Archive for the Nutrition Category

“How Bad do you want to be Successful…”

Posted in Athletes, Lifestyle, Nutrition on October 7, 2012 by oldcountrystrong

Well I had originally had a Mad Mule article in mind for today but ended up having something else to jaw about.

As I mentioned I’ve been amazingly busy lately. Running the I/C Training Log, handling online clients, Teaching Kettlebell courses (had our 1st of 5 upcoming yesterday), Coaching at weekend competitions and even getting to compete in one myself.

What has “suffered” because of this?

Nothing really, well nothing that I really realize (foreshadowing). I always choose to put work first. I feel that hard work is a gift of mine.

Don’t need an intense social life. Don’t need fancy things. Don’t need much of anything that isn’t in line with my goals. And my goals are my own, no one else needs to understand them. I work 7 days a week and I choose to do so. I choose to because as I said I have goals. I also have other people depending on me to meet their goals.

I’m sure everyones has seen this video before.

Man do I think about that speech a lot. I think about how hard it is to achieve what you really want in life and the trails and tribulations that come with it.

Goals are set for reasons. Dreams are dreams for reasons. If shit was easy everyone would alway get exactly what they wanted. Everyone wants to get to the mountain top but no body wants to walk the journey to get there. Cause its hard and sometimes its very lonely.

“What has “suffered” because of this?”

Remember I said that earlier in this article. Well a lot has. A lot has suffered and been sacrificed for me to try and stay on my path. Maybe thats not a good thing.

I’m a worker. I’ll work. I’ll work before eating, before sleeping before taking care of myself.

Now I see something suffering. If I have a talent to work hard I shouldn’t abuse it. I shouldn’t expect to work from 5:45 in the morning til 1 oclock in the after noon NOT eat and have a successful training session an hour later. And what do I do after that training session? I start my evening work schedule that goes sometimes past 8pm without eating again. Getting by on coffee and muscle milk samples is just bad living when your not only trying to Coach athletes but lead by example.

I’m up late every night working on the week days and even later on the weekends. My sleep bank is at an all time low and thats saying a lot for even me (my family has a history of insomnia). If someone was receiving coaching advice from me and working like this I would have stepped in awhile ago. I would have told them they needed to get some shit sorted out.

But, am I on the path to achieve my goals.


All of them.


Are people Depending on me for ALL of them.


It’s quite the double edge sword sometimes and it’s one I have choose to use. Trying to find the balancing act as of late has really started to weigh on me. Coaching couldn’t be going better, everyone one who I coach is right where I want them in their current period of training. My own personally training is turning out great results as well. But I’ve walked this line before and I’m flirting with wearing myself thin.

The biggest thing is I spotted it early. I usually don’t, I actually worked myself into pneumonia last year and then had to keep the ship on course during the whole thing. It was not a fun experience.

So how do you work like you want to breath but avoid a total burnout.


I always tell myself I’m to busy for this or that. I dont have time for things. I like to make the exuse that I dont have enough minutes in the day to just get a hold of my own Chaos sometimes.

If you want to realize your goals you have to do the things that will make them happen. The video I have posted below sparked this whole post today. It’s about a day in the life of professional bodybuilder Kai Greene. I first saw this blazed with the word Discipline over on OPT’s site. It’s probably one of the best pieces I’ve watched in sometime. If you want to be a hater on bodybuilding then find a different blog to read. Kai’s approach to his training and discipline in his day to day life if pretty inspiring.

After having watched the series I took a lot in personally. I need to find the time in my life for more structure. Yes, I have a steel discipline when it come to work. I always have, I always will. I’m on a course I plan to follow.

But the discipline to take care of myself is something I need to address. Some day the other foot will drop if I continue to burn the candle at both ends. If I want to be both the Coach and Athlete I desire to be then I need to refine the discipline I have to march all day and apply it to other areas of my life.

Todays word is Discipline folks, there is time in the day if you make it.

Posted by: Z

“But we Aint got Nothin to Eat!!!”

