Category Archives: Voices

Tips For A Better Post-Workout Recovery

by David Calderon

Post-workout recovery is an often under-looked or overanalyzed component to a successful training program. When it comes to a post-workout recovery routine, keeping it simple is best. Try these 3 easy to-do tips from RHF CrossFit trainer David Calderon to help your routine:

1. Food: A recovery shake or small meal consisting of simple sugars to replace glycogen (stored energy) and protein to aid in repair of muscles is key. Here are a couple options depending on your schedule.

  • Whey protein shake made with milk
  • Greek Yogurt (8 oz) with berries (1/4 cup) or bananas (1/2 cup) and granola (1/4 cup)
  • 2-4 ounces of deli meat, a handful of nuts and a small piece of fruit

2. Water: Just drink! Hydration post-workout will assist in recovery, help flush out toxins and aid in transportation of nutrients. An easy rule of thumb not just for post-workout but in general is to consume enough water so that your urine is clear.

3. Stretching: Static stretching has its place and is most productive post-workout when muscles are warmed up. Never stretch to a point of pain; instead stretch to a degree that is comfortable to you and accumulate 60-90 seconds per muscle area. Adding a stretching routine will aid in increasing your flexibility, preventing injury and reducing next-day soreness.

David Calderon  is a graduate of San Jose State University with a Bachelors of Science in Nutritional Science with a concentration in Dietetics. He’s also the CrossFit trainer at Rainier Health & Fitness.

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Race Matters: The Misrepresentation of Race In The Media

by Sam Louie

As an Asian-American therapist with a multi-cultural focus, I can attest that an ethnic person’s identity can be mired in self-hatred and self-loathing during the process of integrating into mainstream American society.

In therapeutic circles there’s a process known as the Minority Identity Development Model.   The first phase is one called the “Pre-Encounter Stage” where a minority member devalues himself, his ethnicity (i.e. culture, customs, the way he/she looks) in comparison to the accepted, mainstream culture.  In the U.S., minorities may think the country or region they live in is anti-minority or non-minority and may act or behave in ways to be more “American” as a means to fit in.

The complexities related to Elliot Rodger’s mental health is vast and speculative but from his writings it’s clear it hinges on three prongs: race, class, and gender.  Mainstream media has expounded on the class and male entitlement aspect of Rodger’s life but very little is mentioned on the racial component.

If anything, it seems race is the last subject they want to address.  While his Asian background didn’t directly lead to his carnage, according to his manifesto it was clearly one of the contributing challenges he faced as someone who struggled with his mixed Chinese heritage as early as nine years old.

On top of this was the feeling that I was different because I am of mixed race. I am half White, half Asian, and this made me different from the normal fully-white kids that I was trying to fit in with…my first act was to ask my parents to allow me to bleach my hair blonde. I always envied and admired blonde-haired people, they always seemed so much more beautiful.”

Rodger’s desire to fit into mainstream society and be accepted as a minority during this vulnerable stage can not be understated or ignored (like it currently is by the media).  He was looking for acceptance from numerous sources: blonde women, his father, and peers but felt rejected or “not good enough” without the acknowledgment that one the biggest rejections he was grappling was his rejection of self.

His struggle while ostensibly looking like a young man plagued with a number of mental health issues should not be relegated to that classification alone.  Instead, we as a society need to understand Rodger was a young man who was stuck in a process where he was not able to integrate his ethnic Chinese side with his Caucasian side.  His writing of his ethnic self-hatred is evident even if it’s cloaked by his veiled attempt to bolster himself with his grandiosity (itself a defense mechanism).

I came across this Asian guy who was talking to a white girl. The sight of that filled me with rage. I always felt as if white girls thought less of me because I was half-Asian, but then I see this white girl at the party talking to a full-blooded Asian. I never had that kind of attention from a white girl! And white girls are the only girls I’m attracted to, especially the blondes. How could an ugly Asian attract the attention of a white girl, while a beautiful Eurasian like myself never had any attention from them?

This is why his race matters.  Because we as Asian-Americans hurt knowing he was never able to get to the second phase of the minority identity development known as the “Encounter Stage” where an ethnic minority learns to see himself as valuable, loved, and cherished not in spite of his culture but because of it.  In other words, minorities in this stage learn to embrace their heritage despite the surrounding that may convey contrary messages.

This explanation isn’t to simplify Elliot Rodger’s malicious actions, rather it’s to shed light and understanding to the public that race matters.

