Culture Trumps Strategy

I have always preached a healthy lifestyle, one with proper sleep, good nutrition and exercise (of whatever variety that may be) are paramount to both short term and long term wellness.  Why?  Because locking in on all three can trump diseases, both acute and chronic.  Nutrition, Sleep and exercise boost the immune system.  Scientific research shows that prevention is the best medicine.  The best way to fight cold and flu are preventative measures like sleep, diet and exercise.  You may still get colds, and flus, or other viruses, but the stronger your immune system is, the less of a foothold, and symptoms, you will experience.  This is without any supplementation, or flu vaccine, which I will discuss in a later blog.

High quality of life is what we are after, in both the short term and long term.  We know that we can use reactive medicine to make people live longer.  Anyone who has been in a nursing home can attest we have the ability to keep people alive with medicines and interventions, but what is the quality of life of many of those?  Is that a quality of life you would want when you are older?

The current pandemic has brought this to light even more so as it is hitting people with pre-existing conditions very hard.  The main risk factors for COVID19 are

  • Chronic lung disease
  • Diabetes
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Chronic renal disease
  • Chronic liver disease
  • Being immunocompromised
  • Neurological disorder
  • Neurodevelopmental or intellectual disability
  • Pregnancy
  • Smoking
  • Obesity

Alarming statistics, as 1/3 of Americans have prediabetes or diabetes.  Almost half of U.S. adults have hypertension. Fifteen percent of Americans have chronic kidney disease.  1/3 of Americans are obese (and probably fall into one other risk factor), and 2/3 overweight (and probably fall into one of other risk factors).

How many of the risk factors are based on lifestyle or lifestyle choices?  How many of the risk factors are preventable?  How many COVID19 hospitalizations and even deaths could have been prevented based on lifestyle changes?

Today I was on a remote workshop for workplace leadership and the following graphic was shown to demonstrate a key principle to running any business, but I felt it was very applicable to the issues we are seeing today.  What is the American Culture?  We have a sedentary culture of fast food, high stress and fast paced jobs, highly processed foods, reactive medicine (we have a pill for that).  Our culture has facilitated a health crisis, which we knew well before COVID19 based on disease statistics, which has been brought to the forefront even more with the current pandemic.  Our culture is potentially why America is being so hard hit by this virus.

Culture eats strategy for breakfast.  Yes.  Our unhealthy culture is preventing many of strategies to reduce the effect this virus has on death rate.  Social distancing doesn’t seem to be working.  We have a population of unhealthy people, spreading an airborne pathogen, which effects unhealthy people greater than healthy people.  The older, sickest members of our population are being hardest hit, but many younger Americans are also being affected.  Why?  Culture eats strategy for breakfast.  No strategy for containment or prevention would work.  Too many Americans are kindling for the fire this virus has created.

This virus may go away, but whats to say there will not be another next year.  Those are short term problems.  Your health and fact that you are aging daily will not go away.  Want to improve outcomes and make strategies more effective? Want to improve the quality of life you have now and later?  Change your culture.  Change your lifestyle.  Make your health, your families health, and your workplaces health, a priority.   Make the culture one of health and well being.  Make the culture centered on exercise, proper nutrition, and sleep.  Make the culture proactive not reactive medicine.

Changing culture, and lifestyle habits can be challenging, but it is necessary.  That is where we would love to help!  We want you to become the healthiest version of yourself.  We want to help make the changes you need in your life, to improve the quality of the life you lead, not just today, but decades down the road.  If you need help getting on the path to better health and well being, let us know!  We would love to help!



Richard Louv coined the term Nature Deficit Disorder back in 2009.  While this is not a actual medical condition, it does describe another situation of where many humans have become mismatched with their environment.  Throughout the course of human existence, humans and nature have interacted hand in hand, however, in the past three decades, there have been an abundance of agricultural, social and technological changes that have occurred.  The proliferation of electronic communications; poor urban planning and disappearing open spaces; more street traffic; the natural world taking a back burner to reading, writing, and math test scores in public and private education; news and entertainment media magnifying parents fears by hyping up the few unfortunate occurrences of things that have gone wrong, have all led to humans, as a species, becoming more disconnected from the natural world.


Scientific evidence has suggested that nature-deficit disorder contributes to a diminished use of the senses, attention difficulties, conditions of obesity, and higher rates of emotional and physical illnesses.   These conditions are even more prevalent in kids.  The research also suggests that lack of exposure to nature leads to the poor ecological literacy and stewardship.  By becoming less connected to nature, we become less connected to the planet, and its preservation.

