Indulging in my self-defeat

Overtraining can be just as detrimental to our fitness gains and overall health as missing training, or some may argue, even more so. Overtraining can cause lack of muscle / strength growth, sickness, lethargy, and can also cause lack of enthusiasm.

What

Adding resistance

Overtraining is when your training has exceeded the body’s ability to recover. You can also think of overtraining as chronic fatigue, burnout, and overstress. If for a period of two weeks for unexplained reasons your performance has dropped, it can be that you are overtrained.

Let’s look at common symptoms of overtraining:

      • Persistent fatigue: don’t confuse this with the tired feeling that comes from hard training that day. This is the sluggishness, dragging your butt feeling you get even though you have gotten enough sleep/rest.
      • Elevated resting heart rate: Another reason to where a heart rate monitor. I’m assuming you haven’t abandoned your fitness program so that’s not why your resting heart rate has climbed back up.
      • Depression
      • Irritability
      • Increased injuries: when the body doesn’t have adequate time/nutrition to recover this happens
      • Delayed recovery: you haven’t taken a long break from working out but you start to notice that muscle soreness is lasting longer than normal

How

Does this look like you? Are you overtrained? Alright then, let’s look at what we can do to address this and hopefully prevent it from occurring again. It may never occur again, but if you are aware of the symptoms than you’ll be ready to address it.

whole foods plant based

Calories: I’m listing this first because I feel it’s often overlooked as the reason and also it’s simple to address. Unless you are an elite athlete, and by elite I mean you are competing professionally, you probably have no idea how many calories you are consuming daily. The fact is the harder you exercise, the more you exercise the more calories you need. And how do you know you are getting more? Weight gain is a good indicator but unless you are monitoring your weight weekly you may not notice. I like the idea of defining a baseline. Take a ‘normal’ day and measure everything you consume and then calculate the calories. If this is a representation of a normal day then you have a good idea of calories in. Then, calculate your RMR (resting metabolic rate). RMR is the amount of calories your body needs to live. Right, to live. This is the amount of calories you need to lay in bed and do nothing. This does not take into account physical activity at all. Now, take the amount of calories you have consumed in a given day and compare this to your RMR. Your calories consumed should be higher. If not, I don’t know how you are still here because RMR is the requirement just to sustain life.

Now, look at an average day of exercise and google the amount of calories required to complete those exercises based on duration and your sex, age, etc. Add that to your RMR. Now, take everything else such as walking, house chores, everything else other than sleep or sedentary activities. Look up the caloric consumption for these things. Add them to your RMR.

Now compare the total of RMR + workout calories + other calories to the calories you have consumed and where do you end up? If your calories consumed are lower than RMR plus the other calories you burned than this could be why you are overtrained. I know this may seem like a lot of work to calculate but you need to do this.

A simpler method is to weigh yourself weekly and keep that history and compare it to your workout log that you have also been keeping. Another benefit of keeping logs. If you have been steadily working out for let’s say the last month, and all other things are pretty much the same, and you have not put on weight despite resistance training; really pushing yourself; experiencing muscle soreness; knowing you have been working hard then YOU ARE NOT CONSUMING ENOUGH CALORIES.

Try it. eat more nutrient dense calories for 1 week. Not junk food, none at all. This is your test to see if this addresses any notion of overtraining and also will provide your body with what it needs/wants to repair the damage done and to also build muscle. Without nutrient dense foods, and eating too much junk foods, the body is not getting what it needs to repair itself and potentially build muscle. Try it. One week. One week to eat as much as you want of high quality whole foods that are plant based. Beans, lentils, greens, whole grains and rice. You know what I mean. But before you do this weigh yourself a couple times that day and take the average weight.

Now, one week later. You did it. You ate more than normal. And hopefully you feel better. Now go weigh yourself a few times this day and take the average. You should see a slight weight gain. If you don’t and if you see a weight loss than you are not eating enough. Maybe some things came up and interfered with your plan. Try extending another week to see if you notice a change. Just as a point of reference, there are professional athletes who are consuming well above 4,000 to 6,000 calories a day just to maintain their training weight.