Posted in Nutrition on July 8, 2012 by oldcountrystrong

The 11th Edition of Caliber kicks off today, and I still receive that age old question…

“What should I Eat when I’m in a Training Phase?”

Well actually I get the “what should I eat all the time?” question pretty much constantly. I posted on this before, we even had someone from The Club take our Nutrition Plan info and make a power point out of it. But I still get the question… Constantly…

Well in todays post I’m not going to answer that question again.

Instead I’ve decide to do a test run of an I/C Food Log. It will update daily like our Training Log and will give those that follow the Program a place to Log their eating for the day. Now again this is just a test run, we may at a certain point start adding in recipes and what not. But for now we’re just gonna keep it simple. If during this test phase it seems to be of use to the Program we will put more work into it, but lets just start with Baby Steps(Click Here) people.

Click this Link to Acces the Iron Club Food Log

Posted by: Z

“Well, I guess I just followed the crowd at chow time sir….”

Posted in Nutrition on March 15, 2012 by oldcountrystrong

This request and question just keeps coming in: How Does The I/C Eat?

Well I hinted at a diet we were wrapping up a few months back on this blog. I didn’t realize that I had created such a cliff hanger when I didn’t follow that post up. Well, that series of posts isn’t ready. I’m tired. I’ve been working 7 days a week for too many week now. But with 2 more workout left in this year Crossfit Games online Open Competition, I’ll just keep plugging away. Sleeps for the weak. That being said I won’t be writing out the I/C Nutrition plan series just yet, you guys will have to wait a bit longer.

What I will do is give everyone a taste of what it  is we do. Without much of a breakdown, here is a link to a powerpoint a friend put together after one of my lectures. It doesn’t go in depth on the Elimination Phase or Food Supplementing Phase but it does give an overview of the way we eat.  The other things will all get  covered in my write up when I finally get to it. We pretty much reference to this Diet as “Eat and March.” Just a little shout out to the Spartans.

Click Here for something that doesn’t taste as good as Wings and Beers: I/C Sports Performance Nutrition Plan

I know there a lot of people in my industry that will turn their nose up at this way of eating. But I’m tired. So if they wanna argue they can Eat a….Sorry. Sleep Dep started talking there, my bad, focus. If people don’t like it, dont read it, dont try it and quit wondering why the Club does as well as it does at the things we do.

Always Marching to the Beat of our Own Drum. GFY

Power Point by: Gym (Thanks big guy)
Posted by: Z

“Ready your Breakfast and Eat Hearty…”

Posted in Nutrition on January 3, 2012 by oldcountrystrong

It wasn’t to long ago on this Blog that I mentioned a special diet that my friend Skylar and I had been working on. We were looking for a bit more variance and supplementation options then what a “traditional paleo” diet had to offer.

Three of us test drove the Diet in reference before a string of competitions with a lot of success. So logically the next step was to test the diet again, our next test was on a larger “Virgin” scale.

Lucky for me I had a whole human laboratory at my disposal. I suggested this Diet to all of my in-house participant of the I/C’s 9th Edition Training Cycle. The results were better than I expected. And while I’m not ready to go totally in depth on the Diet as a whole on the blog I am ready to refine it once again.

I will be holding a “Round Table” Meeting with all participants of the 9th Edition Training Cycle Saturday at twelve(High Noon Paul) to discuss where we will be taking our Nutrition Next. This will be the time to readdress any question or share any recipes that you’ve personally had success with.

There is one thing I’d like to address at this time though. The name…

“The Spartan Diet”

I think my affinity for Spartan lifestyle and culture is well documented. But this Diets name has gotta change. I wont go in depth about how jokingly this title was placed on the Nutrition plan, but it has roots in the fact that we based part of it off the Mediterranean Diet. This was before we decided that style of eating wasn’t manly enough. Long Story…

Anyways I’m open to taking suggestions on a label for the I/C style of eating if anyone wanted to post one or please feel free to address it at this weekends meeting if you’re a local that will be in attendance.

Please also feel free to post any question you may have if you’ll be unable to attend.

