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Beware of monotony; it’s the mother of all the deadly sins.

 
— Edith Warton
 WELCOME
In the newsletter this week, we’ve got a 60s phys-ed class, a tough circuit workout, and some tips on making friends as an adult. Read on...

Here’s a workout blast from the past. In the early 1960s, a gym coach at La Sierra High School in Carmichael, California developed an athletics program based on intense calisthenics and team-sports participation for all. Check out this amazing YouTube video showing the kids doing push-ups, pull-up, sprinting, hula-hooping, and every sport from swimming to archery.

Of course, because this was the 1960s, you’ll hear the voiceover intone that girls’ activities emphasized “physical grace and poise” to make girls “more attractive”. Sexist stereotyping aside, the La Sierra program did encourage girls to enthusiastically participate in sports and physical culture.

The tough training became so well-known that President Kennedy—a big advocate of physical fitness—called for every high school in America to adopt it, and more than 4,000 did. While it ended when the school closed in the 1980s, La Sierra’s program had an outsized influence—you may have done some of these same exercises in your own phys-ed classes.

Wishing you the energy to get through the toughest workout this week, Katherine & Linda
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 WORKOUT OF THE WEEK
Crystal Hawkins, PuzzleFit

At Fit Girls Society, while we love watching content from star fitness influencers with millions of followers, we also enjoy discovering new-to-us, lesser-known fitness content creators. 

Crystal Hawkins is an up-and-coming YouTuber with over 15 years of fitness and wellness experience. A wife and mother of two, Hawkins served in the US Army for 12 years, and says of her mission: “My goal is to teach, motivate, and show tough love. Exercise is free, but it is far from easy!” 

Hawkins’ workouts are on the tougher side, so pace yourself and feel free to use modifications.

Try this: In her 30-minute Cardio and Strength Training Workout For a Mood Boost, Hawkins takes you through 10 circuits of 30 seconds of movement followed by 15 seconds of rest. More in the mood for a quick stretch? Hawkins is a 200-Hour Registered Yoga Teacher too—try her 10-minute Yoga for Back & Neck Tension to dispel stress.
 WELLNESS
Making new friends during a pandemic

The pandemic has been tough on our friendships—and that could take a toll on our health. Chronic isolation can cause a stress response. Discussing it on the Mindbodygreen podcast, science journalist Marta Zaraska explains: "In our evolutionary past, when you were lonely, it meant you were outside of your tribe. You were kicked out, lost, or whatever. And suddenly, you're alone in the [desert] with all these wild animals around."

More and more, our communities are online. Spending time with friends and acquaintances online can be a good replacement for in-person hangouts. Why not bring an online friend closer by suggesting a Zoom call over a glass of wine or adaptogen soda? Some inspiration: in this Huffington Post article on online friendships, people share stories of how they’ve “flown halfway across the world and stayed with people I’ve met on the internet.”

When forming online friendships, look for people who have overlapping interests, listen to your instincts on who to trust, and don’t be afraid to make the first move to connect.
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 NUTRITION
Are you getting enough Omega-3s?
The ketogenic diet is a low-carb, high-fat way of eating that, research shows, has anti-inflammatory benefits. Some people who try a keto diet report it helps them lose weight by quelling hunger. But many keto food plans involve a lot of pork chops, bacon, and ground beef. Is there a version of keto that can fit vegetarians or “occasional” meat-eaters?

Will Cole, a chiropractor and functional medicine practitioner, introduced the concept of the “ketotarian” diet as a mostly-plant-based version of keto. It excludes most animal products with the exception of eggs, fish, shellfish, and ghee (butter clarified to remove milk solids).

To follow the ketotarian diet, you shoot for 70-75% of your daily calories from fat and 20-25% from protein, keeping your daily carb intake to less than 5%. Cole recommends eating lots of nuts, seeds, avocados, non-starchy vegetables like asparagus and salad greens, and low-sugar fruits like berries, but staying away from grains. 

In an interview with Goop, Cole explained why fat is nothing to fear: “Our brains are made up of 60 percent fat and require a lot of energy production to work optimally. From both an evolutionary and a biological perspective, the most sustainable form of energy for your brain and body is healthy fats—not sugar.”

A note of caution: Cole encourages readers to steer clear of fermented soy products like tofu, and nightshade vegetables such as eggplants, tomatoes, and potatoes. Mainstream nutritionists say there’s no need to beware of these foods. Nightshade vegetables contain essential vitamins, minerals, and micronutrients. Large studies of dietary soy have shown the phytoestrogens they contain have no problematic side effects for humans. So, approach restrictive recommendations skeptically.

That said, the ketotarian diet could be useful for people who want to try a lower-carb way of eating without diving into a t-bone steak.

Have you tried going keto or ketotarian? What was your experience?
Let us know—we’d love to hear about it!
 
  WHAT WE'RE READING
 
 Flexibility tips from an Olympic gymnast. Number one: stretch every day, even if it’s for five minutes (Well+Good)

 These super-healthy low carb Indian fish curry has cod, green beans, and coconut milk for an easy weeknight meal (Step Away from the Carbs)

 Pain-free running: how to ease back into running after knee problems (B-Reddy)

 Prone to overeating at night? Tips from a health coach on how to cut back on evening boredom eating (Mark’s Daily Apple)

 Feeling guilty about not exercising? Don’t be so tough on yourself—here’s why laziness is normal (Elemental)
Thanks for reading, Fit Girls! We’ll return to your inbox next week with more inspiration and knowledge. Got a tip for us or opinion to share? Email us—we love your feedback. Enjoyed this issue? Please forward to a friend—your referrals help us grow!
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