Thursday, October 27, 2011

Making Lunch Count

By: Tomilyn Thornberry

Now that the school year is in full-swing it’s possible that as we get busier, whether as students or parents when it comes to packing lunches it’s easy to just throw together the most accessible thing in our pantry into our bag or the kids’ lunch boxes. Busy schedules somehow tend to take over and we forget that what we eat for lunch is important, especially at the midpoint of the day when our brains and bodies need a boost.

I was a middle school teacher for 2 years and it was always tough for me to see kids bring lunches that included nothing but white bread and sugary jelly, chips, high-sugar “juices” and fruit snacks. I even had a student who brought nothing but a Ziploc full of marshmallows for lunch one day! While it may be convenient to stuff a brown paper snack with a plethora of pre-packaged empty carbohydrates kids and adults alike are, in my opinion, better off not even eating lunch than eating empty calories with no actual nutrients. Coincidentally, many of my students that brought some of the aforementioned items were also those that demonstrated a noticeable slump in mental coherence and mood during afternoon classes. Studies show that children who eat diets rich in fiber and protein perform better in school than those who consume diets low in protein and high in sugar.  Not only does protein and fiber take longer to digest than high sugar foods, but they also supply essential amino acids that combine to form proteins that are essential for managing the neurotransmitters in the brain.  I’ve had parents ask me during parent-teacher conferences for suggestions with helping their child “focus” and I always told them that in my opinion the best place to start is with what you feed your body ( and therefore ,brain.)

Healthy school lunches, especially in the public school sector is a topic that is as broad as it is long so much so that professional chefs make TV shows about it (i.e. Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution) and state and federal legislature is continuously fighting battles over it. My only attempt here in this post is to point you towards some ideas of simple ways to incorporate brain-and-body-boosting foods into noontime meals. It doesn’t mean you can’t throw in a bag of Sun Chips or a pack of fruit snacks into your or your child’s lunch but the meal can’t rest on those things. Your body and especially those of children need protein, vegetables, fruit and healthy fats to get through the afternoon slump. It’s actually amazing how easy it can be to switch out “go-to” items that lack nutrients with much more fortifying options. Sometimes we just need some hints! So whether you are packing a lunch for yourself, your spouse or your children here are a few links with some clever tips on making lunch count! (Oh and use your Tupperware!) Happy eating!


- For those that need visual aids here are some pictures from a website called This Lunch Rox ( .

This lunch includes:  peanut butter roll-up, cucumbers, almonds, strawberries and blueberries, chewy chocolate granola bar

This lunch includes:  turkey/spinach/cheese wrap, strawberries, celery & p.b. (if peanut allergies are a concern you could use hummus instead), peanut butter-dark chocolate muffins, trail mix 

This lunch includes:  cheese & onion quesadillas on flax seed tortillas, salad with ranch dressing, strawberries/kiwi, flax seed taco chips, brownie

Today’s quick-and-easy lunch includes:  egg salad sandwich, plum, broccoli and ranch dip, chocolate granola bar, spelt pretzels and cheese

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Up Next

Our first Healthy Choices Seminar is almost here! We will be holding it on November 10th at Family Supportive Housing in San Jose. During the seminar, we will be teaching a variety of fun, exercise and nutritional lessons to a great group of kids. We are incredibly excited to have our first opportunity to have an impact on the community and will be preparing ourselves in the coming weeks to make the program as good as it can be.

We will be holding a meeting tomorrow (Wednesday) in room 119 at 4pm. To go over a few of the logistics for the event. We will also be holding a mandatory training for the exercise and nutritional portions of the program next week on a day that will be determined at tomorrow's meeting.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

What A Day

The 2011 Work Hard Play Hard Fundraiser is in the books! We had an incredible day enjoying challenging workouts, great food, and a whole lot of fun. The athletes who competed were inspiring, to say the least, and gave every ounce of effort they had. At the end of the day, CrossFit Amity (Team Ramrod) came out on top with CrossFit Santa Clara (The Deadliest Snatch) finishing with a close second and CrossFit Moxie (Team Bird Noise) coming in at third place.

We'd like to thank CrossFit Moxie for letting us throw the event at their place. They were very generous to open their doors to us and we are truly grateful to be able to team up with such a great group of guys. Also, thank you to all who volunteered with judging, setting up, cooking, and participating.