Lastly, be sure to do this if you are competing in an upcoming event. Just like tapering, you will want to make sure your body has the nutrients it needs that week or two before to be ready for a beat down so it can repair the damage and build on muscle and strength.

If you don’t see any positive changes after two weeks then I would recommend you see your doctor.

Sleep: Makes sense, right? The body uses sleep to repair damage done to it. But it needs to be quality, uninterrupted sleep. It can be tough to get this but try to make it a priority. You will feel better both physically and mentally. If you find on your days off you feel like your legs are twice as heavy as they usually are, and that you are lacking motivation listen to your body. Rest, have a nice long nap. These are cues your body is giving you to tell you to stop and sleep. Don’t give in to guilt and ignore the cues. Be reasonable and if you have had a busy week, worked out hard then take the break and let the body repair itself.

Finally

Calories, rest, output. It can be a delicate balance but it can be achievable. You can achieve what you set out to do with proper planning and measuring. A lot of money has been and is being made on taking things that have been around forever and rebranding them. Think of first principles. Put a load on the body frequently and it will grow given the right environment. Create that environment for your body and you will see the change.

Yours in health,

Darryl

 

into the echo chamber

Your time is valuable and should not be wasted. With that, I give you myths and mistruths that for some reason have shown a great amount of longevity. It’s time for that to stop.

So with that, here we go:

  • Spot reduction of fat: Myth. It cannot be done. This is a common one mainly perpetuated by people doing ab work to get that six pack. Sorry to disappoint but doing a bunch of ab work to get rid of that fat around you belly will not make it disappear quicker. If you do a lot of ab work, along with eating a whole foods plant based diet then you will get there, but not because of the ab work alone, that’s just using up calories. The fat you eat is the fat you wear. Based on your body type the fat will deposit where it wants to, with women mainly in the hips and butt, and with guys usually the belly. That’s just the way it is. So the same goes for these area’s. You can’t target specific areas of your body with exercise to remove fat from that area. By eating correctly and exercising correctly the fat will come off and eventually will also leave those places you want it gone, eventually. But always remember, your overall health is much more important than where you might have some fat. Focus on health and well being, not just looks.
  • Fat burning zone: I haven’t heard this for a while up until a few weeks ago. The ‘fat burning zone’ was huge about 10 – 12 years ago. Is there such a thing, a fat burning zone? Yes, in the sense that when exercising at a lower heart rate, let’s say a moderate intensity, the body tends to use more fat as a preferred fuel. Not exclusively but it does use fat. The problem is that’s about it. It does not increase the amount of fat used post exercise and doesn’t really do anything to raise your resting metabolic rate. And you have to exercise for a much longer duration to burn the fat you want to. Comparing this to a high intensity interval workout where the primary fuel is glycogen the body will still not use as much fat. With a high intense interval workout the body uses both glycogen and fat for fuel but the big benefit is afterwards the body uses fat as fuel to help replenish the oxygen consumed (EPOC). Sometimes this can take up to 36 hours depending on the intensity. Also, the resting metabolic rate is raised thus consuming more calories (fat) when resting. So why was the fat burning zone so popular? It was a great way to make money. People loved to hear that they could work out in the fat burning zone with little effort and get results. It’s a good example of the echo chamber, people love to hear positive reinforcements of their bad habits. Books, videos, magazines, etc. where sold by the thousands making people a lot of money.
  • Work abs every day: Another myth. I’m not sure if this one is still popular today but there was a time where people would work their abs every day. Sit ups, leg raises, crunches. Maybe pushups is the new ‘abs every day’. If you are already aware that you need to let your muscles rest, recover after a good workout for up to 48 hours then why would abs, or chest muscles be any different? I don’t know either but people treat them differently. Just like you wouldn’t do legs every day, don’t do ab work, or pushups every day either. Work them hard one day then let them recovery over 48 hours.
  • Protein after a workout: This is still very common. People have a tough work out, maybe an hour long, or longer. Lots of sweat, lots of work. The body is exhausted. Then, they go and down a protein shake. Believe it or not you are not doing yourself any favours, in fact you are denying your body what it needs: carbs. Most of us have only about 60 minutes of fuel in the form of glucose and glycogen in our body. This is when we are in a state where we are fully fueled, the gas tank is full. Most of us aren’t even at that state when we show up to exercise, we are already running a deficit. So why is this a problem? When you have depleted your fuel, your glycogen stores, you need to replenish them. Glucose and glycogen (the stored glucose) is needed for everything your body does: the brain and other organs functioning, walking, talking, everything including digesting food. If your body doesn’t have the glucose it needs it goes to the glycogen stores and if that is empty because you have just used it all up exercising it will then metabolize muscle tissue into glucose to fulfill it’s needs. So your body is now consuming the muscle tissue you worked so hard to build. It’s awful. So what do you do? After a tough workout consume carbs. Apples, oranges, bananas, berries or anything that is whole foods and high in carbs. I like to have a shake consisting of a banana, a cup of frozen berries (blueberries, strawberries, black berries are great), some unsweetened Almond milk, and some spinach. This gives me both the carbs my body needs to replenish my glucose deficit and also gives me protein the body needs to start the recovery process. An ideal ratio of carbs to protein is 4:1. Later, about 90 minutes I can then have a meal that is more protein focused to also help the body start the healing process. But, if you follow a whole foods plant based diet then you really not worry about this at all as you will be getting the correct ratio of carbs, proteins, fats and importantly fiber.
  • You need lots of protein: This is probably the largest myth out there. I’m not going to write too much as I already have an article on this. It comes down to money. The protein supplement industry is a multi billion dollar industry and it’s growing. Hard on our body especially when animal based, too much protein can damage the kidneys, can speed up the aging of cells and basically it is not needed. Your money can be used for better purposes then buying protein supplements. What the message should be is fiber. The lack of fiber in people’s diet is evident in the increase of cancers: colon cancer, prostrate cancer and other sicknesses. Fiber is used by the body to flush out the excess hormones and toxins we have in our body. Without enough fiber, the toxins and hormones stay in the blood and are not removed. We can do a lot in our lives to avoid toxins but we cannot get away from them. Eat any processed foods lately? What about the things you put on your body like shampoos, toothpaste, deodorant and so on. Driving, walking, just being outside we breathe in toxins. It’s really unavoidable. But having a diet low in fiber is not unavoidable. Increasing fiber will help the body in removing these toxins and hopefully help in preventing disease.

