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NAshpushup
Article:   Competing? Things To Consider… - CF West Santa Cruz

- WOD -
Squat 3 x 5
- then -
10 – 1 ladder
Push-ups
Power Cleans
50 yard farmers carry b/w each round

- Academy 3.03 -

Class# 09/16
Thruster instruction
- then -
“Fran”
21- 15- 9
Thrusters
pull-ups or ring rows

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Recipe: No Oat “Oatmeal” – Paleoplan.com

NO OAT “OATMEAL”

Paleoplan.com

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup walnuts
  • 1/4 cup pecans
  • 2 Tbs ground flax seed
  • 1/2–1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • dash of freshly ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 Tbs almond butter
  • 1 banana, mashed
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk (add more if desired)
  • 2 tsp pumpkin seeds
  • 1 handful of fresh berries (optional)

Instructions

  1. Add walnuts, pecans, flax seed and spices to a food processor and pulse mixture to a course grain (make sure to stop before it is ground into a powder). Set aside.
  2. Whisk together eggs and almond milk until the consistency thickens and becomes a loose custard.
  3. Thoroughly blend the mashed banana and almond butter together and add it to the custard, mixing well.
  4. Stir in the course nut mixture.
  5. In a medium saucepan, warm the mixture on the stove until the “no-oatmeal” reaches the desired consistency; this should only take a few minutes. Stir frequently.
  6. Sprinkle pumpkin seeds and berries on top. Add more almond milk if desired.

 

Holy (guacamole) Eggs –

by Katie Noel

Primalwomeninthekitchen.blogspot.com

The deviled egg’s worst nightmare!!!

 

Ingredients:

A dozen eggs

1 ½ large avocados

¼ c. cilantro- chopped

¼ c. onion- chopped

handful of cherry tomatoes (I used 6 from our garden)- chopped

2 tbsp. olive oil

2 tsp. minced garlic

1 squirt of lemon juice

dash of red pepper flakes

dash of salt

 

Directions:

1. Hardboil your eggs by placing them in a sauce pan full of cold water and bringing the water to a rolling boil.

2.Remove the pan from heat and allow them to sit for 15 minutes.

3.Move to an ice bath for another 15 minutes. This will make them easier to peel.

(Eggs that are a week+ old tend to peel easier but fresh will work too. )

4. Peel eggs.

5. Gently slice eggs in ½ placing the white on a plate and the yolk in a bowl.

6. Mix the avocado with the egg yolks and olive oil until creamy.

7. Fold in all other ingredients except the salt.

8. Spoon ping-pong ball sized dollops into the egg whites.

9. sprinkle salt over the top.

ENJOY! They didn’t even last 5 minutes in my house.

 

-hard boiled with love,

Katie

 

 

 

 

How Not to Suck at Running – NerdFitness.com

I’m going to go out on a limb and guess that a huge majority of the running population kinda sucks at running.

When most people start running, they have zero training, zero strategy, have never put any thought into their technique or method, and just kind of “go for it.”  Now, although I’m a big of getting started (do something. do anything), I think it’s incredibly important to be smart about HOW you get started when it comes to running.  I’ve already provided a “beginner’s guide to running,” but I wanted to also hook you up with an interview I did with my buddy/running guru Jason Fitzgerald of StrengthRunning.com.

Jason and I share very similar views on training, performance, diet, and more, with just a different focus (mine on weight and strength training, his on running), so when I got a chance to meet up with him at a Nerd Fitness meetup in Washington, DC in July, I knew we needed to work together.

So, on September 26th, Jason and I will be releasing the Rebel Running Guide, an ebook designed to cover every freaking aspect of getting started with running that you’ll need – including videos of proper technique and form, tips for injury prevention, how to deal with injuries when they happen, workout and running plans to get you through your first 5k, and more.

Last week I sat down with Jason and picked his brain about running.  Okay we didn’t actually “sit down,” as he’s in D.C., and I’m currently in Barcelona; though I imagine both of us were sitting when we did the interview (or were we?).  Here’s how to not suck…or at least suck less :)

Steve: Alright man, every super hero has an origin story.  What’s yours? 

Jason: I started running cross country in the fall of my freshman year of high school. I actually went out for the team because I thought it was like Track and I could do the high jump. There’s clearly no high jump in cross country and at the time, I wasn’t really into running. But the guys on the team were fun so I stuck with it and ended up running cross, indoor and outdoor track in high school and college.

Running became a consistent part of my life and I’ve never voluntarily taken a significant amount of time off (except due to injury – but I haven’t been hurt in 2 1/2 years!). It’s been a little over 13 years of being a big running nerd! I wouldn’t trade it for anything and actually, it’s what has led to some of my best friendships and even meeting my wife.

Steve:  Yeah, congrats on the recent marriage!  You do realize that because of what you just said, you’re going to pull a hamstring running to catch a taxi or something, right?  As long as you’re aware.  Moving on, give us a quick run down (zing!) of your running philosophy.

Jason: The abridged version of my running philosophy:

  • Runners need to be good athletes, not just good runners. That means a lot of strength work, flexibility, and training variety.
  • If you want to run fast, you have to run a lot. You get good at what you practice often.
  • Barefoot running can help with a lot of things, but it shouldn’t be your primary focus if you want to be a better runner. Use it sparingly.
  • Run a lot of hills, but not a lot of track workouts.
  • Distance runners need to sprint!

I tell the runners that I coach that the magic happens when you pay attention to the “little things” – your warm-up, strength routines, and recovery. Those things dictate how well you’ll run in your workouts.

Steve: “Variety is the spice of life,” as they say.  I’m not quite sure who “they are” in this instance, just roll with it.  Interesting point about the barefoot running stuff – I think a huge issue with barefoot running is that people try to do too much too fast and end up hurting themselves.    Speaking of hurting oneself,  what’s a mistake that every beginning runner makes?

Jason: Not having a plan! Running doesn’t need to be very structured, but you should lay out why you’re running and what you want to accomplish. When you know those things, you can run much more effectively and be successful.

There are also a ton of little mistakes that new runners make, like stretching before they run, wearing huge bulky shoes and aggressively heel-striking, going crazy with carbs for short runs…. the list goes on. I want to scream at runners to read my blog, but instead I do interviews :)

Steve: Haha, I know the feeling.  I once considered making business cards that just said “psst, you’re doing it wrong – nerdfitness.com” and handing them out to people at the gym, but I figured that would get me punched in the face.  So there are quite a few beginner running programs out there, most famously the Couch to 5k program.  What are your thoughts on it?

Jason: There’s nothing inherently wrong with Couch to 5k, but it fails to include “the little things” I mentioned before that help runners get better and STAY HEALTHY. C25k also is just a running plan – 3 weekly workouts for 9 weeks. That’s it. So if you want the bare minimum (like Jennifer Anniston inOffice Space) it’s a very simplistic option for you.

My biggest criticism is that it really lacks variety. You either walk or run easy for 9 weeks – there’s no other types of workouts or different paces to keep things interesting. I would find it so boring. There’s also no strength workouts, flexibility exercises, core work, or any other “extras” that keep you healthy and injury free.

Steve: I can’t believe you just referenced Office Space, you win.  That is a great point about Couch to 5k though – I think its a great starting place as it’s incredibly easy to grasp and begin, but oversimplifies at the expense of building a solid foundation of win. 

Let’s move on to diet: what’s the best way to eat to become a better runner? Do you need mountains of spaghetti and carbs like I see every runner eating?

Jason: That’s one of the big mistakes that I see a lot of runners making – piling their plates high with bad carbohydrates every meal because they think that’s what runners do. If you’re running every day (or if you’re crazy and run twice a day) and training for a marathon then of course you’re going to need more carbs to fuel your workouts. But for most runners, amodest bump in carb intake is all you need.

Timing is really important in your carb intake if you still want to eat more paleo and start a 5k training program. You can still run a killer 5k with eating Paleo 80% of the time! Stick to lots of vegetables, fruit, good cuts of meat, and high-quality carbs like sweet potatoes, yams, quinoa, oatmeal, or Oreos and Twinkies (kidding!). If you’re doing a hard workout or a long run, you should eat some simple carbs right before, during the run itself if your stomach can handle it, and immediately after. Then go back to your usual Paleo diet for the rest of your daily meals.

Steve: Makes sense to me: use the carbs to fuel your body before a workout, and then quickly help rebuild your body after a strenuous workout.  So, this is something we touched on early – injury.  It seems like every runner deals with injuries all of the time, some of which are far more intense than others.  What are your thoughts on running if you think you’re injured?

Jason: I consider “injury” as a spectrum. Most runners have some aches and pains – you can run through those if they’re just dull or achy. Just be smart and run slower and shorter. If the pain is sharp or intense, then don’t run at all. Instead, you should focus on recovery by doing some self-massage (like with a foam roller), icing the affected area frequently, and doing some type of other exercise that doesn’t hurt. I recommend cycling, pool running, or something else with no impact.

Remember, consistency is king, so you’d be better off missing a few days over a few weeks. Patience pays off.

Steve: On a similar topic, what about being sick?  Too worn down from work, push ourselves too hard, run too much, and get a cold or the flu – how to you get back on track when you’ve been sick and haven’t had time to put in the miles?


Jason: 
A good rule of thumb is that if your sickness is above the neck, like a headache or sinus infection, then you’re cleared to continue running. But if you have chest congestion or a fever, it’s best to wait a few days to resume running. It all depends on how you feel, but play it safe at first!

When you come back to training normally, you should skip your fast workouts and run easy for a few days. Your body is still recovering so don’t make it work extra hard.

Steve: How do you feel about traditional running shoes (with a thick padded heel) vs minimalist shoes like New Balance Minimus or Vibrams?

Jason: Like injuries, minimalism is a spectrum, too. I don’t think there’s a need to be on either end of the spectrum exclusively. In an ideal world, I think 95% of people should fall somewhere in the middle for most of their running. A small amount can be barefoot or in Vibrams (like 5-20 minutes a week, spread out over a few days). You get most of the benefits of barefoot and minimalist training with just few short workouts.

Take me for example – I run in 3 different types of shoes. Two of them are my trainers that I wear for 95% of my running. They’re neutral shoes that don’t have a medial post (a roll bar, or that piece of dark foam in the sole that’s supposed to control over-pronation) and they weigh in at about 9 ounces. Not too minimalist, but not very bulky either. My third pair are racing shoes and have a tiny heel and are super light. I only wear them about once a week, but they give me all the strength and efficiency benefits I’m looking for.

Steve: Again – variety.  What are your thoughts on interval training over the long slog marathon style training?

Jason: A lot of runners want to get fast so they get on the track and run intervals until they get hurt. The reality is that the majority of runners will get 90% of their speed through easy running because they lack the ability to HOLD a fast pace – not the ability to RUN a fast pace. Interval workouts are the icing on the cake.

