The Birth of My Daughter

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On Saturday, May 14 at 10pm my wife gave birth to our beautiful baby girl! Kate Sweet St. Pierre weighed in at 7lbs 11oz and measured 20.5 inches long. She is happy and healthy and I am looking at her right now as I write this!

Everyone tells you that having a child is a life-changing experience, and I can say first hand that you don’t truly understand what that means until your child is actually born. I am sure this will only continue as she grows up.

Needless to say there have been several sleepless nights and a tremendously disrupted routine. I have actually lost 7lbs due to the lack of sleep, stress and totally messed up schedule! I was able to get to the gym today though and I am definitely looking forward to more of that.

I must say it is also amazing how fast you learn to change diapers, soothe your baby and absolutely just fall in love with them. I also want to thank everyone for their congratulations and well wishes, it is all greatly appreciated.

Also in keeping with the birthday theme, Eric Cressey is celebrating his 30th birthday by having a huge sale on Show and Go: High Performance Training to Look, Feel and Perform Better, taking $50 off! If it is a product you have considered but have yet to pull the trigger on, you will never get it for a better price, and it will provide you with some tremendous results to boot.

Posted on May 20th, 2011 by Brian St. Pierre

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What I Am Up To

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This has been a crazy semester thus far, and things are really about to hit the fan. I have a ton of projects/presentations as well as tests and quizzes all due over the next few weeks. On top of my data collection for my thesis several days per week.

Today I had to observe an outpatient dietitian counsel a few different patients. It was interesting to see how she went about counseling the patients, and to see where her philosophy differed from mine. Overall it was definitely a good experience.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on April 8th, 2011 by Brian St. Pierre

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The Return of Rugby

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Unfortunately I only have time to put out a quick one today as I have class and thesis work all day. However, that doesn’t mean it won’t be awesome!

As you may know I was a rugby player in a past life, and a decent one at that. Unfortunately I have not played the wonderful sport in 3 full years. This weekend however I had an opportunity to play with a bunch of my old UMaine teammates at an indoor 7′s tournament, so I jumped at it.

BSP playing some rugby, many years ago

I have to say, that 3 year layoff definitely did not improve my skill set! While I felt pretty fit, it was definitely difficult to get my bearings and get back into the flow of the game. The instincts certainly were not where they used to be, but it was a blast none the less. They are aiming to make this an annual tournament, and I hope they do.

I think I might try to bulk up a little for it next year, as I can definitely feel the difference in play now that I am down to 195, as I play my best indoor rugby probably around 215, though I don’t ever plan on getting there again! Maybe get to 200-205, but who knows.

Anyway, it was definitely awesome to play with my old teammates again, as well to hit some people and get hit. It makes you feel so alive!

Posted on February 7th, 2011 by Brian St. Pierre

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What I’ve Been Up To

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So I know that last week was an aberration and that I only blogged twice. I am here today to tell you what I have been up to, plus to soften you up with a cute picture of my dog and cat laying together in my dog’s bed. I have had many readers ask me for more pictures and updates of Lucy, and here she is with our sweet little cat Splanchnic (Anna got her in her first year of dental school, which is basically medical school, hence the name). Well here they are, doing what they do best, being cute.

On top of that, my trusty 1999 Ford Taurus was running into some problems, and with my commute to and from UMaine (160 miles roundtrip) 2x/week and with winter looming, we decided now was the time to trade her in. It was bittersweet for me, as it was once my grandmother’s car, and was the first car I ever owned.

While it certainly was not a looker (I don’t know what Ford was thinking with that design), it certainly got me from Point A to Point B for 4 solid years. In fact, in 2009 alone I put over 41,000 miles on it just commuting to and from CP!

While I will miss that car, my wife and I were able to trade it in for a much nicer, newer and more manly looking vehicle – a 2005 Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo. Safe as can be, plenty of cargo room, decent highway gas mileage (only 1-2 mpg less than my Taurus) and more than capable in the snow, this is exactly what we were looking for.

So that is what we have been up to these last few days since returning from the FNCE conference in Boston on Tuesday night. Needless to say, I hope to be done car shopping for many years. For any of you looking for a new or used car in Maine, I can’t recommend Newcastle Chrysler Dodge Jeep enough. They were pleasant to work with and made purchasing a vehicle a fun and enjoyable, without any hassle.

Anyway, I am off to the gym to get my swole on!

Posted on November 15th, 2010 by Brian St. Pierre

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1-Year Anniversary

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Today is the 1-year anniversary for my wife and I, and we are heading up to beautiful Camden, ME for a little getaway. We are pretty much walking out the door as I type this, so I gotta go!

I will bring some kickass content back to the blog as soon as I get home.

I hope everyone had a great weekend!

Posted on October 10th, 2010 by Brian St. Pierre

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The Greatest American Rock Band

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A friend of mine, who also happens to be an Olympic hopeful in bobsled, sent me a neat little article on American bobsled gold-medalist Curt Tomasevicz.

