Supplements... Are they worth it?

To Supplement or Not….

By Sara Colman Carlson, RDN, CDE

Food is nourishment…our main source of protein, energy, vitamins and minerals. Foods also have many other nourishing benefits. Especially plant-based foods that share their immune systems with us in the form or antioxidants and anti-inflammatory substances. And don’t forget fiber that helps keep the gut healthy and moving. But there are questions about food providing all the nutrients we need each day. And we know certain subgroups of the population do need additional nutrients in supplement form. Examples include those with poor intake related to illness, those on restricted diets such as vegans, and young children who may be quite picky.

A recent headline from Tufts University Freidman School of Nutrition Science and Policy reads “Nutrients from food, not supplements, linked to lower risks of death, cancer”. The study found no association between using dietary supplements and lower risk of death. The study also points out a recognized risk between excess nutrient intake from supplements and increased risk of certain cancers. For example, calcium supplementation greater than 1,000 mg/day is linked to an increase in cancer deaths.

The aim of this study was to look at the association between dietary supplement use and death from all causes, cardiovascular disease and cancer. Data from over 27,000 US adults 20 years and older was used for the evaluation. They assessed intake from food versus supplements plus adequate or excess nutrient intake and association with death.

Some of the study findings around food vs. supplements:

• Lower risk of death associated with adequate vitamin K and magnesium was limited to foods, not from supplements

• Lower risk of CVD death was linked to adequate vitamin A, K and zinc limited to nutrients from foods, not supplements

• Calcium of at least 1,000 mg from supplements was associated with increased risk of death from cancer. Calcium intake from food did not show this association.

One conclusion of the study is that nutrients from food provides benefits that are not gained from

supplements. Also to note that more of a nutrient via supplements may not necessarily be better.

This is only one study on food and supplements. But it gets us thinking about the benefits of eating nutritious foods each day. Little things can make a difference like a cup of berries or an apple for a snack instead of a processed bar or chips; a salad with a few nuts, beans and tomatoes; or an egg white

omelet with a mix of veggies. Planning nutritious foods into your eating plan then looking at an assessment of your intake is extremely helpful. Then you can see if there are gaps and if a supplement is truly needed.

Many people take nutrient supplements as “insurance” because it’s easier than worrying about the healthiness of foods eaten. Before continuing you may ask yourself if you truly need each nutrient you are supplementing. Plus are there any excesses than may be doing more harm than good.

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Nation News January 2019 READ ME

First, I want to welcome 2019. I think we were all ready to give ‘18 the boot! This year brings a new philosophy to Another Level Fitness: The Level Method. Sounds like we created it! We didn’t but the real creators think that our gym name is the best ever! The Level Method provides a clear and methodical progression of skills, from beginner to advanced, leaving no biological system behind. This method of progressions (and rules!) evenly taxes each energy system, and grows them at the same pace: neurologically, cardiovascularly, and muscularly. This makes even, well rounded, unbreakable athletes. I’m sure you’ve noticed that the workouts have clear objectives. By choosing the belt color that is appropriate to the individual, EVERYONE gets the same workout. It FEELS the same., every time. Welcome aboard!


Testing will begin NEXT WEEK and will continue for 3 weeks. There will be scheduled time during these weeks to make up what you miss. As for next week:

  • Monday: Group 1 and Fran

  • Tuesday: Rowing/other WOD

  • Wednesday: WOD

  • Thursday: other WOD/Rowing

  • Friday: Neurological and Core

  • Saturday: make ups (10 am will continue to be a testing time that will be available as long as I am in the gym)

THIS IS WHAT YOU NEED TO DO: GO TO LEVELMETHOD.COM AND CREATE YOUR ACCOUNT. Use facebook or your email. Doing both will create 2 accounts. You will need the gym code, “crossfitnation” to associate your account with this gym.

If you happen to have already tested a skill, you can either retest or do the alternate workout.

Please note: Your coaches are going to be assholes about technique. Deal with it—we want you to be the best, most unbreakable athlete possible. As you figure out your overall level, I expect you will have your butt handed to you a few times. This is good. This is what you come here for—to gain what you lack. You pay for training and we intend to give you the best!