Steve: Psssh, “icing on the cake?”  This is Nerd Fitness, you can do better.  The “bacon on top of the steak”?  Eh, we can work on it.  Here’s a question from a member of the NF rebellion.  After your first 5k, what are your thoughts on speed training (running a faster 5k time) vs. endurance training (10k/half marathon), and how do you mix the two?

Jason: If you’re trying to run a certain time, there should be a lot of variety in your training – from all out sprinting to half-marathon pace and easy jogging. Most runners should keep hard running to about 20% or less of their weekly running or else they could get hurt or just burn out (and burn out sucks – link). My favorite workouts combine different paces so you get exposure to endurance training and much faster paced running at the same time.

We’ve included plans for faster 5k’s in the Rebel Running Guide in case you want to stay at that distance and just run faster.  We’ve also created an advanced plan for those who want to move beyond a 5k and train for a 10k (for the deluxe version).

Steve: Okay enough running talk; let’s crank out a few nerdy questions:  What’s your favorite video game?

Jason: I’m going to name two: Street Fighter EX Plus Alpha and Resident Evil, both for Playstation. The Street Fighter game is the first one to have semi-3D graphics, so it’s awesome. If you have it, please invite me over and I’ll humiliate you handily.

Resident Evil needs no explanation – I started playing in 8th grade and it scared the hell out of me. The graphics were top notch, it was violent and gory, and I got to shoot huge guns – wins all around!

Steve: Star Wars or Lord of the Rings?

Jason: Star Wars all the way. While Lord of the Rings has its moments, it just can’t compare with Chewie, Darth Vader, and Han Solo kicking ass across the galaxy.

Steve: Words to live by?

Jason: There are two quotes that come to mind, both about hard work and consistency:

  • “Success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day in and day out.” – Robert Collier
  • “What am I on? I’m on my bike busting my ass for 6 hours a day! What are you on?” – Lance Armstrong

Steve: Thanks Jason!  Hope all is well in DC.

So there you have it!  Jason and I are adding in last minute content to the Rebel Running Guide which will be out on September 26th, barring any last-minute unexpected changes.  I gotta say, I absolutely love Jason’s writing style, and he’s done a freaking incredible job with his sections on this guide – I’m honored to have helped put it together with him.  My dear Rebel friend, know that you and your feet are in good hands (not literally) with this guy.

Post Workout Meals – Paleoplan.com

Here’s the second installment from our guest blogger, Max Shippee of CrossFit HAX. Check out his first post here. Today he’s kindly providing you with some information on post-workout meals: the timing of it and what exactly to put in your mouth. Enjoy!

“What should I have for a post-workout shake?”

“Food. You mean post-workout food.”

“I thought shakes were best.”

“The Native Americans didn’t make a smoothie out of the buffalo; they ate it.”

You’ve got your nutrition dialed in, you prepare your meals ahead of time to stay on track, but you think there could be a bit more to your metabolism than “pick it or kick it.”

Eating After a Big Workout

In addition to what we eat, when to eat can also make a difference. Post-workout meals (sometimes shakes) can be an important part of your nutritional plan for better health and wellness. I’ve found that the harder your workout, the more important your post-workout nutrition is. If your workout is watching an episode of Dancing with the Stars while walking on the treadmill, just be sure you’re re-hydrated after your miles are finished. If you’re fortunate enough to be a regular at a local CrossFit gym, or if you regularly finish your workout on your back from exhaustion, then getting something more substantial into your system will make a big difference in how your body recovers from that workout and prepares for the next.

The good news is that you can crank up the carbs (sweet potatoes, etc.) a bit for this meal, since your glucose levels will most likely be depleted. The bad news is that you have to get it in quick. The key is timing. You have about 30 minutes, or on the very outside edge, 45 minutes to get something into your belly. During this time, your body is primed to take in quality calories. For example, your cells are more sensitive to insulin, enabling the movement of what you eat, good or bad, into the muscles & other cells for refueling and rebuilding. Upping your carbs is fine for this meal, only if you get enough protein. Eating a huge bowl of fruit isn’t going to refuel and rebuild you nearly as much as adding in a good dose of grass fed.

I find that if I get in something at around the twenty-minute mark, not only do I not feel hungry later, but I feel amazing and energized for hours afterward. From a Paleo perspective, this makes logical sense: The only time we would have worked ourselves into an exhausted pool of hard pounding sweat as  hunter-gatherers would have been just after we chased down something big to eat (raw bison liver anyone?).

For those post-workout calories, real food is always a superior choice over a protein shake. Planning ahead will make it easier to have real food available. On Sundays, I like to make a batch of Paleo Chicken Fajita Salad to last all week. I pack it in a lunch bag to bring to the gym. Yeah, I’m that guy.

Protein powders aren’t the best, but…

Of course, for some people, getting in those calories in the best time frame can be really tricky. You might need that option of a protein, or meal replacement shake. Finding a ready-made mix that is truly still Paleo can be damn near impossible, since whey (dairy) is the most common form of powdered protein. Even if you make that one dairy exception for your beloved protein shake, it’s likely that whey came from a factory farmed cow… And it’s extremely hard to track down where other potentially Paleo friendly sources, like egg, originated (most of those eggs are factory farmed in China…)

If we now know that companies were putting melamine in baby formula, we need to ask and find out what they may be putting in that “pure” protein. I’ve seen some products that I thought looked very promising only to turn them over and see something like aspartame on the ingredients list. (Don’t know why you shouldn’t be eating aspartame? Watch this.

What to Look for in A Protein Powder

If you have to have a meal replacement, try to buy the protein with the least amount of ingredients, sticking to those which have just protein, i.e. just powdered egg whites—no flavorings, no additives. If you’re feeling hardcore, you can even make your own mayonnaise with egg yolks, and save the whites for your shakes (so much for convenience). There’s a couple good recipes out there involving sweet potatoes, coconut milk, egg whites and a few other ingredients that are pretty darn tasty. If you are using egg whites, it may be smart to pop a digestive enzyme beforehand, due to the active anti-nutrients (trypsin inhibitors and avidin) in the egg white that are present to protect anything evil from getting to the yolk (these are otherwise neutralized by cooking). It’s also not the smartest thing to eat conventionally raised eggs raw, since they can have really high levels of harmful bacteria on the shells and in the eggs themselves. Opt for pasture raised eggs from a small farm if you can.

If you’re surfing this blog, and taking advantage of this incredible resource, you’re already on your way to greater health and longevity. Add to that a goal of three intense workouts a week (more on that in a future post) with proper post-workout nutrition, and your co-workers will start to ask, “No really, what are you doing?” You might even catch your spouse straining his neck to get a little look before you step in the shower. ;)

The Ultimate “Energy Drink” That Will Blow Your Mind

August 17th, 2011

freetheanimal.com

Liquid Fat Bomb Smoothie: The Ultimate “Energy Drink” That Will Blow Your Mind

You have to laugh. In today’s world of industrially engineered food and drink, the term “energy drink” is merely euphemism for sugar drink. Yea, some are laced with caffein, for added “energy.” And naturally, engineering being what it is, you don’t even have to look to know that cans of that crap probably contain upwards of 8 teaspoons and more of sugar in a single can. There are 4 grams in a tsp of sugar, all carbohydrate, so an “energy drink” sporting 30 grams of rapidly assimilating carbohydrate in liquid form is about 7-8 teaspoons.

Now, let me ask a dumb question. How many of you would put 8 teaspoons of sugar into any 10 or 12 oz. unsweetened drink? Anyway, enough of that nonsense.

As anyone with an ounce of true nutritional sense knows, fat is the ultimate source of energy, both dietary and body fat. It’s simple. A gram of carbohydrate like sugar or HFCS has 4 kilocalories of energy, while a gram of fat has 9 — more than twice as much, gram for gram.

But there’s one kind of fat that’s a bit special, medium chain triglyceride (MCT). What’s special about it?

MCTs passively diffuse from the GI tract to the portal system (longer fatty acids are absorbed into the lymphatic system) without requirement for modification like long-chain fatty acids or very-long-chain fatty acids. In addition, MCTs do not require bile salts for digestion. Patients that have malnutrition or malabsorption syndromes are treated with MCTs because they do not require energy for absorption, utilization, or storage. Coconut oil is composed of approximately 66% medium-chain triglycerides. Other rich sources of MCTs include palm kernel oils and camphor tree drupes. The fatty acids found in MCTs are called medium-chain fatty acids.

You usually have to dig a bit if you don’t already know, to discover that these MCTs areSATURATED FATS! Or, should I say, arterycloggingsaturatedfat?

Another thing to note is that they digest rapidly, like sugar in a drink and so are truly in the category of supplying rapid energy, the whole point of an “energy drink” or glucose gel, such as endurance athletes use. But guess what? Little to no glycemic load. They don’t spike your blood sugar to significant degree, and thus, don’t spike your insulin significantly…leaving you to later need another “energy drink,” and another, and another. Peak, valley, peak valley; wash, rinse, repeat.

There’s more. Turns out that MCTs have other huge benefits in terms of blood sugar control in diabetics as well as actual fat loss. Yea, a fat that makes you lose body fat. Let’s take a look at what the scientistas have to say.

Pubmed: Greater rise in fat oxidation with medium-chain triglyceride consumption relative to long-chain triglyceride is associated with lower initial body weight and greater loss of subcutaneous adipose tissue.

CONCLUSION: These data suggest that shunting of dietary fat towards oxidation results in diminished fat storage, as reflected by the loss of BW and subcutaneous adipose tissue. Furthermore, MCT consumption may stimulate EE and fat oxidation to a lower extent in men of greater BW compared to men of lower BW, indicative of the lower responsiveness to a rapidly oxidized fat by overweight men.

This was a randomized, crossover, controlled feeding trail. Subjects got either high amounts of MCT or LCT (olive oil). Crossover means that each group was subjected to both diets, which is gold standard. Those on MCT lost almost twice as much fat as those on LCT.

ScienceDirect: Medium-chain triglycerides

Abstract: …chemical and physical properties of MCFAs show substantial metabolic differences. MCFAs do not require binding to proteins such as fatty-acid binding protein, fatty acid transport protein, and/or fatty acid translocase (FAT, homolog to human platelet CD36). MCFAs are a preferred source of energy (β-oxidation). MCFAs are also incorporated into adipose tissue triglycerides, and may influence adipose tissue and other systemic functions more substantially than previously assumed. MCTs reduce fat mass, through down-regulation of adipogenic genes as well as peroxisome proliferator activated receptor-γ. Recent studies confirmed the potential of MCFAs to reduce body weight and particularly body fat. This effect was not transient. MCFAs reduce lipoprotein secretion and attenuate postprandial triglyceride response. It was, however, frequently observed that MCTs increase fasting cholesterol and triglyceride levels. But, given in moderate amounts, in diets with moderate fat supply, MCFAs may actually reduce fasting lipid levels more than oils rich in mono- or polyunsaturated fatty acids. The same is true for glucose levels. MCTs improved several features contributing to enhanced insulin sensitivity. Under certain in vitro conditions, MCTs exert proinflammatory effects, but in vivo MCTs may reduce intestinal injury and protect from hepatotoxicity.

