Saturday, May 30, 2009


Today is the final day for the challenge. How did you do?


as many rounds as possible of:
5 pullups
10 pushups
15 squats

beginners: 10 minutes
intermediate and advanced: 20 minutes

Compare to Day 8 (2009 0427). For those who took "Before" pictures last time, are you ready for "After" pictures? Let's get it going! We're in our first official week of business!


Sleep and proper rest is important to living a healthy life. Mark's Daily Apple shows the uninitiated How To Wake Up Without an Alarm.


In CrossFit's Elite Fitness in 100 Words they say "Regularly learn and play new sports." We use sports as a way to test our fitness. Are we making progress? Is our general physical preparedness (GPP) working? Are we prepared for the knowable and unknowable? If your nutrition and training is up to par, then you should feel confident in your skills.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Red chest = great racks!

It's GET RIGHT FOR SUMMER: Day 41 and the weekend is upon us! Did you see the announcement in the last post? First RAINSTORM of Foundation CrossFit 2.0 is this Saturday at 10:45am sharp.

We did heavy presses and strict pullups/ring rows and everyone did an amazing job! I love our new racks and I love that everyone has been working on some great rack positions. Great elbows and great lockouts (with forward chest movement)!

FREESTYLE FRIDAY TOMORROW! Gym is open from 9am to about 6pm. "Classes" start every hour on the hour. Come in and have some CrossFit fun!


RAINSTORM XXXIII this Saturday @ 11am. Be at the gym by 10:45am- we're going to grab some equipment and workout outside!

RSVP to!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Thursday, Day 40

According to The Bible, Jesus went 40 days and 40 nights without food. You're obviously not Jesus, but did you go through most of these past 40 days and nights without eating crap? I hope you treated your body well... many of you are showing it.

The above picture is Elizabeth back squatting like a monster. I like it because it shows the strength and determination we all seek to possess when we lift and go heavy. Speaking of photography WHO'S READY FOR "AFTER" PICTURES NEXT WEEK?! Oh joy.



burpees, for time.

beginners: 50
intermediate: 100
advanced: 150



Who DOESN'T love a good steak. People who don't know how to live, that's who. Lifehacker shows us Nine Affordable Steaks and How to Grill Them Anywhere.

Upcoming Events!

There are a lot of these!

06/06 - CrossFit Bellevue x "MURPH"
The event we had planned for the memorial day weekend has gained a lot
of steam and will now be a national event by participating CrossFit
Affiliates across the country. The event will now be called The Navy
Seal Hero Challenge.

The Naval Special Warfare Foundation is going to advertise the event
for us and our goal is to raise 10,000 dollars this year and 100,000
dollars next year.

Unfortunately the event we planned for the Memorial Day weekend up
here in the Seattle area has been re-scheduled to the 6th of June to
coincide with the D-Day anniversary. Justin from Windy City CrossFit
suggested this date and all of us agreed it was a good match.

So other than the date the plan stays the same. We will do 'Murph" in
the downtown Bellevue Park. Afterwards we will drive the 5-blocks down
to the beach and enjoy the rest of the day in the sun.

The workout will start at 10 am and will feature four divisions.
Level -2 (with 20+ lb vest),  One mile run, 100 pull-ups, 200
push-ups, 300 squats, 1 mile run.
Level -1 without vest, One mile run, 100 pull-ups, 200 push-ups, 300
squats, 1 mile run.
Element's, 800 meter run, 50 pull-ups, 100 push ups, 150 squats, 800 run.
CF Kids (4-12) (65-80) 400 run, 25 pull-ups, 50 push-ups, 75 squats, 400 run.

We have limited vests so bring your own or a backpack with the
necessary weight. There donations are tax deductible and you can
either pick up your form at a participating affiliate or on the link
provided on the attached document.

If anyone has questions please feel free to contact me at anytime.
Thank you for your time and your consideration of this event.

Dan Cerrillo
Managing Member
CrossFit Bellevue
206.351.3481 or 206.612.7602

06/14, 06/16 - Tom Corrigan Kettlebell Workshop x CrossFit Bellevue
We are hosting a KB workshop with Tom Corrigan on both Sunday the 14th
of June at 3pm and on Tuesday the 16th of June at 5:30pm. Cost is
$25.00 dollars per person.
Tom Corrigan is THE person to train with if you want to be better at Kettlebell movement and efficiency. I learned how to be better at my kb swing, kb clean and jerk, and kb snatch. See him immediately! Maybe we'll get him in our box soon.