Posted by: Z

“Something Gilligan never told us…”

Posted in Nutrition on October 9, 2011 by oldcountrystrong

Guest writers are always welcomed on Old Country. In fact we encourage readers to submit articles for publication on the blog,  the Clubs very own Carrie Winecoff sent me today’s post.  Z 

When you think Old Country Strong, images come to mind of mastodons roaming the plains, oxen plowing the fields, and gorillas beating their chests. But what do these beasts eat? Sure, our motto is “Eat Meat and Sleep”, and protein is mission critical for anyone on our strength programs to build and repair our muscles. But is there a food out there that may also be considered Old Country Strong?

Behold! I nominate: the humble COCONUT.

If any of you know me at all, you know I love coconut! I. Love It. I love to eat it. I love to drink it. And I really love to cook with it. I put it on my skin. I put it in my hair.  I put it everywhere. I’m starting to sound like Dr. Seuss, so I’ll just get on with it.

Known as “The Tree of Life”, the coconut is highly valued for its versatility. The coconut palm yields up to 75 fruits per year and all parts of the palm are useful—the flower, husk, shell, fruit, oil, water, sap, sprout and leaves. Nearly 1/3 of the world depends on coconut to some degree for their food and economy, not to mention in traditional medicine.

The fruit contain sugar, fiber, protein, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals and have numerous culinary uses . Coconut cream, extracted and pressed coconut water and fruit, is prevalent in traditional and modern foods, including that pina colada you enjoyed on that beach last summer. But I digress. The husk and shells can be used for fuel and are a source for charcoal. The shells have been used as vessels for food and musical instruments.  The leaves are used for browns, thatch for homes and woven into mats, and the trunks as building materials and canoes.

Okay, okay. So you’re wondering what does this mean for me right? I’m not necessarily paddling around sunny islands and cooking up conch curries right now.

Coconut water

The cavity of the coconut is filled with coconut water, a sterile fluid that mixes so well with blood that it was used in WWII in emergency transfusions and today in 3rd world countries for blood plasma. The fluid provides an isotonic electrolyte balance, meaning it’s nature’s sports drink with less sodium, less sugar and far more potassium than a Gatorade. It’s my personal favorite way to hydrate before and after a workout. Nothing keeps your throat lubricated as well as coconut water (This article would be null and void without SOME kind of dirty joke).

Coconut oil

The oil extracted from the coconut consists of 90% saturated fats. But don’t freak out just yet. Most of the fats are medium chain triclycerides, which when eaten, the body converts the MCTs into  monoglycerides and medium chain fatty acids, which both are powerfully antimicrobial and capable of killing bacteria, viruses and fungi. This is well documented in the medical literature.

Coconut oil is one of the few sources of MCTs. One other source is breast milk. It’s been suggested that it’s the MCTs that protects the baby from infections before it develops its own immune system.

Studies show that MCFAs from coconut oil are effective in killing bacteria that cause ulcers, sinus infections, bladder infections, gum disease and cavities, pneumonia, , and many other illnesses. They kill fungi and yeasts that cause ringworm and athlete’s foot. They kill viruses that cause the flu, measles, and mononucleosis. They even kill HIV.

Intense exercise can weaken immune defense. Adding coconut oil into an athlete’s diet will help him train longer and lower the risk of infection. MFCAs are metabolized quicker than LCFAs (long chain). It’s metabolized more like carbohydrates and rarely stored in excess, and at the same time lowering the amount of carbohydrates burned in exercise. This means the glycogen stored in your muscles is spared which allows you to perform longer and stronger. Coconut oil has impact on lowering cholesterol and preventing plaque buildup, maximizing oxygen intake for performance.

Sounds great, but how do I incorporate more coconut into my life?

One of the best reasons to consume coconut though is because it fucking tastes good!

Buy virgin coconut oil—it should smell delicious in the jar and it’s solid at room temperature. Coconut oil is great for medium heat applications (not too high heat or you will lose some of the benefits).

