Your Burger isn’t the same as that Burger

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This “It’s Just food” attitude towards junk food is the very reason for many of our common health diseases in the western world.

One time I was in the car with my cousin who had just purchased a cheeseburger and fries from McDonalds for her 4 year old son. I said to her, “Why would you feed your child that? It’s terrible for you!”

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How to Form a Healthy Habit

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You know what they say, “The chains of habit are to weak to be felt until they’re too strong to be broken.“

That means if you aren’t looking to form good habits, you’ll form negative ones without knowing it and they can enslave you. Not Good.

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ENH 013: Why your Egg Quality Matters, Choosing Supplements that Don’t Suck and how Mobility can add Years to Your Life with Natural Stacks’ Ryan Munsey

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ryan-munsey-ex-nihilo 

Why Listen?

There are so many egg labels that no one knows the difference anymore. Find out the actual difference between good eggs and bad eggs in this episode. Hint: you might throw out your conventional eggs after you hear the difference.

We also discuss Supplement companies and how you just can’t trust any old supplement company out there. Quality ingredients and full disclosure of those ingredients  are a must for a good company. Otherwise, you might be getting sand in those pills.

Lastly we touch on mobility and how becoming more mobile and doing things like Yoga can help you live longer. 

 

Guest Bio

Ryan Munsey is a mental and physical performance specialist with a degree in Food Science and Human Nutrition from Clemson University. He holds a number of job titles, including fitness model, gym owner, strength coach, freelance fitness writer, and Chief Optimizer at Natural Stacks. Find Ryan’s articles and Optimal Performance Podcast at optimalperformance.com or email ryan@naturalstacks.com.

 

Show Notes

Optimal Performance Website: http://optimalperformance.com/

Ryan Munsey Website: http://ryanmunsey.com/

Ryan’s Facebook: http://facebook.com/munseyryan

Ryan’s Twitter: https://twitter.com/ryanmunsey

Yoga for Men link: http://optimalperformance.com/man-flow-yogas-3-best-yoga-poses-to-increase-fitness/

Chickens aren’t vegetarians. The truth about Egg Quality link: http://optimalperformance.com/the-truth-about-inferior-grain-fed-eggs/

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ENH 012: Shedding fat fast with only 20 minutes a day, minimalist Kettlebell training and avoiding bad form in the gym with Pat Flynn

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Why Listen?

To get strong and lose weight many people think you have to be in the gym for a few hours a day like a bodybuilder. Today in the show we learn that that just ins’t the case. You can get strong, lose fat and feel amazing with something called minimalist training. Minimalist training is the idea of doing the least amount possible for the greatest amount of results. Our guest Pat Flynn breaks down how to get the most bang for your buck in your workouts. He also tells us what common mistakes rookies are making in the gym and what sorts of foods to eat while living the minimalist lifestyle.

Guest Bio

Pat Flynn is a fitness minimalist and believes any exercise program will improve in direct ratio to the number of things you can leave out of it that shouldn’t be there.

He is the founder of The Chronicles of Strength and chief contributor to the Chronicles Of Strength Inner Circle – a monthly newsletter dedicated to helping you reach your goals through fitness minimalism (or doing the least amount of exercise needed to get the job done).

Pat is also the author of Paleo Workouts for Dummies and Fast Diets for Dummies.

Show Notes

Chronicles of Strength: http://www.chroniclesofstrength.com/

Chronicles of Strength inner circle: http://www.chroniclesofstrength.com/inner-circle/

Pat Flynn Twitter: https://twitter.com/patflynncos

How to do a kettlebell clean: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tzxBE3yKWX4

300 Swings a day: http://breakingmuscle.com/kettlebells/300-swings-a-day-for-faster-fat-loss

 

 

 

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25 small Steps to Take That Will Lead to BIG changes in your Health

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As a former NFL athlete, strength coach and health advocate, i’ve tested out just about every form of health, fitness and wellness out there. Not all of them lead to success by an stretch of the imagination. But it was this diversity in my learning that allowed me to formulate my personal wellness success code. The following 25 steps are only small changes, but as you begin to implement them one at a time, the effects begin to compound, leaving you with an amazing healthy body and mind.