This is just a review article looking at studies demonstrating a lot of the benefits of MCTs that we’re talking about. Do note the warning siren about elevated fasting cholesterol and triglycerides. Of course, this is just the abstract, such that some news media regurgitator in the “Health” section can write a dumbshit headline like “Coconut Milk Raises Cholesterol Levels, Study Finds.” Then you tear into the full text and find it wasn’t significant, it was one poorly controlled study out of many, or some other BS. Andwho cares about cholesterol numbers anyway? Cool that it may also may aid intestinal repair and protect your liver from drug or alcohol induced toxicity, important for those on medications or who drink regularly.

More? Hell, I don’t do science that often anymore, so let’s go all out. But in consideration of the environment, let’s save some space and you can click over to the abstracts you want to read.

PubMed: Physiological effects of medium-chain triglycerides: potential agents in the prevention of obesity.

PubMed: Medium chain fatty acid metabolism and energy expenditure: obesity treatment implications.

PubMed: Medium-chain fatty acids as metabolic therapy in cardiac disease. [the heart muscle loves ketone bodies, I've heard. -Ed]

PubMed: Medium-chain fatty acids: functional lipids for the prevention and treatment of the metabolic syndrome.

Well here’s one from 1986 that bears quoting the entire abstract, especially in view of the recipe for my secret energy drink, below.

PubMed: Medium chain triglycerides (MCT) in aging and arteriosclerosis.

Abstract: Some of the nutritional work with triglycerides consisting mainly of C8 and C10 fatty acids (MCT) lends itself to speculations about their influence on arteriosclerosis. Arteriosclerosis is thought to be part of the normal aging process which is due to age associated molecular biological changes. The lipid theory of arteriosclerosis is rejected. Pertinent studies with MCT include these observations. Feeding of MCT to rats resulted in animals of low body weight, small fat deposits and excellent survival rate. This deserves emphasis because of the beneficial influence of low body weight on aging and arteriosclerosis. MCT feeding was associated with low linoleate and low tocopherol requirements in rats. This may lead to reduced formation of those linoleate derived prostaglandins which favor thrombosis formation. Lower linoleate requirements may also lead to the presence of fewer uncontrolled free radicals in the cells. MCT feeding is associated with low levels of serum and liver cholesterol involving speculations that tissue conditions are such that an adaptive increase of cholesterol is unnecessary. The Demographic Yearbook of the United Nations (1978) reported that Sri Lanka has the lowest death rate from ischemic heart disease. Sri Lanka is the only of the countries giving reliable data where coconut oil (containing over 50% medium chain fatty acids) is the main dietary fat. [emphasis added]

So, while it doesn’t say how much saturated fat the lowest death rate from heart disease-Sri Lankans ate, we do have an idea for another population, the Tokelauans, who eat about 50% of energy from saturated fat and have no evidence of heart diseaseI blogged about it way back here.

There was one other issue I wanted to cover, and that’s the potential insulin stimulating effects of MCTs (if any), and whether coconut milk — with 1 gram of carbohydrate per ounce — could present any problem to diabetics. I dug all over the place, got lots of help from Twitter peeps (thanks much, all of you) but in the end could not really come to firm conclusions, so I’ll leave that to comments. Other than that, there’s this interesting conversation between Marty Gallagher and Dr. Chris Hardy at PrecisionNutrition on MCTs, coconut oil, and coconut milk in both a health and training context. Good stuff.

Alright, now while I certainly didn’t need to do all this sciency researchin’ to know that a natural product like coconut milk would be like most wholesome food: good for me…I want to make sure you have confidence, dear reader, that indeed it is safe to go back in the water. The sharks are all over at Jamba Juice getting their faux “health” smoothies(count how many of those sugar drinks have over 100g of sugar).

Nope, what you’ll get here is a smoothie, an energy drink that will blow the lid off all that crap in a cup in terms of sustained, level energy and satiation; and well, you’ve seen the potential numerous health and weight loss and control benefits. Incidentally, coconut fat is about 90% saturated. Of the saturated fat, 66% is comprised of MCTs.

And by the way, I’ve used both coconut oil and coconut milk in cooking for years, particularly for Thai curries. Also, last year at NovNat over a week, we probably each had near or more than a can of coconut milk every morning (see the top pic) and I for one was rarely ever hungry much for lunch, in spite of the activity (though I ate big every meal). And I lost 3 pounds over the week and felt great.

Alright, the recipe:

  • 1 cup full fat coconut milk (I like Native Forrest)
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 raw egg yolks (don’t eat whites raw; cook them to destroy avidin, an anti nutrient)
  • 1 scoop whey protein (I use vanilla Primal Fuel)
  • 2/3 cup frozen berries (I like the medleys)

Blend it and consume. I save the whites, scramble them in a pat of butter and add a bit of grated parmesan for flavor, no salt.

Macronutrient breakdown:

  • Total Fat: 70 grams
  • Saturated Fat: 50 grams (71.4% of total fat)
  • Carbohydrate: 27 grams
  • Protein: 27 grams
  • Total Calories: 840
  • Percent Total Energy: 75% (TF), 54% (SFA), 13% (C), 13% (P)

An alternative which I’ll try is to do one raw egg yolk in the smoothie and mix the white with the other whole egg for cooking. And, of course, there’s tons of variations you can do with this. The egg yolks make it smooth. The frozen berries make it cool without making it watery with ice.

And so on, and so on.

How far wrong can cholesterol be? – Heart Scan Blog

by Dr. William Davis

Heartscanblog.com

Conventional thinking is that high LDL cholesterol causes heart disease. In this line of thinking, reducing cholesterol by cutting fat and taking statin drugs thereby reduces or eliminates risk for heart disease.

Here’s an (extreme) example of just how far wrong this simpleminded way of thinking can take you. At age 63, Michael had been told for the last 20 years that he was in great health, including “perfect” cholesterol values of LDL 73 mg/dl, HDL 61 mg/dl, triglycerides 102 mg/dl, total cholesterol 144 mg/dl. “Your [total] cholesterol is way below 200. You’re in great shape!” his doctor told him.

Being skeptical because of the heart disease in his family, had a CT heart scan. His coronary calcium score: 4390. Needless to say, this is high . . . extremely high.

Extremely high coronary calcium scores like this carry high likelihood of death and heart attack, as high as 15-20% per year. So Michael was on borrowed time. It was damn lucky he hadn’t yet experienced any cardiovascular events.

That’s when Michael found our Track Your Plaque program that showed him how to 1) identify the causes of the extensive coronary atherosclerosis signified by his high calcium score, then 2) correct the causes.

The solutions, Michael learned, are relatively simple:

–Omega-3 fatty acid supplementation at a dose sufficient to yield substantial reductions in heart attack.
–”Normalization” of vitamin D blood levels (We aim for a 25-hydroxy vitamin D level of 60-70 ng/ml)
–Iodine supplementation and thyroid normalization
–A diet in which all wheat products are eliminated–whole wheat, white, it makes no difference–followed by carbohydrate restriction.
–Identification and correction of all hidden causes of coronary plaque such as small LDL particles and lipoprotein(a)

Yes, indeed: The information and online tools for health can handily exceed the limited “wisdom” dispensed by John Q. Primary Care doctor.

FAT, FAT, FAT, FAT. EAT SOME. – paleoplan.com

Yep, that's lard

A conversation I had this morning was the straw that broke the proverbial camel’s saturated fat-filled back. I’ve been writing a bit about saturated fat and how fat in general is not the bane of human health, but I thought I’d give you even more insight on it today. Here’s how the conversation went this morning: I told my friend I was thinking about trying to have a baby in the next couple years and she asked if I’d continue eating paleo if I got pregnant. I told her that the only change I’d make would be to add a larger proportion of fat into my diet. The look I got was typical. I could see in her eyes she was troubled, fearing for the health of my would-be baby, and she assured herself aloud that I would be eating “good fats”, though, right? Like avocados and nuts? That’s what I meant by fat because I couldn’t possibly mean… animal fat. Right?

No. I told her I’d be eating more fatty meats. More lard, more pemmican, more organs, more fish eggs, AND more avocados and nuts. And don’t forget palm oil, coconut oil and fish oozing with omega 3′s. It’s all good. Do you know what macronutrient comprises the bulk of breast milk? Fat. And it’s mostly saturated fat. That’s because babies (read: people) need tons of that stuff to create and grow their bodies, which are mostly made of fat. It’s not just their baby fat I’m talking about, either. It’s their cell membranes, their brains, their skin, their nerves and the rest of the 74% of the lean human body that’s made up of, yes, fat.

The idea that fat is bad for us is so ingrained in our souls that even I feel a twinge of guilt sometimes when I’m enjoying my fatty grass-fed beef ribs. I see in my brainwashed mind’s eye all those thousands of food packages I’ve seen, proclaiming to be better for me… “50% Less Fat and Cholesterol Free!” That is, until I come to my senses and remember that the government and food manufacturers like to sling nonsensical slander around to get us to buy more corn products and pharmaceutical drugs. That involuntary feeling of guilt I sometimes get is the price I’m paying for living in a low-fat world for 33 years.

In my preparation for getting pregnant (some day), I’ve been practicing a higher fat diet lately. I made the pemmican (beef fat + beef meat + dried fruit = delicious Native American power bars) I so desperately wanted to try in this post. I bought some beautiful red palm oil in response to this enlightening post by Chris Masterjohn and found that it’s a fantastic departure from coconut oil. Instead of a tapioca crepe in the morning (that I thought I needed for its carb content), I’m eating more fat and more meat. Guess what. I feel good. I don’t need that carb fix in the morning, after all. In fact, I don’t even need to eat as often as I thought I did.

All my preaching to my clients about eating every 2 or 3 hours in order to heal hypoglycemia turns out to be just another symptom of my own addiction to carbohydrates. Humans shouldn’t need to eat every 2 or 3 hours! If that were the case, then we would never have survived the 2.5 million years we did. We were eating satiating FAT and protein in the form of scavenged or hunted animals whenever we could because a source of carbohydrates wasn’t reliable enough. Fat carries you through hours and days, if necessary. We’re way better at storing fat for fuel in our bodies (as witnessed by the enormous people we see every day) than carbohydrates. Our bodies prefer it as fuel over carbs. Here’s a mantra to help you work through your guilt while enjoying your un-skinned chicken legs cooked in lard: my body prefers fat for fuel, my body prefers fat for fuel. Or just try to say it five times out loud because it’s fun.

Try it out for a day or a week or a lifetime. Get all the fatty cuts of grass-fed meat you’ve ever desired but felt too guilty to buy, and eat the crap out of them without any carb-centric side dishes. Then notice how often you need to eat and how much energy you have. Notice if you do that for a week if you lose some weight, too. I’m not suggesting you forgo vegetables and fruits altogether. Not at all. Just try depending on fruits and carby veggies less and fat more. You may find you have more sustainable energy and far fewer cravings.