Bake with it! It adds a subtly sweetness and an incredible amount of moistness to baked goods. Eat tablespoons of it! Sprinkle unsweetened coconut flakes over salads. It’s great stirred into chicken salad. Coconut milk is not just for thai curries! Use it with eggs instead of milk. Use in shaes and your coffee.

Be bold, be adventurous and experiment!

References and links:


Article by: Carrie

“Spartans! Tonight we Dine in Hell!!!”

Posted in Nutrition on August 25, 2011 by oldcountrystrong

We preach it, Eat meat and Sleep. But how does Old Country really eat? Club field medic Skylar Pond breaks it down for you, follow the link below down the Rabbit hole…

Free Radicals, Crossfit, and Supercompensation

“Arsenic is edible. But only once…”

Posted in Lifestyle, Nutrition on November 23, 2010 by oldcountrystrong

Today’s post comes from one of my athletes with the inside scoop on living  paleo. As I always tell you about the diet. It can be broke down and I can explain what to eat. But for first hand knowledge go to the source. There are individuals who don’t have a choice in following this diet. I can tell you the benefits but I’ll let someone who really knows them explain. Thank you Anna for the great writeup. – Z

My Road to Paleo

From as far back as I can remember I’ve always had headaches. In kindergarten, my mom was called in to meet with the principal because I was always asking to go to the school nurse and lie down. They thought I didn’t like school and was using headaches as an excuse to get out of it. No one had ever heard of a little kid with so many headaches. By the time I was in high school, I just accepted headaches as a daily part of my life. Sometimes they were fairly minor and I could go to school or hang out with my friends. Other days they were so crippling that I’d have to find the darkest room in the house, put an ice bag on my head, wrap a towel around it to block out any sounds or light, and hope to sleep it off.

Growing up in a small town in New York, where half of my town was Amish and where we had to travel an hour to get to the nearest grocery store – there wasn’t a large selection of doctors. My parents tried a few – each one did a CAT scan, determined my brain looked fine, diagnosed me with migraines and said they couldn’t help.

When I got to college things took a turn for the worst. I couldn’t concentrate in classes and I started sleeping 15 hours a day – but no matter how much I slept I was always tired. I started to gain weight and pretty soon the freshman 15 turned into 50. Even more frustrating was the fact that I had to just accept the weight gain, because exercise was one of the things that was guaranteed to trigger a migraine.

After I graduated from college I moved to Seattle. One of the first things I did was head to UW and demand to see a specialist. My specialist quickly turned into a team of specialists and 6 months plus a ton of tests later they presented me with a diagnosis. It read: depression, anxiety, chronic fatigue, restless leg syndrome, insulin resistance, crohn’s disease and adult-onset ADHD. I started to cry, they told me it would be okay, handed me a stack of prescriptions and told me to talk to a nutritionist.

For 6 months I took the drugs and followed the balanced diet that the nutritionist recommended. The diet included lots of whole grains and low fat foods. Nothing got better but I did develop a cool new tremor in my hands from some of the drugs. Finally one night I got fed up and threw the whole set of drugs and the instructions from the nutritionist into the garbage. Everything felt out of control in my life, so I decided to tackle the one thing I could control which was my weight. I dove hardcore into this strange diet fad called Atkins.

Two weeks into my new diet the weight started coming off. But more importantly, the headaches suddenly stopped. I waited two more weeks, still no headaches and I found I was less tired. I went back to my team of specialists and told them what happened. One blood test later, they ripped up my diagnosis list and replaced it with one thing – Celiac Disease, an immune disorder caused by a protein called gluten that is found in wheat.

For the last 5 years, I’ve lived completely gluten free. I also started reading – not just about gluten and all the places it can hide, but about the other vitamins and minerals that are important to a healthy, happy life. In my reading I discovered something called the Paleo diet, which was really exciting because it offered me a much broader range of foods compared to Atkins, and a much more balanced set of vitamins and minerals. I started taking supplements based on what I learned – I added acai for it’s important antioxidants, fish oil supplements for it’s omega-3’s and vitamin d for Seattle’s lack of sunshine, in addition to a daily multivitamin.