By getting out and experiencing nature on a weekly basis, disconnected from technology, both mental and physical well being is enhanced.  This could be the cheapest therapy anyone ever participated in.  To help you out with some nearby nature walks, the Town of Smithfield has on their website, SEVEN SCENIC WALKS IN SMITHFIELD!

Each of these walks are scenic, relatively easy, only a few miles long at most, and easily accessible.  Make a nature walk part of your weekly activities and enjoy the health benefits of doing so!


You Must Do The Work!

So many people set goals, but then give up on them?  Why?  They don’t do the work!  It doesn’t have to be much.

This is a great video!  Check it out! Make your goals your airplane destination!

If you need help setting up goals, or determining the path for your destination, let us know!  We would love to help!

Cleaning Up Your Grocery Cart

Do you ever find yourself in the grocery store wondering exactly what to buy to make healthier choices? There is so much confusion about what you need to do and which products are the best.

“Low carb,” “low fat,” “no added sugar,” “sugar-free,” …what are you to buy?!

Keep reading for a list of items that will help to clean up your grocery cart.

The BEST tip for each of us, is to shop the perimeter of the grocery store first! Fill your cart with fruits, veggies, and lean meats.

In most places, these items are NOT down the aisles–they are all around the perimeter of the store!

Once you have finished shopping the perimeter, hit the aisles for a few staple items:

  • Snack Bars like Rx Bars or Low Sugar Kind Bars. (General guidelines are to look for 7-14 grams of protein, 9-18 grams of carbohydrates, and 3-6 grams of fat.)
  • Deli Meat (low-sodium).  Pair with avocado, salad or veggies, and fruit for a quick lunch or with hummus for a quick snack!
  • Pre-cooked brown rice and quinoa (you can save up to 45 minutes by doing this.) If you are meal prepping or rushed for time these grab and go bags are ideal!
  • Black beans in a can are a great source of fiber.
  • SALSA!! It goes great on everything and is naturally low calorie.
  • Frozen steam fresh veggie bags. Just pop them in the microwave!
  • Dark Chocolate with 70% or more Cacao to curb a sweet tooth.
  • Frozen Pre-cooked chicken breast

Rushed on time and need to cook and want to eat healthy?  Grab a plate and put half a bag of frozen veggies.  Once veggies look like they are not frozen add to the plate, 2 Frozen Chicken Breasts and half a bag of pre-cooked rice.  Heat until Chicken is warm.  Add a scoop of salsa to the chicken.  Healthy, balanced and nutrient dense meal in less than 10 minutes.

While this is NOT a comprehensive list of items to buy, it is a great start! Making small sustainable changes is the best way to achieve progress and keep it!



3 tips to keeping your New Years Resolutions

Did you make a New Year’s Resolution this year?

Statistics show that 45% of Americans make resolutions.  The problem is 80% of people will fail by the second week in February!

We believe something as fundamental as nutrition shouldn’t be complicated. Most of you already know the foods you should be eating and many of the things you should be doing or should not be doing.

Here are 3 tips to help you stick to your resolutions:

1. Don’t over commit! Start by setting a realistic goal.  Goals are shown to be met more often when they are written down, so, write it down. Changing everything at once is exciting but its also a recipe for disaster!  Research shows that focusing on more than one thing at a time leads to greater probability of failure.  So, focus on one thing at a time, until that one thing becomes habituated. Once that is accomplished, you can move on to other things.  I tend to use two week windows.  If you can do it everyday for two weeks, then you are ready to add something on to it. Our nutrition programs, either the ProCoach Monthly, or in person programs are all based on habits and focusing on one action step at a time.  An example of this is starting your day with 30 grams of protein, 30 minutes within waking.  This habit has been linked to priming the body for the day, and this leads to weight loss long term.  Do this habit for two weeks and then work on lunch!

2. Track your progress. It’s important to get a baseline where you are at and track your progress regularly. We recommend testing biometrics monthly. One of the reasons we have an Inbody Machine is for this biometric tracking.  Weight alone does not tell you what you need to know, as the scale doesn’t have all the info you need.  Water weight fluctuates tremendously. Fat weighs less than muscle.  We want to know all those numbers to get an accurate picture of your progress.  This is why we want to measure not only weight but lean muscle mass, water, body fat, etc.  Watching these numbers go down, along with performance in the gymgoing up and your clothes fitting loser, leads to motivation to keep it up!

3. Surround yourself with the right support. Ensuring you have a positive support system around you is important to your long-term success. Did you know that 80% of people will regain the weight they worked so hard to lose? Why? They fall back into bad habits, due to lack of support and accountability.

