Shiver and say the words

I’m on my way

 

Finally, after a couple years of pondering.

I’m on my way to a nutrition certificate. A plant based nutrition certificate from Cornell University. I’ll be able to provide the full solution to you health needs. I’ve always strived my best to do this, but now I can.

I’ve wanted to be certified in nutrition for a couple years now and I finally made the decision to commit to the course. Of course I decided to be certified in plant based nutrition because that is really the only option when it comes to nutrition. And of course I am taking the course offered by Dr. T. Collin Campbell, the author of The China Study, the most comprehensive study of nutrition.

I’ll no longer have to amend my posts with ‘I am not certified in nutrition…’.

I will now certifiably be your one place to go to for your health needs.

Wish me luck.

Yours in health,

Darryl

wanting it easier than this

I often forget, but lately I’ve been reminded.

To me it’s pretty high up there, almost right up there with water. Lately at least it has. We can neglect this for many reasons, some being self inflicted the remaining due to circumstances of our life. And you don’t always realize the level of severity until your sane sense of mind returns.

Sleep

It’s been a really long week for me, physically and mentally. It’s been a sad time as my best friend, and teacher, dad passed away. With all that comes along with that I’ve been teaching all classes. And also due to a relatively new warehouse management system implemented earlier this year where I work it’s been really early mornings for me having to deal with unplanned warehouse outages. Also to add onto that my nagging shoulder and,I don’t know why, a really tight/sore mid upper back has not made for the best sleep when I’ve been able to get it.

We can feel the tiredness and sometimes even the toll this has on our mental faculties as we struggle to get through the day and mentally have to process things. And we don’t always realize it until that sleep comes upon us, enough of it and we then realize how it impacted us. How we weren’t the person we normally are. How we couldn’t quite process things in a manner that may have made sense. It reminds me of watching a video on youtube at a quality of 144p then seeing it again in HD. Things then become sharper. Of course I realize the impact lack of sleep has on our processing part of the brain. Tests have been done to show this. We lose some of the ability to do math, our reading becomes slower and reflexes too. But I don’t believe I’ve seen studies on the impact lack of sleep can have on us emotionally. I’ll have to look for that.

Also, if part of your life includes goals that involve physical performance lack of sleep will negatively impact that. Sleeping allows our body to go through the process of healing itself from the damage done by exercising (micro tears of muscle fiber) allowing the process of muscles repairing and getting stronger/bigger. When you sleep your body produces infection fighting substances like cytokines. If you don’t get enough sleep you are impacting your body from fending of invaders and also it may take you longer to get better when you do get sick.

Lack of sleep can also impact balance putting you at risk for an immediate injury or lead to improper technique when exercising causing unnecessary stress on joints and connective tissue.

Why

I do realize I’ve recently written a post on importance of sleep. But I thought, no more like felt the need to write this one. If you have one of those days, or even weeks where you know you didn’t get the sleep you needed try to keep things to a lesser demanding schedule if you can. Keep things subdued and try not to do anything that calls on you to be at your best.

Yours in health,

Darryl

 

same time, different year

I think each of us deal with two primary voices we hear from our brain. One voice, the voice that tells us to stay in bed, the voice that tells us that there will always be tomorrow to get up and go running, the voice that tells us to indulge more than we should.

Will it be different?

 

Clocks have been set back an hour, darkness upon us earlier into the night. Getting colder and colder as the weeks go on.

This time of year along with the deep winter months can be tough to keep yourself motivated. The darkness can effect us in a bad way, and during the day when it’s not sunny out, that can keep us in the dumps some times, or most times. What can be done about it?

The voice

I think each of us deal with two primary voices we hear from our brain. One voice, the voice that tells us to stay in bed, the voice that tells us that there will always be tomorrow to get up and go running, the voice that tells us to indulge more than we should. We have another voice, the voice that tells us how better we will feel after the work out, the voice that tells us we will be closer to our goal if we work out, the voice that in a sense lets us know what the right thing to do is. But, the first voice is very strong. It’s strong on it’s own but can be strengthened by events from our life, things that have shaped us. And it can be hard to ignore. The first voice is the voice that we should ignore and not pay attention to. Some times the messages from that voice can be really hurtful, the messages like we’re not worth it, we don’t deserve it, it’s too scary, what if I fail, and it doesn’t matter anyway.

That voice is 100% negative, not benefiting us in anyway. It’s hard to ignore, I know, but we have to. We have to not listen to it as it does us no benefit to listen to it. It will never be the voice that gets us to where we need to be to cross the finish line in our next race, to complete our next triathlon, the voice that gets us the job we want. It’s the voice that will stop you from doing all of those things, if you listen to it.

