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July 2014

Diet Cults and Agnostic Eating

By | Fitness, Fuel | 2 Comments
Nothing particularly extraordinary has been going on in my cooking/eating life, so I thought I would share some bits and reflections from my current read: Diet Cults, by Matt Fitzgerald.

Matt Fitzgerald is a pretty neat guy.  He wrote one of my favorite sports nutrition books, “Racing Weight”, and kindly sent me a signed copy of his latest piece (“Diet Cults”).

“Diet Cults” does a great job of setting the modern stage by reviewing historical cultures and eating trends in great detail.  Fitzgerald continually sites scientific research and debunks many diet myths.  Perhaps my favorite thing about this book (so far…I haven’t quite finished yet) is his focus on eating in an “agnostic” manner, rather than subscribing to any particular “perfect diet” formula.

The reason that I appreciate this “agnostic” eating approach is that I now consider myself pretty agnostic when it comes to eating.  After struggling with food for many years, and making food– or the manipulation of what I ate and how my body looked– an idol for quite some time, I have come to the conclusion for myself that food is not the problem.  I am the problem.  My lack of self-control and improper motives, in particular, are the problem.  Being motivated by some ideal body image, or some number on a scale, or some clothing size, only put me into a cycle of temporary victories followed by obsession, discouragement and discontentment.

But, when I began to view food as fuel– something to give my body nourishment and energy to thrive in life, rather than something to be worshiped and obsessed about, I slowly began to feel that food was no longer my master.  I do have control over what I put into my body; and thus, I can control (to a degree) how my body feels and performs during a 5-hour workout, or in the middle of a final exam, or the day after a grueling triathlon event, or during a social gathering, or whatever life brings.  I can fuel, and refuel myself, and not have anxieties about eating the “wrong” thing.  I can eat when my body craves food, and not according to some fixed eating schedule.  I can eat according to how much my body wants, not according to how much is the “perfect” amount or serving size.

Freedom, at last…or at least for today.  Tomorrow, I  may will probably be tempted to count calories, or to wish I were a couple pounds lighter, or to eat too much because “my aunt only makes this cake once each year “, or to override my body’s hunger cues because “three breakfasts is just not normal, and I’d better stop eating”, but I will again remind myself that food is just food.  And my body’s appearance is not who I am.  There is much more to life.  I am much more.  I want to fuel my body well, not so that it looks up to standard, but so that it feels and performs up to my highest standards, so that I can live most fully.

Let’s zoom in on that smoothie…

What is this green machine made of, you ask?

  • 1c. plain yogurt (Trader Joe’s European yogurt)
  • 1.5 cups frozen pineapple and mango chunks
  • 1 large banana
  • 1 c. carrot juice blend (Trader Joe’s tropical carrot juice)
  • 1 c. raw spinach
  • *optional chia seeds and sweetened coconut flakes on top! YUM

…a perfect mini meal pre- or post-workout.  I enjoyed this quality carbohydrate-protein concoction  three-hours prior to a run lactate test with Coach Gareth.  I always want to be at my best before a lab test so that we can accurately gauge where I am at in my training.

Fuel well!

Fun Fridays are BACK!

By | Coaching, Fitness, Swimming | No Comments

As I am currently in the business of re-releasing old blog posts, and in an effort to make my blogging life more efficient, I thought I’d dig this baby up from last summer, rather than write a brand new post for 2014…

Calling all swimmers, triathletes, and adventurous ones, near and far, young and old:

Once again, I will be setting up a couple of buoys and going for a morning circuit swim ’round them at the Ventura Pier (err…just to the north of it) on the regular.  I am hoping that a solid group of crazy people would like to join me!  No cost, except for a couple of marbles and caloric expenses.  “Crazy person” qualification standards include, but are not limited to:

  • Willingness to swim in the ocean
  • Desire to get up early in the morning to swim
  • Being human, age 18 or older…or must have parent consent
  • Ability to swim at least 500 meters in the ocean comfortably without assistance 
  • Wetsuit-wearing is not mandatory, but welcome, and, in some cases, encouraged
  • Agreement not to sue Brittany for any unfortunate ocean swim-related incidents

Swims will be every Friday, 6-7am,  from August 1st through September 12th August 29th:

  • Friday, August 1st, 6-7am
  • Friday, August 8th, 6-7am
  • Friday, August 15th, 6-7am 
  • Friday, August 22nd,6-7am 
  • Friday, August 29th, 6-7am  Cancelled due to dangerous conditions


  • Arrive early to meet/prep/warmup.  Workout will begin at 6am and end by 7am. 
  • Occasionally, as needed, open water swim skills and tips may be discussed
  • Workout will include water entry, exit, race pace circuits, beach running between circuits, etc.
  • Bring suit, cap, goggle, towel, warm/dry clothes, water/snack for afterwards, lube/body glide, water to rinse feet, sandals to walk to beach, swim accessories (nose clip, ear plugs, booties…)
  • Bathrooms are very close by, an immediate right from the parking garage near the pier
  • Outdoor showers are available close by if needed, but allow time for a 10 minute walk
  • Parking is available (early mornings are free!) in the lot on Harbor Blvd and California St.
    • From the 101 N, exit 70A for California St.  Make a left on S California St.  

If you would like to join in on the craziness, please contact me by commenting on this post, or by leaving a message/comment on the BrittFit Facebook Page.  Your response is necessary so that I can be sure to let you know of any changes/cancellations. I will also ask you to fill out the mandatory online waiver before attending a workout with me.

Let’s jump in!