Athlete of the MonthAugust

Jeremy Hadley

Career: Accountant

Years at CrossFit 7 Mile - Grand Cayman: 2


How long have you been doing CrossFit?

I started doing CrossFit when I joined 7 Mile Strength & Fitness around 2 years ago.


What made you decide to give 7 Mile Strength & Fitness a try?

Until joining 7 Mile Strength & Fitness my workouts consisted of a few basic routines I’d come up with in high school using free weight exercises and machines. I managed to get by with it when I was in my teens/20s while playing sports at school several days a week. But as more years went on I became increasingly less motivated in the gym due to boredom and mediocre results, so I decided it was time to get a little more serious about my fitness goals. I really wanted to find something a lot more challenging and comprehensive where I could also learn some new technical skills (such as the olympic/power lifts and gymnastics movements).


What was the hardest part when you started out and how did you overcome that?

Building consistency, trying to overcome existing confidence issues and trying not to compare myself to others in the gym. When I first joined, I had been dealing with a lower back injury for months and was also struggling through the end of a long-term relationship, so needless to say I was in pretty bad shape physically/emotionally. I used to look at the WODs and get really nervous about showing up to regular class, even though I knew they could be scaled. Because of this I avoided the regular classes for a long time and opted for FitCon with the idea that I would try and build up a base and graduate myself into regular classes once things improved. The FitCon programming was awesome in this respect. It was really challenging and interesting, and allowed me to focus more simply on just coming to the gym and working hard (to build that consistency/confidence) since it is less technical. It was exactly what I needed and the perfect transition into regular CrossFit. So now I look forward to coming to regular classes and I’m definitely much more focused on where I am rather than where I am in relation to others.


You recently got your first muscle up! Congrats! Muscle ups are a very high skill movement and you made it look pretty easy ;) How did it feel being able to do such a difficult movement?

Well, it definitely did not feel “easy”!! I was pretty surprised when I finished the rep. Given where I started a couple years ago it felt great but it also reinforced that this is still very much the beginning for me and that I need to keep working hard.


You’re a desk jockey and a CrossFitter by day ;) – is coming to the noon class a nice way to break up your work day?

100%. On days when I don’t workout at lunch I usually feel like crap by 5-6pm. It’s amazing how much a good workout can really reset the day for you, especially during peak accounting season when things are extra stressful/demanding. I’m definitely a lot more chilled out in the office and in e-mails after doing a metcon 


You’ve been very consistent lately. Tell us a little bit about how you stay motivated to keep coming.

I think most of us can relate here but life happens and for various reasons we may oscillate between working really hard / consistently in the gym and then getting lazy or distracted and losing a lot of progress. Now that I’m more focused on my longer-term goals I’m really trying to minimize this and make health and fitness a permanent lifestyle choice.


Name something you’re most proud of in the gym.

Don’t consider myself a very proud person generally but if I had say anything I guess it would be that I’m proud of the consistency I’ve been able to maintain over the last 6-7 months. I had to dig really deep to pull myself out of the hole I was in when I first arrived just so that I could feel “normal” again. It feels good to have finally found that momentum.


Did you play any sports growing up?

Nothing very competitively, but I did wrestling, football (American), baseball, and hockey through various parts of grade school. Now I just enjoy a humbling round of golf every now and then ;)


Anything people at 7 Mile Strength & Fitness don’t know about you?

I have been learning Latin bachata dancing for the last 3 months and just attended a dance congress in Miami. It was a lot of fun but I’m a pretty shy person so the experience was also terrifying especially given I’m a beginner and everyone else was advanced. Nothing like a healthy dose of getting out of your comfort zone.


Anything crazy on your bucket list? (bungee jumping, sky diving?)

I’ve always wanted to do a lap around the Isle of Man TT motorcycle course.


What is your favorite WOD and why?

Haven’t really figured this one out yet. Thumbs up to anything that leaves me feeling high on air.


What is your least favorite WOD and why?

