2 July 2014
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Bone Broth! Good for What Ails You, and Lots of Other Stuff…

by Stephanie Vermeychuk

Bone broth, the liquid made from boiling bones in water for an extended period of time, is extremely delicious and nutritious, and also very easy to make. Before we get into the technique of making your own delicious bone broth, though, let’s start with the raw material: BONES.

Why would we want to consume something made from bones? Well, to begin with, bones contain tons of important nutrients, including vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and amino acids. And the only way that we can consume these nutrients is to boil the bones in water so that the nutrients are extracted out into the liquid (I don’t recommend trying to eat bones unless you’re a dog).

Two of the most well known nutrients that bones contain are calcium (not surprisingly!) and magnesium. We all know that calcium is essential for bone health, and consuming a liquid made from bones seems like a logical way to get this very important nutrient (a much more logical way than, say, drinking a liquid that is made for baby cows). But I digress…

Magnesium is another very beneficial nutrient that we recommend supplementing with, as it can be difficult to get adequate amounts, and bone broth enables us to do that with a whole food as opposed to a pill or capsule.

In addition to these and other nutrients, bone broth is also extremely rich in two particular amino acids, proline and glycine, that are key components of all the connective tissue in our bodies. Not only do these amino acids literally hold our bodies together, but they also have healing and anti-inflammatory effects, and glycine actually enhances muscle repair and growth, something that we’re all interested in.

Beyond these nutritive properties, bone broth is really just delicious, and it’s extremely versatile in the kitchen. Whenever a recipe calls for “stock” or “broth,” you can use your own homemade bone broth. I’ve also been known simply to sip hot bone broth out of a mug in the morning, or include a bowl alongside my scrambled eggs for breakfast.

While I don’t really follow a “recipe” per se, there are a few things I do every time I make bone broth. I start with some bones (duh). Sometimes I use a chicken carcass from a roasted chicken I made for dinner, and sometimes I just use a bag or two of FREE BONES from The Ventura Meat Company.

You can roast the bones beforehand if you like, but one of my favorite things about making bone broth is how quick it is, so I usually skip this step.

I always make my bone broth in the crock-pot, but you can also do it on the stove-top in a big stock pot. Either way, put the bones in your pot of choice, sprinkle them with coarse salt and pepper, pour about 1-2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar over them (this helps leech out the minerals etc…), and cover the bones with water. Cook on low for a long time. If you’re making chicken stock, 24 hours should do it, but when I use beef bones, I typically let it cook for 3 days on low in the crock-pot.

I also usually add a bay leaf and some other dried herbs, but I don’t put those in until the second day. Then, when I know the broth will be done in 8-12 hours, I typically add some chopped onions, carrots, and celery. If you add the veggies too early, they get really mushy and can impart an unpleasant, bitter taste to the broth.

If you’re looking for an even easier way to make your bone broth, Michael, our friend at The Ventura Meat Company, is going to start offering “bone broth kits” that come with instructions and all the necessary ingredients (bones, herbs, and spices) to make your own delicious broth, right in your own kitchen.

If you’d like to read more about bone broth and its benefits, check out this article on Mark’s Daily Apple, or this one at The Paleo Mom.

21 June 2011
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Faith’s Answered Questions #2: Is this CrossFit Ventura or West Coast Strength and Conditioning?

written by Faith Reynado

FAQ #2: So is this CrossFit Ventura or West Coast Strength and Conditioning?

1. First…what exactly is West Coast Strength and Conditioning?

West Coast Strength & Conditioning is who we are. The name represents the highest standard of professionalism, excellence, and quality in all of our offered services to help our wide range of clientele succeed in improving their fitness and health. Our services range from personal training, group training, athletic team conditioning, CrossFit group classes, personal programming for clients in and outside of the gym at various locations, nutritional counseling, and body fat analysis. WCSC is Ventura's premier training facility and is home to the largest community of fitness enthusiasts in the county.

2. How does CrossFit Ventura come into play here?

CrossFit Ventura is the name of the Group Class Program offered here at West Coast Strength & Conditioning for general fitness and health goals. It is a tremendous, results-producing program for our clients and is at the heart of our fitness community. We are a registered CrossFit affiliate through CrossFit Inc; however,we do offer many services other than our CrossFit Group Classes, such as those we mentioned before, through WCSC.

