More than what meets the eye…

At this point in the digital age, basically all niche social media outlets have become picture books of our lives. The words are gone, no more anonymous blog posts or forum threads, we let photos tell our stories…which honestly, I absolutely prefer. There’s a reason I can’t keep a Facebook account active for longer than a month as of late, people take way too much of an advantage of having a 500+ audience to post an irrelevant ‘status’ to. Coming from a business perspective though, especially in the fitness and health industry, there really couldn’t be a more handy tool than having the freedom to post a magazine of your product (aka body) for all to see and be inspired by. But where is the line between self promotion and relying solely on your appearance for credibility?

The sexualization of fitness is never going away, I’m sorry (no I’m not) but if you honestly think that you have 10K or more followers on Instagram because of your ‘motivating’ attitude and not because of the provocative thoughts your sweaty pumped up muscles inspire in your pictures and videos, you are lying to yourself. EVEN if you have the most honest intentions in the world, people are going to objectify you and fantasize about way more than picking your brain over a cup of coffee on the benefits of fasted cardio. I am not exempt from this phenomenon either, I recently posted a photo of myself in a bikini and it has the most likes out of any photo on my page, literally the least important thing I have probably ever posted on my account received the absolute most attention…honestly, it’s kind of disheartening to me. I work extremely hard to find and promote valuable information to share on social media, the REAL stuff, the stuff that could change the future of our planet and children’s lives if enough people knew about and acted on it. But nobody gives a shit about that unless it’s attached to a picture of some #squatspo ass or ‘hot guy with a beard’ pic. When did a six pack, tattoos or a cool mustache become more interesting than minimizing greenhouse gas emissions? Hahaha, what the hell am I even saying? That sentence even sounds ludicrous to me and I genuinely feel it’s an injustice. Maybe if more of these types of folks used their ‘powers’ for good I’d have a little less to rant about…but if you don’t have any depth or character behind that smoking body or sweet beard, what is your worth, truly? What is your message? What do you stand for? If you have that kind of platform to reach TEN THOUSAND PEOPLE, 10,000! USE IT FOR SOMETHING MORE IMPORTANT THAN YOUR BODY. That’s all I’m saying. There is absolutely nothing wrong with working your ass off to reach and maintain a desirable appearance, and it’s so easy to be admired for that because it’s instant, people see you, they automatically think; motivated, strong, dedicated etc…which are all respectable things to be known for, but what if you poured 1/10th of the power of those adjectives into the Big Brothers Big Sister’s program? Or did a tour with Green Peace? Maybe you just start volunteering on weekends for a non-profit…think of the impact you could make. It’s incredible and immeasurable who or what you could inspire.

I firmly believe in taking full advantage of social media, on all platforms. But promote something meaningful at least. Be more than a pretty face, be a revolutionary for your own personal passions.

Can good D cure the common cold?

The Earth and sun are two of the most underutilized health and longevity improving tools out there. We are SO quick to make a Doctor’s appointment at the first sign of a cold, & don’t think twice about a round of antibiotics to banish said cold. But rarely stop to ask ourselves WHY we are getting sick. I mean it’s just part of being human right? Sometimes we get a hold of some germs that are just a bit too much for our immune system to handle, so our lives take a back seat for a few days while we deal with it and then we’re right back up and going. Truth be told though, the ever so cutely named ‘common cold’ should really not be that common…not to mention things like strep throat or the full blown influenza virus.

There are so many decisions we make in our daily lives that affect our immune systems, yet very few of which you’re told are to blame for your weak ass antibodies. I think most people know by now that the majority of your immune system lives in your intestinal tract, that means that what you eat has a HUGE impact on how often you get hit with a stuffy nose or sore throat. And if you’ve ever taken antibiotics in your life, even one time, all the good bacteria in your gut has been eliminated…which is why it’s so imperative to be taking a high quality probiotic daily (preferably first thing in the morning before any food). Diets which are high in hard to digest foods (animal proteins, saturated fat, gluten etc.) and low in fiber are going to attribute the most to a weakened immune system. There are ways to combat this which I’ll cover later, but for now; the more efficient your digestion is the better off your overall health will be.