Nothing yet. No pain no gain?


What has been your biggest surprise about doing CrossFit?

Few things:

1. How long it takes to master the power/OLY lifts to a proficient level and to be able to cycle them quickly at working weights. I was not able to appreciate how complex the movements really are until I started trying to learn them. I’m always inspired when I see the veterans around the gym plowing through power snatches and deadlifts in great form like it’s nobody’s business.

2. How cool everyone is at our gym and most other gyms. Like I said earlier, I was pretty intimidated when I first joined but now I know there was nothing to be afraid of. The support that the coaches and other members provide each other is incredible.

3. Also, CrossFit is addicting, especially as a beginner once you realize that you can get great results by simply turning up to class and pushing yourself. I really question what the hell I was doing all the years before I joined.


Would you recommend 7 Mile Strength & Fitness to others and if so, why?

Totes. Being somewhat of a traveler I’ve visited around 6 other CF boxes so far. While I may be biased in saying this I think our gym really does have an edge on the quality of coaching.


Congratulations again, Jeremy!  We’re proud to have you as our July 7 Miler of the Month!

5 Hydration Tips for the Summer

While hydration is always important, it’s even more important when the hotter weather strikes. For us in Cayman, the weather is hot all year round but during the summer the humidity gets really high so staying hydrated is crucial. And while we’re fortunate enough that we’re not talking about severe hydration that can kill you, even mild hydration has its consequences. Such as:


  • It dampens your mood


  • It causes headaches (ever spent an entire day at the beach and wondered why you had a splitting headache all evening?)


  • It increases fatigue (did you have not only headache post-beach day, but also felt ready for bed at 7 pm?)


It’s not rocket science. If you have experienced mild dehydration before, the answer is simple: You need more fluids in your system.




Here are 5 tips to get you guzzling all of the water if you’re spending more time in the sun this summer:



1. Water-Plus


Some of us have a hard time drinking a lot of water. It can almost feel like we’re force-feeding ourselves, which isn’t pleasant. So we drink soda or juice or Gatorade (or beer) instead—aka sugar bombs. Instead of turning to sugar drinks, go the infused fruit route instead!


Lemon water, lime water, orange water, cucumber water, or even raspberry water often helps make it easier to chug 500 mL of water in one sitting. Another great one: Raspberry, lemon and mint water. Prepare of 4 L jug of it in the am and you won’t feel like you’re forcing yourself to drink water all day.


And if fruit-infused water isn’t for you, then maybe carbonated water is. We did a bit of research into carbonated water and whether it’s A-OK for your health and all signs point to yes. One common concern: Is it bad for my teeth? According to this study, no! (


Research also suggests it hydrates you as well as still water and is easier for many to swallow, especially older adults (( Meanwhile further research says it helps with constipation.




2. Let Your Thirst be Your Guide

Hunger and thirst signal are there for a reason: To tell us we need food or water. It really is that simple…


That being said, we have often been told that: ‘If you’re thirsty, it’s too late!!!’ Too late for what? (If we really were “too late,” then all mammals on the planet would probably have died from dehydration. Instead, animals drink when they’re thirsty. And so should we).


The point is, if you feel thirsty, it’s not too late. It simply means that it’s important to drink ASAP. Becoming in tune with your body’s natural thirst signals is step one, and then step two is to BE PREPARED and have water readily available, especially in the summer when you’re going to need more than the winter.



  3. Be Prepared and Add Ice!

If drinking ice cold water gets you drinking more, then prepare a big jug or water bottle in the morning with lots of ice (and fruit infused if you desire) to entice you to drink, drink, drink. Because there’s nothing more appealing than a giant jug of ice water on a hot summer day—it certainly beats trying to find a fountain to bend over at and drink awkwardly.


4. Wake Up and Chug!

If you’re a coffee drinker especially, wake up and have a big glass of water before you drink your morning coffee—which only serves to dehydrate you even further. Drinking first thing in the morning will also go a long way in preventing you from being starving and eating too much at breakfast time.