I know some of you are fighting this in your head. Despite all the Paleo/Primal/low carb blogs and books you’ve read, you just can’t believe that fat doesn’t clog your arteries like it does your kitchen plumbing (it doesn’t). And you’re still holding onto the fact that Loren Cordain told you not to eat saturated fat in his book that was published in 2002. He got it wrong, guys. He didn’t have all the facts yet. Listen to this interviewwith him on Livin’ La Vida Low-Carb and see for yourself. He wants you to eat the whole animal, fat and all, too. As long as it’s grass-fed.

Just TRY it and see how you feel. There are a lot of people out there just like me who absolutely thrive on fat, who will finally feel like they’ve come home when they put a piece of pemmican in their mouths.

Ascribing all of our health woes to dietary fat over the last century is the epitome of religion and censorship having crept into every part of our lives. Let me explain. First we make sex, our most basic evolutionaryneed, sinful and naughty. Then it’s foul language – we can’t even properly express fiery emotions without being censored in this country. Then fat? The one thing that actually fills us up and stops our constant gluttonous cravings for food has become our most forbidden pleasure?! It’s just not fair. What’s going to be taken away next – air?

Posted on July 28, 2011 by Neely.

Paleoplan.com

This entry was posted in Paleo Tips and Tricks and tagged ,.

Recipe: Meatza – Grain-Free Pizza

Meatza

Introducing Meatza — perhaps my most favorite take on a grain-free pizza yet. This recipe comes courtesy ofCara Faus, of Health, Home, & Happiness. Cara included it in this month’s Grain-Free Meal Plan. If you’re looking for grain-free, kid-approved meals that will please your spouse without breaking your budget, be sure to check out Cara’s Grain-Free Meal Plan. Thanks, Cara, for the Meatza recipe!

What exactly is Meatza? Well, use your imagination and you just might figure it out! A “meatza” is a grain-free pizza with a meaty crust. Because let’s face it: what we really, really, love about pizza is the well-seasoned sauce, the savory vegetables, and the salty, fatty meats. A meatza is a convenient and downright tasty way to get all your favorites, but without the hassle of refined flours, yeasty doughs, or anything even almost resembling gluten.

Meatza Recipe for Grain-Free Pizza

Meatza Recipe: The Players

  • 5 pounds grass-fed ground beef (where to find grass-fed beef)
  • 1 ¼ teaspoons ground black pepper
  • 1 ¼ teaspoons sea salt, ground (where to find a REAL sea salt)
  • 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
  • 3-6 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 ¼ cups tomato sauce
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1-2 zucchini or summer squash, thinly sliced (or the vegetables of your choice)
  • 2 tomatoes, sliced into rounds (or the vegetables of your choice)
  • 5 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese (optional)

(where to find bulk, organic, non-irradiated herbs & spices)

Meatza Recipe: The How-To

1) Preheat oven to 400F. Mix ground beef, pepper, salt, seasoning, and garlic. On a cookie sheet or in a large glass dish pat meat into a ‘pizza crust’.

2) Top with tomato sauce and vegetables, then top with cheese.

3) Bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes or until the meat is cooked through and cheese is melted. Allow to cool for 5 minutes then slice into wedges or squares.

4) ENJOY! (And perhaps best of all: Save the leftovers for lunch the next day. YUM.)

Recipe from Food Renegade

You Can’t Fix A Body You Hate – Everyday Paleo

*Note from Sarah:  Here is a new and eye-opening post by Jason Seib.  It all begins with loving who you are, inside and out.  This post could have been written directly to me only 4 short years ago and not until I changed my goals and focus to obtaining good health rather than working towards obtaining some fantasy of what I wanted to see in the mirror was I able to switch to a more realistic and healthier perspective and learn to love and appreciate myself for who I am and not for what my ideal body image might be.

You Can’t Fix A Body You Hate

For those of you with purely aesthetic goals, you absolutely must understand that you are playing a game that you will only win if your head is in the right place.  To put it more bluntly, (insert post title here).  In all my experience, with all types of people at nearly every possible fitness level imaginable, I have yet to see even one person turn a body they hate into a body they love.  To be honest, I don’t think it can be done.  I am not saying people don’t end up appreciative of their gains, but many will never be satisfied with their bodies, even when they far exceed their original goals.  You don’t want to be one of these people.

(Brace yourself, here comes some finger pointing.)  If you have been on a thousand diets, lost 10 or 20 pounds more times than you can count, weigh yourself a minimum of once per day, can’t see yourself naked without disdain, and absolutely loathe clothes shopping, you probably won’t win this battle without some serious soul searching.  Don’t get me wrong, you can certainly build a body that crushes others with envy, but you probably won’t see it.  You already know people who are exactly who you will become.  They have that amazing body that you wish you could have, and they are insecure about every inch of it.  Of course, this is the extreme example, but any amount of this behavior saddens me.  It’s so frustrating as a trainer to watch someone make unbelievable gains only to nitpick their bodies under a magnifying glass while the rest of the world admires their success in awe.

I have seen as much as 40 pounds of weight lost in only a few months go seemingly unnoticed by the person doing the losing.  I have seen people become a primary source of inspiration for the new people in my gym, yet I have to walk on egg shells when I talk about their goals lest I bring them to tears.  I have seen bodies evolve into absolute magnificence and remain as covered as tolerable on hot summer days.  What is the point of all this?  Why go to all the trouble of busting your ass in the gym and eating right if your goals are actually unattainable?

I’m asking nicely, please stop and think about these questions.  What’s riding on this?  What will you have when you get there?  For that matter, how will you know when you are there?

My goals for you are all about health and the physical capacity to enjoy your life.  I have come to understand that bodies that feel great and perform great usually look great by accident.  But my goals for you don’t matter.  So, health and performance aside, what do you think you would gain if your body looked exactly the way you see it in your dreams?  Do you think you would be happy?  Be honest now.  In my opinion (and experience), if you are the type of person who spends a good portion of each day miserable because you hate your body, you will not reach a point where your body suddenly becomes a source of great pride.

I have theorized, but have no proof, that this might be how some people develop exercise addictions.  Insecurities that run deeper than skin level are addressed by changing the body instead of changing the head.  When this futile strategy doesn’t work the assumption is that more exercise must be the answer.  If food takes the blame for low self esteem, the result might be decades of yo-yo dieting or, in drastic cases, an eating disorder.

Am I calling you out?  Again, I don’t want to hurt your feelings.  I just want you to win.  So what should you do?

First off, love your body.  It’s the only one you have and it’s actually a pretty amazing example of biological engineering, performing astonishing biochemical actions millions of times per day despite the fact that you don’t appreciate it.  Get educated and treat it right.

DO NOT ALLOW ANYONE INTO YOUR LIFE WHO HARMFULLY CRITICIZES YOUR BODY!  EVER!  Life is too short to let assholes take anything from you, and your self worth is no exception.

And finally, change your goals.  If you can force yourself to focus on your fitness capacity and health instead of the size of your thighs or belly, you will find that it is much easier to stay motivated and confident.  Then one day you will wake up to a body you love, and the change will have happened while you weren’t paying attention.

I sincerely wish I could lay out a step by step plan that would guarantee you a new outlook, but sadly I can not.  My hope is that you will catch yourself in depreciating thoughts and put things back into perspective.  Being fit and healthy is awesome – don’t rob yourself of these things by dwelling on the stuff that will come naturally when your mind is right.  And truth be told, it’s probably not too bad in that skin of yours.

article from everydaypaleo.com

 

How to Stay in Shape While Traveling

 

Steve Kamb

NerdFitness.com

Everybody travels.

Whether it’s for business, pleasure, vacation, world domination, or epic questing, at some point in our lives we all depart from the comfort of our personal “Shire” to visit another location.  It might be a quick trip to the next town over for a business conference or a massive adventure halfway around the world for months at a time.  No matter what kind of trip it is, one thing is certain:

Our normal routines get completely thrown out the window when traveling:

  • If you work out in a gym, suddenly you might not have access to any equipment.
  • If you run around your neighborhood, suddenly you no longer have a familiar path to follow.
  • If you usually prepare your own meals, suddenly you don’t have a kitchen or fridge.
  • If you’re used to a good night’s sleep, suddenly you’re sleeping at odd hours in different time zones.

We are creatures of habit – while working a normal day job, we can stick to a routine pretty easily (wake up at the same time, eat all meals at the same time, work out at the same time, go to sleep at the same time).  However, when we start traveling, absolutely nothing is familiar and the slightest speed bump can be enough to screw things up.

Luckily, there is hope!

It’s time to get you a specific action plan that you can take with you on your next trip, whether its for a day or a year.

- Click here to continue to full article -

 

How to Prepare for Barefooting – Mark’s Daily Apple

“Just go barefoot.”

How many times have you heard that from the dude with big calves, wide feet, and soles like supple calf skin? (Hmm, that came out weirder than I imagined.) Or maybe you’re that guy, and you’ve said it. Heck, I’ve probably said something to that effect before. It’s a casual recommendation that we long-term barefooters toss around… but maybe we shouldn’t. (Heresy!) Okay – bear with me, here. Everyone agrees that shoelessness is the foot’s natural state, and that getting to a place where you can enjoy that natural state is ideal. Natural isn’t always synonymous with good, but in the case of the human foot – a sensitive, capable, highly mobile appendage packed with innumerable nerve endings, muscles, tendons, ligaments, bones, and fascia that responds and reacts to the environment as you walk and/or run – natural is almost certainly desirable. The human foot is pretty amazing, and sticking it inside a restrictive shoe obscures that fact. I think we can agree on that.

But before you tell your friends to burn their shoes, consider something: the shod foot has been living in a cast most of its life. It occasionally enjoys a bit of freedom, but it’s a fleeting, temporary freedom that’s usually only granted when there’s nothing to do but lounge and sleep. When the modern foot is called into action, like at the gym, on a walk, or when going about daily business, they are usually wearing shoes that restrict muscle engagement and turn the feet into passive pieces of leather and rubber that slap along the ground. The feet are merely along for the ride; they do nothing, while the hips and ankles must shoulder the load. Ever seen an arm that’s just had a cast removed? It’s a skinny, withered shell of its former self. The muscles have atrophied, so it’s weaker. The connective tissue can’t quite handle the demands of regular use, so strains are a real possibility. It’ll even smell bad until you wash it (just like some feet), because it’s been cramped up for so long.

The perpetually shod foot is in a very similar state. All that reactive organic material (the bones, tendons, muscles, fascia) has either atrophied, tightened up, or weakened from disuse, so you need to ease into it. Eh, “ease into it” is another phrase that gets thrown around with very little substantiation or elaboration. How, exactly, does one ease intobarefooting?

Let’s explore some concrete strategies.

