I am fully guilt of seeking pleasure at all times. Feelings of malcontent consume me when I am static for too long or I feel like there is not enough energy flowing through my life. This psychological malady is what drives addiction. The constant drive for more ‘quantity’ in life experiences and not enough reflection in the ‘quality’ of what I have achieved. In our self serving social media driven world, this is becoming more and more prevalent. In an effort to kick the habit and to develop a more consciously driven life, neuroscientists and psychologists have developed a simple therapy of ‘Savoring’ that is having some great effects.
In 2004 the Olympic governing Body took caffeine off the banned substances list. This supplement and naturally occurring component of some foods, finally got buy off at the highest level. Caffeine is the most studied performance substance that we take as athletes. The history of use in athletics has a long lineage, going back over a hundred years ago. But Im not here to give you a History lesson. I want to help you with your training TODAY! Caffeine supplementation in your diet is truly a science so read on to see how to maximize its benefits.
Ok Here is a quick Poll.. How many of you out there have been on an airplane and heard the announcement: “We will not be serving any Peanut Products on this flight due to a SERIOUS Peanut Allergy, if you have foods which contain Peanuts, please do not eat them on this flight”. Chances are, many of you are nodding your heads now. And maybe a couple of you are those Peanut fearing folks who make your presence known in every social situation you come into. Allergies to Foods has grown in the past 50 years by a staggering amount. There are fingers being pointed and science trying to uncover the reasons. Here is the latest Science behind the phenomenon.
The New Year is upon us and there is probably an itching in your mind to start anew, change some habits, and tilt the pendulum towards better health and wellness. The path to progress is rarely laid out in massive shifts because they inherently lead to failure. Small steps and habits are the best way to make lasting changes happen. For me, it all starts with the morning Routine. Like a fresh slate every day, your morning Nutrition routine sets you up for success or failure depending on how you approach it. Here are 2 go-to breakfast beverages that swing you towards a better day.
Each year in December I like to round up my thoughts, reestablish my center and focus on the short, medium and long term goals for the next year. In doing so I re-vist my 3 P's for success. I don't know exactly where or how I came up with them but If you ask anyone who has known me for a while they will likely tell you that I am as concerned with developing mental toughness as much as I am about Nutritional Health. That is what these three 'cornerstones' of success represent; a better grasp on who you are is the first step in developing true mental toughness!
Did You know that the “Sunshine Vitamin” is not really much a vitamin at all? Vitamin D, one of the essential Vitamins that our body produces as well as we get from Mother Nature is really more of a Hormone than nutrient. Diving into the minutiae of what it is or is not pales in comparison to the importance it has on your body, especially in Wintertime. While the ravages of training and weather take its toll on your body, here are 3 ways to guarantee Vitamin D levels remain in a good spot this winter.
Vanderbilt University has released a report this week that shook me up. The Headline Read, “GUT Microbiome differs among Ethnicities” which obviously sparked my attention but when I read into it more.. my thinking on bacteria flipped completely. It turns out that what I thought about boosting bacteria was naive and the scope of what I was trying to conceptualize is as big as the stars in the sky above us. But as we will discuss, the subsequent rabbit home I went down gave me extreme hope in the direction of Individualized medicine and our understanding of disease! Lets dive in.
It is no surprise that fitness and training can fall off the rails during the holidays. If you are like 90% of us, I feel like the days are busier now than they were when we chased every minute of summer. Much of the problem is not only the race to get ready for the upcoming holiday but we also have less hours of daylight which really can mess up your schedule and drive. But, we can always get a win if we plan our Nutrition. Here are 5 of my top tips you should use to be successful.
The Never Ending Quest for Optimal Performance means that we should look in all directions for ways to NATURALLY reach peak levels. Essential Oils are not just a Hippie or New Age remedy for reaching ultra spiritual levels or to clean your Karma up, there is some real physiological benefits to these ancient remedies. So Lets Huff, Rub and Injest some key truths about Essential oils.
Beyond the Pride that Canada has for Hockey and their kind disposition, they also have quite a passion for Producing Maple Syrup. This gooey sap that comes from…. you guessed it.. Maple Trees, is a favorite of Sunday morning Pancake fests all over North America. There is new data out that shows Maple Syrup far exceeding any of it sweet competition (except honey of course) in the area of health benefits. It seems that teams of Researchers have uncovered unique antioxidant properties in the brown stuff that helps ward off inflammation and neurodegeneration.
