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Know Why (Gluten Issue)

July 13th, 2014 by Roger


As an informational society, we are constantly bombarded with “advice.” This advice reaches into every aspect of our lives — nutrition, exercise, finances, career, sleep, raising children and just about everything else. Some of this advice is good, some is bad, and at times it can be quite difficult to determine which is which. Developing a set of sources that you trust is a quick method of validation. It would be impossible to research the validity of every bit of advice you are going to receive, so you will have to sometimes simply trust the information.

Given the above, I still strongly advise that you understand the reasons behind the advice you choose to follow. Often, people take advice without having any understanding as to why. The advice may be good or bad, but in either case the recipient may have absolutely no understanding behind the choice. The humorous video above makes it very clear that many people just blindly follow “advice”, in many cases, from fairly uninformed sources.

So, to avoid any embarrassing appearances on the Jimmy Kimmel Show, allow me to educate you about gluten. Gluten is a protein (specifically, a composite of a gliadin and a glutenin) found in wheat and many other grains. Gluten is a known gut irritant. In extreme cases, individuals are diagnosed with Coeliac (Celiac) disease, an autoimmune disorder that causes an inflammatory reaction that interferes with the absorption of nutrients in the small intestine. It is clearly very important for these individuals to avoid gluten. In less extreme cases, individuals may be diagnosed as “gluten intolerant.” These individuals may experience some gastro-intestinal distress of varying degrees when they ingest gluten. Then, there is everyone else, who, even among those who may not be classified as “gluten intolerant” can suffer some gut irritation. This can lead to systemic and chronic inflammation which will have some impact on overall health.


Recent research indicates that gluten itself may be less of a problem than we have been led to believe. Researchers that had originally published significant evidence connecting gluten with many negative health consequences have now published further findings indicating that gluten may not be the culprit. FODMAPs (Fermentable, Oligo-, Di-, Mono-saccharides, And Polyols - a class of short chain carbohydrate) are another “nutrient” category that may be the cause of many of the ills that have been attributed to gluten. FODMAPs are a topic for another post, but whether the health concern is FODMAPs or gluten, doesn’t change the dietary recommendations we have been making for the past decade. Avoid things like bread and pasta. There are many gluten-free products on the market today, but these may be no better for you than the original products due to FODMAP content. Ultimately, if you are eating meat and vegetation, gut irritation is simply not an issue.

gluten-free-seal-16256523Now, let’s discuss chemical nomenclature so you can more quickly identify nutrients. Food labels will try to hide certain information by using unfamiliar terms for nutritionally deficient ingredients. But, if you know basic chemical nomenclature you can often identify ingredients without having to memorize thousands of terms. First, any word with the suffix -ose is a sugar. Second, the word hydrogenated (partially or otherwise) is a trans fat. Third, any word with the suffix -ol is an alcohol. Many food companies are now replacing sugars with sugar alcohols in certain products. The health consequences of this change is not well researched or understood.

Educate yourself. Spend some time discovering the reasons behind your lifestyle choices. Create a network of trusted sources for those cases where researching the why is unfeasible. Be prepared in case Jimmy Kimmel’s crew comes along and asks you a simple question about your life choices.

Help Send Bill and Amanda to the CrossFit Games!

July 11th, 2014 by Dana

Amanda_BillThis could be your last chance to help with sending Bill and Amanda to the CrossFit Games!

A HUGE thank you to everyone who has contributed so far! We are now in the home stretch and we’d love your help!! If you haven’t contributed yet, there are 3 ways to do so:
1. Visit our link on-line:
2. Walk into the office to make a contribution with your credit card/account.
3. Have a few spare dollars in your wallet? Add them to the collections box on the CrossFit floor.

Regardless how you donate, once you do, grab a pen and sign the fundraising kettlebell (made by some really cute kids) on the wall in the CrossFit area. Feel free to write a short note of encouragement also.

Let’s show our support by getting this amazing team to Carson to represent The Cave at the Crossfit Games in July. Thank you all!

