Nutrition: The Art of the Grind

Jesse Blog

The following post was written by Coach Jessie Ingram to help you get through the grind!

Sara came in for nutrition coaching with goals to lose weight and build muscle. From 1-10 on how motivated she was to accomplish her nutrition goals, she was a 10!! Even with working full time, being married with 2 kids, she makes time to workout 4 days/wk. Sara states “my life is busy!”

In the first 2 months of doing nutrition coaching, Sara dropped 3 % BF, was consistently meal prepping, eating meals at home, measuring her portions, avoiding alcohol and was logging in MFP everyday!! She was feeling great about her progress!

Then over the next 2 months, Sara’s progress had stalled.

She has been thrilled about her new found energy, her deadlift PR and the healthier food choices she is making overall. But she hasn’t seen any changes in her clothes or continued fat loss.

She admits to sneaking bites of her kid’s snacks and eating out more on weekends. She hasn’t been logging as consistently in MFP as when she first started. Her actions started not to line up with her goals.

Sara is like many people when they start the process of making changes to their old, undesirable habits. In her case, her nutrition habits. She started off very motivated, determined, and focused.

Overtime though, the “Grind” set in. Real life happened and the desire to go back to old habits prevailed.

The Grind is a tough spot. It’s after the “honeymoon” phase has worn off. It’s where the real work begins. When you enter The Grind you realize: Now you have to do these things over and over and over again. Ho hum.

“After enlightenment, the laundry.” — Zen saying

The Grind is good.

It’s not the sexiest stage of change, but The Grind is good. The Grind gives us time to think. Time to evaluate. Time to practice.

In The Grind, we don’t have to think about how we’re going to do things. We know by now how to pack those containers with our protein and veggies, how to cook broccoli, how to make it to the gym.

That frees up some space in our brains to think about the WHY.�

So while it might seem like The Grind is a time of boredom or struggle, it’s actually a time of INCUBATION, PRACTICE, and MASTERY.� You have time to reflect on who you’ve become, and what you really want right now.

To continue to be successful during the grind phase you must:

• Do more of what you know works for you (meal prep, log in MFP, avoid alcohol or eating out, etc).

• Remember WHY you got started in the first place. Your WHY is your single strongest motivator (even if it changes throughout life).

* Continue working on positive self talk, good sleep, and consistent work outs, drinking water.

• Give yourself grace. Understand that you don’t have to be perfect 100% of the time, but that 50% won’t get you to your desired outcome either.

The Grind happens to us all. It’s what we do about it that determines our outcome!!

-Jesse Ingram
Nutrition Coach
CrossFit Roseville

If you need help getting a personalized nutrition game plan, schedule a meeting with Jessie to get started today!

CrossFit Roseville Nutrition Coaching

Kaizen, the Art of Constant Improvement

Jesse Blog

Kaizen is a Japanese term meaning simply “change for better.”

Kai = Change. Zen = Good.

Focusing on incremental, consistent progress (a key tenant of Kaizen) is the cornerstone philosophy that made Toyota a Titan of the auto industry. By meeting with small teams regularly to identity, analyze, and solve problems Toyota was able to focus on the processes to ensure they produced their desired end result.

By analyzing the process and making constant incremental changes they improved the total quality of work. By improving the total quality of work they improved the end product.

Although the Kaizen method is specific to business management, their is a lot we can glean from these ideas to improve our physical, relational, mental, and spiritual selves.

The 10 principles of Kaizen is a list I like to look through to see where I can make improvements, question the processes, and to remind myself that “Improvement has no limits. Never stop trying to improve.”

10 Principles of Kaizen
The Kaizen method follows ten specific principles, which are described below:
1. Improve everything continuously.
2. Abolish old, traditional concepts.
3. Accept no excuses and make things happen.
4. Say no to the status quo of implementing new methods and assuming they will work.
5. If something is wrong, correct it.
6. Empower everyone to take part in problem solving.
7. Get information and opinions from multiple people.
8. Before making decisions, ask “why” five times to get to the root cause. (5 Why Method)
9. Be economical. Save money through small improvements and spend the saved money on further improvements.
10. Remember that improvement has no limits. Never stop trying to improve.

Let me know what inspiration sparks in you from the art of Kaizen! Or how you already use Kaizen principles to better your life.