Buy a Lacrosse Ball

I’d like you to purchase a lacrosse ball and use it on your plantar fascia and your calves. Huh? Allow me to explain. The fascia, that interconnected sheath of connective tissue that surrounds our muscles, gets extremely tight and ornery when the muscles aren’t used, or when they’re used incorrectly. The plantar fascia, located on our feet, supports the arch and can get notoriously tight and unresponsive after a lifetime of shoe wearing. You’ve been wearing shoes for most of your life, and your plantar fascia is likely tight. This will impede your abilities to use your feet and develop natural arch support. Walking and running barefoot loads the calf muscle far more than walking and running in shoes. In fact, one of the most common complaints I hear from new barefooters is the calf pain. They go from rarely using their calves to absorbing the impact of a footfall with them – and the soreness can be excruciating. Reducing that tightness before it gets worse can go a long way toward making the barefoot transition a smooth one.

So, how does one roll one’s plantar fascia? Extremely intuitively. Place a lacrosse ball on the floor, stand on it, and roll around. Just explore your foot with the ball. It’ll be really painful at first, but that’s how you know it’s working. Roll each foot twice a day for about five minutes. Be sure to flex your foot and move your toes around as you roll over tight spots – try to put your foot through every possible range of motion it might see in the real world. You can do it while sitting, too, while watching TV or messing around the computer (at your standing workstation). It’s simple and can be done almost anywhere. There’s no excuse not to.

Rolling the calf takes more dedication. You have to be on the floor for it to work, and you have to focus. It’s still really, really simple, though: sit on the ground with your leg outstretched and the lacrosse ball underneath your calf. Place as much weight on the ball as you can handle, and roll up and down your calf. When you hit a tight spot, flex and extend your ankle until it starts to feel less tight. Be sure to hit every aspect of your calf. Roll each calf once a day for about five minutes.

All said, this won’t take more than thirty minutes out of your day. Furthermore, you don’t have to keep this up forever. Just do it for the week leading up to your barefoot transition, and thereafter on an as-needed basis.

Strengthen Your Feet

If you had spent your entire life barefoot, you wouldn’t need any specific foot-strengthening exercises – foot strength would have developed naturally – but you haven’t, so now you need them. I discussed similar exercises before in an old post on strengthening flat feet.

Toe spreads: Loop a rubber band around your toes, tight enough so that it pushes your toes together if you let it. Now, spread your toes out and hold that position for a few seconds. Do two sets of ten reps with each foot.

Toe squeezes: Stick pencils, fingers, or anything that can fit in between each toe and squeeze them together. Hold the squeeze for a few seconds before releasing. Do two sets of ten squeezes with each foot.

Toe points: Pick something in the room and point at it with your toe. Hold the position for five seconds, then try to point at your own face. Hold that position for five seconds. Repeat the process ten times with each foot.

Side roll: Stand up and slightly bend your knees. Roll onto the outer edges of your feet, take a few steps forward, then a few steps back to your starting spot. Roll back. Repeat for fifteen reps.

Sand walk: This obviously isn’t available to everyone, but if you have access to sand, go walk in it. As you walk (barefoot, of course), squeeze the sand with your feet. Sand grabbing is an old trick for grip building, and the same concept applies to your feet (which used to be grabby ape feet, if you go back far enough). I suppose you could also fill a bucket with sand and use that instead, if you can’t find enough sand to walk on.

As you move into frequent barefooting, your feet will naturally get stronger, but these overt exercises will help speed up the process.

Think About Your Walking Form

It’s important to have a few ideas about barefoot walking before actually kicking off the shoes and heading out. My basic foundation for barefoot walking? Take shorter strides, land softly; avoid over striding and harsh, jarring footfalls.

If you haven’t already, read the Definitive Guide to Walking and try out the various walking styles.

Use Linear Progression

While I’m a big fan of feeling things out and going with the flow, there’s something to be said for linear progression. That goes for strength trainingendurance trainingsprint training, and yes, barefooting. You don’t go from squatting the bar to squatting two plates, do you? Sure, you might get the weight up once or twice, and you might even finish the workout, but what about next time? Where do you go from there after the initial big jump? How do you think your connective tissue is going to feel without adequate adaptation?

When you start walking barefoot, keep it short. Don’t go to failure. Do a ten minute walk on flat ground (sidewalk, track), max, and head home. You’re sending some very strong, extremely new messages to your nervous system, feet, and legs, and you don’t want to overwhelm the physical structures before they’re ready.

The next time you walk, add ten more minutes. Maintain this progression until you’re up to an hour and it’s easy and effortless. Once adding more time doesn’t result in sore feet, calves, or legs, you’re ready for new terrain.

Sample New Ground Cautiously

The beauty of walkinghiking, and running barefoot is that you get to experience the ground in an entirely new way. When you’re wearing shoes, everything feels the same. You might notice big topographical changes, but you miss the little things. You miss the blades of grass between your toes, the way gravel sort of massages your soles, the way scalding sand gives way to cool, damp sand at the beach. Going barefoot, then, can shock your system. You will be awash in sensation that cannot be ignored. You can’t just clomp around in rubber soles. You’ve now got a new sensory front to consider. Eventually, this will give you greater mobility, stability, and control over your body, but it can also throw you off and lead to missteps, or even injuries, when you’re just starting.

Be ever aware of the ground on which you walk. Look for rocks, sticks, and other sharp things. In time, you will glide across the ground effortlessly, subconsciously integrating the sensory input from your feet, but not yet. No – for now, you have to focus on focusing on your surroundings. It’s a subtle distinction; you’ll never not focus on your surroundings. It’s just that the focusing will become second nature.

Swallow Your Pride

You’re effectively a beginner now, so act like it. Don’t try to be a hero and tackle a three hour hike right off the bat. And when you do head out for an extended walk, take a pair of trusty shoes along with you… just in case. Whenever I hit a decently-sized hike in bare feet, I bring a pair of Vibrams along, too. You never know what’s gonna happen and it pays to be prepared.

Especially for your first few real walks, runs, or hikes in bare feet, cut it short if anything goes awry. I mean anything. Weird foot pain, stubbed toe, tight calves, bee sting – just call it a day and stop where you are. You’re still getting acclimated to barefooting, you’re excited about it, and the last thing you want is to be sidelined for weeks because you went too hard too quickly.

Swallow your pride. It might not taste so great, but it’s a valuable nutritional supplement when transitioning to barefooting.

I don’t want to scare you away from barefooting. It’s really quite wonderful, safe, and rewarding (it’s certainly safer than regularly wearing shoes, in my opinion), but only if you do it right and acknowledge that the habitually shod foot is a pampered, emaciated thing ill-prepared for real work. Besides, the strategies I’ve outlined take maybe a week to implement and integrate. If you can’t spare a measly little week for the health and strength of your feet (you know, those miraculous pieces of evolutionary artistry that have been serving hominids well for millions of years?), you probably shouldn’t be barefooting in the first place.

Grab The Primal Blueprint Cookbook Today and Receive Free S&H and a Free Primal Blueprint Poster

Related posts:

  1. How to Strengthen Your (Bare, Flat) Feet
  2. The Inherent Absurdity of Barefoot Technology
  3. How to Improve Wrist and Ankle Mobility

 

Recipe: Stuffed Zucchini

Stuffed Zucchini

  • Stuffed Zucchini

    3-4 large zucchinis

  • 2 pounds ground bison or other ground meat
  • 1 red onion, diced
  • 1 eggplant, peeled and diced
  • 8.5 oz sun dried tomatoes packed in olive oil, finely chopped
  • 1 cup fresh basil, diced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh rosemary, finely diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano,
  • A splash of balsamic vinegar
  • Sea salt and black pepper to taste

Preheat your oven to 375. Cut a thin slice of the top of the zucchinis and scoop out the inside of the squash leaving the shell.  Drizzle the insides of the squash with olive oil and bake for 20 minutes.  While the squash shells are in the oven, start browning your ground meat, when the meat is almost brown, add the onions, eggplant, and diced excess zucchini, and cook until the eggplant is soft.  Add the remaining ingredients and cook for another 5-10 minutes.  Pull the shells out of the oven and stuff them all as full as possible with the meat mixture.  Put the stuffed zucchinis back into the oven and bake for another 30-40 minutes. Enjoy! Sara Fragroso everydaypaleo.com

Why it’s a bad idea to take advil…..NorCal Strength and Conditioning

Any athlete that works out will tell you that they are occasionally sore or have dealt with some kind of injury. Many athletes will in turn look for a quick fix to those ailments. That remedy tends to be ibuprofen, or any other NSAID(Non-Steroidal-Anti-Inflammatory-Drug).

I mean, lets be real, who wants to do mobility work every night, use compression methods, take time off, get adequate sleep, take fish oil, get a massage, stretch, eat a low inflammatory diet(Paleo), make sure they are drinking enough water, or take ice baths to heal themselves? Hmmm, sounds like a lot of work compared to popping a pill, and I’ll agree to that. But, taking ibuprofen doesn’t come without a cost.

David Nieman, sought out to research the stress response in runners. He followed their blood work and found that these runners were actually supplying their own stress, in accordance to running. This stress came in the form of ibuprofen. He found that the runners who had taken ibuprofen before and during the race had much higher inflammation and other markers of high immune system response than the non-ibuprofen takers. So, taking the ibuprofen did absolutely nothing for lowering the inflammatory process.

In the group of runners who took the ibuprofen, Nieman also found that they showed mild kidney impairment and low level endotoxemia. What is endotoxemia you may ask? It is a condition in which bacteria leaks from your colon into your own bloodstream. Yikes!

In the same article linked above, other researchers found that NSAIDs (ibuprofen, etc.) actually slowed the healing process of injured tissues. These unhealed body tissues happened to be muscles, tendons, ligaments and even bones. The very building blocks of ones self. After training, your body recognizes these broken down muscles and seeks to repair them. When ibuprofen inhibits this ability to find and heal tissues, you are left with tissues that can’t adapt. Which means weaker tissues overall. It is crucial to let your body recover from training stress, so that you can come back stronger and ready to take on future athletic endeavors.

In any instance, if your looking to enhance your athletic performance and heal yourself quickly you need to take care of your body. You need to be focusing on icing, stretching, compression work, massage and everything that Kelly Starett talks about on his blog. Check out his blog, he has a prescription for every ailment. And if you want to read up on why Kelly Starett is against the advil, go HERE.

 

Why Food Addictions Can be as Strong as Drug Addictions – Mercola.com

In a study, extracts of wheat grains and potato tubers were found to contain a series of pharmacologically active benzodiazepines — compounds displaying a high affinity to the central type benzodiazepine receptor (BZR) in the mammalian brain.

The chemicals are most likely biosynthesized within the plant tissue. This points to a possible source for the previously reported presence of benzodiazepine in the brains and peripheral tissues of several animal species and man. Its effects within the brain may be one reason why intense food addictions can be as strong as drug addictions.

According to the study:

“Further analysis … lead to the identification of compounds belonging to the classical 5-phenyl-1,4-benzodiazepinones. In wheat grains diazepam, N-desmethyldiazepam, delorazepam, deschloro-diazepam, delormetazepam, lormetazepam and isodiazepam were identified, while potato tuber contained diazepam, N-desmethyldiazepam, delorazepam, lorazepam and delormetazepam.”