06/20 - Rainier CrossFit x SOWF Fundraiser
Greetings WA [CrossFitters],

  I am putting together a fundraiser to support the Special Operations Warrior Foundation. The workout will be done in honor of the eight Air Force Combat Controllers that have given their lives in OEF/OIF (two are from WA). This email is just to gauge interest in the event.

When: 20 June 2009
Time: TBD
Where: Rainier Crossfit (5403 Milwaukee Avenue East, Suite B Puyallup, WA 98372)
Workout: (completed in teams of 4)

Run 400m
400 shoulder to press (65# women, 95# men)
Run 400m
800 squats
Run 400m
8 rope climbs (2 ladder climbs will equal 1 rope climb)
Run 400m

Now for the twist... each team will be given 2 "jerry" cans that they will carry throughout the workout. A maximum of 2 teams members can do a exercise at a time and the team can not move on to the next exercise until all the repetitions are completed. The "jerry" cans must also not touch the ground at any time during the workout. A 8 burpee penalty will be assessed to each team member each time the "jerry" can touches the ground. Burpees will be done at the end of the workout before "time" is called.

Cost: $8 per person ($32 per team) - all proceeds go to the Special Operations Warrior Foundation (

Awards will be handed out to the winning teams. I will send out an email on or around June 2nd for sign-ups. Please call me (910-580-8516) or email me if you have any questions. Thank you for your time.

Jason Neago

Name sound familiar? Jason was 1st place at the recent NW Qualifier for the 2009 CrossFit Games. He would workout with us every once in a while back at the Lake City location.


07/01 - Bremerton CrossFit Grand Opening

Click to enlarge. Cool guys and they're right next to the ferry terminal. Check them out and let them know Andrew sent you.


08/07 - South Lake Union Block Party
Come on down and meet 5,000 of our closest friends. 

Let's say you have a business and you'd like to make sure the South Lake Unionites know about it. Or let's say you're simply SLU-curious and want to check out the scene in one delightful day. Either way, mark August 7 on the calendar, because that's the date of the 5th Annual South Lake Union Block Party presented by the brainy and generous people at Microsoft. Along with booths from local businesses and organizations, partiers can partake of food from neighborhood restaurants, hang out in the beer garden, catch some local bands, and hang around for a movie under the stars. Another good reason to go (or exhibit) is that all event proceeds will benefit Immanuel Community Services, a South Lake Union non-profit that runs our neighborhood's only food bank.

5th Annual South Lake Union Block Party learn more 
Friday, Aug. 7, 12:00 p.m. – 11:00 p.m.
South Lake Union Discovery Center Lawn
101 Westlake Ave. N. 
map it 

09/12 & 09/13 - CrossFit Gymnastics Certification with Jeff Tucker @ NWCrossFit Bellevue
"I will be hosting the certifications in order to expand the use of gymnastic skills and 
drills for those wanting to obtain proper form and use of gymnastics elements in CrossFit training. Proper execution of skills and drills for rings, parralettes, high bar/pull up bars, handstands. Emphasis will be on a multitude of movements, but not limited too, levers, planches, HSPU's, handstands, dislocates, skin the cat, ground work, L-sits, muscle ups and so much more. I want to challenge all comers with gymnastic moves but also show the importance of proper spotting, safety, while teaching the skill cues so trainers or trainees can pass on proper gymnastic movements in their workouts. There will be lecture and practical application of all drills taught with lots of Q & A. Not to mention my Texas 
sized humor will delight all those within ear shot. ;-)" Jeff Tucker 

The point of this certification is to educate you in basic gymnastic movements which in turn will allow you to progress in your CrossFit workouts.  Such skills and drills, basic or otherwise, will allow you to develop strength moves and variations in your personal training.  All of these movements are based on form and the progression toward form with strength.  Small moves will bring great rewards - you don't rush these movements, you LEARN them!


And last but not least, Foundation CrossFit will have it's Grand Opening in either late July or early August. We'll definitely keep y'all updated.


Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Day 39, Wednesday

We FINALLY have our squat stands. Expect squats if you're regularly coming to the gym. If not

@ home WOD:

beginner: 100 squats, for time.
intermediate: as many squats as possible in 10 minutes.
advanced: 100 alternating pistols, for time.