Shoot me a message if there are areas you are struggling in, areas where you recognize implementing the art of constant improvement might benefit you.

Health, Fitness, Sanity

Jesse Blog

Recently I reached out to an athlete who has been MIA at the gym.

She told me her story of how working again, and working on home repairs (on top of being a wife, and mother to two little ones) has made her life a little crazy.

Because of these circumstances she has not found the time to make her fitness a priority.

She is not using these circumstances to make excuses, and she recognizes her need to prioritize gym time into her life. As she put it: “Isn’t it ironic that the one thing that keeps me most sane is also the first thing to get dropped when time gets tight?”

Life is messy. Circumstances change. And, from time to time, prioritizing our health and fitness may need to get put on the back burner.

When that happens, here’s what you need to remember:

Give Yourself Some Grace.
If you are in a season of life where you need to prioritize your family, your career, your home, etc. over your health and fitness goals make sure to acknowledge why you are prioritizing these things, and the benefit you get from spending your time on these things.

Knowing your priorities are in the right place, you can give yourself grace for controlling what you can control, for doing what is right for your situation, for knowing that you are temporarily giving up something that is important to you (health and fitness) for the right reasons.

Have a Plan to Get Back.
You are worth being your best self. You are your best self when you feel healthy and vibrant, when you are confident in how you look and feel.

If you are reading this blog, you probably already know that exercising and eating healthy are necessary for you to be your best self.

You know that your relationships are better when you are your best self. That you are a better boss/employee/co-worker when you are full of energy and confidence. You know that your family thrives when you are your best self.

Have a plan to reprioritize working on your health and fitness. Think about what has worked for you in the past. Start small. Give yourself grace when you start back up. Leave your ego outside the box, and focus on the joy of working out, getting sweaty, and working on being your best self again.

What Can You Do During This Season?
Instead of abandoning all hope, and waiting until (next week, next month, next season…) to bring health and fitness back into priority in your life, think about little things that you can start doing now to continue to work towards your heath and fitness goals.

What can you do to work on your nutrition?
What can you do to reduce stress?
What can you do to improve your sleep quality?

Are Stuck in This Season?
If you are stuck in this season, looking for a way to re-prioritize your health and fitness, ask yourself two questions:

1. Why is working on my health and fitness important to me?
2. If I stay in this season of not prioritizing my health and fitness for too long, what do I risk losing?

When you honestly answer these questions, you have taken the first steps to finding your way back.

Being fit and healthy requires us to prioritize some of our time to the endeavor. But you are worth the investment. You are worth looking and feeling your best. You are worth being fit and healthy.

If you are ready to get your sanity back, and get back into working on your health and fitness goals, take the next step and book a “No-Sweat” intro with me to get started.

Schedule No-Sweat Intro


Jesse Blog

This is the story of the Vegas Golden Knights.

This is the story of how the right people placed in the right environment can bring to life the stuff of legends.

And this story, perhaps the most unbelievable in the history of professional sports, is happening right now.

The Vegas Knights is a team of misfits. An expansion team brought together for the 2018 Hockey season to become the most successful first-year franchise in the history of the NHL. In fact, they are the only team of the 64 expansion teams in the four major US sports leagues since 1960 to debut with a winning season.

A team no one expected to win, the Knights began the season with 200 to 1 odds against them winning the Stanley Cup (the longest odds against in the NHL). And yet, already having defeated two teams in the playoffs, are headed next week to the Western Conference Final.

What is the secret of their success? The magic behind their meteoric rise? I would argue that in this instance excalibur isn’t a magical sword but an environment created by the right combination of people. That, in the right environment, supported by the right people, ordinary people become legends.

What else can explain the difference between William Karlsson’s abilities this year compared to previous years?

Karlsson is the Knight who was previously discarded by two teams in his first three seasons. The Knight who last year scored just 6 goals. The Knight who averaged a career shooting percentage of just 7.7 percent.

This year, on a different team, supported by different people, surrounded by a different environment, William “Wild Bill” Karlsson has stacked 43 goals with a 23 percent shooting percentage. A record breaking, history making performance that is so far and above what he has previously shown to be capable of there is little logic to explain it.

What else can explain the redemption of Marc-Andre Fluery?