This is the first of many events The Kidnetics Project will be throwing. Our efforts through this event were not only to raise funds for our club; but, to bring people together for the sole purpose of enjoying the positivity that health, fitness, and team work can bring. We definitely achieved that and hope to continue holding similar events in the near future!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Event #2

This workout will be very simple and a lot of fun, here is the format:

Workout #2:

There will be an 8 minute time period and each teammate will complete a sandbag run of 120m. This will be in a relay format. Once the sandbag run is completed, the rest of the 8 minutes will be used to perform as many lateral jump burpees as possible. Only two teammates can work at one time and the total score for the event will be the amount of burpees performed by the team. 

  1. 3 x 120M sandbag run (65lbs -men/45lbs - women)
  2. Max. lateral jump burpees 

The sandbag run can be performed however you would like, just get the sandbag from A to B.

Demo for the lateral jump burpee (excuse the music):

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Event #1

Due to a few different requests we will be making a couple very slight changes to workout number one. The workout will now be a Team Fight Gone Bad. This is an AWESOME workout and could only be made better by having a couple of teammates pushing through it together. Here are the logistics of the workout...


In this workout you move from each of five stations after a minute. This is a five-minute round from which a one-minute break is allowed before repeating. We've used this in 3 and 5 round versions. The stations are:

  1. Wall-ball: 20 pound ball, 10 ft target. (Reps)
  2. Sumo deadlift high-pull: 75 pounds (Reps)
  3. Box Jump: 20" box (Reps)
  4. Push-press: 75 pounds (Reps)
  5. Row: calories (Calories)

The clock does not reset or stop between exercises. On call of "rotate," the athlete/s must move to next station immediately for good score. One point is given for each rep, except on the rower where each calorie is one point.

Here are videos for the movement standards:


Sumo Deadlift High-Pull

Box Jumps (20")

Push Press


There it is! Workout #1 is ready to roll and those of you who are not familiar with the movements should check those videos out and practice. We will review the standards again before we start the workout. Workout #2 will be posted later today!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Online Registration Now Available

Online registration for The Work Hard Play Hard Fundraiser is now available online! VISIT HERE to sign up a register your team of three now!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Work Hard Play Hard Fundraiser!

We are having a fundraiser!! What better way to get our quarter started off than to have a great workout, bbq, and drinks with friends? We are incredibly excited to get together and have a great time! Online registration will be available soon so start getting your teams set up.

Work Hard Play Hard Fundraiser

Date: 10.22.11
Time: 10am-3pm
Teams: 3 person teams and must have atleast 1 girl
Workouts: There will be 3 team events, each consisting of a different crossfit-style workout. Prizes will be awarded for the top 3 teams. Workouts will also be scaled for those who want to do them, but don't wish to compete. Our number one goal is to have a great time with fun workouts!
Cost: $75/team - includes bbq/beer after
Why: The Kidnetics Project is a non-profit organization affiliated with Palmer Chiropractic College West whose mission is to educate the youth of The Bay Area about health and wellness. We are holding this event to raise funds for our club in support of our efforts to reach out to the community through seminars and after school programs. The money from this event will be placed towards supplying food, exercise equipment, travel costs, nutritional lesson plans, uniforms, etc. to allow our club to effectively reach out to the schools and families of our surrounding community.

Registration: 9am-10am
Event #1: 10am-11:15am
Event #2: 11:30am - 12pm
Event #3: 12:30pm - 1pm
BBQ: 1pm-when the food/beer is gone

Event #1:
3 Rounds - 1min @ each station

Wallballs 20lbs for men/14lbs for women
Rowing for calories
Box jumps 20in for men and women

**total reps performed by the team will be their score
Demos for exercises of this workout can be found on youtube and will also be posted on this site as videos soon.
The second two workouts will be announced soon.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Worry Warts Unite!

     I am a self proclaimed worry wart. I diagnosed myself with “worry-wartitis” during my early teens when I found myself waking up in the middle of the night worrying about what the next day entailed. “Worrying about the future will only give you wrinkles and high blood pressure” explained my mother.  With neither of those options sounding appealing to me, I asked myself: What was the point of worrying over small, and often ridiculous, issues?

     I still have episodes of “worry- wartitis” occasionally to this day, and this particular article really speaks to me. However, when I catch myself worrying about certain things I really try to focus on the positive outcomes of that certain situation, rather than the negative outcomes.  Studies have shown that those who practice positive thinking have lower rates of stress, depression and cardiovascular diseases, and have increased coping skills and resistance to the common cold.  As a stress-laden society, I believe we can all seriously benefit from positive thinking.

Deborah Marin