5. Drink First, Then Shower Yourself..

Although it feels good to poor water on your head, or jump in a pool to cool off, remember nothing cools you off more effectively from the inside out than drinking plenty of cold water. So drink first, the dump the rest all over your body…

3 Ways We Will Help You Feel More Comfortable in the Gym

For many people, the gym is an intimidating place! Fear or intimidation of the gym is one of the most common reasons people avoid exercise. If this is you—you have been putting off starting a new gym routine because you’re apprehensive or intimidated—you’re certainly not alone.


Whether it’s fear of looking dumb because you don’t know what you’re doing (or embarrassment because you don’t know what you’re doing), fear of failure because you know you’re not as fit as you used to be, or fear of being pushed to do something you’re not comfortable doing, we’ve got you covered to help you overcome that hesitation 🙂



Here’s How We Are Different:


3. Coach in Your Corner

First and foremost, we are a coaching service. This means every single time you come through the door, you will be coached, thus eliminating your fear of not knowing what to do at the gym. Not only that, you will not be thrown right into a group class with experienced veterans. You will begin by working in a safe, one-on-one environment with just you and a coach until you’re physically, mentally and emotionally prepared to join a group.

And in fact, on your first day with us, all we will do is sit down and talk to get to know you and what you’re looking for to see if we’re a good fit for you—nothing scary about that, right?




2. Personalized Fitness

Your personal coach will get to know your strengths and limitations, your injury history and your fitness goals, and will guide your training in a way that’s appropriate your unique wants and goals and abilities. This means you don’t need to fear being pushed to do something you’re not ready for, like climb a rope when you’re terrified of heights and from falling from the ceiling because your arms might give out….Our priority is to keep you safe!

This also means you don’t need to be worried about not being as fit as you once were. Our goal is to keep you safe and build you up slowly and responsibly, keeping you healthy and injury-free in the process.




1. Not Your Average Anti-Social Gym

It can be intimidating walking into a gym full of super fit-looking people all with their headphones on talking to nobody. Meanwhile, you feel like the odd duck in the corner of the room hoping nobody is secretly laughing at you for using the machine incorrectly. This typical anti-social gym environment is everything we are not!

We’re a family-friendly gym, where you get to know and develop genuine friendships with the people you train next to, making even the most timid new clients feel that much more welcome and accepted.


If this sounds more appealing than your past gym experiences, contact us now.

Athlete of the MonthJuly

Briana Ebanks

Years at CrossFit 7 Mile - Grand Cayman: 1


How long have you been doing CrossFit?

About 9 months


What made you decide to give 7 Mile Strength & Fitness a try?

I was really at a low point in my life and realized that it was up to me to make some changes to improve my physical health. I was extremely overweight and unhappy with myself.


What was the hardest part when you started out and how did you overcome that?

Making the decision to actually do something. Once I did, it was just a matter of getting myself to the gym. It was also a bit overwhelming to see all the really fit people in the classes work out like rock stars. I wasn’t sure if I would be able to not make a complete fool of myself, let alone try and keep up. I ended up doing two rounds of PT Fundamentals and facing my fears head on. Luckily I found the community at CrossFit 7 Mile so welcoming and everyone really encouraged me on my journey.


How has having a Coach for Life been helpful for you?

Trevor has been really great. I am thankful that he was able to curb my fears about joining the classes and modifying my workouts to assist me particularly with my knee issues. I know I can count on him to provide me with sound advice and he even provides me with WODs whilst I am off island, albeit burpees included at no extra charge. LOL.


We are just over the half way mark in the year. Are there any goals you wish to accomplish this year – inside or outside of the gym?

To keep improving my fitness levels. I would like to be able to do a pull up, but first I need to lose another 20 lbs.


Favorite hobby outside the gym?

Reading and gardening.


Name something you’re most proud of in the gym.

The decision to workout every day Monday to Friday. In April I made the decision to move up from 3 to 5 days a week. I found that I just feel better the days that I work out.


