Do this and thank me later

It gives you that look of confidence, the look of strength, and makes everyday physical tasks easier. But typically we train them incorrectly paying too much attention to one and neglecting the others.

And inevitably injury happens. And then you are out for weeks. Think of putting all your money into upgrading the appearance of your house: new kitchen with marble countertops, upgraded bathroom with a jacuzzi tub, expensive flooring but because you spent all your money on the things you see, there’s no money left to address the weak, crumbling foundation. No one sees the foundation so you don’t make it a priority. But this is what holds up the house that has the new kitchen, bathroom, floors. Then one day the foundation fails and your floors now have big cracks because of the shifting understructure. The countertop also cracked because the cabinets shifted due to the floor shifting. A lot of money wasted due to not addressing a weakening base.

What

fitness
Who doesn’t want strong shoulders!

In my opinion, most of us have this issue when it comes to our shoulders. We don’t know, or we don’t take the time. We want large shoulders, who doesn’t, but we don’t take the time to strengthen the supporting structure and then we end up overworking the front of our shoulders, neglect the rear of our shoulders and most importantly we neglect our rotator cuff. This generally leads to injury the most common injury being tendon injuries.

The rotator cuff is a group of tendons and muscles that hold the shoulder joint in place. It’s what allows you the vast amount of freedom in the movement of the shoulders. Our shoulders have an enormous amount of range of motion. And when we encur a shoulder injury it can have a great impact because we use our shoulders all the time: picking things up, putting things away, driving, lifting, etc.

The rotator cuff is comprised of 4 muscles along with the tendons that join them:

      • Supraspinatus. This holds your humerus in place and keeps your upper arm stable. And helps lift your arm.
      • Infraspinatus. This is the main muscle that lets you rotate and extend your shoulder.
      • Teres Minor. This is the smallest rotator cuff muscle. Its main job is to assist with rotation of the arm away from the body.
      • Subscapularis. This holds your upper arm bone to your shoulder blade and helps you rotate your arm, hold it straight out and lower it.

How

Let’s look at exercises that we can do to strengthen our rotator cuff:

      • Resisted External Rotation: Holding a resistance band of the appropriate resistance, have your arms tucked tight to your sides bent at the elbows at 90 degree angle having hands out in front of you holding the band in both hands. Now, holding the band in both hands move your hands outwardly like a swinging door, then bring back to the start. To reiterate, you start with hands straight in front of you, bent at the elbows, holding the band in both hands and then keeping elbows tight to your sides, rotate hands/lower arms outwardly away from your body.
      • Side lying external rotation: Lie on your right side (left if you are left-handed) keeping your body stabilized and your upper arm bent at the elbow at 90 degrees (your hand should almost be on the floor). Holding a light weighted dumbbell slowly lift the hand up towards the ceiling keeping your elbow tight to your body. This is the same motion as the above exercise.
      • External rotation at 90 degrees: Stay with me on this one. Put your arms straight out in front of you like you are a zombie. Now, bring your elbows back without dropping your arms so you have a 90 degree bend in your arms but your hands are still out in front. Great, that’s it. Now that you know the starting position you can do this exercise with a dumbbell or band. The goal here is to then rotate at the shoulder bringing your hands up, but still keeping your upper arm parallel with the floor. So you should look like a robber told you to stick them up, but your upper arms are parallel with the floor, and lower arm is vertical. That’s the rotation, from this position back to the starting position.

Have you done these before? Probably not. It falls into the same category as stretching, no one does it. But do them to help prevent injury and without injury you can train using exercises that will give you bigger shoulders.

Too many of these?

And if you are doing a lot of pushups, or bench presses I hope you are doing exercises for the rear delts. Those rear delts get neglected so bad and they are screaming out for attention. So do it and along with working out the rear delts be sure to stretch the front delts because for sure they are super tight (all those push ups)

Lastly, when doing any shoulder exercise do your best to follow proper technique and also don’t overload with weight. Keep it to clean slow smooth motion. And if you feel any pain at all while exercising STOP! Never exercise a muscle when feeling pain.

Strengthen the rotator cuff, stretch the tight front deltoid and you will be better prepared to build strong, large shoulders that will give you more confidence.