Research on rats has also shown that food, in particular sugar, may be more addictive than cocaine. In the study, when rats were allowed to choose either sweetened water or cocaine, an astonishing 94 percent of rats chose the sweet water.

Interestingly, separate research revealed that limiting carbs in your diet helps to lessen cravings for carb-heavy and starchy foods.

Sources:

 

Recipe: Grilled Pork Chops “Jerk Style” – Robb Wolf

The Caribbean kitchen has always been one of the most attractive in the world to me.   It is characterized by its bold combinations of  spices which result in delicious flavors that are integrated perfectly with one another.

Robb Wolf

Jamaica has many native ingredients that are hard (if possible) to find in other countries like the Ackee (a fruit that looks and tastes like scrambled eggs when it cooks) or the Callaloo (similar to spinach).  Quibombo (a caribbean form of Gumbo using the Okra seed) is an excellent example of how to bring together everything you can find and using the strong individual characteristics of  spices, ginger, fish, fruits, seafood and vegetables unite them to create a hardy stew with flavors that many people never experience.

Jamaica it’s known for its Jamaican pepper  or Allspice which comes from the Greater Antilles (Jamaica, Cuba and Hispaniola) and is made from the berry of the evergreen pimento tree, its’ flavor resembles cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves which is why it was named like this.

This recipe is a dry jerk rub used on pork chops. This rub is also tasty with chicken, fish and seafood.

Serves 3 adults or (2 adults and 2 kids)
Preparation time: 15-20 min

Ingredients:

  • 3 pork chops
  • Olive oil
  • apple cider vinegar

For the jerk rub:

  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp allspice
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne
  • pinch of cloves
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 1 tbsp onion powder
  • 1 tbsp pepper

Quick fresh Salad:

  • Mixed salad
  • Arugula
  • 2 tomatoes
  • 1 Anaheim pepper
  • Avocado (serve on salad or on the side)

For the vinaigrette:

  • 1/2 cup Cold pressed olive oil
  • 1 lime
  • chopped garlic
  • pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Place pork chops in a casserole dish or any large bowl.
  2. Add oil and vinegar
  3. Add Jerk mix and rub pork chops untill well covered with oil/spice
  4. Let stand for 1 hour
  5. Grill pork chops until clear juices start coming out about 5 min on each side.
  6. Mix the desired quantity of greens in a bowl, chop http://www.consuelowerner.com/recetas/chuletas-de-puerco-a-la-parilla-estilo-jamaiquino and toss on top of salad. Pour vinaigrette before serving to avoid the salad to become soggy.
  7. We also grilled some delicious Italian Style Bratwurst from Wooly Pigs, although not strictly paleo we really enjoyed them.

HOW TO VIDEO

Posted by  on Jul 16, 2011

Still Counting Calories? Your Weight-Loss Plan May Be Outdated – NY Times

 

 

It’s no secret that Americans are fatter today than ever before, and not just those unlucky people who are genetically inclined to gain weight or have been overweight all their lives. Many who were lean as young adults have put on lots of unhealthy pounds as they pass into middle age and beyond.

It’s also no secret that the long-recommended advice to eat less and exercise more has done little to curb the inexorable rise in weight. No one likes to feel deprived or leave the table hungry, and the notion that one generally must eat less to control body weight really doesn’t cut it for the typical American.

So the newest findings on what specific foods people should eat less often — and more importantly, more often — to keep from gaining pounds as they age should be of great interest to tens of millions of Americans.

The new research, by five nutrition and public health experts at Harvard University, is by far the most detailed long-term analysis of the factors that influence weight gain, involving 120,877 well-educated men and women who were healthy and not obese at the start of the study. In addition to diet, it has important things to say about exercise, sleep, television watchingsmoking and alcohol intake.

The study participants — nurses, doctors, dentists and veterinarians in the Nurses’ Health Study, Nurses’ Health Study II and the Health Professionals Follow-up Study — were followed for 12 to 20 years. Every two years, they completed very detailed questionnaires about their eating and other habits and current weight. The fascinating results were published in June in The New England Journal of Medicine.

The analysis examined how an array of factors influenced weight gain or loss during each four-year period of the study. The average participant gained 3.35 pounds every four years, for a total weight gain of 16.8 pounds in 20 years.

“This study shows that conventional wisdom — to eat everything in moderation, eat fewer calories and avoid fatty foods — isn’t the best approach,” Dr. Dariush Mozaffarian, a cardiologist and epidemiologist at the Harvard School of Public Health and lead author of the study, said in an interview. “What you eat makes quite a difference. Just counting calories won’t matter much unless you look at the kinds of calories you’re eating.”

Dr. Frank B. Hu, a nutrition expert at the Harvard School of Public Health and a co-author of the new analysis, said: “In the past, too much emphasis has been put on single factors in the diet. But looking for a magic bullet hasn’t solved the problem of obesity.”

Also untrue, Dr. Mozaffarian said, is the food industry’s claim that there’s no such thing as a bad food.

“There are good foods and bad foods, and the advice should be to eat the good foods more and the bad foods less,” he said. “The notion that it’s O.K. to eat everything in moderation is just an excuse to eat whatever you want.”

The study showed that physical activity had the expected benefits for weight control. Those who exercised less over the course of the study tended to gain weight, while those who increased their activity didn’t. Those with the greatest increase in physical activity gained 1.76 fewer pounds than the rest of the participants within each four-year period.

But the researchers found that the kinds of foods people ate had a larger effect over all than changes in physical activity.

“Both physical activity and diet are important to weight control, but if you are fairly active and ignore diet, you can still gain weight,” said Dr. Walter Willett, chairman of the nutrition department at the Harvard School of Public Health and a co-author of the study.

As Dr. Mozaffarian observed, “Physical activity in the United States is poor, but diet is even worse.”

Little Things Mean a Lot

People don’t become overweight overnight.

Rather, the pounds creep up slowly, often unnoticed, until one day nothing in the closet fits the way it used to.

Even more important than its effect on looks and wardrobe, this gradual weight gain harms health. At least six prior studies have found that rising weight increases the risk in women of heart disease, diabetes, stroke and breast cancer, and the risk in men of heart disease, diabetes and colon cancer.

The beauty of the new study is its ability to show, based on real-life experience, how small changes in eating, exercise and other habits can result in large changes in body weight over the years.

On average, study participants gained a pound a year, which added up to 20 pounds in 20 years. Some gained much more, about four pounds a year, while a few managed to stay the same or even lose weight.

Participants who were overweight at the study’s start tended to gain the most weight, which seriously raised their risk of obesity-related diseases, Dr. Hu said. “People who are already overweight have to be particularly careful about what they eat,” he said.

The foods that contributed to the greatest weight gain were not surprising. French fries led the list: Increased consumption of this food alone was linked to an average weight gain of 3.4 pounds in each four-year period. Other important contributors were potato chips (1.7 pounds), sugar-sweetened drinks (1 pound), red meats and processed meats (0.95 and 0.93 pound, respectively), other forms of potatoes (0.57 pound), sweets and desserts (0.41 pound), refined grains (0.39 pound), other fried foods (0.32 pound), 100-percent fruit juice (0.31 pound) and butter (0.3 pound).

Also not too surprising were most of the foods that resulted in weight loss or no gain when consumed in greater amounts during the study: fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Compared with those who gained the most weight, participants in the Nurses’ Health Study who lost weight consumed 3.1 more servings of vegetables each day.

But contrary to what many people believe, an increased intake of dairy products, whether low-fat (milk) or full-fat (milk and cheese), had a neutral effect on weight.

And despite conventional advice to eat less fat, weight loss was greatest among people who ate more yogurt and nuts, including peanut butter, over each four-year period.

Nuts are high in vegetable fat, and previous small studies have shown that eating peanut butter can help people lose weight and keep it off, probably because it slows the return of hunger.

That yogurt, among all foods, was most strongly linked to weight loss was the study’s most surprising dietary finding, the researchers said. Participants who ate more yogurt lost an average of 0.82 pound every four years.

Yogurt contains healthful bacteria that in animal studies increase production of intestinal hormones that enhance satiety and decrease hunger, Dr. Hu said. The bacteria may also raise the body’s metabolic rate, making weight control easier.

But, consistent with the new study’s findings, metabolism takes a hit from refinedcarbohydrates — sugars and starches stripped of their fiber, like white flour. When Dr. David Ludwig of Children’s Hospital Boston compared the effects of refined carbohydrates with the effects of whole grains in both animals and people, he found that metabolism, which determines how many calories are used at rest, slowed with the consumption of refined grains but stayed the same after consumption of whole grains.

Other Influences

As has been suggested by previous smaller studies, how long people slept each night influenced their weight changes. In general, people who slept less than six hours or more than eight hours a night tended to gain the most. Among possible explanations are effects of short nights on satiety hormones, as well as an opportunity to eat more while awake, Dr. Hu said.

He was not surprised by the finding that the more television people watched, the more weight they gained, most likely because they are influenced by a barrage of food ads and snack in front of the TV.

Alcohol intake had an interesting relationship to weight changes. No significant effect was found among those who increased their intake to one glass of wine a day, but increases in other forms of alcohol were likely to bring added pounds.

As expected, changes in smoking habits also influenced weight changes. Compared with people who never smoked, those who had quit smoking within the previous four years gained an average of 5.17 pounds. Subsequent weight gain was minimal — 0.14 pound for each four-year period.

Those who continued smoking lost 0.7 pound in each four-year period, which the researchers surmised may have resulted from undiagnosed underlying disease, especially since those who took up smoking experienced no change in weight.

 

 

Women and Muscle

 

This one is for the ladies.  Gentlemen, see you next time.

I’m generalizing here, but an average workout for for the typical female Globo Gym client consists of 30 – 60 minutes on a cardio machine or cardio class of some sort, followed by 10 – 15 minutes of “core” work.  If the path from the cardio equipment/class passes too close to the barbells, they must walk very quickly so as not to wake up tomorrow morning with 20 inch biceps and a full beard.  Okay, I’m being facetious, but this is a frustrating problem for many a trainer.

Ladies, you must lift weights! No matter what your goals may be, you will get the biggest bang for your buck by lifting heavy things in lots of different ways.  I covered the basic movements here so I won’t repeat myself, but we need to talk about the reasons you need to be lifting and the inhibitions you may have.

Unfortunately, the consensus among new female clients is almost always that lifting weights guarantees that you will look like the woman on the right in short order:

Now I’m absolutely not passing judgment on anyone who actually wants to look like this.  In fact, I have nothing but respect for the amount of work this woman put into her sport.  But this requires drugs and an unbelievable level of dedication.  To assume that even a fraction of these results might happen to you by accident is naive and insulting to female bodybuilders.  This woman altered her capacity for hypertrophy (increased muscle size) with artificial hormones, used training methods designed specifically for maximum muscle mass gain, and probably ate more food per meal than you eat all day.  Do you intend to do all of those things?  No?  Then you can’t look like her.  Stop worrying about the impossible and load a barbell.