The "GET RIGHT FOR SUMMER CHALLENGE" is almost over. From this posting there are only 6 days left. Has your body changed? Are you seeing a difference and feeling a difference in how you move, how you sleep, eat, and go through your everyday? It could be subtle or it could be huge. Take pleasure in the small things and celebrate them.

Have you been in the gym yet?


We'll be open to the public soon. Just waiting on a couple of things to take care of before we take Capitol Hill over!

The winner of the slogan contest was "Bicep curls? Aww, how cute."

Other future considerations:
  • "No struggle, no strength. Know struggle, know strength."
  • "CrossFit FTW" or "Burpees FTW"
  • "Can you keep up?"
  • "Being weak is a choice."
  • "WOD = WIN"

Monday, May 25, 2009

Memorial Day Schedule

Foundation CrossFit would like to thank all the armed forces. You have done us all a service we could never repay. Thank you.

Special classes at 12pm and 6pm. You must RSVP directly to Andrew @ 360.908.9862 if you'd like to attend. HERO workouts only.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Day 34

Hope you've been hitting the WODs hard! Here's one for today.


"21" aka "BLACKJACK"

for time:
20 pushups, 1 situps
19 pushups, 2 situps
18 pushups, 3 situps
17 pushups, 4 situps
16 pushups, 5 situps
15 pushups, 6 situps
14 pushups, 7 situps
13 pushups, 8 situps
12 pushups, 9 situps
11 pushups, 10 situps
10 pushups, 11 situps
9 pushups, 12 situps
8 pushups, 13 situps
7 pushups, 14 situps
6 pushups, 15 situps
5 pushups, 16 situps
4 pushups, 17 situps
3 pushups, 18 situps
2 pushups, 19 situps
1 pushups, 20 situps

It's simple, but don't ever confuse simple with easy.


Our warm-up is your workout. Start with one bout of MetCon (metabolic conditioning aka "cardio) such as a 400m run, 500m row, 50 double-unders, 3 minutes of continuous jump roping, 2 laps in the pool and then 3 rounds, 10-15 repetitions of:
  • a squatting motion like the overhead squat.
  • a "closing-the-body" motion like the situp.
  • an "opening-the-body" motion like the back extension.
  • a pushing motion like the dip, pushup or HSPU.
  • a pulling motion such as the pullup (strict, kipping, assisted, or jumping).
  • and finally a big stretch that gets a lot of body parts, like the Samson Stretch or the World's Greatest.
The goal of the warm-up is move your joints as well as your blood flow! Refer back to this old post to get more info.

Saturday, May 16, 2009


First we'll start off with a little video:

Foundation CrossFit: "Not all finishers are brutal..." from ABueno on Vimeo.

How about some leapfrog after a WOD in the park?


What does this mean?


it means we have some brand spanking new equipment! 

It's still oily!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Friday, Day 27 and Saturday Day 28

Today's WOD:

for time:
100 pullups
100 pushups
100 situps
100 squats

* You must complete the workout in that order: 100 pullups must happen before you can move onto the pushups, etc. Beginners should shoot for under 30 minutes, intermediate 20 min and advanced under 15 minutes.


Tomorrow's WOD:


Thursday, May 14, 2009

Thursday, Day 26

The NW Qualifiers are this Saturday the 16th @ Magnuson Park, Seattle. It's only $5 at the door to attend, but I guarantee it'll be amazing to watch competitors from Alaska, Idaho, Oregon and Washington compete for spots to go to the 2009 CrossFit Games in CA this July.

All day spectacle from 9am to 5pm. More info here.


SOD: POSE running

Hard to explain in a couple of sentences, so I'll let the pros do it!

The Pose Method is a system for teaching of human movement developed by a 2-time Olympic Coach Dr. Nicholas S. Romanov. The name of the method comes from the word "pose" or "body position".

The Pose Method® can be applied to ANY human movement. In sports, application of the Pose Method® can dramatically improve training and racing performance, help prevent injuries and give a competitive edge.

Imagine training and racing without fear... no fear of not knowing what you're doing, no fear of injuries, no fear of not beeing good at your sport, no fear of overtraining...

The Pose Method will give you the tools and confidence to take your racing/training performance to the next level. The Pose Method is a system for teaching and learning various sports techniques.

The Pose Method® can be applied to ALL sports. While most disciplines are still in theory, many have been already developed, implemented and published. Here is the current list of all Pose Techniques.