Did you play any sports growing up?

When I was young I did a lot of roller skating but I always loved the water and anything at the beach was fair game – swimming ,water skiing, hydro sliding, etc.


Anything people at 7 Mile Strength & Fitness don’t know about you?

How much I admire the fitness levels and dedication that so many put in to their workouts. I also appreciate the support and community they have.


Anything crazy on your bucket list? (bungee jumping, sky diving?) .

No I am not a thrill seeker in that regard. I like to keep my feet planted on the ground and have no desire to jump out of a perfectly good airplane or bridge. I am thinking about learning to scuba though.


What is your favorite WOD and why?

Don’t think I have a favorite as I enjoy that we do something different everyday. That is what makes it fun and enjoyable for me.


What is your least favorite WOD and why?

Burpees of course. Just a different word for torture.


What has been your biggest surprise about doing CrossFit?

That I would really enjoy it the way I do. I hadn’t worked out in years and had really low self esteem when it came/comes to my body. That is changing and although I am not where I want to be physically, I know I am on the right path. I feel better about myself and the journey has really made a positive impact on my personal wellbeing.


Would you recommend 7 Mile Strength & Fitness to others and if so, why?

Definitely and I do all the time. Staff are knowledgeable, friendly and encouraging. I’ve met a lot of people both coaches and people who started out like me (maybe not at such a low fitness level) who are dedicated to improving their fitness levels which is inspiring. Everyone also encourages each other which makes it fun.


Congratulations, Briana!  We are so proud to have you as our July 7 Miler of the Month.


Two Hours Outside a Week Will Bring Your Health to a New Peak

Get out of the house, kids!


Go play outside!


We don’t know a single mother who hasn’t barked those words at her kids at one point in time. And while getting the kids out of the house so she could enjoy five minutes of peace and quiet might have been your mother’s prime directive, we like to think mothers have good instincts, so it’s possible her intuition told her getting outside would make you healthier. Mother’s instinct was correct: Science says so!


A new study published in the Journal Scientific Reports ( says a two-hour dose of nature each week boosts not just mental health, but physical health too. OK, the truth is this isn’t the first study to tell us this, but it IS the first study to tell us how much time we need to spend at the park, in the backyard or at the beach each week in order to reap the health benefits. The answer: A minimum of two hours.


To discover their findings, the researchers interviewed 20,000 people from England about their weekly activity levels. They were specifically curious as to how much of this time was spent outside.


Of those who said they rarely spent time in nature, close to 50 percent of them also said they weren’t happy with their lives, and a quarter of them were considered to have poor physical health. Meanwhile, of those who said they spent at least two hours outside per week, only 14 percent of were of poor health, and considerably fewer (20 percent fewer) said they weren’t happy with their lives. These numbers were fairly consistent even when considering different demographics of people: rural versus urban, wealthy versus urban, and old versus young.


Does where you are outdoors matter?

 While the latter study didn’t consider where you were outside—in a remote forest versus going for a walk on along the Vegas strip—previous research that looked into Japanese forest bathing suggests that being in a quieter place in nature helps reduce stress more than spending time outside in a more urban environment.


And for those of you who spend too much time in the gym to even want to consider doing more exercise just for the sake of getting outside, that same research suggests you don’t even need to be exercising to get the health benefits: You can literally just be sitting passively in non-urban natural environments taking in your surroundings (and the sun tanners score a point!).


5 other researched health benefits of spending time outside include:


1. Reduces inflammation: This study looked at students who spend time outside: ( This study looked at its effects on the elderly (


2. Decreases anxiety and depression: There is a lot of research that suggests this. Here’s one study:(


3. Lowers blood pressure:This might be linked to stress levels being lower after spending time outside: (


4. Boosts you immune system:This 2010 study says just that: (


5. Improves creativity: If you have a job that requires being creative, consider spending time outside first. This study says it increases creativity (measured by a creative problem-solving task test) by 50 percent: (


The gym’s great. We love it when you come here. But we also want you to get outside!

