Monday 30 April 2012

You are having many falls, you are losing the fight. Your fame is all noise and commotion. My friend, you are saying you will uplift the world, But what about yourself?-

The Nutrition Equation…

Ever feel overwhelmed by the equation of nutrition (% of fat vs % protein vs % carbs etc)?  Calculating what’s right for you does not mean you have to break out the calculator.  Of course some of you ( accountant types) might enjoy that but for the rest of us that is just adding more painful work into our busy lives.

Here are some ways you can add both fun and more healthy food into your daily routine!

Get out of your comfort zone one baby step at a time.  While you are getting ready in the morning (washing your hair, getting dressed) set a goal for yourself to try something new today.  Don’t change your whole meal…Just add one new ingredient!  Let yourself get excited about it and be proud when you accomplish your goal!

Find out what is seasonal and available right now in your area.  It will be lower cost, very fresh and will support your local farmers.  There are lots of websites out there that can give you this info and a list of farmers markets you can find them at.

Local Harvest <–Like this one here!!!

Get creative!  Whatever local food you chose, take a sec to find a recipe that is going to get your taste buds excited and will be fun to make.  For those of you experiencing spring it can be as simple as trying a new kind of lettuce or leafy green (kale, Swiss chard, arugala).  You do not have to be a master chef to make tasty meals just willing to try.  Leafy greens like kale are packed full of vitamins and minerals and only take a few minutes to cook!

Eating healthier and being healthy is a unique journey for each and every one of us. Take time to discover how YOU are going to get there!
I am so excited to be a part of the CultFit community and to be here to help you “Find the Happy in Being Healthy”! For more information about me and what I do check out or my blog at

Healthy needs to be more fun!

Melissa Talamini Levine
Holistic Health and Wellness Coach
Sweet Wholesome Health

The Plan-

The Workout-

Listen up, yeah you!!!  Pulled from our “Focus on something” series here at the CultFit archives…

Warm Up thoroughly doing the following:

25 Four Count Jumping Jacks

50 Goblet Squats

25 Perfect Push Ups

10 Perfect Pull Ups

45 Second High Push Up Plank

Who would have thought that Calisthenics were invented yesterday?  Now take a moment to put your honest face on  peeps…If we told you the above was a new P90x extreme workout or some ELITE WOD would you be interested?  Oh look Booby is now the mayor of Whole Foods on Four Square…

Four, Five, Six or Seven times through would be pretty nice followed by an activity you thoroughly enjoy (we went for a nice swim)!!!


If you could put down your iThingy in the seat next to you on your morning commute this morning?  We have favor to ask of you…Look in your rear view mirror for a second.  Do you see that?  Say hello to your own worst enemy…Take a long hard look at this picture this morning peeps:

We are going to tackle a serious issue that is all to prevalent amongst our readers tomorrow.  If you have an idea where this going to go feel free to comment to get the proverbial ball rolling…Once again our thanks to Melissa from Sweet Wholesome Health for stopping over and sharing an important message with us today!  Have fun and ENJOY!!!


Friday 27 April 2012

Anything that can feel pain should not be put to pain-

What are the chances of you keeping a secret?  Cool…We are so excited to announce that on Monday a dear friend will be stopping by to pay a visit.  Which reminds us to clean up a bit over the weekend and maybe shave?  Anyways, Melissa with Sweet Wholesome Health is kind and gracious enough to share her expertise in all things that can bring us closer to a healthy and happier life.  If ever there was a time where we were lost for words this would be that time.  Melissa passionately provides pure and thoughtful information that we can all use in our daily lives.  Not since when the Boston Bruins were eliminated from the NHL playoffs have we been this excited about something.

Well it’s happened once again.  You have wasted precious seconds from your life reading the musings here at CultFit all week.  We tossed a fair amount of  stuff out into the abysses and we sincerely hope it “clicked” with some of you.  Today’s post was going to go over Factual Fitness and Contextual Fitness.  But who really cares?  We’ll save it for sometime next week…Sound like a plan?

