Maternal Nutrition and Effect on Cellular Aging-From Our Friends at Myrtle Grove Chiropractic

At CrossFit Carolina Beach we LOVE nutrition!


We love it because we know that there is nothing as impactful on your journey to health and wellness.


Also, we all want the best for the health of our children.


Did you know that what your mother was consuming before you were conceived plays a part in your health?  Also, in utero?


Our friends at Myrtle Grove Chiropractic put this piece together on maternal nutrition.

You can see the original post here:


“It’s pretty intuitive that proper maternal nutrition while a woman is pregnant is important. Eat healthy, give birth to a healthy baby. But guess what? The health of the baby is influenced by the quality of the mother’s diet long after that baby has grown into an adult. In fact, in robustly duplicated studies, babies born at low birth weight due to poor maternal nutrition had much higher rates of chronic disease and faster cellular aging later in life.

That’s right: maternal nutrition while an infant is in utero will affect that person for the rest of his or her life. It’s not just important in the short term. And here’s something else that might be surprising: making up for low birth weight with rapid postnatal weight gain contributes further to raised risk of chronic disease! The body of a low-birth-weight baby is better equipped to deal with conditions similar to the scarcity experienced in the womb than sudden plenty. A healthy birth weight, it turns out, is a significant indicator of how healthy the baby will be down the road. Poor maternal and early childhood nutrition has lasting, physiological effects.

Whatever conditions a fetus in utero experiences is what their body will adapt to deal with. So, if a baby is born into a different environment than when it developed, say, a baby in utero during a famine that is born into normal circumstances, the long-term effect is enormous. This is because the organs are set up to deal with scarcity, and the baby develops what is often referred to as a “thrifty phenotype,” meaning that their body will conserve as much energy as possible. But if your body is set up to expend as little energy as it can, then what would be considered a normal diet could end up causing obesity. 

A healthy birth weight, it turns out, is a significant indicator of how healthy the baby will be down the road. Poor maternal and early childhood nutrition has lasting, physiological effects. 

Improve your health by participating in a wellness plan at the Myrtle Grove Chiropractic & Acupuncture Center.

We welcome family members of all ages.

Choose to spend your health dollars on a system that promotes health, not disease!”

-Myrtle Grove Chiropractic: June, 2018

Neurotransmitters, Recovery, And Your Training

Do you ever have days when you feel like all you could do is sleep no matter how much coffee you drink?


Or maybe you’ve been on a new strength program for the past 8 weeks and feel weaker than when you started?


Maybe you find yourself walking around the gym in a daze not wanting to get started?


If you said “Yes” to any of these you may have experienced a deficiency or imbalance of your neurotransmitters. Neurotransmitter are chemical messengers that get released in our body. They allow our cells to communicate and work together. There are 4 primary neurotransmitters: Dopamine, Acetylcholine, Serotonin, and GABA. They are both excitatory (speed our cells up) and inhibitory (slow are cells down).


All the neurotransmitters are constantly in fluxuation and balance with one another. This can have a huge effect on our mood, energy, and ability to focus. Some activities like lifting a heavy weight or taking a challenging test use up the neurotransmitters we have on hand.


Strength coach Charles Poliquin is a huge proponent of specific program design built around the athlete. Knowing which of the neurotransmitter types you are dominant in can help you adjust loading parameters, frequency and intensity of training, and plan rest days. Even having a basic understanding of which neurotransmitter type you are dominant in will give you a framework for decision making around your training goals.


Now lets learn a little about each neurotransmitter type.



Dopamine is an excitatory neurotransmitter making it a huge factor behind your motivation towards training and activity levels. Individuals who are dopamine dominant tend to be the ones who are always fired up to exercise. They handle high volume and intensity well but tend to adapt quickly to a stimulus which can cause them to overtrain quickly if their workouts are not constantly varied.


Dopamine synthesis can be promoted by eating foods such as almonds, peanuts, soybeans, avocados, bananas, watermelon, yogurt, beef, tuna, chicken, chocolate, eggs, coffee, and green tea.

Fun project:  Guacamole anyone?  Next grill session, fresh guac as a flavorful topping for proteins and watermelon chunks as a side or for dessert.



Acetylcholine is the neurotransmitter responsible for intercellular communication between the muscles in the nervous system. Acetylcholine levels can make a huge difference in our ability to recruit the maximal number of muscle fibers. On days where you might not “feel strong” could be because your cells are having a hard time communicating to coordinate on a lift.


Meats, dairy, poultry and fish contain high levels of choline, with the highest levels coming from liver. One 3-ounce serving of meat contains approximately 70 milligrams of choline. Chocolate, peanut butter, brussels sprouts and broccoli also contain significant levels of choline.

Fun project:  meat casserole with brussels and broccoli.  If you’ve got some homemade stock from your chicken, use the to flavor the casserole and to double down on Acetul-CoA production.



GABA is an inhibitory neurotransmitter and is responsible for shutting the body down for rest and recovery. You may be experiencing low GABA levels if you find your mind racing or have trouble sleeping at night.