Fluery is the knight who shined in 2009 as Goalie for the Pittsburg Penguins but has been lackluster ever since. The knight who was demoted to a backup goalie. The knight who benched last year after a four goal disaster and would not take the net again before being dropped by the Penguins.

This year, with the support of the Vegas Golden Knights, the 33-year old veteran Marc-Andre Fluery finished the season with a career best performance including a regular season save percentage of .927.

“I just want to win games and contribute to the success of the team. If I help them, help the team get wins, that’s all that matters to me.” -Fleury

Excalibur, may be a legend, but the Vegas Knights have found that the right people can create an environment of success that is nothing short of magic.

If we want to transform like Karlsson that we too may reach our full potential we too need the right people in our line. To surround ourselves with people who support us and help us to reach our goals.

If we want to get back on top like Fluery we need to focus on our contribution to the success of the team, to constantly ask what can we do to help the team, to put the team’s success at the forefront of our thought.

If we want to be our best selves we need to surround ourselves with the right people, and help to create an environment where everyone can be successful. This is the magical combination. This is the stuff legends are made of.

Dedicated vs. Motivated

Jesse Blog

As a High School Coach for 12 years I was privileged to coach many different kinds of student athletes.

One of the biggest difference makers that allows athletes to be more successful is when they learn to be more than motivated—when they learned to be dedicated.

Motivated athletes practice hard when they are motivated by a big game approaching.
Motivated athletes practice hard when they are motivated by a coach watching them.
Motivated athletes practice hard when they are motivated by their mood.

But, athletes who rely on motivation to succeed often experience a roller coaster effect where, when they aren’t feeling it, they don’t show up to practice hard.

Dedicated athletes practice hard every day.

Dedicated athletes are driven by a purpose. Their purpose helps to form their character. Their character shapes their thoughts. Their thoughts shape their actions. And their actions drive them toward their goals.

There’s nothing wrong with motivation, motivation is great. It can help us get us to PR we have been chasing, help us to start new behaviors, or help us to get back on track if we have fallen off the wagon. It feels good to be motivated, and our good feelings fuel our motivation.

Motivation is a tool that, for short periods of time, allows us to use our state of mind to direct our behavior toward our goals.

Dedication allows us to be successful even when our motivation runs dry. Dedication allows us to put in the work every day, driven by our purpose, knowing that in the end it will be worth it.

Make a Plan to Shed the Holiday Pounds

Jesse Blog

If, when looking in the mirror after the holiday season, you see a few extra pounds, remember how you got the extra weight, and smile.

Smile, and remember that you got it drinking merrily with friends, laughing heartily with family, and building into relationships with loved ones.

Now that the holidays are over we can reset our focus, take time and decide what is important to us in the new year, and make a plan to make the changes we want for 2018.

Follow these 5 Steps to Create Your Personal Plan to Shed the Holiday Pounds:
1. Set Realistic Expectations
2. Set Process Goals to Achieve Your Desired Outcome
3. Decide What Works For You (& What Doesn’t)
4. Enlist a Support System
5. Start With Your “Why”

Set Realistic Expectations
Life is messy & complicated. Jumping on a restrictive diet, or creating restrictive goals can lead to failure when the complications of life mess us up, throw us off track, and make it easy to quit our resolutions.

Try creating one behavior change expectation at a time. Pick one of the following: meal prep for the week on Sundays, add more protein to my breakfast, track my macros 3-5 days per week. Once this goal is met consistently and becomes a habit it doesn’t require anymore mental energy. Now you can pick another behavior goal to work towards.

Set Process Goals to Achieve Your Desired Outcome
Process goals allow us to focus on the behaviors necessary to move us toward our desired end state.

When we achieve these small process goals (eat vegetables with every meal, workout 3 times per week, sleep 7+ hours each night) each small victory spikes our dopamine as we experience the feeling of success. The more we succeed the more we want to continue hitting small victories that lead towards our desired end state.

Think: What process goals will help you to reach your weight loss goals?

Decide What Works for You (& What Doesn’t)
Chances are you have had routines that have worked for you in the past. Picking these habits back up are easier than starting new ones since you already have the blueprint for these habits stowed away.

Remember, the process goals that work for other people might not work for you.—Just because someone else lost weight on diet XYZ doesn’t mean this process is going to work with your lifestyle or for your goals.