Sam Louie is an Asian-American psychotherapist with a private practice in Seattle and Bellevue.  He focuses on issues of culture, race, and addictions.  He is also a Los Angeles Emmy-Award Winning former t.v. news journalist and can be reached at:www.samlouiemft.com. sam@samlouiemft.com and on Twitter @SamLouieSpeaks  

Talk To Wendy: Our Expert Answers Your Relationship Questions

Wendy Olsen, MFT, answers all the relationship questions you were dying to ask, but just couldn’t muster up the courage to. You can email questions to editor@southseattleemerald

Q: I’ve been having a fling with a colleague from work and things have been working fine, in that we both seem to be getting what we want physically out of the deal without any commitment. He however has started expressing that he wants more of an actual relationship with me but I honestly value my freedom a lot at this point in my life, and while I could see myself, maybe, dating him one day, now just isn’t that time. I don’t feel like I’d be stringing him along if I told him that someday I might be open to it but now I’d just like to continue the status quo, as sexually, things are great. I feel men do this all the time without shame, so would I be wrong?

Wendy: Being honest about how you really feel is the kindest thing you can do.  By being honest with him, you are allowing him to make the best choice for himself:  continue with sexual play and see what the future holds for the two of you or look for something more involved with someone else.  You both have choices in the matter.  Kudos to you for wanting to give him the truth and the option to opt out.

Q: I recently proposed to my girlfriend after two and a half years of dating. She said yes, but then revealed to me a couple weeks after we got engaged that she cheated on me with an ex-boyfriend a few months after we began dating. She says that it meant nothing and that it was early in our relationship. I respect that she told me even though she didn’t have to, however it does make me look at her in a different light, and somewhat makes me rethink our relationship and whether I should even marry her now. Am I overreacting or should I just appreciate her being honest and let it go?

Wendy: When someone reveals something that happened in the past, they’ve had time to resolve their feelings over it.  However, when we hear it for the first time, no matter how long ago it was, it is fresh for us.  Your feelings and confusion are normal.  Yes, she was honest with you and at great risk to herself and to your relationship.  She made herself very vulnerable by disclosing her indiscretion. In disclosing to you, she allowed you to fully give what I’ll call” informed consent” in your relationship. Now you know something more about her, a fault or mistake.  When she says it meant nothing, that very well may be the truth.  However, I would encourage both of you to explore why she cheated.  It is important for you both to have a clearer understanding about how that happened in order to avoid it happening in the future.  It may be as simple as, she was seeing you, but not yet committed.  The ex came back into the picture and by being with him again she realized that she didn’t want anything more with him and really did want a relationship with you.  Indiscretions happen.  It doesn’t mean that all is lost.

Q: My husband and I have been married for a little less than a year, and over time it’s been revealed that he likes some fairly lewd pornography. It’s something I’ve gone along with in terms of watching it with him, however it’s something I’m having an issue with tolerating any longer. He says that he needs it to “get in the mood,” but “hello” that’s what I’m supposed to be for. It makes me feel a bit disparaged knowing that this is what he needs. I’ve told him several times how I feel, but I’ll catch him still viewing it. I want to tell him, “It’s the porn or me,” but is that realistic?

Wendy: The porn issue is a common one in relationships.  Porn is the opposite of intimacy. When going solo, it is something that people use to become aroused and climax without worrying about meeting someone else’s needs. You only have to worry about yourself.  It’s fantasy. Some couples use it as a form of foreplay. On the other hand (no pun intended), if you are feeling sexually invisible to your husband, that is problematic.  When you say he tells you that he “needs it to get in the mood”, that may be something that you two need to talk more about.  If you are at the point that you feel his relationship to pornography is at the expense of the intimacy between the two of you, seek professional help.  A professional can help both of you understand your different needs sexually and emotionally and help you come to some sort of resolution.
Wendy Olsen is a Marriage & Family Therapist, specializing in Sex Therapy. You can find more of her advice at http://www.talk2wendyolsen.com

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Rainier Health And Fitness: A Gym For The Rest Of Us

by Emily Williamson

While gyms are traditionally known to celebrate slim figures and body-builder images, Rainier Health & Fitness has a different purpose: to encourage healthy lifestyles, strong bodies and authentic community. For Amal*, her husband and seven children, Rainier Health & Fitness has been a key part of developing healthy practices. Every family member exercises regularly and Amal herself walks to the gym from their Beacon Hill home to hit the treadmill or participate in a yoga class.

Amal’s friends ask her, “Why do you go to the gym? You’re already skinny?” Amal replies that exercising is about staying healthy and feeling well, not just being skinny. Her mom died in 2008 and had high blood pressure and high cholesterol, so she wants to prevent suffering from the same preventable conditions. Plus, if she doesn’t work out, her muscles get tight and she has migraines. The migraines are actually what drove her to join the gym in the first place in April 2010; Amal’s doctor said she should go to the gym, a stress-free environment, for her migraines. Now they only resume after not coming for a week or two. “Coming here is good for my heart and brain,” Amal says.

In addition to regular exercise, Amal’s family has also made healthy changes to their diet thanks to the influence of their vegetarian daughter. Amal used to drink lots of coffee, but now has reduced her consumption to one cup per day. Coming from Somalia where many dishes are prepared with oil, she has steered away from this ingredient and has quit frying food. Instead, she serves the family only brown rice, oatmeal and whole grain bread, spaghetti and cereal. She also checks the labels of food and looks at calories before purchasing. As a result, no one in her family is overweight.