1. Know your “Why”

If you don’t know why you are pursuing good health, you won’t succeed. Very few people find success and longevity on accident. Have you ever been on a diet that someone else forced you on? Did it suck? Of course! That’s because someone else’s passion was driving the diet. You’ve got to find your passion, purpose and your own “Why”. It’s the only thing that will keep you on track when tough times hit.

2. Set an example for your children

It’s a scary thought, but those little ones are watching everything you do. They put on clothes like you, have fun like you do and they’ll eat, pray, exercise, meditate like you do! If you don’t, then they won’t. Invest in their good health and give them every opportunity to live their best life.

3. Read (at least) a book a month on your health/ fitness/ soul

So many people work IN their life, but not ON their life. If you want success, you’ll have to go at this with more than just your High School health class and a few studies you saw on the internet in your head. Start the process of understanding yourself. Knowledge is terribly underrated nowadays. Don’t just take one person’s perspective on health, take in many. This will help you understand the “What” and the “How” of wellness.

4. Get the junk out of your house

If junk is there, you’ll probably eat it. Get ride of the loaf of wonder bread and the sugar cookies from last weeks party now. And don’t use the excuse of, “i’ll just eat what’s here then i’ll start”. There will always be another party, gathering or spouse binge that will bring more junk into the home. Get rid of it fast!

5. Realize eating healthy when company is around is not rude

If you think you have to eat poorly because there are guests in your home or with you in a restaurant, you’re enabling yourself. That’s what we call mental gymnastics: jumping through hoops to appease your inner desire to eat some bad food. Your friends will not mind if you have a salad or some wild caught Salmon at lunch instead of pizza or a burger.

6. Build a morning routine

Creating a morning routine was the single greatness game changer in my life thus far. It allows me to enter the day refreshed and excited for what’s ahead, rather than flustered and stressed as I take on the day. I have a 45 minute lecture on hacking your morning routine here.

7. Supplements are not the enemy

Granted, there are some down right dangerous supplements out there. But if you do your research, there are some very healthy, high quality supplement companies out there like Natural Stacks and NKDNutrition. Just do your research on the company, avoid junk fillers and refuse to buy any multi-colored, psycho looking supplements that promise you’ll lose 70 lbs. in 2 weeks

8. Shop for produce at the farmers market

A great way to reduce costs and get fresh high quality veggies is by visiting your local farmers market. There’s no need to go to whole foods and pay 2 bucks an Avocado when there are so many better options out there. 

9. Shop for Meat at the farm

Another way to reduce costs is to buy your meat in bulk from high quality sources like local farms. Look for one that has pasture raised eggs, and grass fed meat. you’d be surprised just how much money you’ll save and how good the food is. This also helps you relearn where your food comes from so you have a better connection with your meal, instead of just shoveling down a burrito at Qdoba on your lunch break.

My daughter at the farm learning where real food comes form
My daughter at the farm learning where real food comes from

 10. Make exercise become normative in your routine

Back and forth habits with exercise ruins your routine and are too easy to put off. If you skip one workout, why not skip the next one? Or the next one? You’ll also never reach your fitness goals without consistency. One of my old strength coaches used to say, “it’s always easier to stay in shape, than it is to have to get back into shape.” I know from lots of experience that this is true.

11. Crush lazy habits like TV

Skip the Netflix binges and back to back movie sessions. Also skip the video game binges. Why? Because they create lazy habits that are all too easy to settle into. Read one of your non-fiction books, spend time with your kids, walk your dog or go on a hike instead.

12. Play outside…a lot

Run around and be free. It’s no wonder why things like Tough Mudders and Spartan Races are popular. They help us find our inner human. We were created for fun and adventure in the outdoors so get out there and enjoy a mountain, the ocean or the snow. Hey, it’s better than watching HGTV or the Travel channel longing for those things. 