How

How do I know? Because I honestly believe that all of us can do those things. All of us have the parts, the tools, the capabilities to do anything we want if we work at it and do what is needed to accomplish great things. 30 years ago running a marathon was a HUGE deal. You were an elite athlete if you completed a marathon. Today? It’s not uncommon to know people who have done that. Now, people are running ultra marathons, multiple day endurance races. People are completing 5 ironman triathons in 5 days! But of course these must be gifted people, people who genetically are superior. Nah, I don’t think so. These people are no different that you or I. They have struggled like you and I. They still struggle, everyone does. They decided though to not listen to that first voice but listen to the voice that is the positive voice, the voice that says if you want this then do it. Get up in the morning and do it. Tomorrow is there but what are you doing today? The voice that says you can do it, why not?

Why Not

And why not? What is holding you back? Really, what is it? Fear, intimidation, lack of time, self doubt? Whatever it is you will never get started and do these things if you don’t address them. Fear of failure? I’d rather fail at something than not try at all. You learn about yourself when you fail, you learn the good things about yourself. Failure should be something we accept especially if we tried our best. And if anyone criticizes you because of it then maybe you don’t need to hang around those people any longer. It is so easy to sit back on the side lines and criticize people for falling, for failing. But if you fail than so what? You TRIED to do it. And there’s next time. Look honestly as to why you failed and make changes. And what was the failure anyway? Did you fail to complete the marathon but completed half of it? Wow, you just completed a half marathon! Pretty awesome!

Be honest with yourself be it a success or failure. Analyze and determine what things could have been done differently for a better outcome. And move forward. You only harm yourself dwelling on failures.

Lack of time can be remedied by reducing time spent doing things that do not get you to your goal. We all love spending time on the internet but if that is preventing you from reaching your goal than it’s not helping you. Sometimes we do these things because we can zone out, relax. Try meditation to relax. There are many more benefits to this than passively watching vids.

Self doubt is a real killer. I think most of us, or maybe all of us have that in us. Sometimes self doubt is used to stop us from starting something new, or making a change in our lives. We’d rather go through life dealing with the same shit every day, knowing how much we detest it instead of making a change. It’s familiar, comfortable even though it’s harmful. I had an opportunity to become a ship’s diver, a 6 week course with a 60% failure rate. As it got closer to the course I was scared shitless! I heard so many stories of so many failures that I almost pulled out. To this day I’m glad I didn’t. I became a member of an elite team and also had the opportunity to become  a full time commercial diver. I finished first in my class. Now, if I did pull out I would never have had the opportunity to learn these things about myself.

The other voice

Listen to the voice that tells you what you need to do to achieve your goals. Listen to that voice that says to get out of bed even though it’s cold and miserable outside. Surround yourself with positive people who encourage you to do these things that make you grow as a person. You will become a passive influencer. Become that roll model for younger people. We need more of those. Too many people of lesser quality are influencing our younger generations. No longer is the message to push yourself hard, to do great things with your life, to strive to achieve that huge goal. Instead they are learning that money is everything no matter what the cost. Shallowness rules the social media networks.

Become someone you want to be and let that rub off onto others. It’s awesome to do that and give back what you got. Be that person you need, or needed in your life for someone else.

Lastly

I didn’t think this post was going to be this long. I only meant it to be a post about helping you with this time of year but if it helps you get that kick in the ass you need than it was worth it.

Yours in health,

Darryl

Remembering games and daisy chains

You raise the blade, you make the change

 

I apologize now if this post reads negatively. You may construe it as being negative but it isn’t. Sometimes when we read or hear something that dispels common beliefs or your own beliefs we tend to call the messenger negative. Someone who believes they are realistic are commonly referred to as negative. Hopefully in the end though this article won’t be viewed as negative. I hope to provide enough data that this will be the case.

What

Steps. Getting your steps in. I work in an office environment and I sit on the perimeter of  a large amount of cubicles. I often have people walking by where I sit because they got to get their steps in. Recently there has been a new recruit in the pursuit of getting steps in. This person is much younger than the others, not that that really matters other than showing the demographic of step getters has expanded from people in late adulthood to people in their early adulthood years. I was intrigued by this new stepper and decided to ask her some questions. Basically the idea is to reach your goal of daily steps to keep fit and stay active.