Our first Kickstart of the year will begin on the 28th. If you want to do this, I really need to know ASAP!! Payments can be made for this program. If you have never done it, it will be eye-opening and maybe even life changing! Make an appointment for you weigh in here:



February 11-19 Link will be on the website, at the top, really big. Anyone can come. #irecommendthewhiteworkout

power yoga katie martin

POWER YOGA Wednesday at 6:30

You need this. Mobility, flexibility, and a little upside down time. Truly, it will make you better at life.

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These are free. Once you have your overall level, you might consider this. Schedule 30 minutes with me to talk about LEVEL results and form a plan to get you to your goals. Several members have already identified their needs and are doing personal training. Text me for more info/set up.



Actually, it’s just the CrossFit Open. It will happen twice this year!!! Jena is in charge, so be prepared to work with your team! We will have leveled workouts and even a little leveled competition!


Guess when the next Eastern Shore Affiliate Challenge happens. May the fourth (be with you). Details to follow. You can enter to win a free spot by doing the Community Workouts. The first is here:

"Han and Chewy"

5 min AMRAP

Clean and Jerk (Triples 135/95)
Synchro Bar Facing Burpees
Must post a video for validation.

I’m sure there are typos, but I’m hungry.

See you at the gym!


Easton's top 3 Tips for Beginner CrossFitters

Welcome to Nation!
I've been involved with the gym since it's founding in 2008.  I became head coach a few years later and in 2015, I bought Another Level Fitness.  CrossFit Nation (our affiliate name) has been around for over 10 years now!  I truly believe there isn't another gym around who can do what we can do. Our knowledge base is wide and our diversity vast.  We have a unique demographic in that most of our members are “masters.”  That is—over 35.  And they all are Nation Strong.  

There are many tips that I'd like to give, but I'll restrain myself and limit it to just the best and why they are the most important.  I was born with a connective tissue disorder that has required much physical therapy and surgeries.  I have started and stopped physical activity many, many times.  Coming from that background and now specializing in post-rehabilitative exercise, here they are:

Tip number 1:  Listen to your body.  
   If it hurts, you need to stop.  The minute you decide to attach a goal to your exercise regimen, you become an athlete and classes become training.  When training, your body tells you what needs to be worked on.  It's language is discomfort, pain, and fatigue.  Generally, it is simply a muscle and can be addressed by foam rolling.  However, do NOT ignore it. If your mobility is compromised because of a sore spot, your body will seek it from somewhere else in order to meet the demands of what you are asking of it.  Use PVC,  go light, and learn the movements first.  CrossFit looks different on different people.  Be you. 

Number 2:  Never underestimate the power of REST. 
    The very first sub 4 minute mile was achieved by an athlete who took 2 weeks off before the event.  The medical community thought it might not be possible, but in 1954 Roger Bannister proved them wrong and ran a mile in 3 minutes, 59.4 seconds.  He was well rested and ready for his event.  The very best performers—athletic and intellectual-- can perform at their peak only for a little while.  Then they rest.  They take walks. They meditate.  It's called periodization.  We work really hard for a bit, then we need to rest.  Unless you like chronic fatige, mental dullness, brain fog, and otherwise poor performance, you will need to take rest days AND deload weeks serisously.  By the way, the current mile record sits at 3:43.13.  There's a goal for ya!  

And the last, number 3:  Get your diet in line.
    I have mast cell activation disorder.  If I eat histamine-releasing foods, I am unable to function.  My joints ache and dislocate.  It took doctors nearly 20 years to diagnose it. I use food as medicine.   Dessert is not a reward.   You are what you eat and your performace will show it.  Largely, disease comes from poor dietary habits.  We offer nutrition coaching. Our clients get off of their meds, are symptom free from Crohn's, and some are no longer diabetic. We don't do diets. We do food. Take adavantage of it.  

Why are they the most important?  You'll get the most bang for your buck if you follow them.  You'll stay injury free, out of a nursing home, and functioning well, well into old age.