Speaking of which.  One way to look at CultFit would be as a conversation amongst all of us (followers, friends and lurkers).  If there is something you are passionate about and would like to share please pipe up and send it in.  No kidding, Uncle Frank here has a whole weeks worth or writing dedicated to the best hot dogs on earth:  Hofmann Hot Dogs!!!   You NYC types can take your Sabretts, Nathan’s and well?  You know what to do with them!?!

The Plan-

And your excuse today is?!?

The Workout-

Thank you Sister Margret for sending in this little gem of a program before the weekend begins!!!

Warm Up as you see fit…We choose to do a Pulse Trail Run (basically a nice flowing run with pulses/bursts up the steep bits…Followed by:

**You did remember to bring a kettle bell or dumbbell with you to the trail this morning, right?  Hmm Farmers Walk to the trail head…?!?**

At this point in our relationship its fair to say that you don’t leave home without some sort of technology strapped to your delicate body every morning.  Good because we need something to keep time today or you could be like Uncle Pliny and watch the sun rise above the horizon…15 degrees = 15 minutes or so?

Find a tree and…

Hand Stand Hold (Actively press away from the ground beneath you.  Toes point to the sky.)  Please do not flop down…Flow and Grace…Followed by:

15 One Legged Dead Lifts (Weight is held opposite of standing leg.  Your chin and tail bone are mortal enemy’s…Focus and pull them away from one another!)

Hand Stand Hold

15 One Legged Dead Lifts (Following along so far?  Good…)

Hand Stand Hold

15 One Legged Dead Lifts and 15 Perfect One Arm Press (Hinge, DL, Hammer Curl to Rack Hold and Press)

Hand Stand Hold

15 One Legged Dead Lifts and 15 Perfect One Arm Press

At this point you hate life.  This program is not a battle or a struggle against humanity!  The tree really dislikes you because you slam into it every time for a hold and the ground really does not like having weight dropped on its head.  Form, Flow and Grace for at least 30 minutes or so.  If you can only do one DL or Press?  That’s awesome!!!  One perfect rep is better than 15 disastrous ones (think about that for a moment…)!!!


If we were to ask one thing of you it would be this:  Our sense of community at CultFit revolves around you and our ability share our thoughts openly.  What say you?!?  Have a great weekend and most importantly, ENJOY!!!

Thursday 26 April 2012

The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts-

Hmm Hmm…Don’t mind us as we puff out our masculine chest and spew machismo all about.  Oh, sorry didn’t mean to get sweat all over your precious new Athleta Yoga top.  Feel free to slide off your comfy Sanuks before you settle in this morning on the couch.  We just poured a nice cup of Mr. Grey and chances are the kettle is still warm as evidence of the stream still gently rising into the air.  If for some chance you thought things could not get any worse around here after yesterday’s Nickelback, Facts vs. Ignorance and dog balls post?  Think again dear peep, its Thursday!!!  Speaking of which we have never invited you into our pristine kitchen arena here at CultFit HQ?  How rude…

We love food and heating things up in the microwave and basically we would like to share some of our offerings with you.  So without further delay…Feast your eyes on our picturesque dinning options and like we always do on Thursday  “Best Caption Wins Something”:

The Plan-

The Workout-

Rest Day

Without spouting off and going on a twisting rant we understand that Rest Days are the hardest part of your workout program.  “Like duh…How do I get better by meditating in the car on the way to work?”  or “Shit Son…I have a race this weekend and I am 15 miles low for my mileage this week!”

The simple truth:  Your hyper stimulated brain never needs to rest: Go, Go, Go all the time!  Problem is:  You have this thing called “Your Body” and your body secretly hates your brain and every thing your brain does to it.  Is it too much to ask to listen to your body for one day?  Luckily for you dear peeps we have a “Body” and a “Brain” on retainer here at CultFit HQ…Here is a recent conversation we overheard in the bathroom three stalls over:

BODY– “I’m sore, that’s all.”