Athlete of the MonthJune

Becks Tyers-Smith


How long have you been doing CrossFit?

I started doing the fundamentals with Brett in May 2017 and began classes after the summer.


What made you decide to give 7 Mile Strength & Fitness a try?

Pete!! He loves CrossFit and for a long time (3 years!!) he has wanted me to do it too!! The 10am class fit with my schedule so I decided to give it a try!!


What was the hardest part when you started out and how did you overcome that?

I was scared about the barbell element of CrossFit. When doing the fundamentals it felt like there was so much to remember for each of the movements and I lacked confidence in doing them. The fundamentals with Brett enabled me to gain some confidence, but when I started classes I had the feeling that I wanted to avoid classes with lots of barbell movements.
However, the turning point for me was when I was encouraged to face my fear and I decided to do Barbell Club. Doing my first Barbell Club was totally out of my comfort zone and I got nervous every session! However, it was the best thing I could have done because now I actually want to do more barbell work!! The repetition of the complex barbell movements was fantastic for me and it gave me confidence that I needed. Brett and Chris were outstanding and helped me so much to achieve what I have in Barbell Club. Thank you both very much!!


We recently had a discussion about your bone fusion in your back and how coming to CrossFit has helped alleviate some of the pain you’ve experienced. Tell us a little bit about when you found out about it and how exercise has been better for you.

I found out I had Ankylosing Spondylitis in 2004, which for me causes inflammation in my sacroiliac joint and spine. I have always been active which has helped with the flare ups but, only since doing CrossFit I can say I have had no flare ups and I no longer take medication for it which is amazing!!!


Your husband Pete is also a member – we loved seeing him cheer you on in the first Fitness Test earlier this month btw. We’re curious, who would do 50 burpees faster, you or him ;)

Hahahahahahaha!! Hands down Pete! You could have chosen something I might be able to beat him at!!!


You participated in the CrossFit Open in February this year. The next Open is 5 months away. Are you going to participate again and if so, what are your goals? Anything in particular you’ve been working on?

Yes for sure I am going to participate in the next Open! It would be awesome if I could nail my toes to bar before then! I have been working on them in PTs but I need to make time to work on them outside of PTs to achieve this I think. I would also like to be able to do double unders by then too, so again I need to put in the work outside of class time!


Name something you’re most proud of in the gym.

Probably my squat snatch/overhead squat. During my fundamentals I couldn’t even squat with a pvc pipe above my head!!


Did you play any sports growing up?

Yes, I swam for a club, represented my county Leicestershire at netball, and I played tennis for a club.


Anything people at 7 Mile Strength & Fitness don’t know about you?

Ummm… I did the 2 mile North Sound Open Water swim in Virgin Gorda, BVI in 2014.


Anything crazy on your bucket list? (bungee jumping, sky diving?)

I have always wanted to do a sky dive….. but I would also really like to ski/snowboard again regularly and go on safari.


What is your favorite WOD and why?

I don’t really have one, but I like WODs that have a mixture of gymnastic movements and barbells, and I do like rowing!


What is your least favorite WOD and why?

I am not overly keen on wall balls, so I guess Karen would be my least favourite WOD at the moment!


What has been your biggest surprise about doing CrossFit?

How much I have grown to love CrossFit!! I didn’t think I could love another sport as much as I love tennis!! But I do! There is so much to learn and room for improvement, so I don’t ever get bored!!


Would you recommend 7 Mile Strength & Fitness to others and if so, why?

Hands down 100% ! The coaches are outstanding, so knowledgeable and encouraging. The staff and people are really friendly and I have made some friends for life!!


Thanks Becks, we are proud to have you as our June 7 Miler.


New Sunscreen Study: Damned if You Do, Damned if You Don’t!