Each time I made a change to improve my diet, I noticed an improvement in my energy levels and ability to think clearly. My co-workers make fun of the giant bag of supplements that I keep on my desk, but I don’t care because I feel great and it’s all because I think carefully about what I eat. Instead of sleeping all day, now I do a lot of crossfit and play soccer 3 times a week. I’ve dropped 40 lbs, I can concentrate at work and I no longer feel tired.

We’re about to start a new CC, and Zach will be telling us all to try Paleo because eating meat and veggies will make our squats strong. Zach is completely right, but I wanted to encourage people to give the diet a try for a different reason. We live in a world where most foods are heavily processed and made mostly from chemicals. The Paleo diet is all about eating real foods, full of important vitamins and minerals that make our bodies work properly.

Paleo is not just for people who want to lift heavy weights or people like me who have Celiac disease. In the last 5 years I’ve read countless books on nutrition and there’s plenty of science to back up that the Paleo diet is good for all types of people with a broad range of goals. But more important than science in books, I’ve seen it help my family and friends. My parents finally adopted it after years of my nagging and my dad was off his blood pressure and cholesterol medication in 6 weeks. He’s lost 30 lbs in 3 months and he doesn’t even exercise. My aunt went from severely diabetic to off her insulin in 8 months on the diet. I’ve had at least a dozen friends try the diet in the last year, some have stuck with it and some haven’t, but each one has mentioned to me that while they were on it they felt more alert and energetic than ever before.

I asked Zach if I could write this blog post, because I really think people should give Paleo a shot during this CC. It’s only six weeks and I promise that Paleo isn’t as hard to follow as it seems – there are still plenty of foods you can eat and I happy to help people with suggestions about easy and delicious things to make. In the end, Paleo may not work for you for whatever reason, but I think everyone owes it to themselves to try. You never know when one little vitamin, mineral or protein could completely change your life.

Posted by: Anna Sweet

Well Bears Eat Salmon to get Big…

Posted in Nutrition on July 8, 2010 by oldcountrystrong

While watching Fedor Emelianenko (if you dont know him you should) receive his first official loss the other night. The conversation came up about the champion he would have faced next had he won. Alistair Overeem, a hard-nosed former light heavyweight fighter who is the current Strike force heavyweight champion.

What does this topic have to do with OCS? Well in this conversation arose the topic of Overeem’s freakish “growth spurt”. Steroids said the wind, dedicated strongman style training whispered the mountains. But Overeems freakish size gain was hard to ignore. Until the man himself came out and stated how he accomplished this size gain. Up to 8 meals a day supplied steadily with “Horse Beef”.

Well with a group of us looking to start another hardcore paleo cycle of eating the fear of losing mass from lack of dairy is horrifying. John and I were ready to start eating salmon skin because as a friend stated “thats how bears get big.”

It made sense…

But after hearing of Overeems diet I started researching. Below is an article speaking on the topic of his diet along with a video of the man.

Taken from:

It’s not quite as bad as Lyoto Machida admitting to drinking his own urine every single morning, but Alistair Overeem seems to have some unusual dietary issues all his own.  In a recent interview translated by Robert K, Overeem said he’s changed everything about his life, from his girlfriend to his coach to his diet.  Now he lives mainly on “horse meat, rice, and protein shakes.”  And here you thought your dog was the only one on an equine-centric diet.

Turns out that eating horse meat is popular in certain parts of the globe that are not called the United States (the Mongolians even make a horse milk wine, so there).  According to the always informative Wikipedia:

“Horse meat contains 20% more protein than high quality beef cuts, 25% less fat, nearly 20% less sodium, double the iron and less cholesterol. When compared to ground beef, horsemeat has 55% more protein, 25% less fat, 30% less cholesterol and 27% less sodium.”

That sounds all right, if you can get past the fact that you’re eating a freaking horse.  I guess there’s no real reason, aside from the psychological ones, that it should be any weirder than eating, say, a cow.  And look what it’s done for Overeem’s physique!