So what the hell do the Earth and the Sun have to do with the cold you had last month? Well there were a good few thousands of years where we didn’t have black out curtains to allow us to sleep at any point in the day, alarm clocks to wake us, or Netflix keeping us awake gazing into unnatural blue light until 3AM, we also didn’t have Nikes attributing to increased sprint speed and creating a barrier between our feet and the Earth. We rose with the sun, walked barefoot and slept when it got dark, which kept our circadian rhythm on track.

circadian rhythm is a daily cycle of biological processes that the body undergoes in response to the environment, mostly as a response to sunlight. Early morning light raises the body’s Cortisol hormone, giving us energy and engaging our Sympathetic nervous system, as the sun sets our Cortisol should naturally decrease as the body taps into the Parasympathetic nervous system in preparation for sleep/rest/repair mode.  Exposure to the sun is crucial for getting our daily dose of Vitamin D, which regulates immune system function and the absorption of multiple essential nutrients…kind of important. Anyone with a low stress 9 to 5 job who sleeps outside is probably the closest to having a regular circadian rhythm, but realistically who is living stress free, waking at sunrise in a sleeping bag, going to work smiling every day, having dinner by sunset and getting in bed to do it all over again by dark? Some hippy who hates fun probably, it’s obviously not that common for anyone to be living that close to the Earth’s natural rhythms, and that’s ok because we can bio-hack our way back on track. My favorite 🙂

The other half of the puzzle is connecting to the Earth’s natural negative charge. Your immune system functions optimally when your body has an adequate supply of electrons, which are easily and naturally obtained by barefoot contact with the Earth. This is an age old (like, the beginning of time) type of practice but, within the past 50 years people started to figure out how to make money off of the most free thing there ever was besides breathing, and the term ‘Earthing’ was coined. I mean there’s even books written about it (I know because I own one…). Earthing or Grounding as it’s sometimes called is simply taking off your shoes and socks and walking around in the grass. Yep….thats it. Get your bare skin touching the Earth’s natural surface for a minimum of 30 minuets per day and you’ll be amazed at the difference you’ll feel in your energy and health. I personally think that the best time to do this is in the early morning, I have two dogs and the first thing they do when we they get up is walk straight outside and stretch out in the sun for at least 15 minutes. We can learn a lot from natural instinct like that.

To summarize, the best way to keep your immune system strong and functioning properly;

  • Eat a plethora of whole fiber rich foods to keep your digestion on track; fruits, vegetables, potatoes, legumes and gluten free whole grains.
  • Prioritize micronutrients; living foods, leafy greens etc…vegetable juices are a good way to get a big hit in a small package.
  • TAKE A PROBIOTIC, every single morning when you wake up.
  • Try and get on a solid schedule with your sleep, wake up before 9AM and be in bed as early as possible, I know you have a DVR, watch The Bachelor tomorrow.
  • Get outside and expose as much of your body as you comfortably can to the sun with-out freaking out your neighbors for at least 15 minuets per day.
  • Preferably practice this sun exposure barefoot and in the morning,  laying on the Earth is just as acceptable if you aren’t trying to get like me and do your yard work in a bikini.

Cold’s are lame, so prioritize your health as much as you do your abs.

Burn baby burn! The 6 meals a day myth, torched…

We’ve all heard it before, believed it at one point, or are still living by it…“Eating small meals throughout the day keeps that Metabolic fire buring!”Duh right? If we knew anything about anything it makes sense, your metabolism is heightened each time you eat, so eating more often = faster more active metabolism = more calories burned through out the day. But we have to talk about WHY your metabolic rate is raised…

It’s called TEM, or the ‘Thermic Effect of Food’…. basically, every time you eat, your Metabolic Rate is boosted above it’s baseline and energy is expended by your body (calories are burned) to digest the food you ate, convert it to energy and then dispose of it.

  • Approx. 30% of Protein calories you consume are burned via TEM
  • 15-20% of Carbohydrate calories
  • and 3-5% of Fat.

So typically 10% of your total calories in one meal are burned solely through the TEM process.

Let’s look at a 2000kcal per day diet (say 40% Protein, 30% Carb and 30% Fat) broken down into 3 different meal frequency combinations over the course of 72 hours…so 3 days of eating the exact same macronutrients, just in different proportions per sitting and times. Keep in mind that TEF = 10% of calories consumed in one sitting…

Day 1.) Two meals at 1000kcal. 
TEF is 100kcal x 2 = 200kcal

Day 2.) Four meals at 500kcal. 
TEF is 50kcal x 4 = 200kcal

Day 3.) Six meals at 333kcal. 
TEF is 33kcal x 6 = 198kcal ( Round it up alright? )

So regardless of your meal frequency, TEF and your caloric expenditure would be identical…the only real reason I see for eating 6 meals per day would be personal preference or satiety during a cut, but let’s be honest, who the hell wants to eat ‘because it’s time’ everyday for the rest of their lives? 
(…there is something to be said about specific timing of macronutrients through out the day, say based around pre/post work out intake, but this post is solely about the way food affects your metabolism…cool it haterz.)