The sun is out, the guns are most certainly out, and we’re left wondering whether sunscreen is our best approach to stay safe in the heat. A new study published in JAMA (Journal of American Medical Association) suggests that various ingredients in popular sunscreens actually get absorbed by the body, rather than just sitting on the skin as we often assumed was the case and enter our bloodstream. Check out the full study here: (


Though the consequences of this absorption aren’t totally clear, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) found the levels in the study were higher than what is considered safe—as much as 40 times as high as the threshold amount, according to the JAMA study! Some of the major culprits included the following ingredients in various sunscreens: avobenzone, oxybenzone, octocrylene and ecamsule.I don’t know about you, but common sense tells me I don’t want those chemicals swimming around anywhere near my blood.


But then there’s the flip side of no sunscreen: Skin Cancer! The chemicals in sunscreen are there to help guard against skin cancer, which is on the rise throughout various parts of the world. In fact, between 2009 and 2019, the number of new melanoma cases diagnosed have increased by 54 percent each year. In 2019, it is estimated that 7,230 people will die from skin cancer!


So we are left wondering,  what’s it going to be? Chemicals in your blood, which for all we know cause cancer, or a higher risk of skin cancer?

One solution is perhaps to buy a mineral sunscreen. Often they still have chemicals, but not the chemicals in question from the recent JAMA study and others. Check this out: The Environmental Working Group (EWG) actually releases an annual sunscreen guide with a ton of valuable information for selecting a safer sunscreen:



Some of the ‘better sunscreens’ include:

  • All Good Sunstick, Unscented, SPF 30
  • Aromatica Calendula Non-Nano UV Protection, SPF 30
  • Attitude 100% Mineral Sunscreen, Fragrance Free, SPF 30
  • Aveeno Baby Continuous Protection Lotion Sunscreen, Sensitive Skin, SPF 50
  • Badger Sunscreen Cream, Unscented, SPF 30
  • Goddess Garden Organics Everyday Natural Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 30
  • Just Skin Food Natural & Organic Sunscreen, SPF 30
  • Kabana Organic Skincare Green Screen Sunscreen, Neutral, SPF 31
  • Poofy Organics The Sunscreen Stick, SPF 30
  • Sunology Mineral Sunscreen, Body, SPF 50
  • Sunology Natural Sunscreen, Face, SPF 50
  • Thinksport Sunscreen, SPF 50+
  • Waxhead Sun Defense Sunscreen Stick, SPF 30
  • Zeb’s Organics Sunscreen, SPF 20 & 30



Or, there’s always the option to make your own sunscreen with natural SPF with the following ingredients:

Homemade Sunscreen

  • 1/2 cup almond or olive oil
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil (which naturally contains SPF)
  • 1/4 cup beeswax
  • 2 Tbsp. Zinc oxide
  • 1 Tsp. Red raspberry seed oil
  • 1 Tsp. Carrot seed oil
  • 2 Tbsp. shea butter (also has a natural SPF)
  • A few drops of essential oils (vanilla, mint, orange…your choice)

To make: Combine everything except the zinc oxide in a glass. Fill a medium saucepan with a couple inches of water and put on medium heat. Put a lid on the jar and place it in the saucepan until you’re able to stir it all together. Add the zinc oxide and stir well.

Voila! Natural sunscreen where you don’t have to worry what’s entering your bloodstream unwanted! 

Do You Find Yourself Overeating on the Regular?

Do you find yourself overeating on the regular? Your hunger and fullness cues are probably out of whack. Eat when you’re hungry. Stop when you’re full. It shouldn’t be so difficult, should it? Oh, but it is. Often times it’s because we lose the ability to know when we’re full, or we confuse various sensations with what we think is hunger.


On a basic level, we generally all understand what hunger cues are: Sometimes they start with us having trouble concentrating, and maybe we feel a bit tired and our stomachs start to grumble. If we don’t get food soon, our irritability likely increases to the point of becoming angry (or HANGRY). This soon escalates into feeling weak and shaky. Some of us maybe even end up with a headache. If if gets to this point, when we finally get our hands on food, we’re often so ravenous we binge on way more food than our bodies need.