Driven…. Would This adequately describe you? For many athletes who reach out to me and read this Blog Series, I would probably say so. The Drive you display each day needs to be tempered with healthy habits to keep you on track and your systems firing. Thyroid health is essential for overall health. This small glad and its performance dictates how fast you can get to your health goals. Thyroid health can give you a snapshot into what is happening inside your body. Lets dig into this and see how your diet and training plan are either helping or hurting your Thyroid.
Summer Time is over so that means enough with the BBQ Hot dogs and Hamburgers. Summer Time indulgence tapers off as we settle in for great fall veggies and a fresh look at our Nutritional foundation. If you are not looking at Nutrition as seasonal then now is the time to wake up to this very primal tendency. Here are the top 5 foods you should incorporate into your diet for optimal heart Health this winter.
I have always said that it is easier to change someones Religion than it is to change their Nutrition Habits. Nutrition Habits or rather ‘how we eat’ on a day to day basis is nothing more than refined habits that dominate our decision making process. What we understand of what is ‘good to eat’ or ‘how much to eat’ and even ‘when to eat’ is all predicated on how we live our lives through Routine. Questions come my way each week about specifics in Nutrition but also some very simple ones like, “Where do I begin this Journey?” . Today Im going to give you the KEY 3, a simple way to look at your Nutrition.
Its now fall, chilly mornings and certainly there is the possibility of some rain or even snow. Now, you wouldn’t leave the house without a jacket right? Your jacket, protects you from the elements, allows you to thrive in an otherwise uncomfortable climate. Well, this is cholesterol in a nut shell. Cholesterol in your body is like a Jacket around each and every one of your billion cells. Cholesterol protects it, allows it to thrive and increases its functionality no matter the conditions. Cholesterol has been falsely vilified for many years as a killer in our bodies. As I will show you there are more dangerous truths lying just beneath the surface.
The next Exposure cycle will feature strength biasing and if you have followed me through the years that means we hit the pavement… fast. Sprinting is part of my fall exposure cycle because of its benefits from strength and coordination. As much as we love to clang and bang all winter, there is some serious neurological-muscular development that needs to happen that will keep us adapting as optimal human beings. But there is a reason why you dont like to sprint… it Frickin hurts! To level up as an athlete you need to understand that there is a big difference between running fast and sprinting. Lets dive in.
Take a deep breath, bring yourself to a calm place, and take this moment right now to be present. Feel your body, all the contentment, from your toes to your eyelashes, and most importantly your Heartbeat. Your heart is an amazing organ that keeps the vessel in which you inhabit, running smooth. So important is the process of circulation for us as athletes that we need to be constantly working to improve the quality of each and every beat. Just like exercise, Nutrition is so very important to keeping the plumbing and fluid working for all the systems that depend on it.
From Aches and Pains to Cancer, Inflammation is what we as Human Beings are in constant danger of succumbing to. As Athletes we strive to mitigate unnecessary inflammation through diet and exercise. Understanding what is going on in our GUT, taking a snapshot if you will, is impossible to do from day to day and our natural immune response can be out of order. Bacteria like Candida could be overgrown in your body, creating chronic inflammation without you easily identifying the symptoms. Lets dive in today on what Candida Overgrowth is and how to eliminate it.
I have to admit that when I am in your kitchen, I am totally judging you by the type of oils you use to cook with. Why? The reason is that not all oils are created the same and therefore cannot be used across all types of cooking. Some go on salads, some for sautéing , and some for frying. So Im sorry for judging but Im not sorry for bringing this up. Diversifying the oils in your kitchen should be as divers as the herbs you cook with. The differences bring out flavor, and can even keep you healthier. In our pursuit of optimal health, lets take a look at this important fat source.
I can’t help but trip out on the Beating of my Heart. Like all Scientists I like to hypothesize, test, and qualify my findings. With my heart, there are all kinds of stimulations I produce which allow me to dive in on the quality of my beats, quantity of the beats and so many questions about how and why my heart is the way it is. This incredible muscle is sometimes underreported on in Sport because we focus often times on skeletal muscle and its value to producing work for our achievement. Your HEART Muscle is different and really special. What are its needs? How can I boost its performance? Lets take a look under the hood and check out some reasons why???
Put your Protein Shake down, stop instagramming your favorite cross fitter and listen up... Some day you are going to die. Thats right, I said it; some day the breath will leave your lungs, your heart will stop beating, your consciousness (as we know it, respective to your education and spirituality) will cease and your body will begin its process of reverting into the same materials from which it was created. This description MAY have startled you, you may have a sinking feeling in your stomach, you may have FEAR. But as humans focused on the transcendence of body and spirit (otherwise known as Athletes) we must not settle with a feeling but rather deduce the cause of the FEAR, and really pinpoint why we view our eventual demise with such trepidation?