Decide what behaviors you are currently in habit of doing that don’t serve your goals and cut them out of your life. If a behavior isn’t serving your goals, you need to replace them with healthy behaviors that get you toward where you want to go and who you want to be.

Think: What has worked for you in the past? And why did this work?
Think: What behaviors are you doing right now that don’t serve your goals? Is there any true benefit to these behaviors that serve your health and lifestyle goals?

Enlist a Support System
When we enlist a support system into our goals we add accountability to what we say we are going to do. We add a fresh pair of eyes to help us see what we can’t see ourselves. We add emotional support to pick us up when we are down.

Get a buddy, join a positive group, or hire a coach! These are all great ways to get the support we need to make a behavior stick, to get us past the sticky bits so we can reach our goals.

Start With Your “Why”
Why do you want to lose weight?

What meaning gives your struggle, your drive, your dedication to weight loss it’s purpose?

How will your life be better after you lose weight?
How does losing weight help you to improve your relationships?
In what ways does losing weight help you to achieve your life’s purpose?

When your “why” is strong enough it can help you overcome seemingly insurmountable obstacles, to help you find your way.

Know your why, write it down, share it with your support system, and take consistent, imperfect, action every day until you reach your success.

Reach Out For Help
If you have any questions, or need any help with shedding the holidays pounds, shoot me a message!

If you are working on goal setting for 2018, check out my post on “New Year’s Resolutions” vs. Your Personal 2018 Blueprint!

How to Create Your 2018 Blueprint

Jesse Blog

“New Year’s Resolution” Vs. Your Personal 2018 Blueprint

As we look back and reflect on the powerful moments that made 2017 special, it’s only natural to look forward with hope for the changes we want to make in 2018.

“New Year’s Resolutions” often fail for a couple of reasons. For one, they fail because they start with the end in mind.

It is easy to want to be a rockstar without also wanting: the years of living in a van with 5 other sweaty smelly dudes; traveling the country from shitty bar to shitty bar; all while making no money with little to no chance of ever achieving success. It is easy to want to lose 20 pounds, without: wanting to meal prep; wake up an hour earlier; all while giving up our comfort foods. It’s easy to want to run a marathon without: wanting to join run groups, stretch daily to stay healthy; all while keeping a consistent run schedule despite the problems that life throws at us.

It is easy to want the reward without also wanting the discipline and difficulty necessary to achieve it. It is easy to start with the end in mind without wanting to ask ourselves the difficult questions to make sure we are starting off the right way for the right reasons.

What if instead of picking restrictive resolutions for 2018 we create a blueprint for ourselves, an editable sketch of who we are and how we want our lives to play out in 2018?

Blueprints start by asking why?—You can’t sketch out a blueprint if you don’t know the purpose of the structure. Blueprints are responsible for shaping the direction of the build. Blueprints allow us to foreshadow the future intended design, but also allow us the freedom to make edits as necessary when we begin building.

Instead of making “New Year’s Resolutions” follow these 5 steps to create your personal 2018 Blueprint:

1. Lock Down Your Identity
2. Take Responsibility for Your Life
3. Create Your focus for 2018
4. Take Consistent, Imperfect, Action Toward Your goal
5. Start Now

1. Lock Down Your Identity
Who you are (your identity) will shape your values and give form to your character.
Your values & character will help you to determine your purpose.
Living into your purpose, over the course of your life, will create your legacy.

Take some time, even 5-10 minutes to jot down a personal “I am” statement, detailing who you are, what values, or virtuous character traits, are most important to you, and what your purpose is that will shape the course of your life.

2. Take Responsibility for Your Life
You may not be at fault for where you are at, for the circumstances of your life, but you are responsible for both:
1. How you interpret the story of your life.
2. What are you going to do about it?

You get to choose, and have the responsibility to choose, what you want to put your time and energy into in the new year.

• Where do you want to be in 5 years?
• What goal would you go after if you were 100% guaranteed success?
• What legacy do you want to leave behind after you are gone?

We also get to choose, and have the responsibility to choose, what success means to us. We get to determine the metrics by which we determine the standards of our success. This is wholly empowering when we embrace the concept.

Think: If we reframe success to be “taking action working towards our goal”, then any action (even actions that result in us backsliding) becomes a part of our success!