BRAIN– “I wonder who else is in here?  Work sucks, kids are turds, what is the rep scheme today?  God Vancouver sucks and the Penguins blew it!  Damn Russians and who ever liked the Sedin twins to begin with?  Jesus, look at this!  Who put the toilet paper in the dispenser backwards?  Now I’m screwed with bad luck for the rest of the day!  Shit I forgot my lunch…Well Whole Foods is right next door to work, I’ll just do that instead of going home  in lunch traffic.  Hmm if I do go home I could stop by the co-op and do some yoga at YogaMed?  Yeah, sounds like a plan.  Almost forgot about the NFL draft, talk about a bunch of losers that watch that crap for four days straight!  Tom Brady is still hot as hell!!!  Time to wipe and go someone is coming in…Ahhh man not right next to me…”

BODY– “I’m sore, that’s all.”


Have an awesome day, Rest Up and ENJOY!!!

Wednesday 25 April 2012

Let there be a soft smile on your face, Let your speech be truthful and pleasant, Let there be restraint in emotions, in indulgence; Let there not be excesses anywhere-

**Not very often do we feel compelled to preface a post, well today is a bit different.  Our opinion today is wide-ranging and all over the place (for a reason) it’s up to you dear peep reading in your jammies on this fine morning to decide where you want to take this discussion today.  So without further ado we present you this monstrosity!**

Today’s sign of the Apocalypse:  A Night With the World’s Most Hated Bands

Does it seem that our society has made a gentleman’s agreement in regards to “stuff” that we should know?  And the means in which this information is delivered is based on facts not knowledge:  “You should eat a LvL 5 Vegan diet to run faster.”  Why?  “Well, it helped me so why would it not help you?”  I don’t know?  “Well Nickleback is the best band ever!”  OK,please explain why that is so?

The reason we have a salacious love affair with facts is due to how easy they are to get (iThingy) and also how easy they are to test.  “Great Little Bobby you scored 8 out of 10 on your Fitness Trainer Cert.” …Feel empowered to spread your wealth of facts and not true knowledge.”.  This is not something that is new and if you happened to grow up in good ole ‘Merica? Our education system is entirely built on facts and committing to memory important dates in history (for the most part).  Don’t believe us?  Ask a ‘Merican if a Kit Kat is a cookie or a biscuit?  The answer you will get is that it is a candy bar, fact! Period, argument over.  Look here it even says so on wiki-i-know-nothing!!!  Now ask this same question to someone who lives of the glimmering side of the pond?  Pour a nice cup of PG Tips and prepare to debate Kit Kat’s!!!

End of Act One

We’ll leave this here to cheer you up a bit…

Act Two

From where we sit (in a plush purple love sac) being educated means being able to understand the question presented and thoroughly knowing enough relevant information to make a reasoned argument.  It’s in making a reasoned argument, not facts, this is our key message today.   What ever happened to learning to think and express ones thoughts in a persuasive way?

What is the currency of learning?  What are some of the tangible’s?  Is it preparing oneself to be wrong?

Truth be told it isn’t what you know but how you come to know it that matters to us most.  Our society has forced us from an early age to memorize facts and useless information that clutter up our minds (pick up any issue of Runners World as an example).  Your ability to articulate facts may be useful for passing tests in your life, impressing your friends during your conversation about Glee last night…When all is said and done?  What do you do after you have exhausted your vast knowledge of facts?

The Plan-

The brighter, more serious students were the least desirous of grades, possibly because they were more interested in the subject matter of the course, whereas the dull or lazy students were the most desirous of grades, possibly because grades told them if they were getting by.

Robert M. Pirsig, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance

The Workout-

Brought to you today by the: “Whoa, have not done this is in like 30+ years” department here at CultFit HQ.

Gather up the kids, neighbors, spouse, pets and anyone else who wants to have fun and…

Play around with Cart-Wheels and One Legged Squats while the little ones play.  Followed by:

Freeze Tag until the sun goes down, or up…or if if its up all the time?  30 minutes or so?

Young at heart get tagged: 25 Perfect Push Ups

Kids get tagged:  25 jumping Jacks

BREAKING NEWS!!!  Working out does not need to be tedious and dreadful!  Leave that to reality TV!!!