The issue

Unfortunately some people, or maybe most people look at fitness trackers, or more specifically ‘getting my steps in’ as a substitute for real exercise. If you are someone who for medical reasons cannot participate in a form of exercise that increases your heart rate to at least 80%, or cannot participate in any resistance training then I’m ok if getting your steps in is all you do.

But if you do not fall into the above then getting in steps should be something in addition to your workout. If you are desk bound at your job then great, a reminder to get up and walk around. Everyone should get out of their chair frequently regardless of being at work or home. But many times this becomes the substitute to the workout. People actually think they are doing their part to keep themselves healthy. And this gives a false sense of security.

Why is that? Because getting in 10,000 steps doesn’t take into consideration the intensity. And what about duration? If it took me 8 hours to get in 10,000 steps there really isn’t much of a benefit other than being mobile, or somewhat mobile. My heart rate isn’t increasing that much if at all so I’m not realizing the benefits from a high intense workout. And why 10,000? If I am really active in my life, I run 3x a week, or I swim, does getting in 10,000 steps a day benefit me? Maybe I should be getting in 30,000 steps?

This process of getting in 10,000 steps also give people a false sense of achievement. They no longer feel guilty about eating that second piece of cake, or having an additional doughnut. It becomes a justification to indulge: “hey, pass me another piece of pie, I got room, I got my 10,000 steps in today!”. Not to be crass but this happens. Let’s just say of all the ‘stepper’s’ there are where I work, none of them would appear to be healthy. Not by a slim margin but a large margin. I’d even go as far to say they would fall under the obese category for body weight.

As a personal trainer I like to find out why people are getting in their steps and what they feel the benefit is. I have to take a somewhat detached approach because if I don’t my personal trainer side, and also my side of me that wants to help people will come out. My tendencies to let them know that this should be in addition to a regular intense workout that includes resistance training doesn’t go over well. And I have to work with these people too so I don’t need to make any enemies.

I don’t want to say it’s a cult but some of these steppers are hardcore about the benefits and it is almost like a badge of honor, like they just completed a triathlon. Stepping with pride. And these fitness trackers aren’t cheap either so telling someone that their fitness tracker is not the panacea for achieving a healthy life style can be a really downer.

Is it that we live in an age where the goal is feeling good about ourselves regardless of the cost, both monetarily and health wise? Is it the marketing? Is it wanting to belong to a group that drives us to do this?

I don’t know. Maybe some of these or all of them.

Or I might know what it is. People have their minds made up and don’t want to change. If they change it means they were wrong. And that’s hard to accept. I see it once in a while You interact with someone over a number of months and they aren’t making any fitness gains. So you talk to them and express what they should be doing. Either they change or they don’t. Mostly they don’t. They don’t change what they are doing and they don’t change physically because they DON’T change what they are doing. For sure, it could be me, the messenger. But I think it’s fair to say most times it’s the person. Stubbornness, pride, fearing the unknown. Some people don’t want to change because they may feel there are consequences to being a different person. As an example becoming vegan for some people is tough because of the social impact. You can no longer eat grandma’s turkey at thanksgiving, or going to a friends BBQ may mean bringing your own food and having to deal with the questions around that. Some people just don’t want to deal with that. Maybe I’m reading too much into it. But I do believe psychology plays a huge role in fitness and health.

But I digress.

If you get yourself a fitness tracker use it to it’s fullest. Use it for the heart rate monitor so you know you are hitting that 90% bpm when training intensely. Use it to monitor your sleep so you know you are resting well. Use it for steps to get yourself out of the chair at the office but only for that reason, not as a substitute for a good workout.

Yours in health,

Darryl

 

 

Tired, tired with nothing, tired with everything

“I feel all thin, sort of stretched, if you know what I mean: like butter that has been scraped over too much bread.”

Are you feeling this way? You are, and don’t know why? Eating well, you know, eating clean (I hate the saying ‘eating clean’ by the way because by people’s definition of eating clean doesn’t remove foods that cause illness and disease)? Getting adequate rest on most nights, working out so you are physically working your body? Yes? But you are still tired.

What about weakness? Not making strength gains and generally feel weak or weaker? Do you find it cold most of the times where as others around you are comfortable? Maybe mentally you aren’t feeling the best either, struggling at times with depression.

I don’t want to sound like a commercial for a drug but if this sounds like you, you might be experiencing thyroid issues, specifically hypothyroidism.

What

Hypothyroidism is an under active thyroid gland. Basically your thyroid isn’t producing enough of certain important hormones.