13. Restock your fridge before it’s gone

The one pitfall I never saw coming. My wife and I always eat healthy. The times when we might find ourselves blurring the lines a bit is when all of the food is gone. Then we’re ordering takeout or grabbing quick snacks on the fly. It’s more expensive and costs your health if there is no food. “Say, that jar of Honey looks pretty tasty right now with nothing else in the fridge…”

14.Becoming a good cook is not impossible 

They say you make time for what you want to do. If you want to eat healthy, there aren’t a lot of healthy quick options. You’ll need to learn how to grill, bake and cook well if you want to eat more than just dry chicken and cold broccoli. When you become a decent cook, you can get more creative and begin to make other delicious things like desserts and roasts.

15. Blend your greens 

You need ATLEAST 8 servings of greens a day. Notice, I didn’t say sweet potatoes, or corn. You need greens packed with phytonutrients to fight off poor health. Get a Vitamix and pulverize your veggies into a delicious healthy smoothie. Check out my morning smoothie, the “Inflammation Scavenger” smoothie here.

16. limit sugar to 30 grams a day

Sugar is tasty, but it’s not really your friend. High sugar crushes your immune system, your ability to fight cravings and can lead to blood insulin issues, diabetes and hormone imbalances. Even fruit is very high in Fructose which heads directly to your liver for a blood insulin spike. Don’t make the mistake of chomping down on tons of fruit and thinking you’re healthy. Stick to small amounts of low sugar, anti-oxidant rich blueberries and black berries and citrus fruits like lemon and lime.

17. Go natural for your small sicknesses

Instead of heading to the quick care for antibiotics that destroy your gut bacteria, try some natural remedies like bone broth, oil of oregano and Vitamin C. Dr. David Perlmutter has said, “…if you take antibiotics you’ll be sick for a week, but if you just ride out the sickness you’ll be sick for 7 days!” This isn’t to say there are life saving reasons for using antibiotics in emergency situations, but a stomach bug or the sniffles don’t qualify. 

18. Do a 20 minute stretching/roll out session once a week

Mobility helps you perform better in your workouts and fights pain related to tightness and adhesions. This is one of those things that everyone knows  they should do, but they never do it. Do this and feel better all day and wake up without chronic pain.

19. Don’t say “I can’t”, say “I won’t”

You aren’t a prisoner for eating healthy! You are making a deliberate choice not to eat poorly or not to exercise. You are empowered with your health, so say “I won’t” have that 2nd brownie or that pizza, instead of “I can’t”. Besides, usually you’ll find that the people that are saying “i can’t” are the ones eating the junk because they “can’t” stop.

20. Love Coffee or Tea

Enjoy your morning coffee or tea. Sit at your table for some morning reading or a morning devotional and sip it. Don’t toss back a Carmel Frappuccino on the way to work in the car. And aim for quality with your drink as well. Try some Yerba Mate tea or a Butter coffee with Grass fed butter and MCT oil. And whatever you do, opt out of condensed milk or cream and sugar. 

21. Learn a new sport or hobby

Find something that lights you on fire. Basketball, a Mud run, mountain biking, a marathon or Volleyball tournament. Choose something you can put on the calendar and train for to be the best you can be at it. I find if something’s not on the calendar it’s hard to stay motivated. 

 

Try something that lights you on fire, like a Spartan Race, pictured here.
Try something that lights you on fire, like a Spartan Race, pictured here.

22. Track your health with some wearable tech

There’s so much great stuff out there. Try a Samsung S Gear, an Apple Watch or my watch of choice, the FitBit Surge. There is a social element to the apps on these and you can keep up with your friend’s exercise for extra motivation.

23. Make sleep a priority with Sleep Cycle

Track your sleep and make changes to give yourself the best sleep possible with the Sleep Cycle app. You’d be amazed at how addicting this is and how you start making changes to get a higher percentage of sleep quality.

24. Lose the idea that eating healthy is expensive

There are cheaper ways to eat healthy. Farmer’s markets and Farms are ways to get premium quality food for cheap. Sure it can get expensive walking into Whole foods every week. That’s why you should opt for these other options. And you might spend a few more bucks now, but it’ll be nothing compared to the cost of your Doctor bills in a few decades if you don’t make quality eating choices

25. Enjoy the process of Growth

Remember, you are never done growing. It’s a life long pursuit so settle in and Enjoy the Process. You’ll find your quality of life go up when you start looking forward to each day as an opportunity to get better.