GABA levels can be promoted through probiotic rich foods like yogurt that improve gut health. Foods that increase GABA levels include berries, bananas, and Pu-erh tea. 

Fun project: Marissa and I ferment vegetables at home and use the spare pickle juice in our salads.  Loaded in probiotics and fun to make, it’s a fun experiment for the home.



Serotonin is another inhibitory neurotransmitter and really a jack of all trades. It helps regulate mood and social behavior, appetite and digestion, sleep, memory, and sexual desire and function. Low levels of serotonin have been linked to fatigue and depression.


Foods like chicken, turkey, salmon, beef, nut butter, eggs, and green peas all contain high levels of Tryptophan a precursor to serotonin production. One other way to boost serotonin production? You guessed it…exercise!


Fun project: come to CrossFit Carolina Beach for a workout with your sweat heart, then home for some home made pad Thai with eggs, a few peas, and sub that classic peanut taste with almond butter. Carbs for the reload and shared experiences to boost the intimacy.


Want to talk more about training and recovery? Get in touch with us at today!


Email for general questions.

How To Master Your Mind

What do you think about during a workout?


Is it how heavy the weight feels?

The daunting number of reps remaining or time left on the clock?

A creaky knee or that shoulder that always flares up?


Whether you’re in the gym to improve your health, gaining strength and conditioning for your sport, or you are an aspiring professional exerciser you can stand to benefit from improving your mental game. Mental Game is the self talk that dictates how you execute, the inner voice calling the shots. If there have been times in training, competition, and life where you walked away feeling like you could have performed better then maybe it is time to consider improving your mental game.


In his podcast Finding Mastery, Michael Gervais interviews 4x worlds fittest man Rich Froning. When it comes to the mindset of a champion there may be no one better to listen to. Rich discusses his approach to training, competition, and his journey from being a relentless individual competitor to a team champion and family man.


“In training, you listen to your body. In competition you tell your body to shut up.” -Rich Froning Jr.


Rich mentions that he hates losing. In fact, he goes so far as to say that he hates losing more than he loves winning.


This is a common occurrence in top athletes that relates back to a very basic human instinct. That is, all decisions that we make are performed in the name of avoiding pain or seeking pleasure. In this case Rich could not bear the sting of losing after a second place finish in his first CrossFit Games appearance. Even after taking home 6 titles proving his dominance as the fittest man in the world, you can still hear the bitterness in his voice as he discusses that fateful day almost a decade behind him.


What separates Rich and makes him such a great champion is what he did with that experience. When most people could have complained, or quit, or cried Rich let that experience fuel his fire. He did this by attacking his weaknesses in training so that way the next year he could show up with confidence.

Rich goes on to mention that he believed he wasn’t always the best athlete in competition but that it was his willingness to push himself harder when it mattered most that lead him to victory. This is a skill he has been cultivating his whole life. Growing up in a family surrounded by older, stronger cousins RIch constantly found himself competing.


To succeed against a stronger opponent, effort becomes of the utmost importance. Like the old saying goes, “hard work beats talent, when talent doesn’t work hard.” We can all benefit from this maxim and train like the underdog. In the training environment you can create situations that will push you into an uncomfortable place. The more time you spend in an uncomfortable place the less uncomfortable it becomes. This allows you to push deeper and find new thresholds.


Are there any areas in your life that you find uncomfortable? Do you find yourself shying away from those situations or coming up with excuses?


“Strength does not come from winning. Your struggles develop your strengths. When you go through hardships and decide not to surrender, that is strength” -Arnold Schwarzenegger


Everyone’s favorite Mr. Olympia has the mindset of a champion, there is no denying that. As a successful bodybuilder, businessman, movie star, and governator, Arnold shows us that with the right mindset we can achieve success and apply those principles to all areas of our lives.


So what does the mindset of a champion look like? Arnold suggests 6 rules for success:


    1. Trust yourself, have a clear vision of the outcome you want and go for it.
    2. Break some rules, be the exception, be the first, one of a kind.


  • Don’t be afraid to fail, if you are not failing you are not aiming high enough.
  • Ignore the naysayers, if you are serious about your goal there is no space.
  • Work like Hell, harder and smarter.
  • Give something back, what lessons have you learned that could benefit others?



Following these principles will benefit you regardless of your goal or undertaking. Every day is a chance for improvement and you get a fresh start right now.


Are there any areas in your life you need to start to trust yourself? Do you have toxic influences in your life keeping you from trying? What are you focused on besides your goal?


“I never looked at the consequences of missing a big shot… when you think about the consequences you always think of a negative result.” -Michael Jordan


Michael Jordan was focused on making the shot

Not the win.

Not the loss.

Not the miss.

Just making the shot.


It’s a pressure cooker. To have the ball in your hands with the game on the line. Maybe you have been there before…maybe you have never been there, but always wondered what it would be like.


In life we aren’t always faced with such clear moments of decision, but that does not mean that there is any less pressure or less important outcomes. Every day there are perhaps dozens of little decisions we make that have shaped our character and crafted the life that we live.


Whether it is fighting for one more burpee in the workout, double checking our work before shipping a project, or even getting out of bed instead of snoozing for that 5 extra minutes. Each day we get the chance to take the shot. So many times though we don’t take it because we are caught up in our own heads.