Finally

Those are only a few. If you are serious about your health and wellness it may make sense to challenge the things you do, to seek out more qualified information. There is a lot of information out there, a lot of ‘bro science’ which to me again is perpetuating the echo chamber. A good example is the JRE, the Joe Rogan Experience Podcast. Don’t get me wrong, I like Joe especially when it comes to Martial Arts as I don’t think there is a better colour commentator out there. But, when it comes to perpetuating misinformation I don’t think anyone reins greater than Joe. Too many times he has had guest on his show promoting Keto diet, Carnivore diet, low carb diet, carbs are bad, veganism unless done absolutely correctly will cause you health issues (veganism is more than just what you eat but yes, a ‘vegan’ diet should be done correctly but why is it always said veganism has to be done right where as a non vegan diet doesn’t?) His guests on his show spew out ‘facts’ from industry funded studies and no one challenges it. Thus more people end up harming their body, sometimes the effects not known until 20 years later and no one the wiser.

But I digress. Getting the results you want isn’t that hard, really. It takes a bit of work initially to find good sources with reliable, accurate information but once you do, it gets even easier. Book mark those sites and go back to see what else you can learn from them. After all, the choices you make are the choices you live with.

Yours in health,

Darryl

 

What it don’t get, I can’t use

I want money.

We live, have been living in a word of excess. Buy, buy, buy is the daily message albeit delivered in a more subtle way. People’s heroes are those who disparage their character for the sake of making more money. It’s cool to post images of your ‘worth’ on social media. It seems to be perfectly alright, perfectly justifiable  to fly thousands of miles to Brooklyn to throw a hand dolly into a bus all for the purpose of selling more pay per views. What was the quote from this person during the fight: ‘It’s only business’. Money at all costs.

Things like this unfortunately can influence people to become like these people who do these things. But, it can also be the antithesis for others. The ugliness of acts such as this can move people closer to the understanding that money isn’t everything, and money at any cost is wrong.