In my gym, the women with the heaviest lifts and the best overall physical capacity are also the women with bodies that are envied by the rest.  I think that most women who are new to fitness would assume that you can either be strong or you can be cute.  I think most men would disagree – at least men with any fitness experience.

I admit that the following is completely anecdotal, but let’s use Katie (below) as an example.  Katie has been a client of mine for just over 3 years and she is a monster.  On her first day of training she weighed 172 lbs at 5 feet 2 inches tall.  She is a mom with 2 young children, she was eating a standard American diet, she could barely do a sit-up, she was not happy with her body and this is what she looked like:

After deciding she was fed up with her body, she got down to business with her training and nutrition and here are a few of her current stats:

Deadlift – 255 lbs

Back Squat – 200 lbs

Shoulder Press – 85 lbs

Clean – 140 lbs

She has completed 143 Kipping Pull-Ups in 15 minutes.

There is a benchmark CrossFit workout called Fran that goes like this:

21 Thrusters with 65 lbs (girls)
21 Kipping Pull-Ups
15 Thrusters
15 Kipping Pull-Ups
9 Thrusters
9 Kipping Pull-Ups

Katie has completed all this in 4 minutes and 29 seconds.

If you think like the average women, Katie’s accomplishments probably sound appalling and unladylike.  Well, you be the judge.  This is what Katie looks like now at around 135 lbs:

I should also mention that Katie doesn’t do any “cardio” by the mainstream definition.  Anything she does that might resemble “cardio” is done in short intervals.  She also does not weigh and measure her food.

I’ve exploited Katie here (thanks Katie!) because her results are typical of all of my heaviest lifting women.  Granted, we are not training them exclusively for strength, and that’s not what I’m recommending, but they are absolutely trained with strength and power as a top priority.  In fact, when the newbies ask for advice from the top  women they are often told to get into lifting and get strong.  I have no doubt that Katie would advise the same.

Another reason women need to lift weights is to maintain bone density.  Any women reading this who are over 40 years old have probably been emphatically prescribed copious amounts of calcium by their doctor.  What the doc neglected to consider is the lack of stimulus necessary for your body to use valuable energy to build more bone.  Maybe you should drop off a bunch of lumber in your doctor’s yard without mentioning why, and then get mad at him when he doesn’t use it to build a deck.  He’s playing the same game with your body.  Why would your body assume that you need more bone density if you never bear loads that would necessitate a stronger frame?  In reality, if your diet and exercise are on par with the needs of your species you probably don’t need calcium at all.

If you are having a hard time getting your head around all this, you need to find a quality fitness facility, one that consistently produces excellent results, and talk to their women.  And you need to roll the dice and try it.  I have already asked you to dramatically change your thinking about nutrition in my previous posts.  Now I’m asking you to trust me again.  Get motivated.  Get educated.  Lift heavy.  You won’t regret it.

Posted on July 3, 2011

by Jason

Everydaypaleo.com

 

 

Easy Skillet Rosemary Chicken, Pecan Basil Parsley Pesto and more…- Everyday Paleo

 

Recipe from Sara Fragoso

www.everydaypaleo.com

 

Easy Skillet Rosemary Chicken, Pecan Basil Parsley Pesto and more…

Skillet Rosemary Chicken

Sometimes crazy summer days lead to late night hectic dinners and last night the sun was setting as we sat down to eat.  Although the food was delicious, the actual experience ended up being more of a fiasco then a relaxing evening together.  I suppose that’s what I get for trying to have meal time at bed time but despite the hiccups like Jaden dumping his entire plate onto his lap and Rowan suddenly deciding that he no longer likes chicken, or zucchini, or eggplant, or anything at all really, we all eventually filled our bellies and gratefully crawled into bed.

So, my recommendation?  Make this yummy meal while the sun is still bright in the sky and instead of cleaning up pesto off the floor or trying to remind your exhausted 3 year old that just yesterday he LOVED chicken and zucchini, you can maybe relax and really enjoy how truly scrumptious the food is.  At least today I can look back and laugh and at lunch I’ll actually be able to enjoy the leftovers.

Easy Skillet Rosemary Chicken

  • 2 pounds of skin on chicken pieces (I used boneless skin on chicken breasts and bone-in skin on chicken thighs from local pasture raised chickens)
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 4 rosemary sprigs
  • 1 yellow onion, sliced into rings and halved
  • 5-6 garlic cloves, smashed flat and cut into small pieces
  • Juice from ½ a lemon
  • ½ cup chicken broth
  • Sea salt and black pepper to taste

In a large skillet, heat the coconut oil over medium high heat.  Make sure the oil is nice and hot!!  Season both sides of the chicken pieces with the salt and pepper.  Place the chicken into your hot pan skin side down and sear for five minutes or until the skin is golden brown.  Using tongs, turn the chicken over and add on top of the chicken the garlic, onions, and rosemary sprigs.  Squeeze in the lemon and pour in the chicken broth, cover and turn down to medium low heat.  Cook for another 15-20 minutes or until the chicken is tender.

Pecan Basil Parsley Pesto

I made my original pesto recipe but subbed the walnuts for pecans and used 1/2 basil and 1/2 fresh parsley and it was DELICIOUS!!

I also made Roasted Japanese Eggplant, much like my recent roasted summer squash but simplified.

  • 3 Japanese eggplants, halved and thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • Black pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 450. Toss the sliced eggplant with the coconut oil, sprinkle with black pepper, place in a glass baking dish and bake for 30 minutes, stirring half way through the cooking time.

I also quickly sauteed some little zucchinis in grass fed butter and I had these amazing locally grown purple potatoes that I found at the health food store that I peeled and thinly sliced and cooked in the remaining chicken liquid, onions, and garlic in the same pan that I cooked the chicken in.  Yes, we ate some potatoes which we tend to enjoy now and then, especially if they are purple.  : )

Enjoy!!

 

What the Hell Are You Waiting For?

Article from NerdFitness.com

“Nobody believes your excuses except for you.”

I discovered this quote through my buddy Tyler, and I can’t get enough of it.  I’ve been running Nerd Fitness for over two and a half years now, and I’ve heard pretty much every excuse in the book as to why somebody people is unable to get into shape.

Today’s post is designed to systematically knock down any excuse you might have to start getting in shape TODAY.  Rule #1 of the Rebellion tells us that “we don’t make excuses, we offer solutions.”  My goal by the end of this is to have you saying, “Holy crap you’re right.  I guess I have no choice now but to get in shape.”  If you have friends who constantly complain about their predicament rather than doing anything about it, share this article with them.

Now,when you combine all of this with a new 6-week challenge launching today on the Nerd Fitness message boards (with 50 people already signed up as of this writing), and we have a perfect storm of excuse-busting awesomeness.

This is one of the longest post I’ve ever written on Nerd Fitness, so feel free to skim the headings until you find your particular excuse of choice and allow me to shut it down.

Prepare to be educated, sucka!

 

I don’t like exercising.

Then you haven’t found the kind of exercise that makes you happy. If you don’t like running, DON’T DO IT.  If you don’t like lifting weights in a stuffy gym, DON’T DO IT!  There are a million different ways to get your heart racing, from hiking to Ultimate frisbee, kung fu classes to parkour.  What you eat will be 80% of your success or failure; its your fun activity of choice that will keep you thinking healthy and eating healthy.

Find a physical activity that makes you happy, and do it as often as possible.

Now, no matter what you choose, I will wholeheartedly recommend that you mix in some strength training a few times a week.  It will make you faster, stronger, (and bigger or smaller depending on your goals), and it’ll keep you healthier and more mobile even as you get older.

Strength training? I don’t have a gym membership and I can’t afford one.

You don’t need one! I’ve been a gym rat for the past decade of my life, but since embarking on my Epic Quest of Awesome I haven’t set foot in a gym once.  Despite living out of a backpack, constantly traveling,  putting out an ebook, and doing some crazy awesome things, I’ve been able to get in the best shape of my life doing nothing but body weight exercises.

I might never get a gym membership again!

If you have a gym membership and enjoy going to the gym, that’s fantastic – just make sure you don’t suck while you’re in there. However, if you don’t have a gym membership and can’t afford one, use your surroundings to get stronger.  Simple routines involving things like push upsworking towards doing a pull up, and body weight squats or lunges are a great place to get started.

Work on those movements every other day and you’re well on your way to becoming stronger than 95% of the population.

I know how to do those movements, but I don’t know how to make a workout.

Yes you do! You’re reading Nerd Fitness, which means you’re a smart, resourceful individual.  After learning how to build your own workout, give it a try.  Spend a week or two going through your homemade workout, making adjustments depending on how your body is reacting to them.  Yeah, it’s scary. You’re probably thinking right now, “What if I’m doing the wrong workout, with the wrong number of sets and reps, or I wait too long between sets?”

It’s not the end of the world – we’re all students; I certainly don’t have all the answers and have made PLENTY of mistakes while learning how to exercise properly over the past decade, but I’m constantly learning new tips and tricks and discovering new methods.

What’s important is that you are trying, you are recording your progress, and you are getting better/stronger/faster for the next workout.

Here’s a workout I just came up with in two minutes. Do three sets of 15 repetitions of each exercise, waiting 90 seconds between sets:

  • Push exercise (wall push ups, knee push ups, or regular push ups)
  • Pull exercise (body rows or dumbbell rows)
  • Leg exercise (squats, lunges, or box jumps)
  • Core exercise (planks or reverse crunches)

As soon as you can do three sets of 15 repetitions for an exercise, make it more difficult and repeat the process!

See, that wasn’t so bad, was it?

But I’m too scared and I don’t feel like designing my own workout.

Fair enough. Maybe you’re too scared of making mistakes, or designing something seems WAY out of your league (it isn’t, but we’ll pretend that it is).  Why not start with something basic like the beginner body weight circuit?  Do as much of it as you can, write down your results, and then try to do a little bit better in a few days.

If you could do three sets of four push ups last week (a total of twelve repetitions), then this week you need to aim for at least thirteen repetitions in order to have gotten stronger. I do sell workout and plans if you want even more specific direction and education, the Rebel Strength Guide (for getting stronger and bigger/leaner based on your goals) and the Rebel Fitness Guide (beginner education and weight loss), but I also offer plenty of free workouts on the site as well.

What’s important is that you get started right meow.

But I don’t have time to exercise!

You’re telling me you can’t find thirty minutes today? Stop lying, Pinocchio!  While traveling, I created a twenty-minute hotel room workout that will kick your butt and exercise your entire body in…get this…twenty minutes.  That means you can get a full workout in while watching a single episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm or Arrested Development.

“But Steve, I’m so busy that I don’t even have twenty minutes in a row to work out!”

