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    KNOWLEDGE IS POWER

    Why Your Detox Is Bullshit

    Cleanses and detoxes seem to have taken hold as a trend in the diet industry. A cleanse or detox diet usually restricts specific types of foods or entire food groups. Sometimes food itself is even restricted for a few days, and miracle juices full of empty promises replace it. This idea that you need to purchase an overpriced system sold by some pyramid scheme to flush out toxins is straight nonsense.

    What’s a toxin anyway?

    I imagine Dr. Oz and friends love this word because it sounds intimidating, sparking action among soccer moms and gym rats alike. There are two main types of toxins, endotoxins and exotoxins, which are a part of everyday life. Endotoxins are byproducts of the body’s normal functions. An example of an endotoxin is human waste. Exotoxins come from the environment. We can introduce exotoxins into our body through food and drinks, but they are also in the air we breathe and even absorbed through our skin.

    This Just In: Your Body Detoxes Itself

    Detoxification refers to the metabolism and excretion of toxins. Your liver, kidneys, intestines and colon are all organs that play a role in your body’s natural detoxification process. Toxins leave the body through breathing exhalation, feces, sweat and urine. Your liver cleanses your blood. Your kidneys filter waste in the body and excrete it through urine. Your intestines and colon absorb nutrients and water, letting waste bypass and leave the body as feces. Your body is constantly going through its natural detoxification process, every single day.

    How to Help Your Body

    Before you take the BeachBody “Which Cleanse is Right for You?” quiz, take a step back and examine the eating patterns you engage in on a daily basis. Making realistic healthy changes can help support your body’s natural detox process. Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated throughout the day. Make sure to eat your fruits and vegetables, about 5 to 9 servings per day. Include fiber in your diet from nuts, seeds, vegetables and whole grains. Eat fermented foods with naturally occurring probiotics like kefir, sauerkraut and yogurt. If you aren’t a fermented foods fan, high-quality probiotic supplements might be a good option for you. These healthy eating habits promote bowel regularity, which is good indicator of the body’s ability to detoxify itself.

    Wait, so this isn’t a 10 day cleanse?

    If you want a truly healthy and sustainable lifestyle, you need to throw this idea of fad diets, cleanses and detoxes out the window and never look back. If there was a “21 day fix” to eternal health, the billion dollar diet industry wouldn’t exist. Your body isn’t designed to drop five pounds in five days. The secret to fueling your body to achieve your goals is to commit to a healthy lifestyle. If it’s overwhelming to suddenly adapt these healthy eating patterns mentioned, just work on tackling them one at a time. The key is to be patient, and be consistent. I know this concept doesn’t sound as glamorous as the Fit Tea promise, but I can tell you- it actually works.





    The SOFLETE Crew Hits Boulder, CO

    The SOFLETE HQ Crew shows up to Boulder, CO. Of course, the first stop.... a gym. Huge thanks to CrossFit ETB for letting us come #ClangAndBang in your weight room. 
    After a very professional warmup lead by SOFLETE George, we threw down on a solid strength session of a power clean complex.
    The Stamina session was brutal, leaving Doug feeling like he had just survived his first day in prison. #WhichSetYouRollin 
    Luckily some breathing drills got us back to that #SafeSpace we needed.
    After some much needed grub and recovery, we hit the local trails around Boulder. #RunningBreedsCoweardice  
    The nights were long, but rest assured, completely professional. 
    ​Tuesday morning the whole crew picked up some badass mountain bikes. Thinking we would conquer the mountain, we resolved to #DiePanting once the altitude hit. 
    Once everyone could breath again we set out for some rocks. Some local guiding and talent put us onto some awesome climbing. 
    In short the HQ crew had an amazing week getting outside and pushing the #DieLiving philosophy as a team. We highlighted our own strengths and weaknesses, but more importantly we grew as a team through shared experience.

    Measuring What Matters

    When we first began to play as children, it was simply play.

    As young kids, we loved just to kick the ball around the yard, hit a ball with a bat or toss it into a hoop. Harken back to the days of the Sandlot, when Scott Smalls stumbles across a group of unruly, charismatic young boys just out playing ball in the yard.

    The narrator in the movie, Scott Small's future self, mentions how "they never kept score, they never chose sides…they really never stopped playing the game".

    It isn't until later in life that we learn to score our games and choose sides. Scoring denotes a clear winner and loser, creates competition, and frames our reality into a hierarchy allowing us to make sense of things. Comparatively, when we grow older, numbers, statistics and placement begin to mean more to each of us.

    Nobody would disagree that healthy competition drives each one of us to a higher state of performance, but to measure performance solely based on how much, how fast or how high can really detract from your lifelong journey as an athlete.


    Don’t Measure By Focusing on Beginner Numbers


    If I laid out my athletic journey on a simple line graph to show my "numbers," my chart is by no means straight or necessarily pointed upward.

    For many of us, training is circular. I'm not talking about macro and micro cycles here; I'm referring to the point at which we reach the extent lifting skill and must revert to a lighter weight to fix our technique. Many lifters experience those beginner gains where more and more weight get stacked on, and PRs get recorded on the "1., 2. Or 3." slot on the gyms record board. We ceremoniously conclude our feat by posting videos on social media to remove all doubt of accomplishment.

    If anyone reading this is like me, your beginner gains plateaued relatively quickly, and you soon outran the headlights of your skill as a lifter. Perhaps you've injured yourself by thinking you could get away with "muscling through it" — or even worse, you made a lift with atrocious form giving you just a little more confidence telling yourself you could TOTALLY do more next time.

    Periods like this are where numbers fail us. We've convinced ourselves that higher or heavier is better even though we might have just narrowly escaped or suffered a career-ending injury for the sake of "progress."  