Yours in health,

Darryl

 

Think lightly of yourself and deeply of the world

It’s become easy to blur reality from fiction, to believe the false narratives that are often pushed onto us. We live in a world where to find and understand the truth of something requires us to do our own work and through that work come to our logical, not emotional, truths. Blogs, social media, traditional media have become tools used by industries to push their agenda which is higher profits, not health.

What

I want to use a recent example to highlight my point. This should show how we as people react emotionally instead of logically when someone challenges, even subtlely, our long-held beliefs.

If you watched the Oscars and stayed up late enough to catch the acceptance speech for best actor in a movie you would have seen Joaquin Pheonix lay out some truths. In my opinion, he very eloquently explained how we as a species are exploiting other species, and each other, because we have become disconnected from the natural world and tend to live in an egocentric world. We believe we are the centre of the universe and we have the right to plunder the natural world for its resources. We fear the idea of personal change because we think we may need to sacrifice something.

Joaquin used those words along with words explaining how we do this with cows because we think we need their milk. It wasn’t a speech where he condemned people who use dairy, harshly condemns the farmers who work in the industry, no, he very passionately explained that we do these things not because we have to but because we continue to unnecessarily put ourselves first, no matter what the cost. It was very much a speech highlighting our innate attitude that we have this belief that we have the right to dominate others, use and control another with impunity. We do this with people but people have the ability to talk back and challenge us. The animals we exploit don’t have a voice, don’t have a way to stand up for themselves. They are helpless to act against these things we do to them.

His words were delivered very calmly, well-articulated and without ego. Yet the responses were quick and filled with vitriol, hate, malice. Ad hominem attacks from farmers instead of providing evidence contrary to what was said. Facts were presented such as cows are artificially inseminated so we can drink their milk, calves are separated from their moms so we can drink their milk. Mom cows cry in pain and anguish when this happens yet none of the farmers denied this or provided evidence stating otherwise. Because they couldn’t so they resorted to attacking the person who gave the message. An Op Ed piece in the New York Post branded him a disgrace. Here’s what one rancher, The Meat Lady, had to say:  “I think Joaquin Phoenix is a pompous, entitled, first-world, out of touch, value signaling troll, and rewearing a suit and throwing shade at cows shouldn’t make him an environmental expert.” And this from Bryn Davies, who shared a video of himself drinking a glass of milk, captioning it: “Let’s raise our glass to the biggest flog on twitter [flog is Australian slang for a contemptible, often arrogant person].”

Again, no rebuttal using facts but instead attacking someone’s character.

If you really take in what was said, it is social commentary more so than an attack on farming. I’ve taken part of the speech that is being criticized to show this:

I think at times we feel or are made to feel that we champion different causes. But for me, I see commonality. I think, whether we’re talking about gender inequality or racism or queer rights or indigenous rights or animal rights, we’re talking about the fight against injustice. 

I think we’ve become very disconnected from the natural world. Many of us are guilty of an egocentric world view, and we believe that we’re the centre of the universe. We go into the natural world and we plunder it for its resources. We feel entitled to artificially inseminate a cow and steal her baby, even though her cries of anguish are unmistakable. Then we take her milk that’s intended for her calf and we put it in our coffee and our cereal.

I believe if you are honest with yourself and look at what it is we do as a society today, and historically, you cannot help but agree with this. We do this in many ways animal agriculture is one of them. It is said someone’s character can be measured on how they treat those who can’t speak up for themselves, those who don’t have a voice and of course those they believe to be below themselves.

And the sad thing is there is no need to continue to do these things. Many, many, many studies show that we can thrive healthily without consuming animal products. Many people are doing this too. Joaquin himself has been doing this since age 3.

If we are compassionate people, if we care about those around us no matter what species, then we need to show this through our actions. No one is asking people to drastically change their lives, but to make changes that have an impact and are manageable. In fact, here is the definition of veganism from the Vegan Society:

Veganism is a way of living which seeks to exclude, as far as is possible and practicable, all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing or any other purpose.

As far as possible and practicable. It’s important to understand that. It doesn’t mean that you have to turn your world upside down to have an impact. Want to make a change? Instead of reaching out and grabbing the box of cows milk, move your hand 8 feet in the other direction and grab the Almond, Soy, Oat milk. Trust me, you won’t notice a difference, really.

If we are not able to treat the most vulnerable with compassion, how can we do that with others?

