Metabolic, V02 & Nutritional Testing

How I figured out my food intolerances

For my entire 20’s, I’ve struggled with food allergies, digestive issues, sinus issues, and brain fog. After trying different supplements, getting allergy tests at an ENT office, and trying different diets (paleo, vegan, vegetarian, etc), nothing was helping.

After a little more research, I stumbled upon a business that had just opened in Columbus, Ohio – Rock N Shock Fitness. Rock N Shock is an all-female community focused on getting you in the best shape of your life. The owner, Danielle Miranda, spent years developing a system that encompasses the entire body, internally and externally, to get you to your healthiest self. This is done with initial testing to find out what is really going on with your body – food & non-food intolerance tests, nutritional deficiencies, metal toxicity, V02, and RMR testing. There are other tests that can be done, like DNA testing, and oxygen therapy + infrared saunas for detoxification. After getting your results, you can choose to work with someone on your diet + begin a workout plan based on your fitness level.
**The intolerance testing (without metal toxicity) was $250, and the V02/RMR test (membership pricing included) was another $125.

To get started, I made an initial appointment with Rock N Shock to discuss my fitness/nutrition goals, and what I was looking to get out of working with them. After speaking with the owner, she gave me a tour of the facilities and explained my options based on what we talked about.

I chose the below services:

V02 testing – to measure my physical fitness level
RMR – to find my resting metabolic rate (how many calories am I burning just sitting here?)
Intolerance testing – what foods am I eating that are causing issues?
Nutritional deficiencies – what does my body need more of?
**I fully intended to begin the workout program after receiving my results, but ended up moving to Florida.

I booked a second appointment to get all of the testing done, and it took less than an hour – a few strands of hair were taken for the intolerance testing & nutritional deficiencies, and the RMR & V02 test took about 30 minutes. I also couldn’t eat 2 hours before the test, and minimal to no exercise is recommended the day before so your body is fully rested & ready for the test. (I went on a 16 mile hike the day before, so don’t be like me!)

To begin, I had to breathe into a tube hooked to a computer for 10-15 minutes for my RMR test.

You can only blow through the tube, so you have to wear a clip on your nose – see above :p

You can watch the screen while you are blowing to make sure that everything is being recorded properly – I am not sure exactly how it all works, but after blowing for 10-15 minutes, I was relieved to be done!

RMR testing screen

After the RMR test, I was hooked up to a mask, attached to a hose – think Bane from Batman. The hose was hooked up to a computer, and I had to run with the mask on. It looks a little scary, but you can breathe just fine.

v02 test with mask

The person running the test started the treadmill low, with a little incline. Over time, she did timed intervals for increasing my pace & the incline, then back down again. At any time, when you feel like you cannot go any farther, you can tell them to stop the treadmill. Depending on how in-shape you are, it can be anywhere from 4 minutes to 20 minutes before you throw in the towel. I lasted about 11-12 minutes, which was the point where I felt like my muscles had no juice left in them (I could still breathe ok!). Below was about the halfway point for me – I was up to 6 or 7 on the treadmill, and things were really starting to get tough!

Normally when you throw in the towel, it’s not because you can’t breathe – it’s because your muscles are being deprived of oxygen, and the V02 test basically measures how well your body uses oxygen. The RNS site describes what exactly the test measures:

…how effectively your body consumes and uses oxygen, your breathing patterns, recovery of heart and lungs, calorie expenditure at various heart rates, your aerobic and anaerobic thresholds. We will be able to identify the exact heartbeat your body turns anaerobic and exact heart rate zones for you to train and compete at in order to stop you from “hitting the wall “and then allow you to maximise every minute of every session and race.

After the test was complete, I had to wait a bit for my hair analysis to come back. After about a month, I went back in to take a look at my final results:

intolerance test

nutritional deficiencies

It was honestly a bit of a shock to learn that I had food intolerances to things I ate almost everyday – olives/olive oil, strawberries, sweet potatoes, carrots… basically, all things I thought were healthy, but were really things my body was rejecting! On top of that, I had amino acid and Vitamin B12 deficiencies. After talking over my results, I decided to cut out the foods on the list, as well as begin supplementing with a few vitamins. So, for the past 8 months, I’ve noticed an increase in energy, less brain fog, and less reactions to food after eating (I used to get mini panic attacks after eating sweet potatoes & anything with olive oil in it!).