Fullness cues, on the other hand, are a bit harder for us to detect. Part of the reason for this is that it takes 20 minutes after eating for our hypothalamus in our brain to receive the signal that we’re full and should stop eating. At this point, it’s often too late: We have continued to eat for 20 minutes!



Two of the biggest keys in stopping our habit of overeating, therefore, are:

1) Don’t let yourself get to the point of being ravenous.

This one is pretty simple: Be more organized with your food prep, so you have access to food before the point of HANGER and binging.

2) Become more aware of your body’s hunger and fullness cues

This one involves being more mindful when you’re eating—being in the moment—to truly pay attention to what your body is telling you.



Two fullness cues we often ignore include:

Cue #1: Ever find yourself taking more bites of your food, yet you’re no longer really even enjoying the food? If you get to this point, you’re probably full.

Cue #2: Your stomach actually starts to feel uncomfortable, almost to the point of pressure. Again, you’re full!



On the other hand, sometimes we think we’re hungry when we’re not. Here are four tips to get you moving in the direction of mindful eating and respecting your hunger and fullness cues:


Slow Down

The basic idea is you should be chewing your food as many as 30 chews per bite. This will help you not only digest your food and absorb it more effectively, but it’s also a deliberate way to get you slow down your eating. This buys you some time for your hypothalamus to tell your body you’re full before you have already overeaten. Another deliberate tip to slow down is to put your utensils down between bites.



 Drink Water Regularly Throughout the Day

Not only does water satiate you, sometimes we confuse the sluggishness we feel from being thirsty and dehydrated with being hungry. So drink first and then reassess how hungry you really are.



Learn to Recognize “Mind Hunger”

Sometimes we think we’re hungry because it’s noon and it’s lunch time and it’s when we normally eat, so we almost force feed ourselves because it’s time to eat. Your hunger can change day-to-day based on sleep and activity levels and various other things, so don’t assume you always need the same amount of food at the same time of day each day.



Try a Silent Dinner

This obviously isn’t practical if you’re eating with others, but if you eat any meals alone, try doing it in silence, without your devices or any others distractions, to really pay attention to your thoughts as you’re eating. Pay attention to what’s going on in your body and to how to food tastes. You never know what you might learn when you’re truly in the moment.



These tips aren’t meant to guilt trip anyone. We have all overeaten before, and we will all overeat again at some point, and there’s no point in beating ourselves up about it (our stomachs probably already feel bad enough). But the more in tune with our bodies we can become through mindful eating, and the more we learn to recognize when we’re hungry and when we’re full, the less likely we’ll be to overeat, and we’ll be much happier and healthier for it.

Why the One-Sized Fits All Approach to Nutrition Doesn’t Work!

Eight glasses of water a day.

Six servings of vegetables.

Make sure you get the recommended daily intake of calcium.


We tend to like to think general nutrition prescriptions have value. Why else would our governments put out food guides for us to follow (of which most people pay no attention to anyway, other than to serve as a source of guilt because they realize they’re not following the guide very well)?


It doesn’t make a whole lot of sense, though, does it? It’s pretty obvious that various foods—for example bread and dairy—affect us all differently: Some of us pack on pounds and get congested if we touch a piece of pizza, while others can eat a block of cheese on an entire loaf of bread and carry on as if nothing happened.


Despite our obvious differences, both in body compositions and in the way our bodies handle different diets, there are a ton of people out there who are adamant they know the best diet—for everyone! On the soap box, they yell:

I lost 50 lb. on the Ketogenic diet! Everyone should try Keto!

Plant-based changed my life. Meat is evil and will give you cancer. Switch to plant-based!

What about we get off our soap boxes for a bit and do some self-experimenting to see what’s right for our own unique selves?



This is exactly what they did in the recent Personalized Nutrition Project for Prediabetes ( study. This cohort study observed glucose levels in 800 people in response to 46,800 meals consumed. The results: Identical meals led to different blood sugar levels in different people.