3. So…is this CrossFit Ventura or West Coast Strength and Conditioning?

That's like asking if you live in Ventura or California? And if you’re involved in CrossFit group classes, the answer is both!


"Breathing" by Mike Burgener

Strength & Conditioning 

For time:
50 perfect Kettlebell Swings
5 heavy Push Presses
rest 5 seconds
Run 50m @ 97%
rest 4 minutes

Post notes to comments. 

1 April 2011
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The Weekly Recap


New in the Community:
Welcome Theo Tulle, John Kanny, Jeri Armstrong, and Lupe Zamora to our community!! These folks are putting in some hard work to get more fit and healthy and we're excited to help them achieve their goals! 

Exceptional Performance of the Week:
Congratulations to all of you who decided to re-do Sectional WOD #1 last weekend and got a PR! The week's biggest improvement was made by Craig who increased his final score by 32 reps!

Time Capsule:

"Setting Yourself up For Success: Arousal Regulation" - April 2009
    Tips for regulating your arousal appropriately for training.

"Don't Think, Just Focus" - April 2010
    There is a difference between focus and thinking. It may surprise you to learn that the best athletes are really good at not thinking (or maybe that isn't so surprising…)


Part 1 and Part 2 of interview with Gymnastics Coach Jeff Tucker on developing strict movements before adding momentum.


Double Unders:
30 sec on/30 sec off x 6
15 sec on/45 sec off x 4
3-Rep Power Snatch
50m Sprint @ 97%
Walk 4 minutes x 5

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28 March 2011
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CFV Intramural Soccer!


Fitness in 100 Words (courtesy of CrossFit.com):

Eat meat and vegetables, nuts and seeds, some fruit, little starch and NO sugar. Keep intake to levels that will support exercise but not body fat. Practice and train major lifts: deadlift, clean, squat, presses, clean and jerk, and snatch. Similarly, master the basics of gymnastics: pull-ups, dips, rope climb, push-ups, sit-ups, presses to handstands, pirouettes, flips, splits, and holds. Bike, run, swim, row, etc., hard and fast. Five or six days per week mix these elements in as many combinations and patterns as creativity will allow. Routine is the enemy. Keep workouts short and intense. Regularly learn and play new sports!

We train everyday to increase our level of fitness and prepare for any physical challenge that may come our way. We choose to use functional movements that are safe, natural, multi-jointed, and enable us to move large loads over long distances quickly. In short, we train as athletes! With CFV Intramural Games, we take our dedicated community and lively environment to new heights when we learn and practice a different sport with our fellow CrossFitters.

If you love a good backyard game, or wish you could try a sport that you just never gave a chance, join us this Saturday at 11:00am right up the street at Arroyo Verde Park for a good old fashioned game of SOCCER!

We'll see you on the field!


Burning Runner: Let's Talk Fish Oil


Box Jumps @ 32"/24"; 10 reps x 3; rest 30 sec b/t  sets
Tabata Box Jumps @ 20"/14" (low score)
A1. Bench Press @ 30X0; 5, 4, 3, 2, 1; rest 2 min
A2. Weighted Pull-up; 1, 1, 1, 1, 1; rest 2 min

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23 March 2011
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What is Paleo?

WCSC Cheer

written by Stephanie Vermeychuk

Now that we are a week or so in to our Evolution Challenge, people are coming up with some great nutrition questions.

“Is it ok to eat spaghetti squash?”
“How much protein should I eat?”
“What should I eat before a workout?”
“How long should I wait after eating to work out?”
“What’s all this Paleo stuff about, anyway?”

Wait a minute! That last one is sort of important…

Those of us who have espoused the Paleo lifestyle don’t even give it a second thought, and it’s important to remember that for someone experimenting with a Paleo diet for the first time, things can seem a little overwhelming.

First, some background. The premise of the Paleo diet finds its roots (as the name would suggest) in the eating habits of our Paleolithic ancestors. In the days before the agricultural revolution, people were taller, stronger, and healthier in many ways. Our hunter-gatherer ancestors were not plagued with diseases like diabetes, cancer, obesity, and heart disease.

With the agricultural revolution came the introduction of whole wheat and other grains into our diet. Those foods now form the base of the Standard American Diet Food Pyramid. By following the guidelines that the Food Pyramid dictates, we have eaten ourselves into a society riddled with a whole host of degenerative diseases such as obesity, cancer, diabetes, heart disease, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, depression, and infertility.