Wait a minute, you thinking what I’m thinking?  All that speculation about how Overeem managed to go from a tall, kind of skinny light heavyweight to a bulky beast of a heavyweight centered on the theory that he was injecting something.  But maybe it’s the horses who have been injecting something.  You know, in their desire to get huge, floss, and get mares.  It all makes sense now.  And you know those horses are always outside tanning and stuff.  They really are the Phil Baroni’s of the animal kingdom.


And a video of him cooking up what I think is plain beef but he throws out the term “horse beef”… Weird

Sadly in my research I also found it illegal to buy “horse beef” for human consumption. We have hippies running things now apparently in this counrty. But I tell you what in the zombie invasion horses will be a hot commodity. They will be transport and a super solider food source! I can just imagine an army of juggernauts driven on “horse beef” fuel. Until then Johnny and I will have to settle for Salmon skin.

Posted by: Z

Somethen smells fishy…

Posted in Nutrition on April 22, 2010 by oldcountrystrong

Fish oil…  There are a lot of different ideas floating around about it and how much to take. My friend Skylar (also one hell of a pipehitter) wrote a interesting post on it. It can be found below, this along with a lot more information can be found on his blog http://skylarpond.blogspot.html which is also linked to the right.

Fish Oil- Believe Me Now and Listen To Me Later.

Let’s start from the end and work our way back here-
If you are a person you should take a fish oil supplement. Good. I’m glad we have that covered. The following paragraphs will explain how much to take. A future posting will explore the fats debate in detail but in the immortal words of Hans and Franz: “Believe me now and listen to me later.”

How Much Do I Need To Take Per Day?
Disregard the label on your supplement. Serving sizes are not determined by physiologic need, they are determined by price. Ever notice that a serving size almost always amounts to 1$/ day regardless of the supplement?

This is how much you should take per day:
Between .5 Gram to 1 gram per day for every 10 pounds of body weight. If you are demanding on your body either from heavy training and high stress load or from deficient sleep your body requires the higher 1 Gram per 10 pounds body weight. (Robb Wolf) When I say .5-1 gram I do not mean one gram of “total fat.” I mean one gram of EPA/DHA. That’s the good stuff. (1000 mg=1gram)

If you are confused because your product is measured in ml’s instead of mg’s then dig a little deeper Grambo. You are probably looking at the number at the top of the label under “Serving Size.” That number is not of interest because it is a volume measurement that includes flavoring agents etc. Follow along with the label below:

For your typical crossfitter or other highly active 180 individual the calculation looks like this:
1 gram/10lbs body weight= 18 grams/day.
For your average sedentary or 3 days of cardio/ week type that is .5grams/10lbs = 9 grams/day

This is the Innate Choice Omega Sufficiency supplement facts label from the gel caps. That’s why there is a range.

I use Innate Choice in my office which is pure but not necessarily significantly different than market brands such as Carlson’s. Innate Choice smells good and doesn’t make people burp so it’s the one I go with. My product has 4 grams “total fat” per teaspoon but total fat is not what we are interested in right? We want the good stuff: EPA/DHA so look further down the label under “Omega-3 Fatty Acids”

Per teaspoon (5ml) my product has:
825mg EPA/ 550mg DHA= 1375 mg= 1.375 grams per teaspoon.

For our 180 pound crossfit athlete to get 18 grams we divide 18 by 1.375 to determine the number of teaspoon sized servings he needs. This equals 13 teaspoons of fish oil per day. This would be obnoxious and who uses teaspoons anyway? So use 4.3 Tablespoons instead. (3 teaspoons= 1 Tbs.) Answer= 4.3 Tablespoons/day.

Your average person (Low stress load/ minimal training) requires half that amount: about 2 tablespoons per day.

This amount is not a problem as long as you can tolerate taking the oil straight without the gel cap which gets cumbersome quickly: To get the same amount of fish oil in 4.3 Tbs. from gel caps would require 52 caps per day!
So if you are a person, find a product that you like the taste of and follow the formula below.
(#pounds body weight divided by 10) times .5-1.0 grams= grams EPA/DHA per day.

Posted by Skylar Pond, D.C.