Brussels Sprouts Chips

July 10th, 2014 by Dana
Nom Nom Paleo chips

Nom Nom Paleo chips

Thank you Nom Nom paleo for this amazing recipe!
I LOVE these chips! This is the perfect snack for anyone that loves chips, but is looking for a healthy alternative.
What you Need

  • 2 cups of brussels sprouts leaves (from about 2 pounds of brussels sprouts
  • 2 cups of melted ghee
  • kosher salt to taste
  • Lemon Zest (optional)
  • How you make them
    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
    2. Cut the stems off right at the base of the baby cabbages and pull off the outer leaves.
    3. Wash the leaves
    4. Mix the leaves, ghee and salt together in a large bowl
    5. Line 2 large baking trays with parchment paper. Divide the leaves evenly in a single layer on each tray.
    6. Bake each tray for 8-10 minutes until crispy and brown around the edges
    7. add optional lemon zest
    8. CHOW!!
    I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.

    5 Post CrossFit Yoga Poses for GHD Sit Ups

    July 9th, 2014 by Stephanie

    In the CrossFit community the GHD Sit Up is officially called the “Glute-Ham Developer Sit Up” but unofficially you might dub this the “ab crusher.” It is a powerful movement that should be approached with caution but shouldn’t be removed from your training.

    When this sit up is done correctly, lowering down and then forcefully contracting the quads, straightening the legs and essentially whipping yourself back up right, little or no pressure will put on the low back and the abdominals will get a mighty good workout. What’s amazing about the GHD Sit Up is that during the actual movement, your legs seem to be doing most if not all of the work. In reality, while your legs are working hard and your hip flexors are helping to draw the spine up, it is the abdominals that actually stabilize and bring the torso upright and get the biggest workout.

    For those of you who have done GHD Sit Up, the days post WOD are brutal. This particular sit up is a huge contraction of the anterior chain since the body goes past horizontal and is unmatched by any regular sit up. Not only does this movement work the Rectus Abdominis or “six pack abs,” but the Transverse Abdominis as well, which is key in stabilize the core for other movements like Front Squats or Snatches.

    These 5 Post CrossFit Yoga Poses for GHD Sit Ups are meant to gently stretch the abdominals to restore normal flexibility and movement back into the anterior chain. Some of these poses might not be accessible because of soreness but do the ones you can.

    *Tip: Go slow. Slow might be all you can manage the day after a few rounds of GHD Sit Ups, but either way, gently make your way into these yoga poses and hold for up to 30 seconds while you breath in and out through the nose. I would also recommend performing the stretches in the order shown below, as it will gradually restore movement back into your mid-section and prevent over stretching.

    1. Salamba Bhujangasana (Sphinx Pose)

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    Start on your belly. Come onto your forearms slowly keeping the elbow under the shoulder. Press the palms firmly into the ground and let the chest gently drive forward and up. Allow the hips to relax while keeping the tailbone reaching towards the heels. Breathe and allow the breath to invite the body to relax and receive the stretch.

    2. Bitilasana (Cow Pose)

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    Start on your hands and knees with the knees under the hips and the hands underneath the shoulders. On your inhale, allow the tailbone to reach towards the ceiling, the belly to drop towards the ground and the chest to move forward and up. Think about arching your spine stretching out the front body.

    3. Urdhva Mukha Svanasana (Up Dog)

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    Starting Sphinx Pose, walk the hands towards the hips straightening the arms. The hands should be underneath the shoulders. Press down through the palms and tops of the feet to allow the hips to slowly lift of the ground. Feel the chest move forward and up through the gateway of the shoulders as you lengthen your tailbone towards your heels. Breathing here for 15 seconds and then relax and repeat.

    4. Anjaneyasana with Side Stretch (Low Lunge Side Stretch)

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    Starting in a low lunge with the right foot forward, the front heel directly under the front knee and the back toes un-tucked, allow the hips to relax towards the ground as you feel the hips hug together. The frontal hip points should be parallel to the front of the mat. Place your right forearm on your right thigh for stability, lift the left arm up and over to the right feeling a side stretch along the left side. Hold and breathe here for 30 seconds. If you have the space in the side body, you can gently turn the chest up towards the ceiling to feel the stretch through the hip flexor and front of the belly.