I vividly Recall one of my Head instructors at Fire Academy. He always gave it to us straight, whether it was techniques on popping a door or how to angle my hose for optimal knockdown on flames. Another piece of advice he gave me was to 'never have sex the night before a practical exam, it will kill your aggression'. I dont know why but this has always stuck with me and today im going to dig into the research behind sex and performance, because we ALL want both!
Imagine You are flying 30,000 feet over my programming Template for a year. We are cruising, sipping cocktails and watching a Badass Tom Cruise Movie when we come into late Summer/ Fall. The Muscular Endurance that we strive for has been met, so the long Summer hikes, trail Runs and Mountain Biking Sessions can be dominated. We have built stability and capacity out of our primary movers like the Glutes, hamstring and Quads... But Now its time to get deeper, develop an inner strength that will not only round out your strength but can get you the top end speed you want.... its time for ADDUCTION.
So there I was, my muscles frozen from cramps, my stomach in knots, my vision blurred... and I still had 5 more hours of running! Worlds Toughest Mudder in 2015 was a huge disaster. It was my first 24 hour endurance race and my nutrition was completely wrong, and I was feeling it. Strong headed and unprepared, my will got me through but I learned a valuable lesson from the other racers on the course who were smashing pizza, and pickles and Coke the entire race... Salt is your friend. Since then I have paid way more attention to the quality of Sodium levels in my blood and my athletic performance. Lets dive in on why you should be paying closer attention to Sodium levels if you want to become the best athletic version of yourself.
Without going any further.... Which would you be? Flexible? OR Mobile? As an athlete and Gym owner I hear the two Terms Flexibility and Mobility used with very little regard for differences. But there IS a huge difference and today I am going to shed light on this so YOU can change the way you think about your daily training. This under appreciated distinction is literally the linchpin of athletic performance. Have I peaked your interest? Lets get bendy today and develop a greater understanding of what it actually means to be a functional athlete.
If you are like me, the hunt is always on for the 1 whole food supplement that can capture all the benefits without shaking up multiple concoctions or swallowing heaps of pills. The Vital Proteins Brand has consistently been a brand that I use because of #1 the Collagen and #2 the Beef Liver. Well I now have a #3... The Sports Greens. Today on the 5 reasons WHY, we are going to deconstruct this killer supplement and show you why you need to keep it on your counter.
Twice per year I do a check in. It is not to be confused with a Check up in the sense that I would check my blood pressure or my back squat, the Check In is more profound and re-connects me with what I have called my "3 P's for Success" . Principles, Purpose and Persistence. There is no exact date for this intraspection but simply a feeling or natural wave of sentiment that draws me back to it. Today I want to brush you all up on the 3 P's and give you the simple answer to the problem that vexes all humans... How to live Peacefully.
Did you know that at the 2012 Olympic games the most sought after medical consultation by athletes, after Musculoskeletal repair, was Dental Checkups and treatments? !! In a Continuing Quest to have everyone of you think before eating, I wanted to talk a bit today about the importance of your Mouth... Yes that place where your food comes into contact with the body first... Lets dive in on a couple proven facts about how the health of your mouth can effect your performance in the gym and competition.
Question of the day... What is your favorite Summertime beverage or food? Chances are, you are thinking of something cold. A iced tea, ice cream, or a cold salad... Probably not a hot tea or spicy lamb curry. The intuitive sense of cooling your body off with cold foods is truly something that Americans take as the surest way of relief. But... (you know there has to be a but) what if I told you that the real physiological relief comes in the way of herbs?! Lets take a look at the common misconceptions of icing your body down and the natural way your body can beat the heat.
It never ceases to amaze me when I travel around this great land of ours; Humans feeding themselves the worst possible nutrition and then reacting in negative ways to themselves and others. Well the prescription for a happier society, a happy existence depends almost exclusively on the food choices you make! I plead with you, you few conscious activists in the world, to help spread the message that FOOD IS FUEL and FUELING THE MIND BRINGS GOOD VIBES!
The Short answer is yes. Yes you should be concerned about the amount of Zinc you are taking in on a daily basis, yes you should supplement your diet with it and YES Zinc has a lot to do with your ability to fight illness and cognitive decline. But Zinc? Really.... Though it may be a the bottom of the list when it comes to lining out all the necessary nutrients in your body, there is surprising evidence that this mineral plays a much bigger role than once thought.