And this can take time. You may be having thyroid issues for quite a while but it isn’t until now or lately that the symptoms have manifested enough that they have become obvious. Let’s look at the symptoms that come along with hypothyroidism:

  • Fatigue
  • Increased sensitivity to cold
  • Constipation
  • Dry skin
  • Weight gain
  • Puffy face
  • Hoarseness
  • Muscle weakness
  • Elevated blood cholesterol level
  • Muscle aches, tenderness and stiffness
  • Pain, stiffness or swelling in your joints
  • Heavier than normal or irregular menstrual periods
  • Thinning hair
  • Slowed heart rate
  • Depression
  • Impaired memory

Do you have any of these? Do you have a lot of these? Have you been dealing with these things over a long period of time? If you have please see your doctor as soon as you can as left untreated hypothyroidism over time will cause the thyroid gland to enlarge and can become life threatening.

If you are dealing with some of these things it’s always a good idea to bring them up with your doctor. You could be dealing with some of these things and not have hypothyroidism. But you don’t know for sure until you see your doctor and have tests run. Hopefully you are someone who is in tune with your body, you are honest with yourself with respect to knowing what you eat, how you are sleeping and your workout ethic. Also being aware of when things change. If your life has remained more or less constant over a long period of time and you start sensing changes such as the above symptoms then for sure see your doctor. I’m fortunate that I live in Canada and going to my doctor is as easy and is as cheap as picking up my phone and making an appointment. We get used to this luxury and then get caught up in the difficulty of having to take time off of work to do this, and having to get to our doctor. But, the alternative is worse. If you happen to have hypothyroidism and leave it untreated it can get devastatingly worse. Take yourself a sick day so you are able to take care of yourself and not end up having to take a lot of sick days because of the consequences of something being left untreated.

Impact

Let’s look at what can happen over time if hypothyroidism is left untreated:

  • Heart problems: Your LDL cholesterol (the ‘bad’ cholesterol) level may rise possibly leading to an enlarged heart and heart failure
  •  Mental health: depression may occur and may even become severe. Hypothyroidism may also cause slowed mental functioning
  • Peripheral neuropathy: Pain, numbness in areas possibly in your legs and arms. Muscle weakness or loss of muscle control
  • Goiter: If the thyroid gland becomes enlarged you may develop a goiter which can interfere with breathing and swallowing

 

Part II

Hyperthyroidism

Unlike an under active thyroid gland, hyperthyroidism is the result of an over active thyroid gland. Hyperthyroidism can accelerate your body’s metabolism significantly, causing sudden weight loss, a rapid or irregular heartbeat, sweating, and nervousness or irritability.

What

Are you experiencing any of the following:

  • Sudden weight loss, even when your appetite and the amount and type of food you eat remain the same or even increase
  • Rapid heartbeat (tachycardia) — commonly more than 100 beats a minute — irregular heartbeat (arrhythmia) or pounding of your heart (palpitations)
  • Increased appetite
  • Nervousness, anxiety and irritability
  • Tremor — usually a fine trembling in your hands and fingers
  • Sweating
  • Changes in menstrual patterns
  • Increased sensitivity to heat
  • Changes in bowel patterns, especially more frequent bowel movements
  • An enlarged thyroid gland (goiter), which may appear as a swelling at the base of your neck
  • Fatigue, muscle weakness
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Skin thinning
  • Fine, brittle hair

 

Lastly

Does this sound like you? Are you having to deal with some, or a lot of these symptoms? See your doctor.

Try to always be in tune with your body, with your health. Be honest with yourself. Sometimes it sucks to do that, to be honest with yourself but if you do it it only benefits you. It helps you to get to what the issue is. No one wants to be that hypochondriac. If you are honest with yourself and you are dealing with the above symptoms and you are pretty certain that its not due to other things such as a poor diet, lack of exercise, dealing with traumatic emotional issues then see your doctor.

Take care of yourself. Use those resources that are there for you to do this.

Don’t ever feel guilty about doing that.

Yours in health,

Darryl

 

washing away that which doesn’t matter

We don’t always hear what is good for us. Most times it’s because money can’t be made trying to market and sell. Whenever someone finds out I’m vegan usually I’m asked where I get my protein. My news feed on my phone constantly has articles on protein: what kind of protein should you be taking, are you getting enough protein, what protein should you eat based on your goal, is plant based protein adequate. Stuff like that. But I have yet to see an article on the dangers to our health when we consume too much protein. But that doesn’t sell and make money. Let’s take fiber as an example. How do you make it look appealing to sell? It doesn’t sizzle, it doesn’t make your mouth water, it doesn’t have deep dark attractive colours.