More isn’t always better but sometimes more is what we need.

When it comes to our body and what we feel is the body we want all the focus is on losing weight. When has there even been a product, a program, an infomercial on how to gain weight? NEVER that’s when. Yes, there are weight gain protein powders but the main message is to lose weight. Trying to find out how to gain weight in a healthy way could take some research and it can be really confusing and also disappointing. And I think too just like there is fat shaming, skinny shaming is also happening. Guys for years have felt the pressure to be muscular all the way back to the 50’s classic add of the skinny guy getting sand kicked on them buy the muscular guy at the beach all while the girl is laughing at the skinny dude. And the same with girls and women. You need to be thicc. The focus is never health and fitness but instead on no matter what it takes, you need to look like this. Don’t buy into this lie. Focusing on health and wellness instead of appearance will give you the things you need to stay healthy, be sick less, be less susceptible to disease, slow down aging, and ultimately if you do these things correctly you can mold your body like an artist molds clay and do it in a healthy way.

How

As simple as this solution seems I believe it is all that is needed. It’s not complicated because it doesn’t need to be. So if you are in doubt because it’s so simple, try not to discount it.

  • Eat a whole foods plant based diet whenever you are hungry

That’s it. Eating a whole foods plant based diet does not require you to worry if you are getting too much fat, too much protein, too many carbs, too much sugar, too much salt. A whole foods plant based diet followed properly means you are not eating processed foods, it means you are eating all the foods you need and you are getting nutrient dense foods, the foods your body wants and needs to repair and grow muscle tissue. If you feel you have been eating enough but aren’t adding the weight than you may need to evaluate what you are eating. Are you eating foods that are processed? These foods will make you feel full but they are not providing the nutrients you body needs to repair and grow. If you are already eating a whole foods plant based diet and aren’t gaining weight, then are you eating enough? Broken down to a basic principle, calories in cannot be less than calories out. If they are you will never gain weight. As an example a professional body builder may consume upwards of 4,000 calories a day.

If you have been working out hard and correctly and aren’t adding weight, this may be what you are missing. I want to keep this simple so I’m not going to get into formulas having to do with resting metabolic rate, caloric requirements based on sex and age. Keep it simple.

If you are not gaining weight and want to, then you have to eat more. 

Not many of us have the time, or the patience to count calories for everything we eat. That requires measuring every meal you eat. Keep it simple and always eat when you are hungry. That may mean eating 6 to 8 times a day. Don’t snack on worthless foods such as processed crackers, chips, things like that. If you are doing that switch those foods out for nutrient dense foods, the foods your body will use to make muscle. Besides, these foods that are nutrient dense taste awesome and who doesn’t want that? Substitute a nutrient/taste dense food such as a black bean avocado dip with pita chips for those potato chips you were going to have. Both will fill your craving for food but one gives you lots of fat which doesn’t provide muscle growth where as the other does provide the protein and carbs needed.

Again, keeping it simple follow the rule that your food needs to be whole foods plant based. Avoid processed foods as processing removes nutrients the body needs to grow. Replace this with foods that the body needs and the body will grow.

Finally

Whole foods plant based; Calories in > Calories out; Eat when Hungry = Weight gain.

Yours in health,

Darryl

 

words can be molded until they clothe ideas and disguise

They decide and the shotgun sings the song.

I think it’s safe to say most of us believe what we believe due to what we constantly hear. What we hear on the radio, on the internet, what we read from news sites, blogs, social media sites. And what we hear from people that are influential in our lives: friends, family. For the majority of us what we hear from these sources can dictate how we live our lives from simple things such as a movie we choose to see or major things that can directly impact our lives like the foods we choose to eat. And the ironic thing about this last sentence is most people will not consider that a major choice that will impact our lives.

Impact

But the food we choose to eat has a major impact on our lives. Having finished a certification in plant based nutrition run by the leading medical experts in heart disease, diabetes, obesity, and so on, my  belief about this was confirmed, and reinforced. Did you know the only diet to reverse heart disease is a whole foods plant based diet? This is only one of the many benefits of following a whole foods plant based diet. I’ll be posting more in the future but for now, lets get on with the subject of this post.