As for the V02 & RMR test results, they basically just confirmed that I have a high metabolism, and I workout….a lot. If I had stayed in Ohio & started a workout plan with RNS, it would have been to increase strength & speed & make my training more efficient.

v02 test results

RMR test results

Depending on your results & your end goal, everyone will be different! There are no bad results – because once you know where you are physically & nutritionally, you can only improve from there!

If you are in the Columbus, OH area, check out RNS (for women only, sorry guys!)… If not, google intolerance testing/v02 test/RMR test & your city/state… there are places all over the US that can do this type of testing for you. If you are looking to lose weight, get in better shape, get on a food plan, figure out why you are tired, improve your physical performance, or get more energy, I recommend investing in some sort of testing.

Overall, I highly recommend getting some sort of nutritional & physical fitness testing done – it has been one of the best things I’ve ever done for my health! We can do what we think is the best for our bodies, but there might always be something that we are missing.

I hope this helps – if anyone has done anything similar, comment below on your experience & if/how it has helped!

**Please note I did not receive anything in return for this blog post – I am writing this from my own personal experience, and I paid for every service received. I am writing this post in hopes that it helps anyone else interested in finding answers for their health, or for improving their physical fitness!

NYC: 12 Fitness Classes in 3 Days

After being MIA for most of the summer, I am finally making the time to sit down and write about my latest adventure in NYC!

I planned this trip about a month or so ago with a few other yoga teacher I work with, so this was the first non-solo yoga trip I’ve ever taken! We decided to fit in as many classes as possible in 3 days – 12 fitness classes, to be exact! We went to a few yoga studios I visited back in June, as well as a few new ones. Literally back-to-back classes, living-off-protein-bars-until-dinner busy!

Friday:
7:30 am: Flight lands
9:30 am: The Class

Nina Elise yoga

Probably telling everyone to hurry up so we don’t miss our next class

Light Lunch @ by Chloe

avocado toast by chloe
Avocado toast… I’ve never been more happy to eat in my entire life after an intense 75 minute workout!

12 pm: Laughing Lotus

nina elise yoga nyc trip

Still have some energy on the first day

3 pm: Jivamukti
light Snack @ Jiva Café
5:30 pm: Y7 Yoga (Union Square Location)
At this point, I separated from everyone & grabbed dinner with my friend in Brooklyn

vinnies pizza brooklyn

vinnies pizza
Dinner @ Vinnie’s – Baby pizza slices on a Hawaiian pizza??! My stomach was so happy to eat this delicious pie!

Saturday 8/6
10 am: Dharma Yoga Studio

dharma mittra nina elise yoga

All smiles after a sleepy yoga-nidra class with Dharma!

11:30 am: 2nd meditation class @ Dharma Yoga Studio
Quick lunch: Hu Kitchen

nina elise yoga nyc

Rushing to get to Ishta post-lunch!

2 pm: Ishta Yoga w/ Marco Rojas

nina elise maro rojas yoga

Best class of the weekend w/Marco!

5 pm: Tangerine Yoga in Brooklyn
10:30 pm: Dinner @ Catch Restaurant 

catch meatpacking nina hunt

Pre-dinner in meatpacking district

Sunday 8/7:
8:30 am: Iyengar Yoga
10:30 am: cycling class at Cyc Fitness w/Hunter, chelsea location
11:45 am: cycling class at Soul Cycle w/ Danny, union square location

soul cycle union square

Post- Soul Cycle!

2 pm – Barry’s Bootcamp w/ Shannon M, NOHO location
Grab lunch @ Los Tacos in Chelsea Market
Afterwards, my friends left for the airport, and I headed to Brooklyn to hang out with my friend for an extra day – meaning, sleeping in & trapezing along the hudson river on Monday!