    5. Ustrasana (Camel Pose)

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    Start kneeling with the knees hips distance. Placing the hands on your butt (no joke) roll the shoulders back and down and squeeze the shoulder blades together. Lift out of the side body and while keeping the hips moving forward, start to send the chest up and back. You have the option to reach the hands towards the heels but make sure you continue to lift the chest up while keeping the low back long. Breath here for 10 seconds, slowly come up by placing one hand on the butt and lifting yourself back up and then repeat 3 times.

    Stephanie Ring
    Creator of EndureYoga
    *Yoga for Improved Athletic Performance*

    Challenge WOD #6 is…….

    July 7th, 2014 by Dana

    8 Min AMRAPropes

    10 Double Kettlebell Snatch 1/.75P
    1 Rope Climb
    Movement Standards:
    Double Kettlebell Snatch:  The athlete will hold a kettlebell in each hand.  The movement starts with the athlete picking up the kettlebells, one in each hand.  The athlete can choose to go directly from the ground or or movement can start from the bottom of a swing. The kettlebells must stay between the legs.  The movement finishes with both kettlebells held overhead with knees, hips, shoulders, and elbows fully extended ,and both kettlebells resting against the back of the forearm.  The kettlebells must travel overhead unbroken, kettlebells are not allowed to touch the shoulder or upper arm.
    Rope Climb:  Athlete will start from the ground and climb, foot locks permitted, up to the 15′ mark.  The athlete must touch the 15′ mark.  The movement concludes with the athlete back on the ground.

    Happy Birthday America

    July 4th, 2014 by Dana

    We hope you have a safe and happy July 4th celebration


    The Accidental Snack

    July 3rd, 2014 by karen

    frozen_string_beansHealthy snack recipes don’t get any easier than this: Yesterday while unpacking the groceries, instead of putting the string beans in the refrigerator, my husband accidentally put them in the freezer. But what a happy accident that was – they were awesome! After taking the bag out of the freezer and yelling at him (slight exaggeration), I ate one. I then hugged him and put them back into the freezer. It was a perfect snack and an instant hit. My husband, son, and I have since been reaching in for them like addicts, and now they’ve all been eaten. Next time I buy string beans, they’re going straight from the grocery bag into the freezer.

    Introducing our new CrossFit coach — Jaime Jereb!

    July 2nd, 2014 by Dana

    JaimeIntroducing our new CrossFit coach — Jaime Jereb! If you haven’t met Jaime yet, you are in for a treat! Jaime is our latest CrossFit coach and she brings not only an amazing attitude, but a wealth of knowledge and commitment to fitness. Below is her brief biography. Please join me in giving her a warm welcome to our Cave family!

    Jaime Jereb has always considered herself a bit of a “lifelete.” Never fully focusing on a specific sport, she enjoys the idea of being an active, healthy, human being for life. “Anything can happen, so you better be prepared!”300131_2229946904810_3754924_n

    Mid-college, the lifelete found herself following a career path in the fire service. She attended Butte Fire Academy in 2004 where she quickly got a taste of true functional fitness — being 5′2” and 120 pounds, she had to learn to maneuver and carry the equivalent of over half her bodyweight.

    After graduating and working in the Emergency Medical Services, she realized that trying to help people after they were sick, unhealthy and broken was not what she wanted to do. So, Jaime went back to school, attending CSU Chico where she studied Kinesiology in hopes of learning how to prevent some of what she saw during her EMS stint.