Protein

I’m sure if I were to take a quick survey on how much protein people thought we need we would get answers such as 20%, 30% or even higher. If you are trying to add muscle, or are an active body builder you are probably consuming levels higher than 30%. And for the vast majority of these people their protein is coming from animals, not plants. Is that an issue? Absolutely. Read the China Study or watch Fork over Knives to see the direct impact on cancer tumor growth when consuming animal protein at levels above 20%. To summarize IGF-1 (Insulin growth factor 1) is in high levels in animal products and IGF-1 is responsible for cell replication, which is ok when you have a cut that the body needs to repair but when in your body at high levels due to consuming animal protein it impacts the growth of cancer tumors. And a high protein diet damages our cells and accelerates aging. It makes our kidneys work so much harder as it has to process all this protein and this can lead to kidney stones.

Why

protein
Plants have all the protein you need

Are we obsessed with protein? Yes. Recently I saw on a person’s computer monitor an image of all the logic fallacies such as straw man fallacy, appeal to authority, etc. I told this guy what a cool wallpaper and I could relate since a lot of the videos I watch having to do with veganism has examples of these as people use them to defend why they continue to eat animals. So, he said ‘Wow, I didn’t know you were vegan’, and then a look on his face of deep thought appeared and he asked me ‘Where do you get your protein?’ I’ve heard this so many times it didn’t phase me , but it speaks to my point. Why are we obsessed with protein? I think for a few reasons.

Here’s a bit of a history lesson. In 1839, protein was first isolated by a Dutch chemist, Gerhard Mulder, then named from the Greek word, proteios. Protein was isolated from meat, leading to the idea that meat and protein were the same; another mistaken belief that still survives for many people. Carl von Voit, a prominent German physiology professor recommended 118 g/day for an adult man of average weight, even though he had determined that 52 g/day was enough (later research showed even lower levels were enough). By the early 1900’s the link between meat was firmly established in the minds of men, the link that eating meat was macho, and not eating meat meant you were a wimp and through the years the stereotype has grown to political views – vegan = left leaning communist or socialist, terms used in the derogatory sense. Real men eat meat!

Eating meat, or protein, was also a status symbol as only the rich could afford it. But let’s look at another angle, the marketing angle.

It’s easy to market meat with these associations we have with meat, protein. The social statuses that come with it. The peer pressure. Riding on the belief that we need a lot of protein it’s so easy to add that to the sizzle of the commercial showing you the slab of beef grilling on the bbq, ‘get the protein you need from our grade A Alberta beef, only the best’, or ‘we have the juiciest chicken breasts for you to enjoy’. How do you do that with broccoli or spinach? ‘Our broccoli is super dark green and our spinach leaves are the finest and smoothest’. It just doesn’t sell does it.

Then we have the fitness industry pushing supplements. You are told by your trainer, the gym where they sell the shakes, by your friends and so on that you need to supplement with protein to ‘make those gains’. Of course they tell you that because that adds to their bottom line. It’s all about the dollar bills y’all. In 2016 the protein supplement industry size was at 12.5 billion expected to rise by 6%! These industries do not want you to understand that the notion that you need to supplement with protein is not true. And this is true for any protein supplement, plant based or not.

Robert Cheeke

Let’s look at Robert Cheeke. Adopted a vegan life style in 1995 at the age of 15. A two time natural body builder champion, Robert does not supplement with protein. Not since 2011. Robert was like most of us, he bought into the lies that you need to supplement with protein, branch chain amino acids, etc. Then in 2012 after educating himself and digging deeper into the whole protein thing he decided to change it up. No more supplementing, nothing. Nothing but a whole foods plant based diet. So what happened? He lost 60 lbs and no longer competes. NO! This is what the industry would want you to believe! Robert MADE gains in both strength and muscle growth. Was it a fluke, a short lived benefit? No. Even to this day Robert is the strongest he has ever been. No supplementation and no focus on protein rich foods. In fact, his focus is on complex carbs because as we know, we need complex carbs, it’s what fuels our body. It gets you through those workouts. Yams, brown rice, lentils, leafy green veggies, fruits. All these gains while consuming only 10% – 15% of calories from protein. How is it possible? The meat industry, the supplement industry, the bro that pumps iron and has smelly protein farts would tell you different, ‘bro, you need to load up on protein, you better get a Casein or Whey shake from the counter or you won’t be making those gains!’.

