How Going Gluten Free Can Help Your Performance & Your Waistline

You have probably heard some of the buzz surrounding gluten-free diets in the media, and you’ve probably seen the displays of “gluten-free” labels on foods in your local grocery store. Maybe you’ve considered going gluten free but are not sure what it’s all about. In this article, I will examine the role a gluten free diet can have in athletics, but the health benefits of gluten free go far beyond performance and can help everyone from the professional fighter to grandparents and children alike.

People that go gluten free have historically been diagnosed with celiac disease, an allergy to gluten, a family of proteins in wheat, rye, and barley.  There are five of twenty proteins in the family that the body has a hard time digesting. The body will exhibit an immune response in the small intestine whenever one of these proteins is present. The protein Gliadin, which is found in gluten, is one of the main culprits that people are sensitive to, but there are four others. Some people also theorize that it’s FODMAPS that people that are sensitive to gluten are responding to. Either way, it doesn’t hurt to test for yourself with a simple elimination diet. The adverse reaction to gluten aggravates the gut lining and causes a host of health problems. More on this later, first let’s talk about our gluten-free athletes.

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Post Fight Thoughts – My Retirment Fight

Roxy Balboa vs Elaina Maxwell - Staredown

The week after a fight is always interesting. A bit sore and bruised on the outside and a sort of calmness inside that can only come from accomplishing something difficult that you worked hard for.

If you missed the action you can read the recap here.

Roxy Balboa Muay Thai Team

Thank you everyone for all your help!

Or you can catch the Replay of the Event on video here.

Elaina as I expected was a tough girl, but I trained hard and under the good direction of Kru Mark Komuro and Joe Schilling at The Yard and I was prepared for a battle. A big thank you to my trainers for believing in me and helping me believe in myself. You guys rock!

I also owe a big thanks to Revgear and Esaan  – A Taste of Thai for their support for this fight.  Thanks for supporting Muay Thai! 🙂

Thank you to all my friends, the F5 family, fans and of course my awesome boyfriend Dustin. He is my rock, I couldn’t do this without him. Continue reading…

Is rice healthy? What’s the deal with white vs brown?

I get asked about rice a lot. Is rice healthy? Is rice gluten free? Should I eat brown rice?

Clients tell me they make good choices and choose brown rice with meals. Some of you may have heard that all grains are bad, some of you may have heard that brown rice is better. It’s all very confusing. Let’s me try to clear this up…

The longer I am in the fitness and health industry the more my answer become: “It depends on on10” –  and this is one of those times where I’ll use that answer.

Here are ten tips on the deal with rice. I’ll try to sum this us as best I can without getting to “science-y”:

1) We as human beings have not yet evolved to tolerate grain completely. In our evolutionary history they are a relatively new addition to the diet, and since the agricultural revolution when grain became a staple of our diet we have seen a decline in health. If you want to argue this fine – I’ll help people who really want help instead – but watch this first if you need convincing.

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Supplements for Fighters (and people who like to train like athletes)

We all want to maximize our time in the gym. It doesn’t matter if you are a fighter or a weekend warrior; training for optimum performance and desired body composition is always a top priority. We also know that Muay Thai and martial arts training is some of the most intense demanding exercise you can do, so treating your body right means you can train longer, workout harder and hopefully get better results. I’ve been training in Muay Thai and MMA gyms for almost 10 years now and I see plenty of people, even non-fighters putting in some serious time training time, 10-15 hours a week sometimes. Is it possible for your body to recover and perform well while meeting goals with that intensity and volume without supplementation? How much does supplementation help and what are the long-term effects, if any? In this article I will address some of the main issues surrounding supplementation and also give guidelines for smart supplementation.
I’ve dabbled in almost every legal supplement and training method over the years in search of the best way to train hard and get results and what I can tell you is this. If you do not first have a handle of your nutrition and sleep any supplement you take is almost useless.

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Stress Sucks! How Stressed Are You… And What Is It Really Doing to Your Body?

When we think about stress, we mostly think about external stressors like being fired, a death in the family, moving, getting married, breaking up, or bumper to bumper traffic in 101-degree heat with no working air conditioning. While these are valid stressors that do affect us a great deal they tend to be short term. If these were the only stressors we had to deal with in life, we would be very healthy people. However, the stressors that most affect us are not something we tend to think about every day.

It now seems ridiculous that I never realized how full of stress my lifestyle was. I used to be a very active fighter. One year I fought eight times, this was in addition to running my personal training business, having something resembling a social life and struggling to pay the bills (unfortunately professional Muay Thai fighting is not very lucrative). I felt a tremendous pressure to do it all and get to the top. I often trained twice a day 5-6 days a week often sleeping only 6 hours a night and I dieted hard and often to maintain a certain weight. The thing is I felt okay during this time. I felt pretty darn good. I was doing it all and winning fights, but stress is a sneaky bastard. You can only last so long going that hard, and soon I started to feel the effects of chronic stress: fatigue, lack of ability to perform in my training, digestive troubles, insomnia, anemia, irregular cycles, etc.

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Healthy “Rules” for Grown Ups – aka the “School Nights” Principle


Even health and fitness professionals and professional athletes get in some bad habits now and then and have to make efforts to get back into the healthy swing of things. I seem to have been reminded of this quite a lot lately…

Usually, after a fight a give myself one week to do whatever I like (I call this my week of sloth) and then I get back to the grind of healthy eating and regular workouts. But… sometimes I get a little of track. These past few weeks I was sidelined with post-fight sloth (but that does not excuse me because my fight was over a month ago). I took a trip to Vegas (which is not an excuse either, just a mini vacation where I accepted the consequences of my destination) and then a massive head cold, which I blame on the Vegas smoke and a/c… Anyway, regardless of the cause, let’s just say I have been eating too much ice cream and chips & salsa and skipping too many workouts for my standards.

So to help me get back on track, I am asking that anyone who is interested join me in instating a set of healthy rules for grown ups.

I’m calling these the “SCHOOL NIGHTS RULES.” Remember when you were in school and your parents made up rules like “no staying up past 10 pm” on school nights, or “no TV” on school nights, or “no candy” on school nights. Regardless of how strict your parents where they probably had at least one rule for you on nights you had to be up the next day to focus on learning. Well, how is your work any different or less important now? If anything I would think you would want to be more even functional now when your focus at work determines the success of your career and feeding your family. Continue reading…

Post Fight Blog – WMC Muay Thai

WMC Muay Thai

WMC Muay Thai July 18th 2010

I won my fight Sunday against Sheree Halliday (UK) in an all out war for 5 rounds. Much respect to Sheree for flying to LA to bang it out in the ring. She proved to be a fierce competitor and I was excited we put on such a great show for the fans.

Although as always there are things I want to improve upon, I know I left it all in the ring that night. Sheree had good push kicks and a couple of nice elbows (i have a sweet battle wound of four stitches over my left eye), but I was able to push the pace constantly and keep her moving backward into the ropes the whole fight with my strikes and aggression. I landed many punches that knocked her head back. Two out of three judges felt I scored the most damage and controlled the fight (Official judges scores: 48/47 and 49/46 Richardson, 48-47 Halliday), so I won by split decision. Who knows, maybe we’ll have a rematch sometime in the future 🙂 Continue reading…