If you are thinking, I don’t know where to start, or I need help achieving or maintaining my goals, we want to help! Let us know what you need from us and how we can help!

Eat the cookie, or don’t?

Consistency and patience are the two biggest factors in seeing the effects of lifestyle changes on our health and our body composition.  If you look back to the body/health you had then that you want back now, 99% of the time, it wasn’t overnight that the body, or the health, went away.  No one woke up 40 pounds heavier.  There was a consistent, and gradual decline in decisions regarding exercise and food choices, which gradually let that health and the body composition slip away.  If it took two years for you to gain X amount of lbs, being realistic, it will take some time to lose X amount of pounds, and thinking it will be overnight, and a quick, easy fix is incorrect thinking.

You consistently ate a certain way, and patiently gained the weight, now you need to consistently eat a different way, and exercise, and patiently lose the weight!  This is where the struggle begins. Because our human brains are Our human brains are trained to want things now, rather than later. Eat the cookie (I am referring to the proverbial cookie of all our bad food choices) now, and enjoy the mouth watering deliciousness, and the dopamine release in your brains reward system now, along with the 200 extra calories of processed food we don’t really need that will be stored as fat, or don’t eat the cookie, and slowly and consistently work our way back into the healthier version of you, that you hope to obtain.

Temporal discounting is our tendency to want things now rather than later. The reward in the future needs to be large enough to compensate for us going without it right now.  In order to delay the gratification of eating the proverbial cookie, we have to be convinced the future healthier self is a greater reward.

Think back to the past X amount of years since you had the health/body composition you desired.  Look at today.  Take those metrics of pounds of body fat gained, Blood pressure points raised, energy perception lowered, jean size gained, bad cholesterol points elevated, and add those same numbers to your current numbers, and look at your future self the same X amount of years in ahead of you.  That is the course you have laid out for yourself.  That is your future if you eat the cookie.  That is your reward for eating the cookie now, and continue to delay working our way back to our healthier version of ourself.

Now then why do we eat the cookie, and hinder our progress?  The vision of you five years forward on your current trajectory, or the vision of you five years forward, by saying no to the cookie. Which vision brings you the highest quality of life as you get older? Which vision brings you the greatest satisfaction? Which vision brings the greatest reward?  The decision is yours. Eat the cookie, or don’t.


De-stress Yourself!

Are you feeling it? Stress? Pressure?

You are not alone.  65% of Americans feel stressed at work, and 54% feel stressed from family responsibilities.  Maybe you are feeling stressed with the New Year coming up as there may be new expectations on you from others or self imposed.

To compound this, there’s also less sunshine, and colder and shorter days, which can put a real damper on your mood if you’re one of the many people who experience Seasonal Affective Disorder (correctable with Vitamin D supplementation)

Researchers found that people reported they were more likely to “behave in sedentary ways like watching TV, sleeping, eating and drinking to manage their stress. Many individuals engage in comfort eating and other unhealthy behaviors to cope with their stress levels.”

These are negative ways to handle stress.  Yes, many are EASY to do, however, as mentioned in a previous blog posts, All the Small Things Matter, there are equally easy things to do to relive stress, it is just a matter of choice.

Here are some other ideas to help turn your mood around and blow off some steam!

      • Turn on some music and move! A solo dance party will turn cleaning up the kitchen, or cooking, into less of a chore, plus, it gets the heart rate up which helps your body release endorphins, those feel-good hormones, that’ll boost your mood.
      • Get Outside. Take a quick walk outside and enjoy nature.  There’s nothing like a walk in the woods or a change of scenery and fresh air to shift your perspective.
      • Stay away from social media.When you’re feeling stressed, it’s easy to compare your situation with that of others. Remember: social media is where people generally show their “perfect” life, not their REAL life.
      • Give someone a compliment. When you go to Target, or the post office or the supermarket, give a total stranger a sincere compliment.  Pick the person you think would be the last person anyone else would compliment, and make their day!
      • Distract yourself! Work out, go for a run, play a game, or even tackle an unrelated household chore, no better time than now to clean up your Google Drive folder!
      • Breathe. Do 5 minutes of breathing exercises – just sit back and focus on your breath or get crazy and try alternate nostril breathing .  This can be an amazing “reset” for your mood because it helps relieve anxiety.

An important note: there’s a difference between stressed and feeling true anxiety and depression. If you’re feeling truly distressed, find a trained professional to talk to.  There’s no need to handle all of that by yourself, and there is no shame and it may help you create a even more kick ass version of yourself!

