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Triple Book Review

 Today we have 3 book reviews for you! I think there will be a little something for everybody in this post, from athletes, to young women, to foodies! 

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Book Review: Free+Style: Maximize Sport and Life Performance with Four Basic Movements

 Our Review Team Member, Courtney, gives us her take on  “Free+Style: Maximize Sport and Life Performance with Four Basic Movements” . Courtney is an avid CrossFitter and a certified Coach, so we really appreciate her take on this book review! 
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Free Style Book Cover
Carl Paoli has long been associated with CrossFit as a movement master and the coach we all look to for great gymnastic progressions, through his website gymnasticsWOD.  His training as an elite gymnast, along with his 15 years studying movement make him a trusted resource for fitness enthusiasts looking to learn or improve new skills.  “Free+Style: Maximize Sport and Life Performance with Four Basic Movements” is his first book and the result of the growing popularity of his freestyle method of coaching.
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Through his own training and study, Carl found basic commonalities in movement regardless of the sport or skill. He takes these commonalities and narrows them to four basic movements.  He explains each one in detail with photos and illustrations to clearly describe how our bodies move through space.  His writing is detailed but easy to read, and the movements apply to everyone.  Whether you’re an elite athlete or just becoming interested in movement, this book is a valuable resource.
Carl asserts, “master the basics and you will be a master at the most advanced movements.”  In part two of his book, he gives us the tools to observe, describe, and progress the “freestyle four” in order to excel in any physical movement.  Each movement is broken down into a progression with descriptions of the points of performance for the movement. The book is designed in such a way that the reader can skip around for a specific movement, or read straight through without missing any key information. This makes it incredibly user friendly for athletes and coaches. 
The freestyle four then become a springboard for developing and learning other skills. Carl explains how to take the four to the next level, how to program training of these skills, and how to use the freestyle four to diagnose inefficiencies or inabilities in movement. From this diagnosis, it is possible to identify weaknesses and address them with specific training plans.  To illustrate this training plan, Carl takes two athletes through the assessment and training piece and provides a 4 week training plan to each as an example.
Courtney in Pistol
Courtney in ‘Pistol’
Courtney Handstand
Courtney in a Push-Up Handstand
Finally, Carl features some amazing athletes from different sports in the Lifestyle section of the book.  These athletes represent the incredible power of the human body and are inspirations to the author. Though their sports are different, one aspect holds true for each athlete: hard work and dedication to the precise execution of movement result in mastery of sport.
Even if you don’t plan to master your sport, or your current sport is chasing a two year old around the house, this is an insightful look into the complexity of movement.  The principles outlined in freestyle can be applied to all aspects of life.  For coaches, this is a worthwhile investment; the training plans, assessment tools, and detailed explanations can help you develop your athletes’ full potential.  For athletes, this is a must have in your library.  If virtuosity is your quest,  “Free+Style: Maximize Sport and Life Performance with Four Basic Movements”  is your road map.

Book Review: Everyday Paleo: Thai Cuisine

Kari Scott chimes in on her thoughts about Everyday Paleo: Thai Cuisine

everyday paleo thai cover

 

If you love Thai food, you should pick up Sarah Fragoso’s new cookbook Everyday Paleo: Thai Cuisine! Here’s a rundown of what you can expect when you open this beautiful book:

The introduction provides you with descriptions and pictures of many typical Thai cooking ingredients. Don’t know what galangal is or where to find it? No problem! Sarah tells you what it is and where you can find it. And if you can’t find it, she provides you with a substitution! The “Cooking and Prepping Tools” section is extremely helpful for knowing which kind of items you may need in your kitchen to make these Thai dishes a success. For example, a mortar and pestle is important for making curry pastes at home in an authentic manner. Sarah also uses this section to address rice and rice noodles.  I generally think of rice as being a staple in many Asian countries and do not personally have any problems with rice.  Yes, there are recipes in this book that use rice or rice noodles.  If your body cannot handle rice, if eating rice does not line up with your goals, or if you choose to be completely grain-free, this book offers many delicious rice-free recipes.