Lastly, if you have doubts about what are the practices in the dairy industry, watch this. WARNING: it’s very upsetting.

Yours in health,

Darryl

 

 

 

Stronger faster better

Do I have you inticed? Do you want to be stronger, faster, better? Of course you do!

A simple, safe, inexpensive way of improving your endurance performance and your health at the same time. A win win.

Beetroot

beetroots are awesome!

Beetroot or beetroot juice has been shown to increase athletic performance especially when it comes to endurance type of activities. I don’t advocate supplementation (I only recommend Vitamin D and B12) as I believe you should follow a whole foods plant based diet to fulfill your nutrition needs. There are many benefits to eating healthy foods instead of supplementing. As an example, while training for my plant based nutition certificate one study I read concluded that the vitamin C level of participants on the study increased higher than the source of Vitamin C. The study had participants consume an orange and although the oranges had an average of 70mg of Vitamin C their blood measured much higher than the 70mg increase that should have been seen. It was determined that the process of saliva and enzymes excreted during eating actually caused an increase of Vitamin C. Also there are other benefits such as the fiber you get by eating an orange instead of drinking it. Also, the main compound in beets that provide the benefits can have adverse side effects when taken as a supplement but not when consumed in the form of vegetables.

Why

Nitric oxide. Beetroot juice increases levels of nitric oxide (NO), which serves multiple functions related to increased blood flow, blood vessels to widen, stimulates the release of certain hormones, such as insulin and human growth hormone (professional athletes illegally dope with this stuff), mitochondrial biogenesis and efficiency, and strengthening of muscle contraction. Wow. All this from beets. Why haven’t we heard about this? In my opinion, there’s more money in selling supplements than there is in people eating whole foods. I think too it has to do with how our brain works.

Beetroot salad

I’ll make a bet with you. I bet more people will pay $20 a month for a pill that would do the above than eat beets. It’s kind of like how placebos work, you are taking a pill believing it’s the pill that will cure what ills you. Opening the bottle that’s labeled with big words we don’t understand, cautioning language that taking too much might be bad. It’s psychology. But put some beetroot on a salad and tell someone that if they eat this it will improve performance they will reach for the bottle instead.

But I digress. Why does beetroot help us perform? Basically it reduces the amount of oxygen needed to do the same work. Our heart rate increases when exercising to provide oxygen to our cells and it does this by increasing the blood flow in our body. If you are very healthy and fit you will have a large stroke volume, the volume of blood pumped with one beat, and you will have a better VO2Max, the efficiency of how your body uses oxygen. A lot of oxygen is needed when running, or performing high cardio output exercising and it can be hard to get. So where you are now with respect to these things is where you are. Think then of consuming beetroot juice or beetroots before an event and then having your oxygen needs reduced. Kind of like training to with 400lb squats to then having to squat 350lbs in an event. You’ll find it easier. Many athletes have found they achieve, no, more than achieve their personal best when competing and taking beetroot juice beforehand.

What

Interested? Maybe? Even if you aren’t here are other benefits of eating beetroot: a great source of fiber, folate (vitamin B9), manganese, potassium, iron, and vitamin C. Beetroots and beetroot juice have been associated with numerous health benefits, including improved blood flow, lower blood pressure and of course, athletic performance.

But if you are interested, incorporate beetroot into your daily diet a few weeks before an event and then the day of the event consume beetroot juice about 90 minutes before the start of the event. Studies show that the peak value of the compound that provides the benefit happens about 2-3 hours after consumption.

Caution: Always try anything new in training first, not the day of the event to avoid gastric issues. NEVER try something new just before an event.

Oh, another reason why I prefer eating the things that make us better instead of supplementing? Price. You can get a 2lb bag of beetroot for under $2.

Finally,

Try it out. Why not? Makes for great salads, burgers and there are so many health benefits. And your next work out might be that workout where you walked away feeling like a million bucks.

Now go get yourself some beets.

Yours in health,

Darryl

Effects of Beetroot Juice Supplementation on Cardiorespiratory Endurance in Athletes. A Systematic Review

Whole beetroot consumption acutely improves running performance

 

Keeping versed and on my feet

Although it’s called a vitamin it’s actually a hormone. It helps the body absorb calcium, helps prevent illness, mood disorders, muscles need it to move, and can help prevent heart disease and obesity.

Vitamin D.

outdoor
The outdoors!