    For those who love the game, we need only apply a little patience during our plateaus to focus simply moving better and more efficiently with a lighter, more manageable load.


    Measure Your Training To Be Effortless at the Basics


    In sport our perceived level of optimal performance or goal caps our training pyramid: for example: doing a triathlon, competing in a tournament, going to regionals, etc.

    If this is you, then performance in your area is what you should measure and value.

    Samuel Spiegelman, a coach and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu practitioner at Applied Strength and Conditioning in Chicago, breaks it down simply for his BJJ athletes: "strength will help you in your sport but strength ISN'T your sport." Anyone who practices MMA or BJJ will certainly agree that "being strong is important" but as many of the greats, including Sam have noted, "being effortless is a real sign of mastery." Effortlessness in this regard is a concentrated focus on skill development.

    For most of us in the normal world, effortlessness reflects on our ability to do the basics really really well and as such is frankly hard to quantify with a number or a statistic — but hot damn if you don't know it when you feel it! Hence why we often find ourselves saying, "gosh, they make it look so easy!"

    Coincidently, when you or I screw something up in the gym or throw a round at the range more often than not, we failed at something basic.


    Measure Performance Correctly


    As coaches and athletes, points of performance while lifting becomes exponentially more important the further we climb towards the top of our pyramid. Levels of effortlessness and mastery become reflective in proper timing, or keeping the bar fractions of an inch closer to our bodies during a snatch or clean.

    These significant milestones in development should not be overlooked and ought to be recognized as enthusiastically as a PR despite their lack of "sex-appeal." Athletes and coaches need to become mindful of movement and understand subtleties that indicate not IF a person could lift more weight but when they are ready to.

    Numbers and statistics play a significant role in the psychology of training and sport as well. Like many of us serious gym nuts, we use numbers; benchmarks and scores compare ourselves to one another. Competition, like alcohol, is an excellent mistress but a poor master. No two roads to human optimization are exactly alike, and each person needs to be mindful that their road is exactly that, their road.  

    In 1998 quarterback Ryan Leaf was the number two pick in the first-round NFL Draft. After a promising college career at Washington State, Ryan was one of the most hyped players coming into the NFL. After a stellar 3-year career, peppered with injuries, poor work ethic and bad play Ryan Leaf left the NFL and later sentenced to seven years in prison for burglary, felony, and drug-related charges.

    Two years after Ryan Leaf was drafted in 1998, another young quarterback was drafted into the NFL. He occupied the prestigious 199th slot in the 6th Round of the NFL Draft (there are seven rounds total).

    His name was Tom Brady.

    As tactical athletes, it is imperative that we measure performance correctly and not over or understate the importance of certain aspects of our training. For those of us who are guilty of allowing our "numbers" in the gym to impact our attitudes towards everything else in our daily lives, take a minute and remember when you started down this path and never forget what it felt like to just play for no other reason than simply loving the game.




    A Crash Course For The Kitchen

    

    Healthy eating doesn’t have to be a long and difficult task. Cooking can be as simple or as complex as you want to make it. Think of fairly short cook times but a finished product packed with flavor as the ultimate goal. The following are my favorite tips to help make your experience in the kitchen more enjoyable.

    1. Shop for produce that is in season for a better taste and price. Local farmers markets usually have comparable prices, and you know exactly where your food came from. They might even have some useful storage and cooking tips for you, just ask the farmer.
    2. Chicken broth or vegetable stock is a great, virtually calorie free, flavor enhancer. Choose a low-sodium option and cook your rice and other grains in broth instead of water.
    3. Adding a little baking soda to onions when caramelizing onions can speed up the process. Yay science
    4. Store your fresh herbs like you would fresh flowers. Once you get home from the store, clip the ends and place them in a cup of water before storing them in the fridge, except basil which doesn’t need to be refrigerated.
    5. Boil your pots of water or broth with a lid to speed up the process. Maybe this seems obvious, or maybe it just blew your mind.
    6. Putting a damp kitchen towel or paper towel under your cutting board can help it to stop slipping.
    7. Taste and THEN season your dishes to avoid over seasoning.
    8. Store your spices and oils in a cool, dry and dark place so they keep their flavor. Heat and humidity will cause them to lose flavor. If you’re not sure how your spices are holding up, give them the sniff test. If they smell good, they are still good to cook with.
    9. Cracking an egg on a flat surface, like a countertop, instead of bowl will help minimize shells making it into your dish.
    10. Cooking times are a suggestion, so use your senses like smell, taste and touch to decide when your food is done.
    11. A little lemon juice might be just what your dish is missing. Not just spices add great flavor.
    12. Fully read and understand a recipe before you decide to go rogue. Creativity in the kitchen is encouraged, you just don’t want to overlook a critical step in the process.
    13. To prevent an avocado from browning and ripening, leave the pit in or add a little citrus juice, like lemon or lime, to the exposed surface. Then seal it with as little oxygen as possible.
    14. If you are grating cheese, spray the cheese grater with a little cooking spray like canola oil or olive oil spray. This will make your cleanup a breeze.
    15. When cooking with hot peppers, you might want to wear gloves. Oils from the pepper can absorb in the skin. Whatever you do, don’t touch your eyes after cutting hot peppers. (I learned this lesson the hard way.)
    16. Don’t waste your money buying extra virgin olive oil if you will be heating it. It loses its extra virgin properties during cooking. Regular olive oil or canola oil are great options.
    17. The number one kitchen tool to invest in is a good knife. Some other favorites if you want to get more cooking tools are an avocado slicer, a zester or microplane and a food processor. These just make some of the cooking processes easier, but you don’t have to have them.


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