The “Essentials, Condiments, and Curry Pastes” section is, in my opinion, the most important section of this book! There are recipes from homemade coconut milk to tamarind paste to all sorts of curry pastes! These recipes are, as the book aptly named, essential for many of the rest of the recipes in the book.

The remainder of the recipes are broken down into the following sections:
Appetizers and Salads (The Spicy Cucumber Salad is amazing!)
Fried Rice, Noodles, and Egg Dishes (Great recipes for fried rices which use cauliflower rice or jasmine rice depending solely on your preference)
Curries and Soups
Stir-Fry and Seafood
Desserts (Bananas in Coconut Milk?! Oh, yes!)

The final section of the book is a “Travel Log and Tips for Visiting Thailand.” There is great information in this section if you’re ever planning a trip to Thailand. Reading this section almost makes you feel like you’re along on the trip!

 

Book Review: Paleo Girl, by Leslie Klenke

Lastly, the youngest member of our team, Samantha, aka The Paleo Sitter, gives us her take on Paleo Girl, by Leslie Klenke.

Paleo Girl Cover

When I was asked to read Paleo Girl, by Leslie Klenke I was pretty excited, it was a book directed at girls my age. I am one of the few of my friends that really care about my health and looks at what I am putting into my body. I went into reading this with some expectation that I would learn something about my body, and the food I put in it. This book exceeded these expectations enormously. It is easy to read and understand. I ended up finishing it in a day lying out on the beach!

Getting into the juicy part of the book with 7 chapters, the reader starts off with learning about the Paleo diet. Leslie explains what paleo and primal is, and goes in depth with foods you should be eating. She then banishes the myth that fat DOESN’T make you fat. What she does explain is why fat doesn’t make you fat and why carbs really do. Included in the first chapter are great descriptions of Omegas, which I learned a lot from, and what the big deal with organic is. Leslie then goes on to explain why she wants the reader to learn from this book, “My Freshman (More than) 15.

Chapter two is about fitness, she goes into what primal fitness is, why you should move every day, why girls should lift, warm-ups and stretching. She puts in some essential stretches, which I have personally included into my daily routine. They are very helpful to get your day going, or even to help wind down. She similarly explains fitness essentials, fundamental movements that everyone should be doing. In this chapter there is also a section where she explains why high heels should be a no-go in everyday life.

What comes after diet and exercise?! Life, which leads me to chapter three, Life 101: The Other Important Stuff. I know from experience that getting enough sleep is hard! With taking 15 to 18 credit hours, having a job, and a social life is difficult; but Leslie makes it clear, readers need a good night of sleep. To balance not getting enough sleep, readers also seem to not play enough. Playing is one of the foundations to staying youthful! Leslie furthermore explains why the reader should play in the sun for 10 to 30 minutes to get the essential amount of Vitamin D. Bringing everything together; she challenges one to keep using your brain and to stay healthy and happy.

Being a girl is hard; going through puberty isn’t well, fun. There are so many changes in your body, hormones rushing through your bloodstream; not really understanding what’s going on. Chapter four gives you “The Down and Dirty” on that. She makes it personable telling everyone about her story going through puberty, learning about a girl’s biology. Puberty doesn’t only change how you look and feel, it also changes relationships. Leslie goes into details on how relationships change with family, friends, and boys; how they can be managed and what you should look for in them.

After getting down and dirty with chapter four, chapter five is motivational. She goes through what if scenarios and helps walk the reader through thought process and what you could/should say.  Another part of this chapter is how to deal with bullies. She goes into the psychological and fundamentals of why people bully, and what the reader should do about them. Because of social media, your “wolf pack” has grown larger than before. Leslie enlightens the reader on how they should tone down the social media and still have one-on-one interactions without interference.  She closes out the chapter with how you can change your mood with changing your mindset. Which I found truly does help in your daily life.

If all those chapters didn’t give you motivation to go out and change your lifestyle, chapter six will help. Chapter six is dedicated to people who have gone primal/paleo. They answer questions you might have about everyday life. There is a part where you fill out your story and write your own answers to questions.

Lastly, chapter seven is a DIY, there are quite a few recipes in the last chapter. She breaks them down into breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, and there is even a section about beauty products. There are easy meals and snacks that even a busy teen can make.

 

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