Our bodies make vitamin D when we are exposed to the sun as long as we have skin exposed that isn’t covered in sunscreen. Sitting inside and being exposed to the sun’s rays through your window will not have the same effect. Cloudy skies, dark skin, being further away from the sun during the winter months will drastically reduce your body’s absorption of the sun rays for your body to make Vitamin D. Therefore most of us need to supplement to get the amount of Vitamin D we need.

As you can see your basic health needs require you to have adequate levels of Vitamin D. But there are also other benefits that come with proper levels

Fitness

 

fitness
Maximize your fitness

Some studies are showing that supplementing with Vitamin D even if your Vitamin D levels are sufficient aide in recovery following intense physical exercise, even if you are an active athlete. Vitamin D also regulates neuromuscular functioning and impacts protein synthesis which can impact your performance and recovery.

Another benefit of having sufficient levels of Vitamin D is it has been shown to reduce inflammation, another side effect of working out.

So how does Vitamin D help us with fitness?

          • Reduces muscle soreness and aids in faster recovery
          • Reduces inflammation also aiding in a faster recovery
          • Helps in building a strong immune system allowing us to work out more frequently
          • Helps in mood disorders such as depression

Supplementing

Get your blood work done and see where your Vitamin D level is. I really recommend it. With studies showing that more than 25% of people are deficient you need to know if you are one of them. North Americans are recommended to have 600 IU’s a day as the recommended daily allowance.

There are foods that naturally have Vitamin D and foods that have been fortified but according to certified clinical and integrative nutritionist Sunny Brigham, whose job is to help people transition to a plant-based lifestyle, it’s not possible to get enough vitamin D on a plant-based diet. Mushrooms grown in the sun, fortified Tofu and non-dairy milks will help but if you are a very physically active person you may need to supplement. If you are vegan I recommend getting your Vitamin D that is sourced from lichen instead of sheep’s wool.

I’m not a fan of supplementation but if you are not getting enough Vitamin D due to:

          • living in colder climates
          • the foods you consume
          • lacking sun exposure because of covering up with clothing and sunscreen
          • genetic issues such as a mutation that blunts your vitamin D receptor
          • living a very active life and requiring a higher level than the recommended dietary allowance (RDA’s are the recommended amount for the average person)

you should be supplementing. When asked about supplementing I recommend Vitamin D and Vitamin B12, 2 Vitamins most people are deficient in. See the following image for a quick reference:

 

Are you athletic and do you need more Vitamin D? Source https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5790847/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Another reason to have your blood work done is Vitamin D is a hormone, not a vitamin. Just like a lot of things, too much of a good thing can be bad. Also, you should have a good understanding of not just your Vitamin D level but also other important health indicators such as B12, calcium, magnesium, cholesterol, etc. If you are lucky in that you live in a country with great healthcare getting your blood work done will not cost a lot of money. You may have to push your doctor for it but don’t be afraid to do that. Don’t feel bad about advocating for yourself. Most doctors won’t push for these tests until you start to show symptoms and by then who knows what damage has been done. And most doctors wont link things such as excessive muscle soreness, mood disorders to possibly being caused by a lack of Vitamin D. Doctors are trained to prescribe medication, drugs. Complain about inflamation and they will prescribe ibuprofen or naproxen, complain about depression and they will prescribe SSRI’s or SNRIs.

But what if, what if these things were due to lack of Vitamin D, or B12? You wouldn’t know, would you? And now you are dealing with terrible side effects due to being on these drugs.

You are in charge of your health, not your doctor. Don’t be afraid to take charge!

Finally

Keep exercising, keep eating well and healthy but have your blood work done and more than likely you will find out that you need to supplement your Vitamin D. And if you are eating well you probably only need to take Vitamin D and B12.

One more thing, check out the infographic below from FoundMyFitness’ Dr. Rhonda Patrick.

Yours in health,

Darryl

Vitamin D infographic with permission from FoundMyFitness

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Looking forward ignoring the past

We are almost one week into the new year, the new decade. And I’m checking in on how you are doing. I’m thinking things are going in either of the following directions: 1. you are embracing your new goals and the year is off onto a positive start; 2. It’s not going as you hoped it would as you are not feeling the motivation, the desire to better yourself and the drive just isn’t there.

