130518 "When In Greece, Eat Like a GREEK"

Traveling is the most prized wealth that we have as mobile and capable humans. This week I find myself traversing the deep blue waters and craggy seasides of Greece. I am stricken with an innate curiosity that has me researching and analyzing everything as it passes through my consciousness . And so there is food... The nourishing fuel that here in Greece is almost a prehistoric routine. Greek eating has spawned many trends in food culture but none more popularized than the "Mediterranean diet". Now I think diets are bullshit but I will dig in today on a few key aspects of this lifestyle which align well with healthy living,  longevity and performance.

In my short time here I have come to the realization that the Mediterranean diet is not one of extravagance but rather humbleness. The greeks are humble and wealth on these islands is only a manifestation of tourist culture. The Culture combines both the natural landscapes which are prime for olives , vegetables and nuts; and the Sea which can deliver a catch to even the most land locked greek in a matter of minutes.  Understanding this premise will help to wrap your brain around the necessity of this lifestyle rather than the choice. 

Vegetables will be eaten. 

Small villages open up to rural hillsides where plots of land have been dug out over the millennia. Each plot of land, no more than an acre or two, produces some of the most interesting combinations of farming that I have seen. The top layer of soil in most areas is scraped away and gardens bring forth all manner of hearty vegetables. It is easy to see that Tomatoes, Cucumbers, leafy greens and rooted veggies thrive on the winter rains and the temperate summer heat. Because of this, the cornerstone of the Mediterranean lifestyle is eating copious amounts of vegetables multiple times per day. Diets high in fiber like this are wonderful for balancing blood sugar, feeding probiotics in the GUT, and fighting off all manner of cognitive decrepitude. So if there is one thing you should be doing to eat like a Greek, its get on the veggie train. Hell they have a damn salad named after their culture!

Oil Me down. 

Americans are fucked. If you walk into your super market right now you will find AT LEAST  an isle and and a half of processed grains in the form of cereals and other B.S.. Here in Greece you will find a comparable amount of Olive Oils in every store. Olive Oil is very high in Fat which is a optimal form of fuel if you want to cut down on the insulin roller coaster that most of us put our bodies through on a daily basis. Olive Oil pressed and minimally processed has better taste and is SUPER high in natural antioxidants. I have covered this extensively, but it bears mentioning again; your cells are in constant battle with the oxidative processes in your body. The outer layer of your cells and much of your bodies tissues is a LIPID (fat) layer. This fat layer is aided by healthy oils and other fats in your diet. Olive Oil is also is high in Vitamin K and E with a proper balance of both Omega 3 &6 Fats. Because Greeks eat a minimal amount of Butter and other saturated fats, Oil is a reason why heart disease is so low in this part of the world. 

Pass the Fish.

Not surprisingly, fish is a big deal here in Greece. It does not matter what type of fish, if it swims here, its dinner. The Mediterranean Sea is an ancient fishery that has fueled expansion of our race and damn sure fed Jesus and Mohammad when they were out changing lives together back in the day! Living in Hawaii, I really enjoy an extensive menu from the sea. Its not all Salmon for me when I sit down. I want the good stuff that may look a little weird, is hard to pronounce and may come with a few extra bones. I love fish and it is a standard here in Greece. The diet and lifestyle promote much more fish consumption than it does poultry and red meat. Because of the proximity to the water, fish (as I come to understand) has always been the cheapest and most readily available form of protein in the Greek diet. Octopus, Mussels, clams, Lobster, Anchovies all sit together on the menu at every restaurant at reasonable prices compared to what we see in America. It s a weird reality, if you have a food supply chain that less about 'consumption' and more about providing what is available, you get a healthy population... I think we are still trying to figure that out in our country. 

Lets Open a Bottle and Talk about it. 