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ENH 011: Traditional Doctors vs. Functional Medicine, Overcoming Adrenal Fatigue and The N=1 Principle

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Why Listen?

Our guest is a functional medicine physician and has founded a practice that’s modern and tech savvy, enabling patients to interact with their Doctors in ways their more used to communicating in. You can text and email your doctor instead of faxing them. Pretty cool, right? So next time you have Adrenal Fatigue or a Gut issue (both of which we discuss in the show) you can shoot your doctor a text message and get help rather quickly.

Speaking of Adrenal Fatigue, it’s plaguing our modern western society. People are running themselves into the ground with work, money problems, divorce and other stresses and the result is a body with Hormone dysfunction. Our guest tells you how to beat adrenal fatigue for good and keep it away. We also talk about what it means to become Super Human this year.

Guest Bio

Robin Berzin MD is a functional medicine physician and the founder of Parsley Health. Her mission is to make functional medicine affordable and modern, so that more people can access this holistic, root-cause approach to health. A Summa Cum Laude graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, Robin went to medical school at Columbia University -where she co-founded the physician communication app Cureatr – and later trained in Internal Medicine at Mount Sinai Hospital. She is also a certified yoga instructor and a meditation teacher, and has formally studied Ayurveda. Robin writes for a number of leading wellness sites, and speaks regularly for organizations including the Clinton Foundation, Health 2.0, Summit, and the Functional Forum on how we can reinvent health care. To learn more about her background and philosophy, and upcoming retreats and events, visit robinberzinmd.com.

Show Notes

Parsley Health Website: http://parsleyhealth.com/

Robin Berzin MD personal site: http://robinberzinmd.com/

Robin’s Twitter: https://twitter.com/robinberzinmd

Robin’s Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/RobinBerzinMD/

ARTICLE: How to be effortlessly Superhuman: https://parsleyhealth.com/how-to-effortlessly-be-a-superhuman-this-january/

ARTICLE: Are you working yourself sick?: https://parsleyhealth.com/are-you-working-yourself-sick-why-your-body-medically-needs-a-break/

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Where is the Line Between Health and Vanity?

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(This is a guest post from my wife, Sarah. You can learn more about her at the bottom of the post)

 

There is a thin line between health and vanity. I personally have struggled with going back and fourth between the two. After finishing my college volleyball career, I realized I had no competitive reason to keep my diet and sleep intact, and so I thought the only reason left to workout was to look a certain way.

One of my first experiences of vanity was in my career as a personal trainer. Mirrors lined the walls and many beautiful, fit, women were coming in to workout. Despite their outward beauty, I found most of these women were deeply insecure. They were always looking to perfect something else with a new hair style, a stricter diet and sometimes a new surgery or non-invasive beauty treatment. They were beacons of health and beauty, yet there was an unhealthy amount of dissatisfaction stirring in them. 

As I observed this behavior, I realized the same thoughts and behaviors starting to creep into my own head. I was training 4-5 days a week and eating what I thought was healthy at the time, my personal training job and loving my new husband and his career. So what could possibly be a complaint? Well maybe I had a little too much fat still left on my thighs, my hair wasn’t as shiny or long as some others, If I could just get rid of every inch of fat around my waist. It didn’t completely consume me, but my point is that these thoughts started to creep in more often and more intense. If these beautiful, healthy women are still unsatisfied with themselves, well then why I am I settling for what I have now? 

Eventually the time came when I got pregnant with my first child. I had never dug deep enough into my issue with vanity, and coveting other women’s appearances, until this moment came: Within the next few months I lost my normal body, gained a bigger appetite and..well… looked pregnant.  This is an amazing blessing! I was in a healthy weight range and was trying to train consistently through-out (maybe snuck in some mac n cheese every now and then). Yet, I was really unsatisfied with how I looked, especially to others. 