It can be tough. It’s easy to look to the next day to kick it into gear but that day comes and it’s just not happening so the next day becomes the next day and …

Good intentions. We know what we want. We know what we need to do but the gears aren’t engaging. It’s a common thing, probably more common than most of us realize. Only the person feeling this really knows the severity of it, the toll it takes. We don’t let this side of us show to others in the fear of being judged or the fear of people looking at us as failures. And who wants to be judged like that.

This new year falls in the middle of the week and some might take that opportunity to push off their goal to the following week reasoning that the new year really starts after this weekend. If you aren’t feeling ready to embrace the change you want to than that embrace may not come. Pushing the changes you are trying to take on out each day is probably going to end up in that the changes will never come.

We measure strength as a physical attribute but I think strength is a mental attribute. Without a strong mental disposition, physical strength and prowess can almost be unattainable. It’s almost the inverse of a house. Let me explain: to have a strong house requires a solid foundation, or a solid footing (what’s under the foundation). I believe for us to have a strong body requires a strong mind. One is at the bottom underneath the structure and the other is at the top, above the structure.

Keep in tune with how you feel. Take the time to reflect and analyze where you are at. If you are having a hard time accomplishing what you have set out to do for yourself DON’T beat yourself up, but do take the time to better understand if this is just a ‘one-off’ or if it’s something that is too frequently happening. Then take care of yourself. Fix what you think might need fixing.

You are not alone. And you have friends. You have people that care about you and you will get that cut in your jib back.

Yours in health,

Darryl

 

everything old is new again

It’s that time of the year. Historically, as best as I can recall, this post happens pre new year. This time it’s happening the first day of the new year. You know what’s coming, don’t you.

New

New years day

You have set yourself some goals, haven’t you. And this time the goals are gonna get done, right? I hope so since I’m sure the goals are important to you and they are something you would like to accomplish.

But how will this year be different than the previous years? I don’t know, only you know that. It’s why I’m not a huge fan of new year’s resolutions as it has become the norm that we fail at them. It’s almost habitual and it has become accepted. It’s the time of the year where fitness club owners draw in a huge amount of new members only to resign to the fact that most of them probably won’t be around 6 weeks from now.

But that’s about to change.

Why?

whatever helps

Why will it change? Because I’m going to help you change it, hopefully, let’s see. Let’s start with some pointers to help you achieve your goal(s):

      • Realistic: If the goal is not realistic it really isn’t going to happen because you have created an unattainable goal. I’m not saying it’s impossible but most people fail if their goal is not realistic. An unrealistic goal can easily get upset due to a negative influence. Let’s say your goal is to run a marathon but you haven’t been a regular runner and the marathon is 12 weeks away. To achieve this goal just on a physical training level requires running almost every day of the week. Ok, no problem, you can fit this in you tell yourself. But something happens; work, injury, unplanned travel, a life event such as losing a loved one, or you get sick, and so on. Things like these events can take you out of training for a week or longer. If a goal requires training over a 12 week period you really can’t afford to lose a week or more. You just can’t. Let’s look at this goal of running a marathon and change it to a 26 week goal. Still a lot of training but more manageable if life gets in the way.
      • Maintainable: Let’s look at a common goal people have this time of year; lose weight. What do they do? Usually, try the latest fad diet; paleo, keto, etc. ‘Diets’ are not maintainable. This is why most, the vast majority fail at them. You may be bored of me saying this but it’s as easy as changing to a whole foods plant based diet. I’m reading evidence of this all the time. And it’s maintainable for the most part. You can take pretty much any recipe and google it with adding vegan onto the end. Take out unnecessary fats, sugars, keep it whole foods as much as possible and that’s about it. Doctors have started switching their diabetic patients to this and the results are outstanding! Here’s an excerpt from the article:

…the plan is nutritionally balanced, doesn’t require patients to restrict calories and is reported to lead to normalization of blood glucose as well as an average 3kg weekly weight loss.

Did you catch that, the part that says doesn’t require patients to restrict calories? Isn’t that awesome? Eat until you are content and you lose weight. Isn’t that kind of what everyone wants? And definitely more maintainable for the vast majority of people. No calorie counting, no measuring protein/fats/carbs. Just whole foods plant based, back to basics.