I have the answer

Do you want to add strength, and muscle growth? It’s easy, it really is. Follow a whole foods plant based diet. And, eat as much as you want, don’t go hungry!

Most people, or really everyone who follows this diet and is not gaining strength and muscle mass (the assumption you are working out properly) are not eating enough calories. You need to consume enough high quality, nutrient dense calories so your body can grow.

Save your money! You worked hard for it! Don’t spend the $60 on the tub of cancer inducing protein powder because it’s going to end up in the toilet anyway! You are literally shitting your money away! Stop listening to uneducated people who are doing the things that another uneducated person showed them. It’s your body and what you put into it will directly impact your health.

Yours in health,

Darryl

 

 

 

Oh yeah Alright

Feels good inside

For the last maybe 5 years, or maybe longer than that a new term arose, superfoods. What does that mean, superfoods. Does it make you superhuman? Probably not. Personally I think the term gets overused and also I think there is the potential for damage in that just like vitamins people will consume superfoods in place of foods they should be consuming on a daily basis.

plant based foods
Plant based foods

First and foremost everyone should be eating a whole foods plant based diet. Not sure what that is? It’s not being vegan for one thing. Veganism is a moral position that has much more to do with the foods consumed. It includes this but also reaches beyond to what you put on your body be it hygiene products, clothing, make up, etc. It can also extend to activities such as not patronizing zoo’s or circuses or other places animals are exploited for our entertainment. If you want to find out more about a whole foods plant based diet I suggest you start with reading the China Study or another option is to watch Fork over Knives.

Back to my point, consuming a whole foods plant based diet should give you all the nutrients you need.

But, if you are looking to increase certain nutrients, not replace eating well then below I’ve listed some foods you might want to add into your daily eating.

What

Chia seeds: Rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, protein fiber, calcium, magnesium, iron, zinc and antioxidants. Easy to use. I recommend grinding the seeds first as this is easier for your body to digest. Add a tablespoon to a smoothie or shake, to a salad, or a sauce. You can add it to almost anything.

Flaxseed: Also high in Omega-3 fatty acids. Also high in lignans (a powerful antioxidant) and fiber, can be used to improve digestive health. Just like Chia seeds, you can grind up your flax seed and use it the same way; shakes, etc.

Spirulina: Once called ‘the best food for the future‘ by the United Nations World Food Conference. Extremely digestible and contains every natural known antioxidant a healthy body could need. Rich in vitamins, reported to correct anemia, reduce radioactive damage and lower cholesterol. Some studies have shown that because of it’s high anitoxidant properties athletic endurance becomes enhanced significantly increasing the time it took people to become fatigued. Do your homework when buying spirulina. It’s an organism that grows in both fresh and salt water so be sure you are not buying it from a source that has grown it in heavy metal dense water or radio active water.

Hemp Seeds: Also known as hemp hearts. Also rich in Omega-3 fatty acids but also a great source of protein. 3 tablespoons provide 16 grams of protein! That’s huge! Let’s look at the following example: Women usually need 1,600 to 2,400 calories a day. Your protein consumption should be about 10 – 15% of total calories.  Let’s use 2,000 calories as an example, and we’ll also use 15%. 15% of 2,000 = 300 calories. There are 4 calories per gram of protein so 16 grams X 4 = 64 calories or 21% of your daily need! Quiet a bit from a small amount. Lastly, you are probably thinking that my numbers for protein requirements is quiet low. It is by what everyone else is telling you or you have been hearing. If you follow the recommendations that are communicated by the industries that are funded by the industries that sell protein – fitness industry, food industry, the dietitians industry, etc. of course they want you to spend your money on protein powders and supplements – processed protein.