The weekend was such a blur, and I am STILL processing everything! Overall, 12 fitness classes in 1 weekend = my body needs a massage! Planning for an entire weekend was a lot of work, and now I feel like I need a vacation from my vacation 🙂 I did learn a lot, and am so excited to implement a lot of new things into my classes!

So what’s next? Yoga Retreat in Thailand, backpacking in Barcelona, and a week of yoga & relaxation in Ibiza… 1 month away! Then… headed out to Cali to hang with Tony Robbins in November:)

Also – I’ll be back in NYC in the next few months… so if there is anything I missed this time around, let me know! I love taking new yoga classes in the city, and am always looking for amazing teachers!

Studio Review: Barry’s Bootcamp in NYC

While I travel to NYC to check out other yoga studios/teachers/workshops, it’s also helpful to try other types of workouts to see the set up of the studio, what is offered, the type of motivation, exercises, etc. Although I generally stick to running, yoga, & BBG, I do love me some intense circuit training. If you’ve ever heard of Orange Theory Fitness

Barry’s Bootcamp is essentially the same workout. Except, 5 times harder.

The workout is described as “hour-long workouts.. [which] include 25-30 minutes of interval cardiovascular treadmill routines and 25-30 minutes of strength training utilizing free weights, resistance bands, medicine balls and other equipment. Instructors, muscle groups and even workout segments vary throughout the week so that no one class is ever the same.” (website)

Frid-Sun is designated for overall-body conditioning… So, as the 12th and final class of the weekend, I was a little scared if my body could keep up. Luckily, something inside of me kicked in, and I had the energy + much more to push through the class. It ended up being my favorite workout of the weekend! Also bonus: You can burn up to 1,000 calories an hour. Yep.

Following Soul Cycle, we went back to our hotel & showered, then headed to the NOHO location. barrys bootcamp noho

We walked in, and were greeted by employees at the smoothie bar – which, btw, you can order a smoothie for post-workout BEFORE class even begins. So, your ice cold smoothie is waiting for you as soon as you are finished with your workout. How awesome is that??

Noho-Lobby1

Anyways, we walked to the back of the entryway, checked in, and were told where the locker rooms were & what to expect. After putting our items in the lockers, we headed to the room to find our assigned spots. I was a bit confused when we first walked in, as there are mirrors EVERYWHERE. It was almost like a fun house, and I wasn’t quite sure where the room began and ended.

barrys noho

photo credit: http://www.jeanninemorris.com/the-jm-edit/2015/5/2/barrys-boot-camp

Since the class was so small, we all started on the treadmills. Following 1 yoga class & 2 cycling classes (Cyc Fitness & Soul Cycle), my body was obviously ready for more cardio :p

The class format was:

8 minutes on the treadmill w/sprints
8 minutes strength training w/weights (8-15 lbs for me!)
8 minutes on treadmill (incline sprints)
8 minutes strength training w/weights
8 minutes on the treadmill w/ even faster sprints
8 minutes strength training w/even heavier weights
cooldown/stretch

There was about 30 seconds-2 minutes of recovery in between sets, which didn’t seem nearly enough… however, it didn’t give my mind time to think about stopping, and only pushed me to go harder.By the time I was doing my final 1-minute sprint on the treadmill, I was past the 11 speed, and my body felt amazing (11 speed is about a 5:25/minute mile, to give you an idea of what torture was happening to my legs).

Our instructor, Shannon, was seriously awesome – I loved the circuit she put together, and she pushed me past any limit I thought I had. I mean, 11 on the treadmill at the end of an intense workout?! I need to start giving myself some pep talks, because I can obviously do better than my 30-second 9.5 speed sprints during my own workouts.

locker-rooms-women

Following the workout, we showered at the gym & got ready. The showers were huge, and included shampoo/conditioner/face wash/body wash. Towels were also included, as well as hair dryers & toiletries for women. I could have left half my gym bag at home and been ok!