      • Sub Goals: Is your goal a long term goal? Long term goals, goals that may take a few months to achieve are easy to lose sight of and can be hard to remain motivated for. If your goal is a long term goal try breaking it into more manageable sub-goals. If your goal is to increase your shoulder press by 30% in weight over 10 weeks than break this down into 3 week segments. Keep your vision on achieving your first goal at the end of 3 weeks, a 9% increase in weight. So if you are shoulder pressing using 20lb dumbbells, the end goal of increasing by 30% would mean an increase of 6lbs. then a 9% increase would be an increase of 1.8lbs approximately.  Do you get the idea? What is manageable to you might not be manageable to someone else, or they may want to break it down to smaller sub-goals. It’s up to you how you break it out into manageable pieces but the idea is to help to keep yourself motivated while you strive to reach the main goal.
      • Measurable: The goal must be measurable. Try not to set goals such as I want to be stronger, I want to lose weight, I want to be faster. All of those goals are arbitrary. Try instead goals such as I want to squat n lbs, I want to lose n lbs, I want to cut n minutes off of my marathon time. Specific goals will help you to plan what you need to plan to achieve them. Specific goals and the plan to go along with it will help you to keep at it, keep working away to achieve that goal.

That’s it

I hope this helps you to achieve any resolutions you might have to become the person you want to become. I’ll give you one more thing, reward yourself. We spend too much time beating ourselves up over the negative things we do. Don’t forget to celebrate those things that make you awesome, the things that you have done to be a better version of you.

Now go out there and kill it, just like you can.

Yours in health,

Darryl

 

Someone’s junk is another persons…

Somethings are looked at as ugly, a nuisance, good for nothing. Take the dandelion, a weed by most people’s definition that is nothing but a pain in the ass. Having to pull the dandelions out of the ground because they offer no value and take away from your nice manicured front lawn. Yet if you are of Italian descent you might be thinking of making a nice dandelion wine from those ‘weeds’. It wasn’t until the 20th century with the invention of lawns did the dandelion get demonized. Before that grass was cleared to grow dandelions because of their medicinal and magical benefits and also a great source of food. With the need of having to have a beautiful front lawn the dandelion was doomed.

Another weed

Dandelions are bad when you have a well manicured lawn

Just recently I came across information that another ‘weed’, the duckweed (specifically the Mankai duckweed) has been shown to possibly be the only plant that has the vitamin B12 readily available in it. Water lentils, or Duckweed, is also a source of high quality protein and studies have also shown that it does very well in managing glucose levels. Sounds almost like a super food.

Controlled growing

What is Duckweed? If you have come across ponds that don’t have a lot of water movement, and it’s covered in green stuff kind of looking like tiny green lentils than you have more than likely seen Duckweed. And much like the dandelion, this is why people hate Duckweed. But hate it at your own parrel. Let’s look at some interesting facts about Duckweed:

      • Can double in just 16 hours to 2 days
      • Cost effective renewable energy as biofuel
      • Natural water filter
      • Prevents Mosquitos
      • Prevents algae growth
      • and food for humans

Pretty impresive, isn’t it. But let’s focus on the B12 vitamin aspect. If you know your B12 you might be thinking that duckweed is high in B12 because it’s been sitting on top of a pond soaking in all that bacteria. But that doesn’t seem to be the case. Analysis has shown that the Duckweed’s B12 is naturally occurring, not the result of sitting on top of a pond that is bacteria laden. This is great news in that you can harvest Duckweed by growing it in controlled environments.

But think of it. A plant that contains in just 100 grams over 750% of your daily B12 requirement. THIS IS HUGE! Don’t get me wrong, I have no issue with supplementing B12 but I think this might be the new response to eating a plant based diet and having to discuss B12 needs and where B12 comes from. “Where do you get your B12 from…” is one of the arguments people use when they find out you are vegan and there is a lot of misinformation out there being perpetuated endlessly. Let’s look at a frequent guess on the Joe Rogan Experience, Chris Kresser. If Joe Rogan wasn’t an honorable person in inviting one of the producers of The Game Changers onto his show to debate Chris following Chris’ ‘debunking’ of the documentary The Game Changers we would have never had heard Chris admit he was factually incorrect on his points on B12. There still is a strong belief that B12 is made by animals, which we know it isn’t, it’s a bacteria found in soil and in ponds.