 

What

I’ve never been asked and I’ve never heard anyone be asked where do you get your fiber? I’ve never heard people ask when someone discusses the new diet they are on, ‘are you getting enough fiber?’. Have never seen any articles come to my news feed, have never heard anyone talk about it when discussing what they are doing to eat well. Always protein, fats, and carbs but usually it’s the demonization of carbs.

All fiber comes from plants. All. It is what gives plants their structure. It creates the shape of the plant, and it makes up the bulk of the seeds. Our body cannot digest fiber but it benefits our body in so many ways and plays an essential role in good health.

There are two types of fiber,soluble and insoluble. Soluble fiber will dissolve in water where as insoluble will not. Soluble fiber slows down digestion, giving us the satiated feeling after eating and insoluble is what promotes regular bowel movements. Pretty important things. We usually associate a high protein or fat meal to give us the feeling of fullness, or that satiated feeling. But fiber can do that too and it benefits our health greatly to get that feeling from fiber instead of protein or fat. The second benefit of fiber, the pooping more one will be touch on throughout this article.

Why

Why is fiber good for us? I’ve explained one benefit already, the satiated feeling. If we feel full after eating we are less to eat more thus consuming less calories and keeping our weight in check. But let’s talk about what other benefits there are.

Have you ever juice fasted or know someone who has? Did you end up having acne breakouts? It’s common for people who juice fast, or increase their intake of juice and thus eat less food and less fiber to experience acne break out. And it has nothing to do with the skin detoxing chemicals. It’s a sign of hormone imbalance. All toxins are expelled from our body via urine and feces, not the skin through sweat. All this is done through the liver. Toxins, extra hormones are sent to the liver and then picked up by the small intestine via fiber. If there isn’t enough fiber because we are not eating enough then the toxins, and hormones stay in our system, waiting for that fiber train to come by. When someone is juice fasting there isn’t enough fiber in their body to wash away the excess hormones and thus end up having a hormone imbalance which ends up in an acne breakout.

Fiber is also used by the liver to detoxify a bunch of other things: alcohol, medications, food additives, sweeteners, chemicals, etc. Again, without enough fiber these toxins stay in your body. Yikes!

So if you think about what fiber does for us in removing toxins, wouldn’t you want to remove those toxins as soon as possible? If you aren’t eating enough fiber those toxins remain in your body, sometimes for days depending on the person. That could be why not eating enough fiber is linked to an increase in diseases such as coronary disease, can lead to cancer, diabetes, and skin health issues.

How

According to the Institute of Medicine, the average female needs 25 grams of fiber a day, and the average male needs 38 grams per day. If you fall into the 97% of americans not getting enough fiber than your intake is probably no higher than 15 grams.

The easiest way to consume more fiber is to follow a whole foods plant based diet. As mentioned earlier, all fiber comes from plants. There is zero fiber in animal products. You wont have to spend time trying to understand if you are consuming enough fiber by measuring and counting grams, and you wont have to worry about all the bad things you would be consuming if eating animal products. If you think about it, fiber helps to get rid of extra hormones. Consuming animal products, especially dairy products introduces extra hormones into the body (cow milk is a product whose purpose is to provide the nutrients, and hormones to a new born calf to get that new born calf to about 500lbs in a year) and now your body has to remove those extra hormones. If you aren’t eating enough fiber to get rid of those hormones you could be experiencing some of these issues mentioned previously.

Whole grain foods, potatoes with the skin on, raw berries (try not to pulverize them in the smoothy machine), nuts, seeds, and anything else that is plant based. The more variety the better.

Cut down on processed foods. This is why I don’t say to follow a vegan diet. Veganism is more than what you eat, it’s main focus on not harming animals. So you could eat nothing but potato chips and be vegan. Whole foods plant based diet is the best way to go.

WARNING: If you are someone who has not been getting enough fiber, maybe none to 10, 15 or so grams and you make this switch I warn you now you will probably experience some bloating. Why? Because your gut does not have the proper bacteria because of not eating the proper foods. When you introduce this increase of fiber the gut bacteria you do have starts to ferment it and that fermentation produces a large amount of gas thus the bloating. Give it time, this will stop as new, healthier bacteria form. Think of it as a good thing. Your body is shifting away from harmful bacteria to protective bacteria. Ease into it. Increase the amount of fiber slowly if you feel you need to. Think of it as never running to all of a sudden having to run 5 miles.

And…

Take ownership of your health. What issues are you dealing with? Can those problems be addressed by a change to your diet, a change for the better? It would be like continuing to put low grade gas into my car and then taking the car to the mechanic to address the engine damage that has been done. Change the fuel and no more engine issues. Food is fuel and the higher quality fuel you eat the better your body runs.