Summary: Awesome workout that kicks your butt – can I move to NYC just so I can take all these amazing workout classes all the time??

Pros: Free towels. Lockers. Endless supply of toiletries. Huge showers. Burn up to 1,000 calories/class. Workouts are always different, every time. Instructors are well-trained. Staff is welcoming & helpful.

Cons: a little pricey, but worth it for what you get! Water filter is behind the smoothie bar, so every time you need a water refill, you have to have someone get it for you.

Cost: $34 for a 1 hour single-class drop-in

Yoga Studio Reviews + NYC Recap!

This past weekend, I flew out to NYC to take a barrage of yoga/fitness classes within a 3 day period. I do this in order to see what other teachers/studios are like, what I can learn, etc.- basically continuous education as a Yoga teacher.
The result? love. lots of love, appreciation, learning… for myself, for others, for my body… Totally unreal. Yoga in NYC is so different than Ohio… actually, just the overall energy is different. I went into each class expecting nothing but a regular yoga/fitness workout… and it always ended up surprising me, in such a wonderful way.

Below is a recap of my time spent in NYC… just to give you an idea of how CRAZY my weekend was! I’ll be writing separate reviews for each studio soon – there are so many great things I learned & LOVED about every single class I took, and there is no way I can fit it all into 1 blog post 🙂

Friday:
Fly in @ check into hostel. Meditate, then for a 4 mile run along battery park with a friend.
Grab a bite to eat at a local bodega, then head over to Laughing Lotus at 2 pm for a 1 hour “Fly”  Class with Victor Colleti –> Check out the Full Review of Laughing Lotus Studio NYC here
Run to Y7 Studio to catch a class with Courtney at 4:15 pm for a 1 hour heated flow in a dark, candlelit room –> Check out the Full Review of Y7 Studio NYC here
Shower & head out for dinner & drinks with friends

Saturday:
I woke up a little early & couldn’t fall back asleep – so, I found the closest studio near my hostel & took an impromptu 1.5 hour yoga class with THE Dharma Mittra at the dharma yoga center (There is something very exciting about watching a 77 year old man doing a hands-free headstand at 10 in the morning!)…. The best unplanned class I’ve ever taken!
Cabbed it to the East Village to eat at Raclette – See images below. No explanation needed.

I mean… just look at that CHEESE!!!!

raclette nyc 3

Headed to Ishta yoga at 2 pm for a 1.5 hour yoga class with Marco Rojas (which actually turned into almost 2 hours). The hardest, best class I’ve EVER taken in my life!
Sprinted to Equinox in Greenwhich to catch 1 final 1 hour yoga class with a friend at 4:15 pm.
After 4.5+ hours of yoga classes, a belly full of cheese, and several protein bars later, I was ready to go out! (Seriously – Yoga is moving meditation, and although my body was a bit sore, I was ready to go out!) So, shower & head to Brooklyn to hang out with a friend. We went to an outside dance party, then walked around Brooklyn looking at the Graffiti Art. By the time we got back, I only ended up getting one hour of sleep… totally normal for a birthday weekend, right??

Brooklyn

Sign seen at outside dance party: If not us, Who? If not now, When?

Sunday:
Walk (in the rain) to Cyc Fitness in Astor with Jordan – get lost – and finally make it to the class as its starting.With 1 hour of sleep, this class woke me up!
Change clothes, head back to Laughing Lotus to take 1 final 1 hour flow with Felipe Gonzalez. Amazing, amazing class to end my time in NYC!
–> Check out the Full Review of Laughing Lotus Studio NYC here

gelato

Because this is what adults do – eat Gelato topped with macaroons for lunch

Headed back to meet up with a friend for “lunch” (see above :)), then finally catch the shuttle to head to the airport. By this time, I was ready to Pass Out!

I finally landed back in Columbus around 10:30 on Sunday night… and have been walking around in a haze the past few days, trying to catch up on sleep. And my body? Finally recovering. The good news is, after all those workouts, I have a much greater appreciation for my body. It is resilient, strong, and capable of pushing past any physical limit I may think I have (I’ll just say that my body was bent & adjusted in ways that I didn’t think possible! Basically, I came back as Gumby).