    1175466_10201307530546905_1545772915_nIn 2006, she packed up and headed to San Diego for a total change of pace and a new career. There she started her own business, specializing in fun, effective, functional fitness. Since Jaime has a passion for learning and a desire to bring her clients the best possible tools for success, she went back to school a third time, attending the Institute for Integrative Nutrition to become a holistic health counselor with a focus on Paleo/real food nutrition, bio-individuality and cross-training.1000761_10200913033484725_1949430513_n

    With a strong belief that ‘less is more’ Jaime is constantly preaching healthy wellness and real life living to her clients. HAVE FUN, SLEEP WELL, EAT WELL, LIVE A LOT! When she isn’t in the gym walking on her hands, swinging from bars or sprinting down the street, you can usually find her skateboarding with her dog, perusing the aisles at Whole Foods (her guilty pleasure), and laughing her face off with friends.

    5 Post CrossFit Yoga for Deadlifts

    July 1st, 2014 by Stephanie

    To begin this series of posts on Yoga for CrossFit, we will focus on High Rep Deadlifts and Max Effort Deadlift. Deadlifts are an amazing functional movement that we perform almost every day when lifting something from up off the ground, though maybe because of the weight of the object you don’t feel as though you are doing an official Deadlift. This movement is often thought of as dangerous because of the strain it can put on the low back but if done properly it is one of the best movements you can go do to gain overall strength within the body.
    When done right, this posterior chain movement will strengthen hamstrings, glutes, back muscles, core and much more. When done incorrectly, pain and tightness in the low back will be felt almost immediately.  Check out our previous post for information on proper Deadlift form and resources on different types of training to increase your Deadlift max weight.

    The difference between High Rep Deadlift and Max Effort Deadlift in terms of stress on the low back is that usually during WOD’s with HRD’s (High Rep Deadlift), form starts to degrade with time and the low back is recruited as fatigue sets in. The athlete might not feel it at the time during the workout but soreness and pain in the low back usually felt the next day and is a clue that the athletes form broke down during the workout. As for the MED (Max Effort Deadlift), if during a heavy single, double or triple rep lift the athletes form breaks down, usually with rounding in the low back, strain is most likely felt right away.  After workouts involving either HRD or MED, it is important to stretch to unwind and release tension in the main muscle groups from the work you just performed.

    These 5 Post CrossFit Yoga poses will help athletes stretch the posterior chain from both High Rep Deadlifts and Max Effort Deadlift and can be done immediately following the WOD or the next day.

    **Tip- These stretches are not meant to increase your flexibility quickly but to lengthen the muscles that were used during your Deadlifts. So once you feel a good stretch choose not to go farther to help prevent over stretching issues.**

    1. Ardha Hanumanasana (Half Split)- Hamstrings

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    Start kneeling, with the toes un-tucked and extend one leg out in front. Flex the foot of the straight leg, toes point straight up. While maintaining a flexed foot, keep a slight bend in the knee to prevent hyperextension. On an exhale, gently fold forward over the straight leg. Fingertips come to the front of the shin or the ground on either side of the leg. Keep the hips hugging together and reaching the extended legs sit-bones back towards the back heel. After thirty seconds to a minute of inhaling and exhaling through the nose, switch sides.

    2. Parvirtta Anjaneyasana (Low Lunge Twist) Low Back

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    Start in a runners lunge with the right foot forward and left knee down and the back toes un-tucked. Squaring off the hips, place the left elbow outside of the right knee and bring the hands to touch. Inhale to lengthen the spine forward and on your exhale, gently twist to the right. Allow the hips to soften towards the ground and the spine to twist. After thirty seconds to a minute of inhaling and exhaling through the nose, switch sides

    3. Sucirandhrasana (Eye of the Needle Pose) Glutes

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    Start by lying on the floor. Bend your left knee and place the foot on the ground. Right foot will go over and above your left knee and while keeping the right foot flexed, draw your left knee into your chest. You can choose to grab the back of the left thigh or front of the shin. Continue to press the right knee away from your chest as you draw your left knee in. Breathing in and out through the nose to allow the glutes to relax and stretch for up to 2 minutes then switch sides.

    4. Parsva Uttanasana (Forward Fold with Twist) Low Back, Outer Hips and Hamstrings

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    Start standing with feet hips distance. Exhale and gently fold forward. Softly bend the left knee and while keeping your left fingertips on the ground in front of your left foot, inhale to lengthen your spine forward then exhale to reach your right are up and open the chest to the right. After thirty seconds to a minute of inhaling and exhaling through the nose, switch sides.