3. Create Your Focus For 2018
Ask Yourself:
1. To what purpose do I choose to give my time and energy to?
2. What goals are markers of my success? Meaning: what goals can I work towards that are proof that I am living into my purpose?
3. How do I need to grow in order to be successful? Meaning: What values do I need to develop in myself, what relationships do I need to build or mend, what knowledge do I need to obtain for me to reach my goals?

4. Take Consistent Imperfect Action Toward Your Goals

The best way to stay get and stay motivated is to take action.

We often think of the formula in reverse: first we need motivation, then we will act.

But we are more successful when we reverse the formula: action can create motivation.

Do not be dissuaded by failure—in order to fail we have to first take action. Remember, If our success is defined as “taking action working towards our goal”, then failure is a result of our success—even failure is a sign that we are working towards our goal.

Do not stop taking action. Your action will motivate you to continue to take action. Keep taking action.

5. Start Now.
(Use Your Best Arnold Schwarzenegger Voice While Reading “Do It, Do It Now!”)

What is the smallest action you can take to work toward your goal? Do it, do it now!

What is the smallest daily habit you can form to work toward your goal? Do it, do it now!

Do not wait for a time, or place, or event to occur before you start taking action. Love yourself so much that you do not wait a single day to start growing into your greatest potential. Do it, do it now!

Reach Out For Help
If you need help goal setting for the new year, reach out to me! Remember that personal training and having a personal nutrition coach are the fastest ways to reach your 2018 health & fitness goals. There is no substitute for coaching and accountability.

You’re still here? What are you waiting for… go live into your purpose. Take action today towards whatever it is that sets your soul on fire. Do it, do it now!

For Faster Results Part 3: Hydrate for Better Health

Jesse Blog

Water is essential for all of the processes of our body to work correctly.

Drinking enough water can help us to:

  • Lose Weight*
  • Burn more calories
  • Reduce our appetite
  • Maximize our physical performance
  • Boost energy levels and brain function!

How much water should we drink?
For the most part proper hydration is easy: drink when you are thirsty, and have beverages with meals. Simple!**

But if you struggle getting in enough water it can be helpful to set goals, and then adjust your water intake based on how you respond.

To start off:
1. Try to drink at least half of your bodyweight in ounces of water each day.
2. Drink more water if it is hot outside.
3. Drink more water if you are working out or doing other vigorous activity.

Drink water throughout the day:
Don’t wait until 7:00pm to realize you haven’t had any water! Set daily benchmarks to drink during the day. It can be helpful to get a large water bottle and mark off certain levels corresponding to the time of day: 12 ounces by 9:00am, 24 Ounces by noon, etc.

The cup we use can make a difference:
There are many ways to be successful getting enough water. A few tips to make it easy:
• Get a large cup, so it holds a lot of water.
• Get a cup you can see through, so you can see how much you have drank.
• Get a cup with a straw, so you don’t even have to open a lid to drink!
• Add a flavor to your water like zip fizz, or nuun tablet

An old rule of thumb:
The pee test can be a quick and useful way to know if you are well hydrated, or severely dehydrated depending on the color. In general, the clearer your pee the more hydrated you are!

Caution: More is not always better.
You can drink too much water, and die. (Apparantly Gatoraid did some pretty shady things to get people to purchase more Gatoraid, see here).

Replenish Your Electrolytes
Rather than focusing on drinking more water, drink smarter by replenishing your electrolytes (mainly salt).

You might be dehydrated because your body has lost essential electrolytes that help regulate the amount of water in our cells.

The main electrolyte we need to make sure we are staying hydrated is salt. Especially high quality, nutrient rich salt. Try a pinch or two of Himalayan sea salt in your water!

For even better hydration: Add a pinch or two of salt to orange juice. The carbs from the orange juice helps us to absorb the salt better!

What about coffee & tea?
Due to some bad science coffee in 1928 we used to think coffee was a diuretic (when we flush our more fluids than we retain). But with a recent study to develop the beverage hydration index we know that coffee and tea can help us to stay hydrated!

Are you hydrating enough to promote your health goals? Did you think coffee was a diuretic? Do you have any tips I missed for staying hydrated? If you have questions about hydration, send them my way!


Sleep Performance, Pt. 2

Jesse Blog

The #1 Anabolic tool we have is sleep.
You could take 3 mg of testosterone a day, yet if you don’t get enough sleep it’s not gonna make any difference. Sleep is the key. When we sleep enough we get bigger faster stronger, better looking, all the good stuff.