Yours in health,

Darryl

 

Give me things that don’t get lost

Run around the same old town

 

Generalities, not specifics. There are guidelines when it comes to training and there are also rules. Just like a lot of things in life, guidelines are recommendations where as rules pertain to everyone. In the context of working out a rule would be not to lean forward when doing barbell squats and a guideline would be to rest a muscle group you just worked out for 48 or more hours. Make sense?

To a point, everyone is different. We are very similar but there are things that make us different and we need to be in tune with our body to understand how you as an individual is different. Sometimes we hear things or read things and think I’m going to do that, even though we don’t have all the important information. You’ll hear about successful people who only sleep maybe 5 hours a day. This is presented in such that you believe this is why they are successful. So what do you do? You start by feeling guilty that you are sleeping your life away instead of being productive and thus successful. And if you didn’t know that people who tend to do this without feeling like crap are able to because they don’t require more sleep then you are making a misinformed decision. They are able to do this without compromising their health. It’s a very small percentage of people who can do this and if you are not one of them you are setting yourself up for some serious health issues.

So let’s look at the 48 hour rule. A lot of thing influence how much rest you need between working muscle groups:

  • Are you getting enough sleep? If you are burning the candle at both ends then you may actually need more than 48 hours to recover from that workout. How do you feel when you wake up? Groggy, miserable, disinterested in things? Are you hanging on by a thread throughout the day? Sometimes we can’t avoid not getting enough sleep but if you can change your routine to get the sleep you need then do it. A good way to know how much you need is to go to bed when you are tired, wake up without an alarm and see how long that period was. Our body is smart and can manage how much sleep we need. Normally when you naturally wake up without an aid like an alarm clock or an external disturbance you have had enough sleep. Then, use that as your guideline. If you have had a more than normal intense day be it due to a work out, or emotional stress then you may need more. Try to adjust for that.
  • How intense was your workout? If your output is 100% and duration is more than an hour then you may need more than 48 hours to recover. If it’s a lighter then normal workout then you many only need 36 hours to recover. I can’t really tell you if you are working out intensely, you need to be the judge of that and for that I would recommend a personal trainer to monitor your workouts. Most people think they are working hard when really they aren’t. What some people perceive as intense usually is more in the moderate area.
  • What is your goal? If your goal is to lose fat or to be healthier and you aren’t a competing athlete then it may not be  a big deal if you don’t get the full recovery period once in a while. In the grand scheme of things if this happens once in a while, maybe once a month or two then don’t get worked up over it. If it happens too often then you may be increasing the risk of injury. We have to be flexible in our lives. I think it’s better to workout when this happens once in a while instead of missing that workout. If you are a competitor it may make more sense to forego working out that body part and try to work something else out knowing your schedule.
  • Are you eating healthy? A lot of my posts touch on eating as it has a lot to do with our fitness and of course health. It’s probably the largest influence on our health. What we eat has about an 80% influence on our body weight and make up. If you are beating up your body day in and day out it needs the proper foods to recover and repair the body. We tend to forget that. If you have a pet you probably know or see that when they are fed foods that are of low quality containing junk or filler. If your body needs to repair itself and it has nothing to do it with because your eating choices are poor then you are increasing the length of time for full recovery. If you are eating foods that cause inflammation, causing disease, and not providing the nutrients you need but instead providing the opposite your recovery times will be much longer. Here’s what a former NFL lineman had to say:
    • “It was hard for me to do bench press, it was hard for me to do push-ups,” Carter says. “Even lifting my body out of the bathtub, it felt like someone was taking a knife to my elbows and twisting that knife around and it was excruciating pain.” You can read more here about what he did to address this.
    • Check this out too on why professional athletes are changing their definitions of healthy eating, or ‘clean’ eating. Clean eating may not be what you think it is.

You

It’s really based on how you know your body. Feedback. What is your body telling you? Figure it out and listen to it. Educate yourself too. Too many people invest time in things that do nothing for their health but then seem to have the time for when they become injured or sick. Be proactive instead of reactive. You’ll feel better, get positive results quicker and in the long term be a healthier person.

Yours in health,

Darryl

 

Take all that you need

I’m locked away to defy and die

Welcome to today’s blog post. There are many reasons why we can be tired, but today I would like to focus on one specifically: iron. Iron doesn’t get as much publicity as lets say protein but it is really important and can affect our performance and also our well being. Without iron, your body can’t make enough healthy oxygen-carrying red blood cells and a lack of red blood cells we become anemic.