If you follow a whole foods plant based diet you will be get all the protein you need. More on that in another post

Oats: When eating oats be sure to get the steel cut, lesser processed oats. Again, a whole foods plant based diet should minimize as much as possible processed foods. Why do I look at Oats as a superfood? High in complex carbs, fiber, maganese, magnesium, copper, iron, zinc, B vitamins, and more. A half cup of oats contain 51 grams of carbs, 13 grams of protein, 5 grams of fat and 8 grams of fiber. A very nutrient dense food. Oats also have  soluble fiber called Beta-Glucan. Beta-glucan partially dissolves in water and forms a thick, gel-like solution in the gut giving you that satiated feeling helping to prevent unnecessary snacking.

Finally

I’m sure I could have added more things, things such as Tumeric, Garlic, Ginger, etc. all good things. Sometimes I find when coming across lists like these you get overwhelmed in the things you need to eat and then you just give up. I hope my list is simple and something else about my list is it also promotes an easy way to get Omega-3 (DHA) into your diet daily without having to consume pills and without having to consume animal products.

Yours in health,

Darryl

perspective is relative

The journey is about to begin

My last post talked about a goal I have set for this upcoming year, 2019. I’ve committed myself to this goal be it a good idea or a bad idea but I feel it’s time. It’s time I’ve challenged myself because without challenging yourself you don’t grow, you become stagnant, and that’s not good.

And I love a challenge. Years ago I went through basic training and spent 3 years in the military. During that time I volunteered and completed the ships diver course, an intensive physical course that has a drop out rate of 60%. I went back to school in my mid twenties to get  a degree in computer science, not an easy thing to do going back to school as a mature student. Took up running, running long distances but never in an official event. Started training in Karate and received my black belt in under 5 years. Went back to school sort of to become a certified personal trainer. Recently started my course on plant based nutrition from Cornell University. And now I’ve signed up for a marathon at the end of April, my first ‘official’ marathon.

Why?

I’ve been asking myself that question. It wasn’t a compulsive decision, sort of. Because of my roll at the dojo, teaching all ages and being in a somewhat of an influential position, be it that I bring this on myself or because it’s been bestowed onto me, I am a believer that if you talk the talk you need to walk the walk.

I don’t bring up my position on eating a whole foods plant based diet when I am teaching unless I’m asked for nutrition advice, or it somehow comes up otherwise for numerous reasons. But, I’ve been feeling that I’m not a good role model in this regard. I want to be that person that when someone comments that a whole foods plant based diet is incomplete, that you can’t perform at your best, that you ‘need meat’ I’ll prove them wrong. I’ll show them what can be done eating nothing but plants. But I need a point of reference.

But I’m not doing this for me. This isn’t to stroke my ego, not a fan of ribbons, this is to help people become more than they are, to become the best they can be. I can’t do that right now because for too long I’ve neglected the physical side of my training.

Now

I’ve completed all of my physical accomplishments before following a vegan lifestyle. At this point I have no reference for comparison. But that is about to change.15 weeks of training and than time to run 26 miles fueled exclusively from plants.

It’s going to be tough, it’s going to suck. I’m not going to lie and paint this as a walk in the park. I’m heavier than I should be,  too much heavier. Too much beer and potato chips have added the pounds to my frame. But I’ll do it. I have to.

I want to do something that can make a positive change in this world. I want to be leading the 5 mile run on May 4th for our next group of future black belts. I can’t influence everyone but if I can show a few people what eating only plants can do than maybe they’ll see through all the lies perpetuated by the media and society, that we can’t survive without killing animals and consuming them. I know this. More will find out. I’m going to draw a picture the size of a mountain.

Yours in health,

Darryl

Check back here frequently for updates on my progress. This just might become a mini story.

Those who never retract their opinions

It may not be needed but with it, life is so much better. It’s never really talked about when people discuss what they eat. Our good friend fiber.

It isn’t needed. It’s not an essential nutrient like water, carbohydrates, or protein. We don’t need it to sustain life but with it everything just runs so much better. And you run better. Someone asks you where do you get your protein? Ask them, where do you get your fiber.

What

Dietary fiber is a plant based carbohydrate but unlike other carbs it cannot be broken down into sugar molecules. Therefore, fiber passes though us relatively intact. And as it passes through our body it does some great things.