So what’s next? NYC AGAIN in a few weeks -either end of June/2nd weekend of July… more yoga/fitness classes, and more time to hang out with friends. Also, looking for jobs out there, so if you are hiring…. I’m looking 😉

Stay tuned for a more in-depth recap of NYC Studio reviews!

What was your last adventure you went on? And have you ever pushed yourself past what you thought were YOUR physical limits?

I Hate Running

Wait, what?

Yes, that’s correct. Don’t get me wrong – I love how I feel during & after a good, slow, short run – but a long, tough run?  All. Mental.  Running is not something that I am a natural at – which, if you know me, makes me really, really mad. Being super competitive by nature, if I’m not good at something, I am going to practice it and do it over, and over and over again… pushing myself until I’ve gotten to a place where I think I am good at it, or have mastered it to the level that satisfies me.

runslowmeme

Unfortunately, running is something that I never feel satisfied with. Whether I’m running a 10 minute easy training pace, or a 7:30 minute race pace, it never feels “easy.” There are people who rarely workout and can just get up and run an easy 7 minute pace (especially men.. do you guys have hidden springs in your legs or something??), and there are people like me, and maybe you, who try and try and can’t get past a certain point unless an immense amount of time is dedicated to getting better.

So why do I run? I run because it’s a challenge. I run because I want to improve myself. And because mentally, it’s a battle I have won once I have completed a race. I also run because others can’t – and as I’ve been physically limited & unable to walk, I am grateful that I have the ability to do so now.

You are probably asking… where the heck is she going with this? While the title of this post is “I hate Running,” I wanted to use this as a gateway to speak to a few deeper thoughts about pushing ourselves, and the motives behind our decisions & actions.

___________________________________________________

I stumbled upon a video about a man named David Goggins – maybe his name rings a bell? He is a Navy SEAL, former USAF Tactical Air Control Party member (served in Iraq and Afghanistan), an ultramarathon runner, ultra-distance cyclist, and triathlete. I watched a video of him on Runners World (also see below), explaining his mindset and the motivation behind his active life. [Read his story here – you will seriously be left wondering WTF HAVE I BEEN DOING WITH MY LIFE?? And also want to try to run a 100 mile race. Almost.]

davidgoggins

While he hates running, he does it to raise money for the Special Operations Warrior Foundation, which gives full college grants to children of Special Ops personnel killed in the line of fire. He runs for others. And not only that, he runs  because it’s hard. He doesn’t race because he wants to finish – he does it because there is no end. He is constantly looking for ways to push himself past the edge, and his only limitation is himself.

He speaks of the 40% rule – something the Navy Seals live by – meaning, when you think you are done, you are only 40% done. So after you think you’ve reached your limit, you have another 60% of reserves to keep going. Shit – right?!  But not unheard of.

runhardermeme

99% of people who start a marathon, finish. Seems crazy, but it’s true! So for anyone that has ever run a full, or a half, or is even just beginning to run – understands the mental limits they have to push past in order to keep going. When your muscles are burning, your legs feel like lead, and your lungs are on fire, you don’t stop. Why? Because you know, deep down, you are capable of so. much. more. There is something inside of us, that when taken out of our comfort zone, we can tear down our limitations and do things that seem impossible – mentally, emotionally, and physically.

If you aren’t inspired after reading/watching David Goggins story, I don’t know what else will. There are people that come into this world to break down barriers & help others realize their greatness when so much of us seem to forget it, and he is definitely one of them. So next time, when you are out on a run, or doing something that seems uncomfortable or hard, remember to ask yourself – “Am I really at my limit, or can I push myself – even just a little bit – more?” Before you know it, you’ll be running faster, doing things you have only ever dreamed of, evolving into a more bad-ass version of your current self, AND inspiring others along the way.

Feel that fire inside of you, and light the way.

XoXo Neens

 

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