Can Anyone Do CrossFit?

This is an interesting question which has been posed time and again, as well as I am sure asked by many who visit our website, or Facebook page.  We hear time and time again, I need to get in shape first before I do CrossFit. What really does that mean, and does it ever happen?

The true answer to this question is, it depends.  Not all CrossFit boxes are the same.  Not all CrossFit, or even group exercise gyms, take a proper approach to on boarding new clients, assessing where they are starting from, not only in terms of fitness, but in terms of movement, and setting them up on a path to be successful within a program.  I cannot speak for every gym, and what they do right or what they do wrong, I only know the experience you get at No Risk, and it is one in which if you have the will to walk in the door and do YOUR own personal best, we have the way to get you in shape, get you on track for losing weight, and get you on track to become the best version of yourself starting as quickly as today!

We have listened from our clients and we have learned about their needs, and our program has been molded and shaped, and is constantly being revisited to be the best possible product it can be to help you lose weight, get stronger, and feel amazing.  When you step foot in our door, before we throw you in class, we want to ensure you have the best experience possible.  This is why we guide you through the first five hours of your time with us with one on one sessions.  These sessions teach you movements, and how to move.  They also assess you on your overall fitness in 15 categories.  We, and you, need to know your starting point, so we have something to compare it to as you move forward with your lifestyle changes.  We also assess your body metrics in six categories, as well as help customize a nutrition plan to compliment the work in the gym, to maximize your progress.

This assessment process gives us information needed to tailor the workout of the day, each and every day, to you and your starting point.  This is important, as with this, we will have you always working within your abilities.  It is as easy as looking for a primary color as well!  This will allow you to progress rapidly, avoid injury, and fall in love with CrossFit.  Our system allows you to  do all of this in a group setting of individuals of all levels varying levels.  Any questions, the coach is always there to guide you and ensure you are moving as best as you can.  No one gets left behind at No Risk.

So, the question is, Can Anyone Do CrossFit at No Risk CrossFit?  The answer is YES!

Tips to Getting Better Sleep

Increased Stress, Weight Gain, Depressed Mood are all effects of a poor nights sleep.  Many goals will be harder to attain without a solid nights sleep.  Research has shown that at least 7 hours of quality sleep is what is the minimum needed for optimal health and it’s best to average 7.5 or more hours of sleep every 24 hours.  Sleep has to be a priority if you want to make positive changes in both body and mind and improve your mindset, performance and health.

Here are 8 Great Sleep Tips

1. Love Your Bed.  Ever go to a fancy hotel and get the best nights sleep because the bed was absolutely amazing?  Imagine that quality of sleep nightly.  Invest in the comfiest, most supportive mattress that you can afford.  It is an investment in your health, so it is one of those things which should be a priority.    In order to get at least 7 hours of sleep a night, you spend at minimum 49 hours a week in bed, may as well make your bed a special place.  Make sure your bedding and pillows feel equally amazing.

2. Cool, calm and Collected.  Make your bedroom space comfortable.  Make sure it is uncluttered and calming, and at night, lower the temp in the room so it is slightly cool, as this helps with sleep quality an inducement.

3. Darken your room! The darker the better!  Use darkening curtains to block any light shining in.  make sure all lights and electronics are off and out of your view.  Put tape over any red buttons on electronics that remain lit.  It’s best to not have any extra light, or stimulation at least 30 minutes before bed.

4. Track it. Try recording how many of hours you sleep for 2-3 weeks.  There are several apps which help you do this and link to smart watches (Sleep++ app is a decent one).  This will help you create more awareness about your sleep patterns and habits, so that you can make the necessary changes to improve it.

5. Commit to a schedule. Routine is key to a quality nights sleep.  Get yourself to bed within 30 minutes of the same time each night, and get out of bed within 30 minutes of the same time each morning.

6. Don’t hit snooze! Set your alarm for the time you need to wake up and get up when alarm goes off.  Setting your alarm only to hit snooze 2-3 times basically removes 15 minutes of quality sleep that could be had.

7. Cut caffeine in the afternoon. Limit or eliminate your caffeine consumption in the afternoon.  Non caffeinated coffee, tea or water only.  Alcohol has negative effects on your sleep as well, so use with caution if sleep is a priority.

8. Create a routine. Set yourself up for success by preparing yourself for sleep each night, by doing the same things each night. Change up, brush your teeth, wash your face or shower, light a candle, put your electronics away, etc each night before going to bed.