A superior knowledge and understanding of sport specific technique sets Pose Method Certified Coaches apart from any other coach. If you're looking for clear and precise instruction on your technique (running, swimming, etc), find a Pose Coach near you.

The best way to learn something is to practice it. Various Pose Clinics are held worldwide year-round. Check the online schedule for all available clinics and locations.

Under a lot of scrutiny since day one, the Pose Method generates plenty of press. 



4 rds, each for time:
800m run

* World record times for 800m runs go about a minute and 45 seconds. Try to be under 4 minutes per round.



Wednesday, May 13, 2009


The following are the rules that everyone in the gym must abide by:


You will introduce yourself to people you do not know by a first-name basis before/in class. The consequence for not introducing yourself to strangers and/or new folk is 20 burpees for everyone in the gym. We are about community. Show it.

RULE #1.5

Coach Burgener requires you to exclaim "YAY BURPEES!" everytime he says the word 'burpee'. This must be done when the class trainer says it. The consequence for not following RULE #1.5 is that everyone in the gym does 10 burpees per offense. The exclaimation must be genuine and "with feeling".


No disposible water bottles in Foundation CrossFit. I give credit to Jordan for giving us the idea. Consequence for breaking RULE #2 is 20 burpees per offender. You will be allowed one warning.

Wednesday, Day 24

Apologies for skipping the blog posts. We're going through some stuff right now... good stuff. Noise complaints on the second day in the box? Awesome. 15 people show up for the 6:30 class? Very nice. 40 minute workouts? Not so nice.

How has your nutrition been? Cutting back on the sugar? Remember:

"Eat meat and vegetables, seed and nuts, some fruit, little starch, NO SUGAR."

Have you been doing that? Stop trying. "There is no try- do or do not." If you have, do you notice anything different? Does food taste better? Are you fuller faster? Do you have more energy? On the flip side, when you do have a "carb/starch-overload" do you feel like crap after?

We're almost done with Week #3 which means YOU'RE HALFWAY THERE! I hope everything's been going positively. Time to come by the new gym if not- we'll help you get there!


SOD: the walking lunge.

To remind you, let's go back to Day 3:

CrossFit HQ: Walking Lunges from ABueno on Vimeo.

CrossFit HQ: Walking Lunges - Technique and Variations

  • chest up/spine perpendicular to the ground the entire time.
  • feet move in "train tracks". don't lunge in a straight line
  • at any time, the forward knee should NOT bend past it's toe
  • a.) step forward b.) lower your body down c.) hind knee "kisses" the ground d.) stand


for time:
400m walking lunge



Hunkerin' by Xplore CrossFit

Friday, May 8, 2009

Get Right For Summer, Day 19

I hope you saved the date a week from today! Here's the info presented in the greatest event format in the world...

WHO: CrossFit Seattle and the northwest CrossFit affiliates
WHAT: The NW Qualifier for the 2009 CrossFit Games!
WHEN: Saturday, May 16th 2009 from 9am to 6pm
WHERE: Hangar 30, Magnuson Park - Seattle, WA
WHY: To find the fittest human beings in the Northwest

Spectators: $5.00 at the door
We initially were not going to have a spectator fee but it has become necessary due to the rising costs of putting on this event. Any money we collect that goes beyond breaking even, will be awarded to the 8 finalists.

Coffee a la Cart : There will be coffee available for purchase at the site from Coffee a la Cart. The coffee served is "Cafe Luca".

From the aforementioned NW Qualifier site:
On Saturday, May 16, 2009, registered competitors will sign-in from 7:30 - 8:30am. No late sign in will be allowed. The competition will be from 9:00am – 6:00pm. There will be 2 events.

No information about the actual exercises and/or events will be given to anyone until May 9th, one week before the competition. In general you can expect to produce force slowly, produce force quickly, demonstrate skill in moving your body and external objects through space, and demonstrate exceptional work capacity. You know - CrossFit.

CrossFitters and other athletes from Alaska, Idaho, Oregon and Washington will battle it out for one of the only 8 spots. The winners from this competition will go on to the 2009 CrossFit Games July 10th, 11th and 12th in Aromas, CA.

and then from that OTHER aforementioned site:

What are the CrossFit Games?

The CrossFit Games are the ultimate test of fitness. It's a grueling two-day competition in which the world's fittest athletes compete in a variety of workouts. What are the workouts? Each year they change, and the details of them are not announced until a couple days before the event. This means that all year long, the athletes are training for a competition whose format is almost completely a mystery.