  • Normalizes bowel movements: Basically fiber increases the size of the stool making it easier to pass and it also softens it.
  • Maintain bowel health: Studies have shown it lowers risk of colorectal cancer. Also, having good bowel health also means less time in the bathroom sitting possibly resulting in hemorrhoids.
  • Lowers cholesterol levels: Eating beans, oats and other foods high in soluble fiber may help lower cholesterol by lowering LDL, the bad cholesterol.
  • Helps you live longer: Some studies have shown the a high fiber diet may reduce risk of dying from heart disease or cancer. More on this below.

 

Some Details

Let’s look a little deeper into how having a diet high in cholesterol can help us live longer and disease free longer. We live during a time where we are exposed to a lot of chemicals. The stuff we put on and in our body: toothpaste, shampoo, soap, deodorant, anti-persperant, makeup. The air we breathe full of toxic chemicals. Maybe you’ve heard about the recent VW emissions scandal where they where convicted of using a cheating device on their emissions tests. It’s so bad even a VW executive is going to jail for it! The clean diesel they were selling…not so clean. The same with coal, clean coal is a lie from the coal lobby so coal will continue to be used as a source of energy. Then there’s the food we eat: fast food and prepared foods loaded with chemicals so they last longer and don’t spoil. Chemicals put in to replicate flavours instead of using the actual product that has the flavour they are trying to replicate. Why use the actual product, that would be too expensive and companies – share holders, wouldn’t make as much money.

We can do things to limit our exposure to chemicals. Change what we eat, use shampoos that don’t have chemicals as examples. I recently purchased vegan all natural deodorant. Made 100% from natural products – no toxic chemicals at all. Even the packaging the deodorant itself comes in is made toxic chemical free. And this shit works!

But ultimately we cannot eliminate exposure to all toxic chemicals in our lives. It’s pretty much impossible. The world just isn’t that big anymore. And if you live in a large urban area you are even at a greater exposure. But this is where fiber comes in. As mentioned earlier fiber is a carbohydrate but does not break down into a sugar molecule, it maintains it’s roughness so to speak. And as fiber passes through our intestinal track it picks up the toxic waste our body’s liver processed and wants to get rid of. The toxic waste adheres to the fiber and is eventually excreted from our body. But, if there isn’t any fiber there for the toxic waste to cling too, the toxic chemicals are absorbed back into our body.

But what else does fiber remove from our body? Hormones. Hormones that come from the foods we eat. What’s that? You eat meat that has not been fed hormones so you are ok, right? Not really. Consumption of beef, chicken, pork has shown to increase the amount of estrogen in individuals. Trying to start a family and not having any luck? Hmm…maybe read this. And if you consume dairy you are also including estrogen into your diet. Think about it, diary is made by mom cows who just had a baby (yep, cows make milk for their newborn baby, not there 16 year old baby, and not for us) and most times are impregnated shortly again and that milk is made up of stuff to get that baby cow up to 500 lbs as quickly as possible, usually within a year. It’s funny how people will argue eating meat is natural, we’ve always done it but ignore ‘natural’ or nature when it comes to the fact that we are the only species that continue to consume dairy after being weaned well into our old age and fuck, we drink milk from another animal!!! Offer that person a glass of human milk and they would call it gross, disgusting. But continue to drink cows milk, and eat meat because natural tho.

That’s right, animal products – meat, milk, etc. have no fiber at all. None. Zilch. Nada. On the flip side a whole foods plant based diet will give you more than enough fiber, every day! Fuck yeah!

Do I need to say more? Do I really need to make a list of foods high in fiber? No. I don’t. It should be clear up to this point. Animal products: Fiber score=0%. Whole foods plant based diet: Fiber score = > 100%.

Don’t be one of those people who don’t learn from other’s mistakes. Don’t be that person who lost a love one to cancer and doesn’t want to go through that shit but continues to do the things that don’t help prevent cancer but in fact sets up the ideal environment for cancer promotion.

You wanna use the hashtag #fuckcancer than actually do it, fuckcancer. Reduce or eliminate the foods that harm us and increase the whole plant foods increasing your fiber.

Yours in health,

Darryl