Eating according to Paleo guidelines can prevent you from developing many of those diseases and can reverse the effects of some of them as well. Additionally, once you zap the grains and sugars out of your diet, you will feel better than you’ve ever felt, and you’ll probably shed some excess body fat along the way.

In case you zoned out, now’s the point when you’re going want to start paying attention again.

The basic rules of the Paleo diet are as follows:

  • Eat lean meats (beef, chicken, lamb, turkey, pork, fish, shellfish, BACON!).
  • Eat lots and lots of veggies. Corn is not a vegetable. Neither are French fries.
  • Eat some fruits. If weight loss is your goal, limit your fruit to 1-2 servings a day (berries are your best option), and preferably in the morning.
  • Eat good fats. Olive oil (extra virgin), coconut oil, avocado (oil and whole), macadamias (whole and oil), and almonds are all sources of good fats.

The two items that are most conspicuously absent from this list that are a mainstay of many people’s diets are grains (bread, rice, pasta, crackers, Cheetos, etc…) and sugar (candy, cookies, cupcakes, etc…). Also notice that beans and dairy are not on the list of “good” foods. (If you’re interested in more of the concrete reasons behind the omission of these foods, please feel free to ask or consult the myriad online resources at your disposal.)

This is the short, short version of the guidelines of the Paleo diet. As many of you already know, I am always happy to talk about nutrition, recipes, and pretty much anything having to do with food. If you are interested in more information, Robb Wolf’s book, The Paleo Solution, is an excellent resource, as is his website (robbwolf.com). In particular, the FAQ section of his site contains some very useful tools, such as his Quick Start Guide and Paleo Food Matrix.

18 March 2011
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The Weekly Recap


New in the Community:
Welcome John Monahan, Rebecca Helliwell, and Brady Bleicher to CFV!! This is a fun new crew, and all of them will be a great addition to our community!

Exceptional Performance of the Week:
Congratulations to everyone who gave it their all this week during the testing for the "Evolution Challenge"! Noticeable was Alex Mack and Jen Paludi's 4th and 5th place finishes! These two are really starting to take their performance to the next level. Great work!

Time Capsule:

"Rest Days" - March 2009
    A reminder for the importance of taking days off of training.

"Pay Attention to Your Feet" - March 2010
    Your feet are the foundation for almost all movements. Paying more attention to them can make a huge difference in your performance.


This weekend begins the first Open Sectional WOD! Good luck to all 22 members of TEAM CFV (Nate Strong, Kim Johnson, Dan Collier, and Sheila Collier being our newest additions)!


A1. Back Squat @ 30X0; 2-3 reps x 4; rest 2 min
A2. Seated DB Press @ 21X1; 8-12 reps x 4; rest 2 min
B1. Walking DB Lunges @ 2010; 12-16 reps x 3; rest 10 sec
B2. Push-ups; amrap x 3; rest 2 min

Post notes for A1-B2 to comments. 

17 March 2011
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Initial Scores are In!

Picture 3

written by Colin Jenkins

There may be a few more scores coming in, but here is what we have so far!

Don't worry if you're not near the top of this list, this is but one of the three scores that will determine your overall placement. In fact, those of you finding yourself near the top will have a much harder time with the next two scores as will be based solely on performance improvement and body comp loss.

So you may be thinking… "Now what?"

Each of us will need to improve some aspects of our daily living outside of the gym, but ultimately what you choose to improve on will be up to you. We will try to provide as much information through this blog and will be happy to answer any questions you have top help you move forward. 

Here's one little bit:

Often, the most common and most looked over obstacle I have seen in over and over again in food profiles over the years is a lack of a good breakfast. If you want to get set up for success, you need to ensure your getting in food early (within an hour of waking if possible) and make sure it's mostly protein and fat. It can completly change everything, and the quicker you start dialing that in, the quicker everything else will fall into place.

If you have a breakfast dialed in (not cereal/oats/etc..), please share ideas for the rest of us to comments. 

Having a solid protein/fat breakfast within an hour of waking works so well on so many levels, I'm almost to the point where I don't even want to discuss anything else until this is dialed in. So let's start this "Evolution Challenge" right…fix up your breakfast folks!


"The Dose of Intervention and the Land of Dr. Oz" – by Gary Taubes


Snatch Tech Work
Quickly build up to a heavy, but not maximal, 2 rep Snatch
(breathing work)
5x for time:
10 Pull-ups
10 Burpees

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