Have trouble winding down?  Try one of these strategies 20-30 minutes before going to bed

A) Read. Light reading that’s enjoyable and doesn’t get the mind thinking.  Dim the lights, or read by candlelight, and make sure your electronics are away.  Reading on a electronic reading device, make sure the blue light emission is minimal and night time reading option is on.

B) Journal. Write down the top 3 moments of your day. Reflect on what went well, what you loved, who you influenced, etc.  The Five Minute Journal is a great way to start and end the day!  You could also journal what you’re grateful for. Consider all that you have, be thankful for your experiences and knowledge and  write these down as another way to reflect on your day and life.

C) Meditate. There are plenty of apps available, two of the main ones are Calm (it has adult bedtime stories as well read to you) and Headspace.  Both have quick 5-15 guided meditations. Other options are nature sounds or spa music

D) Listen to a Podcast or Book on Tape. Find a podcast or story you can divert your focus to as you relax. Something that is not super stimulating.

E) Practice breathing. This is a good time to do a 5-15 minute breathing practice, tuning in to slow, deep breathing and totally relaxing your body. Not sure which one would work best?  Here are 6 you could try.

F) Pillow talk. Lay with your significant other and chat quietly about whatever. Snuggle up, get cozy and appreciate each other and the company.

F) Reflect on details of one of your favorite memories. Try to remember exactly what you did, the conversations you had, what you ate, what you saw, and how spent each of the hours of that memory. It’s incredibly helpful to recall good memories from our past as a way of distracting the mind and thinking of something that elicits good feelings before bed (instead of stressing about the future because it’s unknown and uncertain).

If Sleep is still a struggle you can try one of these tips to help relax you.

1) Yogi Soothing Caramel Bedtime Tea

2) Magnsium– Magnesium is something deficient in our soil and many of us are deficient in it.  A great way to enhance your bodies level of Magnesium as well as get a higher quality sleep is to use a readily absorbed form of Magnesium (Not Magnesium Oxide which is in many over the counter magnesium supplements).  Try Natural Calm Powder or ZMA Capsules.

3) Melatonin– Melatonin is a hormone which helps you fall asleep.  If you are stressed, your bodies cortisol levels may block melatonin and prevent sleep, which contributes to this cycle.  Look for small dose melatonin ~1gram that is sublingual.  Stay away from 5-10 mg oral tablets.

Any questions about enhancing sleep, or health and well being let us know how we can help!

All the Small Things….Matter!

As we approach the New Year, it is the time when you start saying you are going to make 2020 the best year yet!  We want this for you just as much as you want this for yourself, but it starts with traction, if you want to make changes to improve yourself throughout the entire year, and not just the first month or two.

Here is something that will help you create a game-changing year. It is a K.I.S.S Principle as well.  Keep It Simple Stupid!  Not only is it simple, it always works!!

Many really successful people have one basic thing in common?  It is the process of taking small, consistent actions toward their goals, however, there is no end point, they don’t stop.

      • Kobe Bryant became great because of his work ethic, hundreds of shots each day, and everyday when he was in high school, before the school even opened.  NO MATTER WHAT.  When he got to the NBA he still outworked everyone else on the team, injured or not
      • Bill Gates spent countless hours coding and learning how to code in 1968 almost every single day in high school.
      • Hemingway wrote 500-1000 words every day, and Stephen King writes about 2000 words, every day without fail.
      • Warren Buffett reads 500 pages a day.  Still!

There is time in everyone’s day to tend to themselves.  There are many busy moms and dads who make time for self-care each day with 1-2 small daily habits.

There’s a saying that the easiest things to do are also the easiest things NOT to do.  And ironically enough, those are the very same things that can either drive you to your goals … or prevent you from reaching them.

      • It’s easy to decide to do a few stretches at night to help you wind down. It’s also easy to decide NOT to do them, because you’re too tired or busy.
      • It’s easy to decide to pack your lunch for work. It’s also easy to decide NOT to do that, because there’s a sandwich shop next to the office.
      • It’s easy to go for an afternoon walk to help beat the post-lunch fatigue … and it’s also easy to grab a cup of coffee instead.
      • It’s easy to take the stairs at work or the mall, and its also easy to wait for the elevator
      • It’s easy to park away from the supermarket, and get extra steps walking, and it is also easy to drive around waiting for a closer parking spot

Success usually has very little to do with a large extravagant master plan of major life changing tasks.  It’s small, non-negotiable habits that help you gain traction and make real progress over time.

What small changes can you implement in 2020 to help you live your best life?