How much sleep is enough?
It depends on the quality of your sleep, and how much slow wave (deep sleep) sleep cycles you are getting. Dr. Parsley recommends a total of 8 hours in bed. 9 hours is cool too. If you need 9.5-10 hours there might be some issues.

What if I can only sleep 6 Hours?
Keep your total time in bed to around 8 hours. If you wake up after 6 hours, stay in bed, practice your breathing techniques, meditation, etc. whatever chills you out, and eventually you will sleep more and more. Pick a bed-time and stick with the bedtime, and pick a wake-up time and stick with that wake-up time.

What should my nap looks?
A 20 minute nap restores creativity pretty well. 30-45 minute nap restores executive function pretty well (cognitive brain function). A 90 minute nap (90-120 min) is a full sleep cycle and will help your whole body recover. Over 120 minutes is just sleep and can interfere with your nighttime sleep

How does working out affect my sleep?
While overtraining can spike your cortisol and negatively affect the quality of your sleep, getting the right amount of training can increase your sleep pressure, which is your drive to want to go to sleep. And the higher the sleep pressure, the more slow wave sleep cycles (better quality of sleep) you get. That’s when you produce testosterone and growth hormone.

How does Marijuana affect my sleep?
Marijuana might not be a great 1st choice as a sleep supplement (see the supplements below), but it is probably the best pharmaceutical intervention, according to Dr. Parsley.

How does alcohol affect my sleep?
Alcohol essentially spikes your cortisol, and, similar to taking a sleep drugs, you don’t enter into deep sleep and therefore lose all of the benefits and adaptations that happen during deep sleep.

How do I improve the quality of my sleep?
Turn off the TV and blue screen devices.
No electronics in bed.
Sleep in a comfortable, cool room.
Sleep in a completely blacked out room.

What supplements can aid my sleep quality?
ZMA, for your zinc source.
Natural Calm (magnesium, tryptophan)
If you are going to take melatonin, take super-super-super low dose (like .3 miligrams)

Supplementing these every night will make sure you are getting the deepest possible sleep that you can get.

Dr. Parsely even has his own combination of all of these supplements put together for you to order. You can grab a sample pack for free (+S&H) on his website:!

If we get the sleep we need, get our nutrition in tune, and get some good high intensity workouts throughout the week, our work performance increases, our workout performance (and adaptation increases),our health improves, and we improve the quality of our lives.

Sleep Performance, Pt. 1

Jesse Blog

Dr. Kirk Parsley, a former Navy Seal, who helped build the Tactical Athlete Program (Spots Medicine & Performance) for Navy Seals, has some advice for us on sleep:

There is a great correlation between total testosterone and total time in bed.
During deep sleep our bodies secrete testosterone, and growth hormone. These anabolic hormones allow us to recover, changes our cognition, affects our decision making abilities, memory consolidation, motor skills sink in, reduces inflammation (which can lead to chronic injuries).

The problem with sleep drugs is that we aren’t entering deep sleep and getting the benefit of the hormones and the adaptations.

Our Adrenals keep us alert in proportion to what is going on in our environment, in part by secreting cortisol; cortisol helps us to wake up and be alert. When we are in fight-or-flight scenarios, our adrenals kick into overtime and cortisol goes through the roof to make us the most alert we can be to survive.

When we are in deep sleep it is the opposite. We don’t need to respond to our environment. We can shut down our adrenal function, be in the opposite of our “fight-or-flight”, and our body can naturally repair itself and help us to perform optimally.

Dr. Parsley found that by improving sleep (through nutritional changes, sleep hygiene, and other ways described below) he could help guys increase their testosterone by 300%.

A problem for Firefighters, or for anyone that works during the night and sleeps during the day, is lack of sun exposure, which leads to lack of vitamin D3. We have to have adequate levels of vitamin D3 for our bodies to make 5-HTP into Serotonin—Serotonin becomes Melatonin, and melatonin helps turn off our adrenals so we can get good sleep!

When we are Vitamin D3 deficient, we are serotonin deficient (which makes us moody), we are melatonin deficient (which causes sleep issues), and now we are dealing with all of the problems associated with sleep issues.

Stay tuned for Pt. 2: Sleep is the key