    5. Supta Matsyendrasana (Reclined Spinal Twist) Low Back

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    Start by lying on your back and draw one knee into the chest keeping the other leg extended on the ground. Gently draw your knee across the body. Let the shoulders drop down to the ground. Breathing in and out through the nose to allow the low back to relax and stretch for up to 2 minutes then switch sides.

    Stephanie Ring
    Creator of EndureYoga
    *Yoga for Improved Athletic Performance*

    This week in The Cave

    June 30th, 2014 by Dana

    Amanda_BillPlease note that The Cave will be CLOSED on FRIDAY, JULY 4TH. All classes (*EXCEPT CrossFit at 9am and 10am) are cancelled for that day. The Cave will be OPEN for all regularly scheduled classes (in all disciplines) on Thursday, 7/3,  Saturday, 7/5, and Sunday, 7/6. If you have any questions regarding holiday hours, please contact Amy at

    Changes to CrossFit programming:
    Bo recently announced some exciting changes to our CrossFit programming!  We now offer 2 parallel tracks during classes: Fitness and Performance.  Read all about it here!
    Help send Bill and Amanda to the Games!
    We’ve started  a crowdfunding campaign to help send Bill and his coach Amanda to the CrossFit Games in July. Please donate by going here: Thank you so much!

    Summer Camps

    Have you made summer plans for your kids yet?  The Cave’s summer camps are perfect for any age and any level!  Our coaches will challenge your child at her level while making sure they are safe and having fun.


    If you like the idea of keeping the kids healthily active during the summer (while giving parents a few hours break),  check out our Summer Camp schedule below!  Then be sure to register NOW as these classes fill up FAST!
    Gymnastics:  July 28- August 1
    Youth Camp:  August 4-8
    Gymnastics:  August 11-15
    Parkour:  August 18-22

    REGISTER ON-LINE OR CALL (415)927-1630.

    CrossFit Trainer’s Gymnastics Seminar

    amanda_muSpend 3 hours with Roger Harrell, founder of the CrossFit Gymnastics Certification program, learning how to properly teach gymnastics fundamentals in a CrossFit program. Detailed progressions will be covered. Key safety concerns will be addressed specifically geared toward teaching gymnastics movements to adults.

    August 9, 2014 01:00PM to 4:00PM

    Member cost: $70.00
    Non-member cost: $75.00

    To register, use the “Register” link to sign up for just this seminar.  This seminar is limited to 20 participants, so sign up early to ensure a spot. The price listed above will hold up until 10 days prior to the event (July 31) at which time the event cost will increase to $90.

    This seminar is coupled with the Athlete’s Gymnastics Seminar. Member’s cost for both Trainer’s and Athlete’s seminars is $90, non-member cost is $100.  Call (415) 250-9710 to sign up for BOTH seminars and receive the special pricing.

    CrossFit Athlete’s Gymnastics Seminar
    Spend 3 hours with Roger Harrell, founder of the CrossFit Gymnastics Certification program, learning gymnastics movements. This seminar is focused on proper and efficient execution of key gymnastics elements.  Get started or improve your technique on a variety of movements. Learn how these skills truly break down to work toward mastery. Floor, rings and parallettes will be covered in detail with an introduction to other gymnastics apparatus.  Learn some key techniques to dramatically improve your efficiency and enable performance of skills you thought unattainable.

    August 9, 2014 04:30PM - 7:30 PM

    Member cost: $70.00

    Non-member cost: $75.00

    To register, use the “Register” link to sign up for just this seminar.  This seminar is limited to 20 participants so sign up early to ensure a spot. The price listed above will hold up until 10 days prior to the event (July 31) at which time the event cost will increase to $90.

    This seminar is coupled with the Trainer’s Gymnastics Seminar. Member’s cost for both Athlete’s and Trainer’s seminars is $90, non-member cost is $100.  Call (415) 250-9710 to sign up for BOTH seminars and receive the special pricing.