In 2009, the format is still a complete mystery.

Oooh. Time to support our CrossFit community to find out who the other beasts in the northwest are... other than all of the affiliate trainers, that is (=



Do work.

Whatever you want, but make sure it's something that takes effort. Visit for ideas: watch the videos, search the archives, browse the affiliates' sites, google or youtube "CrossFit".

Excuse me! Waiters..?

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Get Right For Summer, Day 18

Shannon had a great find for those doing workouts at home, in front of the computer! If you need a timer, there's now a link to the right to a great online stopwatch OR count down.


Are you keeping track of your workouts and nutrition, either by writing in an actual notebook or blog? It is imperative that you are tracking your progress, otherwise how do you know if you're making any?

If you don't have access to the WOD blog, let me know asap. Some of these are repeating and you need to see if you've done better/worse/the same.


Oh my! Another repeat...


burpees, for time.

beginners: 50
intermediate: 100
advanced: 150

Thighs & chest touching the floor TO a full upright body clapping overhead midair. If I was being the strict-form dude I normally am, I'd make you touch something 6 inches higher than you standing reach. (;

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

GRFS Day 17

Are you keeping up with clean nutrition? By that I mean are you having "little cheats" throughout the day?

DON'T. Don't let that one cookie (or cupcake, bread, pasta, rice, etc.) be "the last straw that broke the camel's back".

If you're serious about making a change in your body you've got to be serious about eating. And when I ask you "How's your nutrition" I do not want a bullsh!t answer like "it's pretty good," or "I eat pretty healthy,". THANKS FOR AVOIDING THE QUESTION! I want detail. If you don't have the right answers, ask me! Everyone is different and so are their diets.

If you've been amazing with what you've been fueling your body with I'm already sure you feel and see a difference. Let's get everyone else on track!


Grab a weight that you might have around the house (dumbbell, kettlebell, barbell, etc.) or anything that feels hefty. With a good, firm grip put it up overhead. How long can you hold it up there? How many times can you push it up (and this obviously depends on how heavy that thing is)? Come to a CrossFit affiliate and learn how to press things up overhead effectively and efficiently.



for time:
100 pushups
140 situps
160 squats


as many rds as possible for 10 min:
5 burpees
10 pushups
15 squats


for time:
100 pullups
100 pushups
100 situps
100 squats

Slogan Contest!

We're going to hold a slogans contest!

We need some more slogans. We'll start a pool of them and choose finalists. If yours is "the one" that's picked, you'll receive a free t-shirt.

  • "no mirrors. no machines. no bullsh!t."
  • "no excuses"
  • "our warmup is your workout"
  • "Excel."
  • "Live Stronger"
  • "Because your gym sucks."
  • "Jerk it, Snatch it, Clean it. Repeat as necessary."
  • "Welcome masochists!"
  • "It's not sterioids..."
  • "It's not HGH..."
  • "Ready for anything"
  • "Insanely fit"
Where you at? Comment!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Get Right For Summer, Day 16

"Plan B"
from CrossFit Eastside's Nutrition Blog:

We all have a nutritional conscience. The intention to eat good, nutrient-dense food in proper proportions is always there, but things trip us up along the way. For most people, time and work are the most common obstacles. If it's not the lunch hour that gets whittled down to 5 minutes of warp-speed chewing, it's the long-day of long-slow-duration stress followed by comfort food on the couch with the soft and soothing lull of junk TV. It's not a surprise that this happens a couple of times a week, but then you wonder why we don't plan for fire-drill meals on fire-drill days.

What you need is an In-Case-of-Emergency-Break-Glass plan that saves you—but only if there's something of value behind the glass. Otherwise, you're just left with an additional mess to clean up amongst all the other chaos.

So, take steps now to plan for when your plan falls through. Help yourself expect the unexpected. I mean, you know it’s going to happen. Not preparing it for it is giving up before you even begin; it is—let’s be frank—preloading excuses for your lapses. (“Well, I was going to ace my nutrition today…but something Important came up. Really, it’s not my fault; there was nothing I could do about it. Really.”)

What you know is that the contingency plan has to be reasonable, speedy, and, depending on your circumstances, perhaps non-perishable. Come up with some snacks and meals that you know you can keep on hand. Or even parts of meals, with a plan to complement them with things you know you can forage for even under the pressure of deadlines, tight schedules, demanding children, and the mid-afternoon munchies.