Jump in peeps and fire away with the comments!  YOUR comments and sense of community here facilitate a sharing of ideas…Hmm, not facts.  Have a blast and ENJOY!!!

Tuesday 24 April 2012

A dog that is lying on garbage may happen to think of its past lives and repent for it. But when it catches a new smell, it runs after it! Likewise is this mind-

**Yes, thank you.  We are in a better mood today!  Green tea and dark chocolate at 6am will do that!?!**

One of the greatest lessons (so we were told…) from the Life of Pi (Yann Martel) is actually quite simple. You can get used to anything…

So when we start talking about humility please do not think that we believe you should be considered self-effacing.  Actually, its 180 degrees from this…Stepping back and thinking about this topic for a moment.  As you become more self-aware, you place more value yourself.  This is when we truly start to become humble.

For to long we have thought that the definition of being humble needed an element of failure,  Just ask Uncle Pliny!  He is of course our resident gimp here at CultFit HQ.  It was not until recently that his orthopedic surgeon gave him this ultimatum:  “Your body cannot take this abuse much longer.  Three major surgery’s in the last 2 years…I like taking money from you but seriously?”

Awareness and humility…Hmm?

As always we are not the experts here…

Loving Others Without Loving Yourself: A Reconsideration

Of Mind and Body  <—If you read only one iota of our message today?  Make it this, please?!?

The Plan-

The Workout-

One of readers sent in a fave program of theirs that really is a blast.  Give it a go and let us know how you made out?!?

Swim/Trail Run/Whatever…Until you are thoroughly Warmed Up (We know that not all of you have access to a pool, the sea or a river.  If you do?  Swimming in our opinion is hands down the best way to Warm Up, followed closely by a Brisk Walk.)

You will need:  A wide open space, one kettle bell and yourself of course.  Pay closer attention to length today rather than reps and time…A soccer pitch, a ball field:  Something that in essence gives a good frame of reference for length (Ja Ja go ahead and say it perv?).

One Turkish Get Up…Stay standing and Waiters Walk for a bit.  Rinse and Repeat with the other arm.

One Turkish Get Up…Stay standing and Over Head Walking Lunge for a bit.  Rinse and Repeat with the other arm.

One Turkish Get Up…Stay standing and Thread the Needle Reverse Walking Lunge for a bit.  Rinse and Repeat with the other arm.

One Turkish Get Up…Stay standing and Heartbeat Press/Walk for a bit.  Rinse and Repeat with the other arm.

One Turkish Get Up…Stay standing and Alternating Goblet Squat for a bit.  Rinse and Repeat with the other arm.

One Turkish Get Up…Stay standing and Hard Style KB Swings for a bit.  Rinse and Repeat with the other arm.

That’s it!  Remember our golden rule here about putting weight above our heads?  If you can’t handle the weight hitting you in the head…Don’t put the weight above your head to begin with!

You can do this program indoors quite successfully,  if you use your imagination.  Outdoors is our preferred method due to the fact that all the Yoga Moms running by think we’re nuts?  Wonder what they are doing at X-Fit later…


The program above really embodies our training approach here:  Time is  relative and  a marginal tool to measure results, Form, Flow, Grace and Awareness are infinitely more important to our overall health.  If you want to experiment with time to see for yourself?  Do the above program in 10 minutes?  It can be done although Form goes to hell as well as Grace…Be safe if you perform the program today and most importantly, ENJOY!!!

Monday 23 April 2012

More wisdom is latent in things as they are than in all the words men use-

We all have a story to tell.  Like all stories we hear during the day some are rather glamorous and full of picturesque examples of our daily lives.  While others may be dark and rather bleak shared quite often enough by the pugnacious people we choose to surround ourselves with.  Maybe one of them is the trainer at your gym who swears by the FMS system yet overlooks and misunderstands basic human movements.  Or what about the chica who just finished a tough round of tabata’s yet has no idea what a VO2 max is?  Is it a new energy drink or something?!?

Over the weekend a group of friends gathered for a light program here at CultFit HQ, nothing special or out of the ordinary.  The flowing current of the conversation hinged on nothing more than honest open dialog aided by a warm cup of tea.  That is of course until Uncle Mo decides to spout off: “Why is it that people today get offended when you care about them?’  Interesting question?  “…Its my goddamn life jerk!  If I want to injure myself running?  Why should you care!”