By changing our focus to an outcome that we desire we invite in the opportunity for that change to occur. Our bodies adapt to the stories that our minds create.


Is your self talk keeping you from playing your best in any area? What is a new story you could tell yourself instead?


“If you can see yourself doing something, you can do it. If you can’t see yourself doing it, usually you can’t achieve it.” -David Goggins


David Goggins in no stranger to overcoming obstacles. From losing 120 lbs to becoming a Navy Seal, pull-up world record holder, and running 203.5 miles in 48 hours this man has what I would call mental warfare more than mental game.

How does he do it?


By facing his fears head on. Goggins recognized that by making decisions in fear he was headed down a path that he was ashamed of. He made a choice to become the opposite of all his worst fears, but this change did not happen overnight.


He describes the early days where he couldn’t run around his neighborhood block without stopping and returning to the couch for a chocolate milkshake. He was able to transition and improve by telling himself to be better and try it again. He internalized the message that he was not going to quit by training it every single day. Just like a muscle it grew over time. David would rely on this muscle every time he tackled a new challenge that felt insurmountable.


These are the lessons and tips from some of the best in the world. So how can you start flexing your mental muscles and change your self talk?


Next time you are talking  yourself through a workout or challenging project keep these lessons in mind. Focus on the outcome that you want, not the negative result if things don’t work out.

Separate wants from needs.  If you are out for a jog and you think “I need to slow down” then you have already committed to slowing down.  You can shift that thought to “I want to slow down, but I am going to hold this pace.”  It’s amazing how genuinely thinking this makes it so much easier.

Over time you can shift the thought to “I want to slow down, but instead, I am going to go faster.”  There is a time and place to slow down, but when you know you shouldn’t, separating “wants” from “needs” can be a huge help.


Break things down into small manageable chunks. Focus on your most immediate action and doing it to the best of your ability. And of course, work like hell. The challenges in life are there for growth, tackle them head on.


Debunking 5 Diets

What should I eat?

How much can I eat?

And when can I eat it?


These are 3 questions that always seem to pop up in a world where we all want a physical and mental edge in performance and having the perfect diet is a key component of that. Let’s explore some of the popular diets in the fitness world right now. This is just an overview of each to help you decide if any of these might be something you’d enjoy.



  1. The Ketogenic Diet aka “Keto



Your body relies on glucose for fuel. If there’s no glucose easily available your body needs to find a new way to fuel itself. This happens through the breakdown of fats and proteins. Originally discovered back in the 1920’s as a treatment for epilepsy, the ketogenic diet has become widely popular as it can help practitioners lose weight quickly and provides mental clarity.



There are a lot of great high fat foods that can still be consumed (did somebody say bacon?!)



Limiting carb and protein intake requires some specific portioning of food. Measuring ketone levels through blood, breath, or urine is not the highlight of anyone’s day.


2) Whole 30


This diet is completed as a 30 day challenge that allows only whole foods (meats, vegetables, some fruits, and some healthy fats). This diet focuses on the “What” you should eat but is less concerned with “How much” and “When” making it a popular option for novice dieters.



By eliminating processed foods from your diet you give your digestive tract a much needed break. Most folks report higher energy levels. No measuring of portions saves time.



You have to accept that you’re going to be a boring dinner date for the month. Kinda.  There are still a few great options available to you and being educated on how to make decisions on what to eat while eating out can help.


3) Macro Diet


Ignore the “What” you eat in all but the broadest sense. That is, you only account for the macronutrient makeup of food in terms of fat, carbohydrate, and protein. Focus in on the ratio or total number of calories taken in to hit a total daily macronutrient intake based on your training goals and calories required.



Eating donuts after a workout without feeling guilty can be a huge relief


Poor dietary choices could lead to micronutrient deficiencies. Frequent consumption of high glycemic carbohydrates could lead to insulin resistance.


4) Intermittent Fasting


This diet focuses specifically on the “When” component of eating. Generally practiced by consuming all meals in a maximum 8 hour time window. This might look like skipping breakfast and consuming all calories between 12:00 pm and 8:00 pm followed by 16 hours of fasting. Many individuals pair this methodology with foods that would be considered “keto” or “whole 30” approved.



A smaller window of time to eat during means fewer calories consumed by most people. The long fasting period can lead to increased fat burning.



Some people have a difficult time adhering to the strict time windows that provide the alleged benefits.


5) Vertical Diet


This diet focuses on the “What” you can eat with foods broken down into daily micronutrient required foods and daily macronutrient foods where steak and white rice help you hit your required caloric intake. Caloric consumption is increased based on training volume and goals. Additionally this diet eliminates some unique foods like legumes, onion, and garlic that are considered high FODMAP (fermentable oligo-, di-, and monosaccharide and polyol) foods.



This diet can be a great starting point for someone who has difficulty meeting macronutrient requirements or is new to dieting.



The extreme lack of variability in food choices make this diet a bit boring to follow. It’s very possible that micronutrient deficiencies could occur by following the same simple foods long term.