A plant based, renewable source of B12, protein, and other vitamins and minerals that can double it’s volume in as quickly as 16 hours! This could be the new soy in the sense that it should be readily available and inexpensive to grow as it can be grown in a controlled environment.

Finally

I’m excited about this. A naturally occurring source of B12 and other nutrients. Who knows, maybe this is something I can grow myself and harvest my own Duckweed. It might be worth some looking into.

Yours in health,

Darryl

 

Free yourself from yourself

So much to do, so little time.

It’s a myth that you need an hour or more to work out. Depending on what your goals are you may not need much more than 30 minutes. And, if you are strapped for time, you could even get a good workout in in under 15 minutes.

It seems that each year free time becomes less and less. So many commitments and trying to find free time to get in that hour workout becomes even harder. Don’t let that discourage you stop you from working out.

Foster your growth

Not every workout has to be the same. It’s perfectly fine to modify your routine and reduce the amount of time if this allows you to keep exercising.

Let’s look at some things we can do if we are limited for time, limited for space, or both.

Options:

      • Burpees: Everyone hates them but burpees are almost the perfect workout. Through a pushup in there and you have a cardio and resistance training exercise all in one. Some things to remember when doing your burpees: Most people start the burpee from the standing position. Burpees should be started from the squatting position and you need to squat as low as you can. Now while in that squat position, explode into the jump as much as you can. This will aid in building your leg muscles and also help you to become strong in the whole range of motion from the squat all the way up. Extend your legs quickly behind you into a plank position. Again, it’s utilizing your full range of motion. Don’t shortcut the pushup either. It’s just as important. You can do burpees as part of a highly intense interval training routine. You can burpee for 20 seconds then take 10 seconds off for 4 minutes. That’s it! Great cardio workout and also a good resistance workout
      • Wall squats: Want to kill the legs? Do you do squats and want to switch it up? Wall squats work your leg muscles by doing an isometric contraction where there is no movement. Find a wall, put your back against the wall and lower yourself to a position like you are sitting in a chair with your feet under your knees. Now stay there. If your legs are shaking you are stopping too early. Stay in that position as long as you can stand it until you just drop to the floor. Rest for 30 seconds or 1 minute. Repeat and repeat and repeat…
      • Half pushup: Start from the laying position and raise yourself up about 3″ off of the floor. Or, you can raise yourself up 1″ off of the floor. The position should be comfortable in the sense that your joints don’t hurt. Keep in this static position for as long as you can, until you drop to the floor. Rest for about 30 seconds or a minute and try again, and repeat, repeat, repeat…

Three things

That’s it. All these things can be done in 5 to 10 minutes. And don’t try to talk yourself out of it by convincing yourself that you will need to warm up first, or you need to stretch afterward and you don’t have time for it. Carrying out these exercises will help you stay on track for your goals, will help you keep your current fitness level and will ultimately help you stay healthy.

I hope you try this and I hope this works for you.

Yours in health,

Darryl

 

Mother Mary, won’t you whisper

I’ve been a fitness enthusiast for quite a number of years and I’ve been a certified personal trainer for the last 5 years.

advise
advise from a specialist

I’ve been asked for advice, given advice and followed my own advice for many different questions, goals and for many different people in different stages of their lives. Knowing this, can you guess what I think would be the most important item of advice I could give someone? Any ideas?

If I had no choice but to advise someone of only one thing they should do to improve their level of fitness it would be consistency.

Consistency

You could have the best workout plan going, given to you by the best fitness expert ever known but if you aren’t executing it, it isn’t going to help you. You can have the best nutrition expert provide you with the best dishes to eat but if you aren’t eating these, it isn’t going to help you.

run consistantly
keep it consistent

I’d rather have someone ‘show up’ as it were on a regular basis, let’s say 3x a week and work out at 80% exertion than to show up once a week and give it 100%. The person who shows up 3x a week will end up being the person who shows up 3x a week for most of the year. Why, because this has now become part of their routine, their day to day. I think this is why it’s important that we get kids involved in something they like that is physical. They are more likely to grow up incorporating physical activity into their lives.

So let’s look again at the person who is consistent and puts in about 80% of their max. They’re working their heart, their muscles, mobility, flexibility and I think most importantly they are not on the couch but out being active. They are developing a routine that keeps the body moving, the blood pumping and the muscles working. And with proper coaching and over some time I’m sure this person could be convinced to do some of their workouts at a higher output. But regardless they are being active for a good part of the week, and thus a good part of the month, the year, etc.