We are adopting a scorched earth policy this morning and will be throwing every one of you under the proverbial bus.  Ready?!?  The “people” Uncle Mo referred to usually try to wedge into a conversation…”I’m a vegan who ran a marathon and got my dogs from a shelter.  Also I only feed my shelter dogs Whole Foods vegan dog food because it gives them the energy to run with me when I train for marathons.  Oh, and why does everyone here at Oxford feel the need to stop and ask me about my MacBook?” <—This dear reader, is the template of every blog you will read today!

If you feel the need to opine?  Your argument better be as strong as this:

Tommy Godwin’s ‘unbreakable’ cycling record

True Humility is a virtue here at CultFit.

The Plan-

Humilis…We’ll be poking you in the ribs about humility all week or you could just imagine that our thoughts are leaves floating by in a stream.  Do not respond to them; just let them pass by.

The Workout-

Today’s program is brought to you by our dear old Uncle Pliny.

Not for time…

Pranayama, Sodarshan Chakra Kriya and Breath of Fire Kundalini Pranayama followed by:

Nerve Glides and Leg Drains (It was a stressful weekend here!)

From what we hear the Google Machine is a wonderful invention?!?


For the next fortnight we would like YOU to write in and share YOUR favorite program with all of us here!  The only thing we ask is that you provide us with a brief description why this program is important to YOU (In ten words or less…hmm?).  Please accept our gift of a flower as forgiveness for being cantankerous on a lovely Monday morning?  Be well today and ENJOY!!!

Friday 20 April 2012

Bear some stress, bear some sorrows, Biding for time, quash some of your foes.  In this drama called life, always act mindfully; And revel within yourself-

Before we get too far ahead of ourselves on this fine morning a few questions are in order.  Are you addicted to over training and injuring yourself?  We know you don’t do it on purpose and repeatedly injuring yourself is unintentional, or is it?  What we are trying to discuss with you this morning is that the outcome of your self-injury often leaves a permanent mark on your life.  Whether or not your intentions were pure in the first place.

Do we dare tread the murky waters of the addiction stream today?  No, although the addiction you have to injuring yourself is eerily similar  to the release of your emotions.  Unlike talking to a friend, a running partner or your spouse about aggression, fear and self hate.  The tools you employ in injuring yourself while running, lifting and engaging in Extreme Fitness routines  give the reliable and predictable response you desire.  Your actions cannot fail you in the same ways the people in your life can.

Just as some prefer not to workout, to stay at home and cut themselves…To party too hard on the weekend, waking up in regret because of their actions the night before.  Are your actions not the same?  Which one is worse?

The Plan-

These women all 127.6lbs of them are truly Gifted and Exceptional athletes.  Their lives have been dedicated to lifting/sport and achieving at the highest possible levels within their respected discipline.  Did they watch a Reebok CrossFit commercial recently and just as quick as you can snap your fingers…Started to move around some serious weight?  Nope, not even close!  Is this video inspiring, yes!  Motivational, you bet!  An invitation to destroy yourself in the pursuit of who knows what, absolutely not!

The Workout-

Whew…Talk about building some tension in the room?  If you made it this far into the post, Congrats!  Time to roll up our sleeves to do some honest work…

Warm Up as you see fit into a thick, hardy lather and proceed with the following:

3-3-3-3-3-3-3-3-3-3 Perfect Pull Ups (Lengthen and Stretch, Nice even pulls, Change grip on each set) Alternating with…

45 Seconds of a High Push Up Plank and a Low Push Up Plank (Actively Push Away From the Floor, DO NOT Settle into these, PUSH!)  Pull Up/Plank…You get it?!?

Once you go through the above…

Whatever you choose to do as your Warm Up today, Redo it with passion and conviction!  Really get into it, safely!


An end to another long week is upon us and deservedly so in our book, we all deserve a little “me” time and rest.  Be safe this weekend and ENJOY!!!