Yeah, you do.  But let’s pretend that you don’t.  Spread out your workout throughout the day (lot of “out”s in that sentence, huh?).  Who says you can’t drop down and do push ups in your cubicle, lunges down the office hallway, and pull ups on the bus station overhang while you wait for your ride home?

I’ve created the Angry Birds workout specifically for people like you.

Heck, I’ve even created workout in case you need to survive a zombie apocalypse.

Look at that – you now have workouts that can be done anytime, anywhere.  No matter what workout you pick, what’s important is that you get started, WRITE DOWN YOUR PROGRESS, and actually follow through with it!  You will level up your life every time you get a little bit better at exercising.

What do you mean, get better? I don’t know how to set goals.

Of course you do.

If you want to “get better” at strength training, you need to do one of three things:

  • Get stronger - if you can bench press 95 pounds this week for 3 sets of 10 repetitions, next week try to bench press 100 pounds for three sets of 10 reps.  If you are consistently adding more weight to your exercises, you’re getting stronger.
  • Get faster - if it takes you 35 minutes to run a 5k this week, then next week you need to be able to do it in 34:59 to consider yourself faster.
  • Do more repetitions – if you can do two sets of three pull ups this week, aim for two sets of four pull ups next week.  Do one more than last time, and you’re stronger.  Now, once you can do more than 10-15 in a row of a particular exercise, it becomes less about strength training and more about muscular endurance, so I’d recommend adding weight or increasing the difficulty of the exercise.  (example: if you can do three sets of 15 regular push ups, try them with your feet up on a chair instead)

Let’s take a look at the big picture.  I’ve already taught you how to NOT suck at goal setting, but here’s a quick recap:

  • Be specific. Don’t just “want to lose weight.”  It needs to be something like “I want to lose 10% of my body fat by my wedding in September,” or “I want to do a pull up by December 1st.”  You might set too easy of a goal or too unrealistic of a goal; you won’t know until you start working towards it.  What’s important is that you stop talking and over-planning and start doing.
  • Try different things. If you tried the “run a lot on a treadmill and starve yourself” method to lose weight and failed ten times in the past, what makes you think it’ll work this time?  If you’ve previously tried to get in shape and failed, congrats – you found a method that doesn’t work for you.  This time, try something different or you’ll end up with the same dismal results.
  • Take your goals public - We’re launching a new 6-week challenge today on the Nerd Fitness message boards – write out your goals, share the link with your friends and coworkers, and make them hold you responsible for your declarations.  You don’t want to be called a failure, lazy, or a liar, do you?  Then you should probably follow through this time and actually do it.
  • Measure your results. Stepping on a scale is just one way to track your results, and it’s a poor method at that.  Learn how to properly track your progress to make sure what you’re doing is actually working.  If you’re not getting the results you want, then you know you need to make some changes.

(Quick side note – a lot of people have already signed up for this upcoming challenge and set of goal of doing 1000 total repetitions of a particular exercise within the 6 weeks.  Many are planning to do “24 of [particular exercise] per day” to get there.  That will just make your body efficient at doing 24 of something per day and not really promote strength or muscular gains.

Besides the fact that I recommend a day off between strength training days, there’s no progression when you do the same exact thing day in, day out!  Read this thread by Spezzy on how to properly set up your goals.)

But I don’t know how to eat right!

Of course you do, you just choose not to. For starters, do you know how much food you eat on a daily basis?  Unless you’ve taken a day or two to keep track of what you’re eating, you probably have no clue just how many calories you’re consuming.  If you’re trying to lose weight, start by adjusting how much you eat.  Aim for around 1800-2200 calories per day.  It’ll take your stomach and your mind quite a while to adjust depending on how much you’re currently used to eating, but you can get there.

Once you figure out how much you’re eating, it’s time to start making some adjustments to WHAT you’re eating. I know it’s not everybody’s cup of tea, but I’m a huge supporter of the Paleo Diet, a way of eating based around how the human species used to eat waaaaaaaaay back in the day.

Considering my “Beginners Guide to the Paleo Diet” is one of the most popular articles on Nerd Fitness, I’d say I’m not alone in wanting to learn more about this stuff.

Let’s say you don’t feel like reading that whole article (you really should, though), start with this:

  • Eat more real food - unprocessed meat, vegetables, fruits, and nuts.
  • Eat less crap – less processed carbs, less sugar, less processed grains, less junk food.

Make small changes that you can live with. It will take time, but the more closely you can align yourself with that lifestyle, the more success you’re likely to have, and the better chance you’ll have of reaching your goals.  Lots of small changes = big results that make Optimus Prime proud.

And even if you’re a complete noob in the kitchen, here’s a quick and easy healthy meal that you can make.  If I can do it (and I’m useless in a kitchen), so can you.

“But I can’t give up eating _____________.”

Why not? Are you that much of a slave to your taste buds that you physically cannot go without certain foods?  Processed food has been designed for maximum addictiveness – they don’t care that it’s not healthy for you; all they care about is getting you to eat as much of their product as possible.

Heck, they even market certain foods as healthy when in reality they’re actually TERRIBLE for you!

I don’t know about you, but I like to think that I am completely free to think and feel however I want.  I know that every decision I make either takes me one step closer or one step further away from my goals.  I know that the three minute satisfaction I get from eating a donut pales in comparison to the 24-hour satisfaction I get from looking in the mirror and feeling confident about what I see.  I know the five minute satisfaction I get from eating a box of cookies pales in comparison to the week long satisfaction I get from knowing I got bigger, stronger, and healthier.

Sure, I still eat junk food every once and a while, and I have no problem with drinking a few beers with buddies on weekends.   I don’t beat myself over these decisions because I do the best I can while having fun and enjoying life – I still make sure that 90% of my meals are healthy so that I can eat poorly every once and a while guilt-free.

MY FAVORITE EXAMPLE: My friend Saint was 60 pounds overweight and couldn’t give up eating certain foods either, so he never got the results he wanted.Then, he finally decided to take control of his life, make some “sacrifices,” and adjust what he ate on a daily basis.  60 pounds of body fat and a bunch of muscle gain later,Saint now has a washboard stomach and laughs about the decisions he used to find so difficult.  He’s now a completely new person.

Reevaluate what you can’t do, and why you think you can’t do it. You are in charge of your own destiny, and you’re capable of doing awesome things.

So I know how to exercise and how to eat right, but what’s the point?

We only get one shot at life on this planet, so I’m doing everything I can to  live a life worth living.

I know that I could get hit by a bus tomorrow, so I look at every single day as a gift.  I bust my ass, day in and day out, to be the best Steve Kamb I can be.  This might sound weird, but I truly feel that it’s my responsibility to live up to my potential – anything less is a waste.

I exercise to be a good example to the Nerd Fitness community, because I know they count on me to practice what I preach. I eat right because I want to have good habits in place for when I eventually get married and raise a family.  I take care of my body because I know that my body will take care of me.

Are you married? It’s your duty to be the best husband/wife you can be.

Do you have kids? Don’t you want to set a good example for them so they grow up to healthy, hardworking adults?

It was Tony’s family that lead him to lose 46 pounds (and counting) in just over four months. He wanted to be able to protect his family and grow old with them; now he’s a health machine that cannot be stopped!

Let’s say you have none of those aspirations: you’re single, living in your parents basement, and you don’t have a job.

Then do it for yourself.  I want you to be able to stand in front of a mirror and look at yourself with pride.   I want you to go to bed tonight saying, “I was the best ME that I could be.  I leveled up my life today.”  Yeah that sounds corny/new-age/Stuart Smalley, but its f***ing true.  Start by transforming your body with exercise, and you’ll be surprised what kind of momentum that will build in every other aspect of your life too.

The Shawshank Redemption said it best: “Get busy living or get busy dying.”

Okay fine! What if I run out of motivation like last time?

Then your reason for succeeding  isn’t strong enough. I’ve already given you all the inspiration you’ll ever need, so there’s not much else I can do for you other than toinspire through my actions. Do it for your family, do it for your (unborn) children, do it for your upcoming wedding in the fall, do it for your tropical vacation in the winter, do it because you want to just want to look better and feel better about yourself.

Heck, try bribing yourself (it worked for Saint).

Tell your friend that you’re going to work out three days a week – every time you miss a workout, you have to pay him $20, no excuses allowed. Now, instead of just “missing a workout,” you have to go to your friend and say, “I was too lazy, so here’s 20 dollars. Please ridicule me.”  Ouch.

Better get your ass outside and do some push ups, huh?

Why not make a game out of it?  Start a competition with your coworkers, or join our 6-week challenge on the message boards starting today.  It’s free to join, you’ll have all of the support you need from fellow NF rebels, and you can even connect with other people who can help motivate you to exercise.

Give yourself any reason to get started, stay on target, focus on powering through the crappy days, and start building healthy habits. Once you hear that first “wow have you lost weight? You look great!” comment, you’ll be hooked on that positive energy.

What if I just don’t feel like working out today?

“Put on your hard hat, and go to work.”

This is a phrase that my friends and I toss around whenever we need to do something we don’t feel like doing.

  • Don’t wanna exercise today? Put on your hard hat and go to work.  DO SOMETHING, DO ANYTHING.  Just get started.
  • Don’t feel like eating right? Put on your hard hat and go to work.  Prepare your meals in advance so you’re not tempted by junk food at work.
  • Feel like sleeping in? Put on your hard hat and go to work.  Make the decision that you’re going to stop being a lazy slob, get out of bed, and take action.

But my situation is different, it’s not that easy.

I know you’re a unique snowflake, but when it comes to getting in shape you’re not alone.

And I hate to say it, but it is that easy.

You just have to step up, shut up, stop making excuses, and start doing it.  Here at Nerd Fitness, we don’t care where you came from, only where you’re going.

I really don’t care if you are young, old, fat, skinny, a man, or a woman – you can be a better YOU today than you were yesterday.  Here are four inspiring success storiesfrom people of all walks of life – you’re telling me that you’re so different that none of this applies to you?

Suck it up.  Put on your hard hat, and go to work.

My final question

Congratulations. Today is the first day of the rest of your life.

I’ve done what I can in 3300+ words to systematically dismantle every freaking excuse you might have about getting healthy.  We’ve launched a new 6-week challenge on the message boards today.  I’d love for you to join our 1900+ members and pick three specific goals that you hope to accomplish in the next six weeks.  Make your goals public, and hold yourself accountable.

To quote Ghostbusters, “We have the tools, we have the talent!”- each and every one of us is capable of awesomeness; at the very least, we’re all capable of looking at ourselves in the mirror with pride.

You have the education and information you need to succeed.  You understand the importance and necessity for exercise.  You know how to eat healthy.  You’re inspired and motivated to make positive changes in your life.  You’ve read success stories of busy people like you with full time jobs who have been able to achieve incredible results.

You understand that this is going to be a lot of hard work, that nothing worth doing comes easy.

I’ve given you every possible tool you need to succeed, and an answer for every excuse you might be able to think up.

You can change your life.  And you can start today.

So, what the hell are you waiting for?

-Steve