“Health is number one.” Amal says, “It’s worth $30 per month.” She tells everybody to come here and has met lots of new friends while working out.

* pseudonym, name changed to protect privacy

About Rainier Health & Fitness   

Rainier Health & Fitness first opened its doors in March of 2005 with the dream of using exercise to address health disparities in its neighborhood. Since then it has grown to over 1600 members. The volunteers and staff at Rainier Health & Fitness are dedicated to improving the health of their Rainier Valley community by encouraging healthy lifestyles and strong bodies. The fitness center makes exercise fun and accessible by offering affordable prices and creating a non-intimidating workout environment, especially for those who are new to exercise. A variety of group classes including yoga, ZUMBA fitness, Pilates, turbo kick and cycling are available to members at no additional cost while personal training, group training and CrossFit are offered through certified trainers for comparably low additional fees. Regular memberships are an affordable $30 a month with a one-time membership fee of $99.

Talk To Wendy: Our Relationship Expert Answers Your Questions

Wendy Olsen, MFT, answers all the relationship questions you were dying to ask, but just couldn’t muster up the courage to. You can email questions to editor@southseattleemerald

Q1)I’ve been involved with my boyfriend for over two years, but he still seems hesitant to commit to me. I’ve been very patient with him, however I’ve given him every indication that if he doesn’t soon show that he wants to take us to the next level (ask me to move in, engagement, at least allow me to leave his toothbrush over his house) then it might be time for both of us to move on. He doesn’t seem to be getting the hint though. Is it time for me to give him an explicit ultimatum?

Wendy: It is always best to be very clear with a partner about what your expectations in the relationship are.  It sounds like it’s time that you had the conversation with him about where you want  the relationship to go.  Men aren’t mind readers (neither are women.)  Don’t assume he knows anything that you haven’t stated very clearly.  He may want something very different from you and you need to know what the differences may be.  You also have to be willing to let the relationship go if you know he’ll never meet your expectations.  If you stay and don’t get what you want, you’ll spend your life resenting him and feeling disappointed. Know what your “bottom line” is and maintain it.

Q2) Me and my wife are recently married. Everything has been great, except for the sex. She was a virgin before we were married due to her religious beliefs, so I’m much more experienced than she is. Most of the time sex with her is either like directing traffic or being on top of a dead fish. Don’t get me wrong, I love my wife very much but I’m just not being fulfilled sexually. I’m scared to have a conversation with her about it, as I fear she might be ashamed. How do I bring up that perhaps we can try and learn “different” things in the bedroom?

Wendy: Unfortunately, many people don’t have conversations about sex and what they want or expect sexually prior to having sex with a partner. This problem doesn’t fix itself without communication. I suggest you try talking with her from the perspective of a loving husband that is concerned that his wife isn’t enjoying their sex life. If you can begin talking with her about what she enjoys or doesn’t enjoy in love making. There’s an old expression, “sex starts in the kitchen” meaning that there is a ramp up to sexually activity prior to intercourse. Foreplay, foreplay, foreplay. Not just kissing and cuddling immediately following intercourse, but checking in with her, asking about her day, helping around the house, noticing her, etc. These are the things that women report draws them closer to their partners. Feeling loved and secure are powerful aphrodisiacs.

Q3) I’ve been a married for the last 17 years and while I’ve enjoyed being married to my husband, the doldrums have long ago set in. I’m not thinking about a divorce, mainly for our children, however I’ve been propositioned by a colleague of mine to begin a purely physical relationship. I know that it might not be the most responsible thing, but I enjoy his advances and it brings some freshness to my life. Is it wrong to be a little wild and begin something with this guy, as long as I keep it compartmentalized from the rest of my life?

Wendy:  Right or wrong isn’t a question that I can answer for you.  What I can tell you is that if you decide to have a sexual relationship outside of your marriage, their is a price you have to be willing to pay.  Is your marriage worth risking?  (Studies show that when a woman cheats, there is a 7Xs more likely chance the marriage will end in divorce.) There is no guarantee that the new relationship will remain purely physical. There is no way to guarantee that your new relationship will remain “compartmentalized.”  The other thing people don’t consider when carrying on another relationship, is that there is a lot of work in keeping a secret.  Don’t get me wrong, sex with a new partner can be incredibly fun.  But, you have what I’ll call “extenuating circumstances.”  Your comment in regards to wanting freshness in your life is also understood.  My question to you is, why not explore that avenue with your husband?  Many couples need a revamp in the bedroom after years together.  Being noticed by someone else certainly can be alluring.  But, keep in mind that the newness in all relationships wears off.  You have invested a lot of love and time into your marriage.  You have to decide if sex on the side is worth the potential cost, whether or not your husband finds out.

Wendy Olsen is a Marriage & Family Therapist, specializing in Sex Therapy. You can find more of her advice at http://www.talk2wendyolsen.com

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