In an email interview with Entertainment Weekly Curt asked if a jam session with Pearl Jam could be arranged. Apparently Curt also plays bass guitar and listens to Pearl Jam before every bobsled run he makes.

A family friend gave him backstage passes to a Pearl Jam concert to hang out with the band before a show. While they were preparing they were asking him a bunch of questions about bobsledding, when the great Eddie Vedder asked if Curt played bass and asked him to join them on stage to perform Yellow Ledbetter.

To those non-Pearl Jam fans, Yellow Ledbetter is perhaps their most requested live song, so to perform that with the band is a huge deal. Curt said it was the most nervous he has ever been in his life.

That story just furthers my appreciation for the Greatest American Rock Band, and makes me quite jealous of Curt (except I am tone-deaf and can’t play a singe instrument), but I guess being on the first gold-medal American four man bobsled team in 62 years has its perks I guess!

To read the full article click HERE.

Posted on June 8th, 2010 by Brian St. Pierre

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A Bittersweet Announcement

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As some of you may know by now, though many don’t, I will be leaving Cressey Performance at the end of May. I have been accepted into the University of Maine Master’s and Dietetic Internship Program and will be starting the program in July. To go along with that, my wife matched her for her dental residency at the Togus VA in Augusta, ME which also starts in July, so we will be moving home!

This is a very exciting time for us as we are both Mainers at heart, and are looking forward to moving home to be close to our families and friends. At the same time it was a sad moment when I had to tell PeteTony and Eric the news that I would be leaving them and heading back to Maine. As happy as I am to further my dietetic career, and finally become a Registered Dietitian, I am definitely sad to leave behind my incredible time at CP.

I have been at CP almost since its inception, starting to intern only a few months after it started. I was soon hired and it has been an unbelievable experience ever since. A big part of the reason why I wanted to work there so badly, even though it was part-time in the beginning and I certainly was not there to get rich, was because I saw where the facility was heading. I knew big things were ahead for Cressey Performance and I wanted to be a part of that. I wanted to learn from someone like Eric, and Tony too, to become a great strength and conditioning coach. I got all of those things and so much more. Eric and Tony taught me more about strength and conditioning, injury prevention, power development, etc etc than I ever had thought existed!

I would not be half of the nutritionist I am today if it wasn’t for Cressey Peformance, and I recognize that. The growth that place provided me was unparalleled, and I can’t imagine having worked anywhere else. I also can’t forget to mention Pete, who often gets lost in the shuffle of the online world of CP. In person, at the facility, Pete is as big a part of Cressey Performance as Eric is. He has been a tremendous boss and mentor to me on the business side of fitness, as well as being a good friend.

Cressey Performance has also graciously allowed me to fill in for Cassandra Forsythe at Alternity Healthcare while she is on maternity leave. Since I will be leaving to move back to Maine shortly, as well as it being baseball season and we are only seeing about half as many clients as usual, and we need to ease the newest CP staff member Chris Howard into my role, I have dropped from 5-6 days/week at CP to 2-3.

Allowing me to become only part-time has allowed me this tremendous opportunity to work 3 days/week at a place like Alternity Healthcare. It has exposed to me areas of medicine I knew nothing about, tests and methods of disease prevention that are fascinating, as well as getting to pick the brain of a brilliant MD like Dr. Ebanks. This is a phenomenal place, where I get to do nutrition counseling in a much more clinical setting as well as putting people through functional movements screens, postural assessments and a VO2max/Stress test. It is awesome.

I can’t thank Eric, Tony and Pete enough for all they have taught me, the exposure they have given me, and the friendship they have provided. It has all been invaluable and I hope to utilize that to someday start my own facility in southern Maine.

So while I am excited to move back to my wonderful home state of Maine, be close to family and friends, and further my dietetic career, I am certainly sad to leave the wonderful Cressey Performance, that has been more home than job. Leaving the clients might even be the hardest part of the whole process, as I have developed a close friendship with too many to count. I can’t name you all by name as there would be far too many, and I don’t want to leave anyone out, but you know who you are.

So to all that have been a part of the experience, I thank you. I would not be the strength coach, nutritionist or person that I am today without you.

Posted on April 9th, 2010 by Brian St. Pierre

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A Big Thank You

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Before we really get started today I do want to quickly mention that I had the privilege of co-hosting The FitCast this past weekend. For those of you who don’t know, The FitCast is a weekly fitness and nutrition podcast hosted by former CP intern, and current MBSC employee Kevin Larrabee. It is one of the most popular fitness or nutrition podcasts out there, and has featured the likes of Eric Cressey, Alwyn Cosgrove, Dan John, Mike Boyle, Tom Venuto, John Berardi and so many more.

This weeks episode, titled Episode 161 – “The Danny Tanner” with Mike Boyle (so named because we discussed the Jersey Shore nickname generator, and that was my favorite nickname) was hosted by Kevin, the brilliant Jonathan Fass and myself. If you are interested in hearing anything I have to say, or more likely, listening to the interview with Mike Boyle, give it a listen. (I go into detail about my dairy blogs, the Iron Gym and Tony wishing he was Dr. Manhattan).

