem boring to me because CrossFit is so exciting and stimulating. I’ve been training for about nine months now, and I hit a new milestone almost every time I walk into the gym. All CrossFit workouts are ranked, timed, or scored in some way or another, so every day is like a friendly mini competition that keeps things exciting and fun. However, once you got close to them, their majestic qualities revealed themselves and the formations came to life. Purlingbrook Falls is some 350ft tall, and due to the recent heavy rainfall it had a pretty powerful flow when I was there.
Nonetheless, the Grand Canyon still remains one of the most incredible and mind-boggling things I’ve ever laid eyes on.
This is not meant to be a guide of how I think you should structure you own personal fitness plans. The idea of a schedule and a fitness plan always sounded like something I would like, but just wasn’t possible with the amount of time and energy I was putting into my travels. For my shakes I blend together 8oz of water, ? cup hemp protein, a large spoonful of peanut butter (with no added sugar or oil), and a frozen banana.


I joined a gym near my house called Crossfit Long Beach that I go to three times a week (usually Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, unless traveling conflicts). Since I started crossfit, it’s become boring for me to simply run four to six miles like I used to for my cardio.
Once or twice a week I use an insanely difficult P90X YouTube video called “Ab Ripper X” to help guide me through an abdominal workout from hell. When I see a big pile of boulders or a giant rock with a picturesque background my natural instinct is to climb and jump around like a mountain goat. Tag me in your photos on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook so I can check out what you came up with!
Again, I’ve opted for dried fruit without any added ingredients such as sweeteners or preservatives. This will not only help explain my personal choices, but more importantly it will help educate, motivate, and inspire others so they can make their own choices too. The second was some behind the scenes footage of the meat and dairy industry that showed cows being punched in the face and poked with pitchforks. On the other hand, the studies based on plant-based diets all showed the exact opposite—people got healthier, and lived longer.
I was also concerned that it may be difficult to find suitable foods when I went to Louisiana and ate with my family. When you think about something or try to plan ahead for it, you often stress about it and make it out to be worse than it actually is. Sometimes I knew they were and ate them anyway, and other times I just assumed they were, but didn’t really know for sure.
Since going vegan I have gained an appreciation for learning to cook new things, and I find that taking time to prepare meals is fun and relaxing. There were a couple dishes I ate at restaurants that I Googled and learned to make on my own, and there were a couple more things that I saw people post on Instagram, so I looked those up online and found a recipe too. And what really surprised me is that once I started telling people, it seemed that a lot more people than I realized were either vegetarian or vegan, or were considering moving to one or the other. This is common for anyone under certain conditions when blood flow is limited to an area, but it happened to me nearly every time I stood up from any position.
I’ve done a lot, and to honest I just decided that I had done enough for now and I was ready for a change.
Luckily for me it wasn’t too long after that when I found the woman of my dreams and the void was filled.
It’s also a way for me to do something fun and creative while delivering free content to the world that will hopefully help to motivate and inspire other people. If I am faced with a difficult decision I can look at this outline and see if my actions will help move me closer to my ideal life. Also, I’ve taken out the specifics about a business I’m going to start because…well, business is business, haha! Also, if you think I’m missing something or leaving anything out, I’d want to hear that too! With this said, I do typically refer to myself as “vegan”, but only because makes it a lot easier and quicker to explain my lifestyle to other people. I’m currently eating two to four eggs per day (strictly those eggs I personally get from my local farm) and will monitor how things go, then in a few months I will go back to the doctor to get my levels checked again to see if the eggs have affected my cholesterol in any way, and of course I’ll be paying close attention to my muscle and weight gain during this time.
I’m not a coach or trainer, and I’m not even that good at CrossFit, but this is my personal experience and advice after doing CrossFit for about nine months and traveling to a dozen or so different gyms all around the world. This is the same kind of movement you’d do if you were lifting a heavy box and putting it on a high shelf, or putting your suitcase into the overhead compartment on an airplane.
For example, you might do a few sets of squats with a barbell on your back and a few sets of bench presses after your warm up. If a workout calls for a bunch of pull ups and you can’t do a single one, then there are rubber bands you can use to help you do pull ups.
Even small advances are enough to keep me excited and motivated, and once I reach a goal it opens the doors for more. Once you’ve done an intense WOD with a group of people, it somehow manages to bring you all together in a weird way, and it’s a really cool experience. I’ve also heard people say that CrossFit is one of the fastest ways to reach a “runner’s high”. Sitting in the small watercraft, I felt so tiny and insignificant, making the experience really humbling.
Seeing it from across the valley was great, but the real stand out moment came when I got to see the falls from right on top of them at a viewing platform, then again when I hopped a few guardrails and walked through the stream and stood at the edge while looking out over the valley. However, instead of infinite waves in the ocean, the lake is calm and flat with beautiful mountains surrounding it on all sides. When I was standing at the edge of the South Rim I remember feeling like even though I was there, and even though I was seeing it with my own eyes, I could never comprehend what I was looking at. However, I recently found myself a little burnt out on traveling and I’m staying at home a lot more often, so I’ve been able to shift my focus towards my health and fitness…and I love it!