For all you non-drinkers out there you can skip this section. In fact, go have a sparkling water and come back at the end. If you love wine and contestations, read on. Wine and connectivity are huge here in Greece. I am damn partial to California wine but I do commend this ancient culture on their abilities over the millennia. This truly unique culture has a similar growing and fermenting style that produces a wine with incredible diversity. The hearty vineyards with rocky soil, and abundant sunshine in the Summer are equally valued in the Mediterranean Lifestyle. On Santorini, the green leaves lie in stark contrast to the the hardened grays of the granite mountains. Wine goes best with friends. Connecting and sharing a moment over a glass of wine has been shown to produce as much health benefits as physical training.. (that to the best of my knowledge is a completely opinionated statement but its sounded right) . Here in Greece, drinking and socializing is a reality that is so culturally integrated, it is written about in traditional songs. Benefits include decreased blood pressure, stronger community bonds, a more relaxed outlook on life, good sex, and wine pairs really well with chocolate!

I could go on and on about the lack of sugar in all the food, a physical culture that is always moving, nuts being served with meals... the list can go on and on. But Ill leave you with one last concept about eating like a Greek while in Greece;

Enjoy what you eat. 

Slow the fuck down and enjoy your food while in Greece. Yes the scooters are flying by and there are 3 cars trying to pass each other on a 1 lane road but in the sidewalk cafes and beached restaurants, Greeks are sitting quietly and enjoying their food. I find that eating for performance is all about making the quota and not enough about enjoying the process.  When you eat slower you naturally eat less, you provide your body the time it needs to adequately digest, and flavors get a chance to unfurl in your mouth. Eating lIke a Greek may involve staple foods which provide a metabolic outcome that is favorable to health but the joy brought by each bite brings life to your souls and that is what elevates our consciousness. So travel here, experience, understand and love food. Greece is made for eating, and Ill be doing plenty of that!

With Love and Kindness,

Programming Notes 5/14-5/18

Roll Out Sub Scapula and Lats For 3-5 Mins
250m Row
12 PVC Pass Thru
12 Squat Therapy
12 Deadbug Ipsalateral Reaches

3X8 (each Leg, across)
Dumbbell Step Ups
*ensure that the box height is low enough so that the hip and knee are in alignment during step up.
*ensure that trailing leg does not touch box until working leg is at full extension.
*scale weight accordingly

8 Burpee
16 Single Arm DB Overhead Squat
-Rest 3:00—
7 min AMRAP
8 Cal Row
16 DB Renegade Row

Cool Down:
:30 GHD Hip Extension Hold
:30 Side pLank (each Side)

400m Run
Squat Flow: Kang Squat, Internal Rotation, Hip Bridge, Ankle Roll Outs, Boot Straps, PNF, Squat W/ T Spine Rotation
400m Run
15 Barbell Good Mornings
15 Barbell Front Squats
15 barbell Muscle Cleans

Muscle Up Prep:
:20 Ring Support Top
5X Muscle Up Negatives (begin form top support and work eccentric)
:20 Ring Support Bottom
5X Hip Bridge + Transition to ring support bottom (pop the hip and pull through)
:20 leg assisted Muscle Ups (can be jumping or hip bridge iterations)

“Nasty Girls”
50 Squats
7 Muscle Ups
10 Hang Power Clean 135/95

3X :45 @ Each :15 Rest
-Jump Rope
-Push Ups
-Hollow Hold
-Side Lunges
-Handstand Hold

Push Press:
*weights on the 10’s should be the same as the heavy 5’s
*be aggressive

15 Box Jumps 24/20
10 Push Jerks 135/95
5 Toes To bar

Lat Band Mob
Bully Mob
Scapula Distraction

Samson Lunge
Walking Reverse Lunges
Inchworm W/ Push Ups
Alternating V Ups

Midline Stability:
(Not For Time)
GHD Sit Ups
Single Arm Ring Row
Overhead Kettlebell Reverse Lunges

27 Thrusters 95/65
4 Rope Climbs
21 Thrusters
3 Rope Climbs
15 Thrusters
2 Rope Climbs
9 Thrusters
1 Rope Climb

*go legless if can
*COMPARE to 1/17/18

500M Row
15 Banded Good Mornings
25’ Banded Lateral Walk
12 Single Leg Barbell Romanian Deadlift

Banded Hip Mobility:

-Lateral Distraction
-Hip Flexor Stretch
-Banded Hamstring Pulses

For Time
5 Burpee Over bar
5 Deadlift 335/225
10 Cal bike
5 Clean 225/125
15 Paralette Pass Thru
5 barbell Good Mornings 135/95