Moving on, I want to thank all of you for all of the wonderful support, interaction, questions and feedback you have given me this year. I only started this website in October of 2008, and I have watched it grow tremendously over this past year, more than doubling in readership in 2009 alone. I owe a debt of gratitude to you all for making this venture a successful one.

This blog, along with my actual job at CP, has been the greatest professional learning experience in my life. I have learned more in the past year writing blogs, researching topics and answering questions than I did in all my time as a nutrition undergrad (which to be fair was only 2 years, I was an engineering major for 3 years before that, hated it). That is a testament to the quality of information you guys demand, and I am better for it.

To steal directly from EC, with all that being said, since you, the readers, are the ones that are ultimately responsible for making this site bigger and better, I want to put the ball in your court today.  What do YOU want to read in 2010?

  • What are some topics, areas of discussion, myths, or issues of interest you would like to see covered?
  • Would you like to see more guest interviews? (something I have not utilized much)
  • Would you like to see more or less product reviews?
  • Really in-depth sciencey blogs?
  • General easy-to-apply immediately blogs?
  • More videos?

Basically what I want to know is what do you guys like the most about what I do, what do you want me to continue, what do you maybe want to see less of, what are you interested in reading?

I highly respect and value your thoughts, opinions and suggestions, so please let me know in the comments section.

Thanks again for a wonderful 2009, and you will hear from me again in the New Year!

Posted on December 30th, 2009 by Brian St. Pierre

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Giving Thanks

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Well my wife and I are back home in Maine with our families and are getting ready for Thanksgiving dinner. I just wanted to wish everyone a happy Thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday and one of the few days you get to break all of the rules, so enjoy it!

Have a great weekend everyone.

Posted on November 26th, 2009 by Brian St. Pierre

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Gut Health – More Important than Ever

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I have blogged a few times about the importance of a healthy gastrointestinal tract. Poor digestion, consistently upset stomach, diarrhea, constipation, gas, bloating, etc are all signs of a dysfunctional GI tract. This is bad news bears folks. The food you eat can only be broken down and absorbed into it’s healthy(or unhealthy) constituents if the GI tract is working properly. Here are some really interesting pointers about your GI tract that I stole from a really good post on GI health at the precision nutrition blog.

  • The gastrointestinal system comprises 75% of the body’s immune system.
  • There are more neurons in the small intestine than in the entire spinal cord.
  • It is the only system in the body that has its own, independently operating nervous system, called the enteric nervous system.
  • If you stretched out the gastrointestinal system in its entirety, it would have the surface area of a regulation sized singles tennis court.
  • There are over 400 species of microbes living in your gut, totaling over 15 pounds of mass and containing more bacteria than there are known stars in the sky.
GI Tract

GI Tract

That is pretty intense. Just more evidence to show why eating stuff like sucralose, which could potentially destroy half the bacteria in your gut or more may not be a good idea. Why eating yogurt to restore or keep up the level of healthy bacteria is such a good idea. To quote myself,

“Intestinal flora is of utmost importance to health, as we know it contributes to digestion and absorption of nutrients, prevention of harmful pathogens like E. coli and salmonella taking root, and keeping the immune system in optimal condition”

This is something that we as consumers really need to start being more aware of. If you want to stay truly healthy you can’t just focus on eating from a list of “healthy” foods. What if some of those foods do not agree with you? What about food allergies, or even just low-level intolerances? Think about the people you know who have Celiac’s disease (gluten intolerance), when they eat wheat or other gluten-containing foods, they suffer serious repercussions. That is an extreme example, but pertinent none the less.

I also think it is really fascinating that more than 75% of the body’s immune system is in the GI tract. It makes sense if you think about it. As mentioned above the surface area of the GI tract is massive (covering an entire tennis court, maybe more), leaving plenty of opportunity for pathogens to find a way in. This is another reason why the stomach is so acidic, it destroys many microorganisms simply because they can not survive at that pH. There are also enzymes in the GI tract that help to detoxify antigens and xenobiotics (like prescription drugs!), assisting the immune system. So when you really think about it it makes a lot of sense for so much of our body’s defenses to be located in the gut, preventative action at its best! So take care of it, and try to allow in the least amount of problematic foods possible.

The most fascinating point to me was that the small intestine has more neurons than the entire spinal cord. Why? Doesn’t that seem crazy, our spinal cord is what relays messages from our brain to our bodies, yet the small intestine has more neurons? Bizarre. It is an area that interests me greatly and I believe we need a lot more research into the importance of the small intestine to the overall health of the body.

Small Intestine

Wrapping up, take care of your GI health. Eat yogurt if you can, take digestive enzyme, probiotics and hydrochloric acid if you need to, eliminate foods that upset your stomach, and be well.

Posted on June 5th, 2009 by Brian St. Pierre

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