The alcohol and sodas are pretty self-explanatory, but some people get curious when they hear that I don’t drink any kind of milk or juice.
The shakes are very easy to make, taste great, and are exactly what I need to help recover from a workout. Crossfit is an extremely intense muscle and cardio workout that changes every day, so it never gets boring. Even though I never get through the entire routine, the parts that I do complete are well worth the effort. I can appreciate lazy days at home, and I love a good afternoon nap, but most of the time I’m on the go and doing something active. After traveling to Australia and New Zealand last month I realized that over the years I’ve accumulated quite a few photos from around the world of me standing on rocks, so I pulled together my favorite 14 and put them in this gallery! These two things hooked me enough to make me really start paying attention and thinking about veganism more seriously.
Also, seafood is such an important part of the Louisiana culture that I almost felt a little sad thinking that I’d never eat crawfish, crabs, and shrimp again.
So even though I was nervous and worried about a few things when I decided to go vegan, after only two months in, those things are no longer an issue.
Then there were a few separate occasions when I caved in and bought sweets—ice cream, chocolate pie, and a cookie. If you can’t enjoy the act of preparing food, then I would imagine you’d have a pretty hard time going vegan.
When you want to know something, including how to cook a good vegan meal, Google is your best friend! Also, the more educated you are, and the stronger your reasons are for being vegan, the more you can explain it to people and help them see your point of view.
Also, there’s a Web site and an iPhone app called Happy Cow that is pretty helpful as well. My life feels so different in so many ways than it did a year ago and I can’t wait to see what the future holds for us.
Perhaps most importantly though, in those seven years I’ve learned a ton about myself and have grown tremendously, becoming a better version of myself every year. I don’t think I have all the right answers, so if anyone reading this can help me improve myself, I’m all ears. Both times my doctor recommended I eat eggs or other animal products to help raise my cholesterol. If that’s still too difficult for you, then no worries, you can do something called ring rows. As an adult who is self-employed, going to a CrossFit gym is a key component to my social life, which I think is an important part of an overall healthy lifestyle. The contrast of the beautiful, calm, and vast water against the lively rock caves, shelves, and stalactites will forever be burned into my memory as one of the best things my eyes have ever seen.
Along the drive you can stop at lookout overview points high above the lake, then minutes later you can stop again at sea level and walk right up the rocky beach to the glass-like shoreline. Well, milk and juice have calories and sugar and I’d simply rather eat those calories and sugar instead of drinking them. I could (and often would) eat sugary foods all day and all night, and pounding down six Krisy Kreme doughnuts in a single sitting was not uncommon. By going to a gym and having a coach lead each class I learn something new every day, and I always have someone helping to make sure I’m doing things correctly. There were also two times that I ate meat because my friends wanted me to try their local Australian specialties—meat pies and kangaroo. I’ve already helped several people see the benefits of a plant-based diet, and have seen them make changes in their diets and lives.
While some of the CrossFit workouts will be repeated every so often, this is only to track and measure your progress. Don’t let your own preconceived notions of what your skill level is get in the way of trying CrossFit.
This is one place I’m really looking forward to going back to and photographing some day…Anyone up for camping? Partly because I just love to eat so much, but also in part because eating 100 calories of fruit is healthier than drinking 100 calories of fruit juice (dietary fiber and nutrients are stripped away when you only drink the juice of the fruit). I slowly but surely began to work on my self-control issues when it came to sweets and even did research on things I could do to help curb my urges. When I’m traveling, I do my best to stay motivated and make time for a run or a crossfit workout I can do in the hotel room. I think this was more or less my body’s way of cleaning itself and readjusting to the new diet. All I know is that I really love CrossFit and think it’s doing great things for my body and mind.
Also, drinking water is important in any diet for digestion, hydration, and burning fat, so drinking only water means that I always get plenty of it throughout the day. Nowadays I allow myself to splurge on one or two small things every week like a small cup of vegan sorbet, but sometimes I go two weeks without any splurges. The high intensity part is pretty-self explanatory, but keep in mind that you regulate yourself, so it’ll only be as intense as you make it. The coaches will go over the workouts and explain everything to show you exactly how it is done so you can do it safely. Refined sugars like high fructose corn syrup are on the far end of the spectrum of what I stay away from, so when I do eat sweets I try to make sure they are made with pure sweeteners like raw cane sugar.
If something is too difficult for you, there will always be a way to scale it back so you can still do the workout. Unsweetened, unsulfated dried figs, apricots, and mangos are my saviors when it comes to helping me stay away from sweets. My homemade vegan granola bars and raw energy balls are also high on my list of sweets replacements.



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