That might mean that you keep a can of tuna, sardines, or bag of jerky for your protein and then head for the cafeteria to scare up a garden salad or a random piece of fresh fruit. Or, keep the carbs handy in the long-shelf-life form of a Lara bar or a small quantity of dried fruit.

If you keep some reliable staples on hand as a regular practice, you can always toss together a few blocks of balanced fuel on a moment’s notice. Stock the fridge at the office with some of the following, and you’ll be set for even the unplanned meals and snacks you might need. Keep nuts on hand (macadamias have an excellent fat profile), or even a small bottle of olive oil, to make sure you can get a small fat dose with any meal.

Here are some easy, balanced snack ideas to spark your thinking:
  • deli meat & an orange (or apple or nectarine or other fruit)
  • sardines, tuna, other canned meat/fish & fruit & nuts
  • string (or other) cheese & an apple
  • cottage cheese & a few Triscuits to make the right number of carb blocks for you (ahem, a few crackers, NOT the whole box)
  • cottage cheese & just about any fruit or berries
  • yes, this is just a version of above, but worth specifying: cottage cheese, sliced apple, cinnamon, and sliced almonds
  • plain yogurt & fruit (or blueberries from the freezer)
  • hard-boiled eggs & dried apricots
  • milk (raw, whole, chocolate or otherwise)
  • half an avacado + tuna + a little bit of lemon juice *
  • beef jerky (original) + macadamia nuts
  • Paleokits! *
  • frozen berries, protein powder, coconut milk (and a blender
  • protein powder (not soy, please) & milk (or juice, or, in a pinch, water)
  • beef/turkey jerky, fruit, & nuts --Zone Perfect bar (Ok, it’s fake food and full of scary ingredients, but at least it’s macronutrient balanced and ultimately better than that lone leftover Krispy Kreme in the corner of the conference room down the hall. We are talking emergencies here.)

What else?? You guys have been doing this. What works for you? Post your ideas and solutions to comments.

The key to all of this is that emergency eating shouldn't require emergency thinking because that grey matter is already pressed into service by whatever fire drill is happening at your desk. The thinking and planning is something that gets done in advance. So do it.

* Added by Andrew!




for time:
20 pushups, 1 situp
19 pushups, 2 situps
18 pushups, 3 situps
17 pushups, 4 situps
16 pushups, 5 situps
15 pushups, 6 situps
14 pushups, 7 situps
13 pushups, 8 situps
12 pushups, 9 situps
11 pushups, 10 situps
10 pushups, 11 situps
9 pushups, 12 situps
8 pushups, 13 situps
7 pushups, 14 situps
6 pushups, 15 situps
5 pushups, 16 situps
4 pushups, 17 situps
3 pushups, 18 situps
2 pushups, 19 situps
1 pushup, 20 situps

I refer to this as a reverse ladder, so in the future I won't be writing everything out!

GRFS Day 15

Finally, a repeat.


beginners: 100 squats for time!
intermediate: as many squats as possible in 10 minutes.
advanced: 100 pistols, alternating, for time.

compare to Day 1, Monday April 20th.

Saturday, May 2, 2009


Good weekend in sports!

This whole Swine Flu/H1N1 thing..

.. is getting completely ridiculous. From Mark Sisson:

"H1ow N1ot to Get Swine Flu"

Swine flu. Even the hype surrounding it is pandemic. It’s made headlines in every major newspaper and magazine. The CDC has a new press release every half hour. TV talking heads and radio pundits furrow their brows and express extreme consternation as they tell us to start “bracing for the worst.” President Obama has asked for another billion-and–a-half dollars (that we don’t have) to fend off this impending menace. Frightened school boards are halting classes everywhere until they are given a better action plan. Cruises are cancelled, trips are postponed, pigs are slaughtered, nations are blamed. It’s crazy.

I’m sorry. At this point, I’m not buying it. I am not convinced that Swine flu H1N1 is any different from just about every other strain of flu we experience every year. Hong Kong flu, every Asian variety of the past two decades, duck flu, other bird flu, you name it. We know the CDC trades in hyperbole, but, hey, “we’re from the government and we’re here to help you.” On the other hand, in the past few hours there seems to be some consensus from clear-thinkers emerging that this swine flu might not be so fatal as strains that caused some prior pandemics. Too little too late?