I know this myself. Let’s just say I’m a regular at my dojo. It’s so much of my routine that when I’m not there it feels weird, strange, like something is missing or out of place. This is the feeling that people need to keep at their hobby that is a physical hobby. I use the word hobby because it should be like a hobby, something you want to do and look forward to doing. If it isn’t, then you need to look at doing something else. If the mind is not engaged it’s only a matter of time before you’ll stop.

Finally

That’s it. Consistency. Show up as much as you can reasonably show up. Make it your routine. Make it part of your day to day.

Now, keep in mind this post is written in the context that I can choose only one thing. There are other important things too but if you don’t show up, what’s the point?

Yours in health,

Darryl

 

did you hear the one about…

Who doesn’t like to hear the justification of their bad habits? Who doesn’t like hearing that something they do that is generally considered a bad thing to do for their health is now ok? Everybody likes to hear positive news about something they are doing that has come into question is ok to do, and not just ok but so ok that you can keep doing it. On the heels of the digital release of the first commercial movie to look at the performance side of eating a whole foods plant based diet, ‘The Game Changers‘, comes a study concluding that there is no harm in eating red meat. In fact is says red meat is healthy.

meat is healthy?

Where do I start? I believe the meat/dairy/animal agriculture industry is at the same stage years ago the tobacco industry was at. Sowing seeds of doubt. When the tobacco industry started to lose money as studies started to show the dangers of smoking the industry started to fund studies to sew the seeds of doubt that smoking is dangerous to your health.

“Doubt is our product since it is the best means of competing with the “body of fact” that exists in the mind of the general public. It is also the means of establishing a controversy.”

I’m seeing the same thing now. Butter is back, carbs are bad and fat is good, and so on. Industry funded studies to keep people guessing. The animal agriculture industry is scared. It’s losing market share and losing money. More people are ditching dairy and more people are switching to meat alternatives such as Beyond Meat and Impossible Burger. Bristol England’s oldest pub has just launched a plant based menu and it’s selling out!

But their strategy is also working. People don’t have the time and they don’t want to make the time. Most people don’t have an issue with eating animals and animal products. We have become so disassociated with how our food comes to the table that people don’t even think about it. And most people don’t care to question it. They look at it that they are doing nothing different than what their mom/dad/grandma/grandpa did. And when people hear about the new study that what they are doing is healthy it helps to cement their beliefs and helps them to double down when that vegan brings up health issues due to eating animals.

eat your veggies

So back to the study. I’m sure you heard about it, right? Did you also hear that it got slammed by experts in the health field? Professor Walter Willet, a professor of Epidemiology and Nutrition at the Harvard School of Public Health and lead author of the EAT-Lancet Commission which advocates a plant based diet for both environmental sustainability and health had this to say:

“This report has layers of flaws and is the most egregious abuse of evidence that I have ever seen.

The World Cancer Research Fund does not accept the study’s new interpretation of the evidence either.

Here’s another look at the study from Dr Giota Mitrou, Director of Research Funding and Science External Relations: “It could be putting people at risk by suggesting they can eat as much red and processed meat as they like without increasing their risk of cancer.”

It has since been discovered that lead researcher Bradley C. Johnston, who disclosed that during the past three years he didn’t have any ‘conflicts of interest’ to report.

Here’s what the New York Times was able to dig up:

“as recently as December 2016, Dr. Johnston was the senior author on a study which was paid for by food industry giant International Life Sciences Institute (ILSI), who are ‘largely supported’ by companies such as McDonald’s, Coca-Cola, Mars, and Cargill – one of North America’s biggest beef processors.”

But you didn’t hear any of this, did you. You wouldn’t because it will never make the media. You have to look for this information and it can be a lot of work, too much work for most people. Sewing the seeds of doubt.

Finally

Will things change? Will the animal agriculture business fade away as more reports on the health issues, climate issues associated with the industry make it’s way to the mainstream media? I don’t know. We may be at the very beginning of change and who knows how long the change will take.

If you find doubt creeping into your mind, use common sense, use logic. Look at the blue zones, areas in the world that are predominantly plant based and the longest living. Then look at the standard western diet areas, the areas with the highest disease rates.

Yours in health,

Darryl