How

How do we get iron? We get iron either by eating foods containing iron, or by supplementation. You might have grown up being told to eat liver because it’s high in iron. People eat red meat to get iron. But green vegetables such as iron and broccoli also contain iron. I think you may know where I’m going with this.

Sources

If you follow a vegetarian or vegan diet you may have been asked ‘what are you doing to get your iron’ or you have been told that ‘you will be iron deficient unless you eat red meat’. That’s a common myth out there and it needs to be busted. If you eat a whole food plant based diet (I purposely left out the word vegan since vegan goes beyond just what you eat) you are getting lots of iron, vitamin C, A, magnesium and something really important, fiber (post coming up on the importance of fiber).

But, the really important difference is you are not getting heme iron. Heme iron is the iron that we get when we consume meat. There are studies showing that consuming iron from meat increases the risk of coronary heart disease. Why? Because iron can oxidize cholesterol with free radicals causing atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries). The risk has been quantified as a 27% increase per every 1 mg of heme iron consumed daily. Another study concluded that the intake of heme iron, not plant iron, was associated with the increase of stroke and diabetes. The conclusion states: ‘Higher heme iron intake and increased body iron stores were significantly associated with a great risk of type 2 diabetes. Dietary total iron, non-heme iron, or supplemental iron intakes were not significantly associated with type 2 diabetes.’ There are also studies that show an increase in cancer rates due to heme iron intake. Want to know more? Check this link out.

Why

So why is it that we always hear that we need to eat meat, specifically to get iron? I’ve written about this before and I think it’s relative here too. There’s a lot of money to be made to continue having people consume animal products. How do you make billions of dollars by marketing ‘your’ kidney beans, or your spinach, or your walnuts. Good luck, it’s not going to happen. But, run the commercial of your sizzling juicy stake on the bbq, party going on and everyone having a good time and you are on your way! There are cultural norms around consuming animal products, especially red meat. Don’t eat red meat, you aren’t a real man. Don’t eat grandma’s casserole you just offended the whole family.

We have been marketed to to death, from pre-school all the way through adult hood.

But it’s up to you to decide what you eat and that decision can have good or bad consequences when it comes to your health.

And don’t take my word for it. Just look at history. How is it, as an example, Okinawan’s were the longest living people? Pre 1950 their diet consisted of an average of 85% carbs, with very, very little red meat.

How is it there are many life time vegans, vegetarians who never consumed red meat yet they are healthy and they aren’t anemic?

Finally

Let me ask you this. Do you know any people who eat a whole foods plant based diet, and have been for a number of years? Do you know any people who eat red meat constantly, and other animal products? Who is dying from diseases such as coronary heart disease, diabetes, stroke, etc.?

Do yourself a favor and take the red pill. There is so much information out there that will lead you to a healthy and long life. You just need to cut through the bro science and the bullshit. Bro science and bullshit is what sells products. That’s the world we live in, like it or not. But you have a choice. Make the right choice.

Yours in health,

Darryl

 

beating ourselves up

And how to recover from it

Working out causes a lot of stress to our body. Resistance training is the process of over loading our muscles so micro tears happen. We stress our tendons, ligaments, joints by repeatedly over loading them. Generally working out as long as it’s done smartly is good for our body and our mind. But, if you are someone who trains at a more intense level, or maybe an endurance athlete then recovery becomes very important.

Endurance sports are more popular today then they were 20 to 30 years ago. It used to be uncommon to know someone who was a marathoner or a triathlete but people who run marathons, participate in triathlons are more common today. Marathons have evolved into ultra marathons and triathlons now come in different flavors testing the ultra endurance athlete. Take this for example, completing 5 iron triathlons in 5 days! Crazy! The ultra marathon is the new marathon.

It’s great if you want to do these things but you have to be even smarter with your training, which of course includes recovery. But if you are not an ultra endurance athlete, for sure you want to do what you can to reduce things that can impact your training and also impact negatively your day to day life.

Inflammation

So what is inflammation? It’s our immune system’s response to a perceived threat. When you stub your toe as an example, your body reacts by releasing immune cells, hormones, and nutrients to fix the problem. Blood flow increases, white blood cells are brought in to help fix the problem. This is your bodies natural response to an injury. Inflammation is the bodies response to injury, an attempt to heal itself, without it wounds would fester and infections could become deadly. But inflammation can become problematic causing excess swelling, mobility issues, swelling and redness.