This study suggests that general dietary recommendations may have inadequate usefulness,” said the study’s authors, who suggest these differences might be linked at least partially to microbiota composition and function (basically meaning our gut health). Thus, as much as we like to think of nutrition as a science that can give us black and white answers, it’s also most certainly a bit of an art, and might take some trial and error to figure out what’s best for you.



In light of this, here are five diet-related principles—ones where the verdict is clearly still out (i.e. there is no generally agreed-upon consensus)—you can experiment with to see what might work for you:


1. Is breakfast really the most important meal of the day?

 There’s a lot of debate about whether breakfast within an hour of waking up is really necessary. Some think it was just a clever marketing ploy started by the cereal companies to get you pounding your Shreddies or Special K in the a.m.


Only one way to find out: Try a month where you have your first meal at noon. See how you feel and what happens to your body. Check out more here if you’re interested in digging deeper into the breakfast debate: (


2. Intermittent Fasting

 Another contentious issue, some people swear intermittent fasting helps them not only lose weight, but also feel better and more energetic. For an always balanced Precision Nutrition approach, check this out for more about intermittent fasting: (



3. 30-day Elimination

 Are you sensitive or gluten? To dairy? Eggs? Try eliminating different foods from your diet for a month as an experiment. Go back to the food after a month and see what happens. Read more here: (


4. More meals a day? Less, smaller meals?

 It’s the three larger meals versus six small meals debate! Try both and decide for yourself. And check this out for more: (



5. Post-meal carbohydrates?

 Do you really need carbohydrates within 30 minutes of working out? Some say you do, some say you don’t: (


Here’s the thing: Your best guide is what your body is telling you. If you’re super hungry the moment you wake up, maybe you do need breakfast first thing. If you get a stomach ache from eating cheese, maybe stop eating it. The point is you are a unique individual, not a template who should follow a good guide your government made for you. Don’t be afraid to take matters into your own hands to figure yourself and your body out. Or hire a coach who can steer you in the right direction.

Athlete of the MonthMay

Mercy Watler


How long have you been doing CrossFit?

I’ve been doing CrossFit from 2014.


What made you decide to give 7 Mile Strength & Fitness a try?

I heard from my co-worker, Zak Kepner, and he told me how awesome the gym was and I saw his dedication.


What was the hardest part when you started out and how did you overcome that?

The hardest part was my eating habits.  I learned so much from the 7 Mile Team.  The WOD was always exhausting but I learned to eat better and I started seeing results.


You are on your feet a lot at work.  For some people they may consider that their exercise for the day – not you though :)  You come in to work out at 530am, and then go to work!  That is some serious commitment and dedication.  What keeps you motivated to come in before a long day at work?

I want to feel happy and positive energy at my work place.  I know I have to be in good health – this is my most important motivation as I have family waiting for me at home every evening.


What’s your favourite thing to do in Cayman?

I love running by the beach.


Anything from home (Honduras) you really miss, besides family?

The rivers and forest.


Name something you are most proud of in the gym.

Definitely the best coaches and family spirit.


Did you play any sports growing up?



Anything people at 7 Mile Strength & Fitness don’t know about you?

Oh my….!  I’m maybe a little sensitive.


Anything crazy on your bucket list? (bungee jumping, sky diving?)

Sky diving for sure as I’m afraid of heights.


What is your favourite WOD and why?

Squats.  I feel my legs are my strongest part of my body.


What is your least favourite WOD and why?

My least favourite I must say are snatches.


What has been your biggest surprise about doing CrossFit?

The biggest surprise is I am able to do things like push myself to my limits.  And I have no fear to do something again if I did not succeed.


Would you recommend 7 Mile Strength & Fitness to others and if so, why?

I have to some already!  And I will keep recommending it because of the great coaches with great knowledge to help you.

Thank you 7 Mile family for being awesome.  I’m proud to say ‘I AM 7MILE’.  Love you guys :)


Congratulations – we are so proud of you, Mercy!