In fact, there are viruses (and bacteria and fungi and parasites and…) around us all the time. So why don’t we all get sick all the time? Why do so many people get sick and die during epidemics? Every year in the US there are 50,000,000 cases of flu (all types) and 36,000 deaths. If everyone is exposed at some level (and I guarantee you, everyone is exposed) then why doesn’t everyone get sick? And if 50,000,000 get the flu, why don’t 50,000,000 die? It all comes down to the health of your immune system and the strength of your organ reserve. Of course, the Primal lifestyle guarantees both. In the vast majority of cases, people that die of the flu have extremely weakened immune systems and/or experience organ failure indirectly related to the flu (kidneys fail, heart fails, liver fails, etc). But what does that mean for you and me? If you have a healthy immune system and are otherwise in good shape, there’s a strong likelihood that routine exposure to swine (or any) flu will be handled by your immune system without you even noticing. Or maybe you’ll feel weird for a day or two and then you’ll shake it. And even if you should get sick, in 99.99% of cases you have nothing to fear from any form of flu except maybe the loss of a few days pay and a few days of feeling crappy. But only if your immune system is in good order.

So what can you do to bolster your immune system and make sure you fend off any attack - swine-related or otherwise?

1. Avoid Sugar

Sugar is a powerful immune suppressor. One dose of a big dessert or a bag of gumdrops scarfed at a movie can be enough to temporarily weaken the immune system and open the door to infection. That’s especially true if you’ve been eating Primally and clean for a while. Unfortunately, most Americans are susceptible because a lifestyle of sugar intake can result in perpetual immune suppression, the effects of which not only make them sitting ducks for the flu, but can also exacerbate heart disease and cancer.

2. Avoid Stress

Chronic cortisol (the major stress hormone) release is another powerful immune suppressor. As tough as times are, it behooves you to get a handle on stress and do whatever you can to mitigate it, whether it’s through meditation, yoga, prayer, biofeedback or just taking a few minutes each day to chill. People get sick when they are stressed out not from the stress itself, but from the fact that exposure to any virus or bacteria overwhelms their frail immune system.

3. Avoid Overly Stressful Workouts

Again, few things can suppress the immune system as quickly as chronic cardio or a single excessive weekend warrior workout (usually anything under 45 minutes is fine). I can pinpoint from my marathon days those exact individual workouts in which I knew immediately that I had gone too far or dug too deep. Invariably I came down with some URTI within a few days – not because I was newly exposed, but because I was vulnerable to anything and everything that was always floating in the air, on a doorknob or in a handshake.

4. Cut the Grains

This would normally be part of the first item “avoid sugar”, since grains tend to be converted to glucose pretty rapidly. But beyond their glucose load, grains (especially whole grains) and their glutens, lectins and phytates may have a collective immune altering or immune-suppressing effect in some (and I suspect most) people.

5. Avoid Stupid Exposure Mistakes

In many cases a mild exposure, like being in the same room with a flu “victim”, is enough to stimulate a healthy immune system to react in a way that further reduces the likelihood you’ll come down with your own case. On the other hand, shaking the hand of someone with the flu who just coughed or sneezed into it might put you over the edge if you then wipe you nose or rub your eyes (eyes are a very vulnerable entry point). I’m not the biggest fan of hand cleaners, but if you think you just got slimed, wash a decent hand soap just to be sure. No need to go OCD in this regard. I would never wear a mask on a plane, for instance, but I’m not telling you not to if you sit next to a cougher/sneezer.

6. Do Get Some Sunshine

The immune system requires vitamin D to function optimally and sunlight is the best way to ensure you get enough D (a vitamin D supplement won’t hurt either). Winter is cold and flu season not just because we are inside sharing our sputum, but because we spend less time getting sunshine and vitamin D.

7. Exercise Appropriately

If you follow the PB, you’ll know that getting a fair amount of low-level aerobic activity and a few focused strength sessions each week will have an immune-boosting effect.

8. Eat Good Fats and Avoid Bad Fats

Omega 3s, mono-unsaturates and even most saturated fats will support healthy immune systems. On the other hand, any intake of trans and hydrogenated/partially hydrogenated fats will compromise immunity, as will excessive intake of the Omega 6 fats found in many vegetable oils.

The swine flu is nothing new. Whether you get sick or not is entirely up to you. To paraphase George W. Bush “Flu me once, shame on — shame on you. Flu me — you can’t get flued again” Take responsibility for your own health and, fer cryin’ out loud, don’t be flued by the hype.