The stress of training can cause inflammation in our body but so can what we eat. For over 20 years now studies have shown that consuming animal products can peak inflammation. Within 4 hours of consumption our body is put into a low level of inflammation. Then, 4 to 6 hours later we consume animal products again thus keeping the cycle of inflammation going. This inflammation affects our circulatory system, the heart and the lungs, causing internal damage not just decades down the road by also immediately.I’ll include the link here to information on this but basically study after study shows that you consume endotoxins when consuming animal products.

If you are someone who consumes dairy, you may notice this after having a glass of milk, or eating some ice cream and then later working out, especially a hard cardio workout. Find yourself having to deal with excess mucus, phlegm? Cut out all dairy and see if you still have this issue. I would say the biggest changes I have noticed myself after switching to a plant based diet over 4 years ago is no longer having to deal with phlegm after a hard cardio workout and generally a happier gut. I believe it every time I read it that all humans are lactose intolerant.

Reduce

Eliminate all animal products to reduce inflammation. Consume a whole foods plant based diet and be sure to eat lots of colourful foods such as deep greens, strawberries, blue berries, consume nuts like almonds, walnuts and add some pumpkin seeds. Eat lots of beans too. Try these things to see if it helps. In my opinion, the food we eat has a lot to do with our health. Think of food a health care, and medicine as sick care.

I know this is a somewhat controversial post because I’m advocating eliminating all animal products for your diet but don’t just take my words, look at living examples. Rich Roll, super endurance athlete and vegan who is in his early 50’s. John Joseph, lead singer of the CroMags, triathlete, vegan for about 30 years. This guy is nearing his late 50’s and still leads a punk band (high intense output needed for that) and still competing in triathlons. Here’s some more: Carl Lewis who is quoted saying: “My best year of track competition was the first year I ate a vegan diet.” , Scott Jurek an ultra marathoner who has been vegan since 1999. Think eating nothing but plants isn’t sustainable and your performance will take a hit? In 2010, 11 years after being vegan, Scott Jurek ran 165.7 miles in 24 hours, a US record, earning a silver medal.

If vegan ultra endurance athletes at world level competition are successful, maybe there’s truth to to this, and the corporations behind selling us animal products have been doing it lying to us the whole time, telling us we need their products to be healthy. Tyson foods, largest meat producer in the US recently increased their stake in the plant based company Beyond Meat. Canada’s largest meat producer, Maple Leaf Foods recently purchased a vegan meat company, Field Roast. If these companies felt so strongly about selling you healthy products, and selling you meat was the way to do that, why would they invest in plant based products? Money. It always comes down to money. You cannot market successfully potatoes, carrots, lettuce and other vegetables but you can for sure differentiate your milk, chicken, beef from your competitors. That’s why they are investing in plant based protein companies such as Beyond Meat, or Field Roast. It always comes down to money. Oh, and forget about the government having your health in their best interest. That’s a big mistake.

 

Finally

I’m not asking anyone to become vegan. I would love you to but being vegan is not just about what you eat, it goes beyond that. If you want to be healthier, reduce inflammation so you can train harder more frequently then change your diet to a whole foods plant based diet. Don’t believe me? Do your own homework. But be sure to read studies that are not industry funded, and don’t listen to crack pot doctors or bro science. Listen to real doctors who are experts in their fields such as Dr. T. Colin Campbell, Dr. John McDougall, Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn, Dr. Neil Barnard, Dr. Michael Greger and so on. Check out Nutrition Facts dot org also.

You can do it. You just have to be smart about it. Take the red pill and start to see what is really doing on. You and your body will be so much happier because of it.

Yours in health,

Darryl

 

 

And now it’s alright, it’s okay

And you may look the other way

 

What are the important things to keep fit, to meet your goals, to grow with respect to your physicality? I get asked this time to time. It’s a tough question to answer because whenever you place things above other things it tends to lessen the importance of those things below it. Implicitly they will be looked at as less important.

But, I have given it a lot of thought and this is what I have concluded: Consistency.

Why?

You can have great technique. You can work out with intensity. You can eat well. But, if you are doing those things infrequently or sporadically then those things preceding this just don’t matter, to a point. Of course if you are consistently going to the gym but standing around, talking, not working out then it really doesn’t matter. Taking into consideration that you are training when you do go to train then it’s really important that you go regularly. This applies to most things in our life. If we consistently study another language then we will get better learning that language sooner. If we consistently practice a music instrument we will be better playing that instrument, sooner.

That’s it. Not much more to say. I think we all know this, it’s just something I wanted to say.

 

Yours in health,

Darryl