I realized after my daughter was born, that I was dealing with a deep idol in my heart. I have said it myself, and hear others say all the time, “I’m so scared for my body to change when I get pregnant!” Why is this? Because we will lose part of our identity. 

The miracle of our bodies is that we can have children, and with a healthy consistent diet and exercise we return to good health over time. That’s normal. But if our Identity is in our bodily appearance, satisfaction is a long way off.

What if you choose Comfort over Health?

If you’re on the other side of this spectrum, you may think all health and wellness equals vanity. You won’t put effort into something that has no value to you now or eternally. I challenge you to dig a little deeper into why you haven’t put any effort into the health and wellness for you and even your family’s health. Are you afraid of the effort it might take to change your lifestyle? Do you hold a moment of pleasure while eating or relaxing, higher than the wellness of your body? That is something you’d need to ask yourself. Perhaps health is written off because it’s not eternal, yet we still sink our teeth into some delicious food that is hurting our bodies. The taste of that food is not eternal either. What’s important is not what we’re doing, but what bring’s God the most glory. Is God glorified in my enjoying that pie? Maybe. But is he glorified in me having  a healthy view of my body and wellness? Most certainly.

As a christian, everything I do is either an act of worship to my God, or to something else. When I knowingly sacrifice my well-being either to the idol of “looking beautiful, no matter the consequence,” or to the idol of “comfort, ease and momentary satisfaction,” I am turning the worship from God onto me or another pleasure. This is a daily struggle! 

I leave you with this: 

1. If you compare your body to other bodies, you will never be satisfied. I am telling you, the most beautiful people in the world can still compare themselves with someone out there who is “better.” Start by making your identity about something more than your physical appearance.

2. Put effort into knowing what you are eating. Try and research the short term and long term effects of what you are eating. You only taste that food in your mouth for a short time, but the effects externally and internally can last a lifetime.

3. Eat and exercise to enjoy life! Fueling your body with natural, real foods gives you energy, makes you feel and look younger! If you turn from vanity and the urge to covet others, you may find your spirit and body wanting health and wellness without the negative consequences. 

 

284a75eSarah Williams is from Kent, Washington and is a wife and mother of two. She played volleyball at the University of Idaho and was a 1st team All-WAC selection in 2009 and a 4 time academic All-American. Most importantly, she is a follower of Jesus. She has lead bible studies, community groups and has served in the church since childhood. She currently resides in Salt Lake City, UT with her husband and two children where she plays tons of volleyball.

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How to get a great workout in 15-20 minutes without leaving where you are

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Nothing sucks more than popping out of bed to head outdoors for a workout and see loads of snow (or rain). Boo. It’s a legitimate excuse to be sure. Of course, you can slog it to the gym with all of that recycled air. But if the weather is really bad, there is no reason to think you can’t get any sort of workout in, even if you an’t make it to you local health club.

Did you ever notice how some inmates come out of jail and they’ve gained tons of muscle? While they might have some indoor time, they also take advantage of their alone time by utilizing that 25 Square foot cell and and do body weight workouts. If they can workout there it is possible to get a fantastic workout in not even have to leave the living room. I’ve even gotten some of my best workouts in at a hotel in my room.

So next time your snowed in your home or only have a few minutes in a hotel, bust out this quick, efficient and sweat inducing workout instead of getting cozy on the couch with a bowl of Ice Cream.

 

The Snowed-in Workout

Warm-up

Arm Circles Forward X 20

Arm Circles Backward X 20

Trunk Twists x20

High Knee’s in place x10 each leg

Sit ups x10

Bodyweight squats x10

Alternating lunges in place x10

Calf stretch: see video below

 

The Workout

(I’ve included some youtube links for the more advanced movements below the workout)

Jump Squats x25-50 (depending on fitness level)

Alternating Lunges in Place x15 each leg

Dragon Push-ups x15

Dips x15

Side to Side lunges x15 each leg

Mountain Climbers 30 seconds x 2 sets

Arm circles x30

Burpees x20

Plank Hold 1 minutes x 2 sets

 

Videos:

Calf Stretch

 

Jump Squats
 

 

Dragon Pushups 

 

Dips

Burpees 

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