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1 Exercise That Fixes 99 Problems

In today’s world we spend the majority of our days doing things in front of us with terrible posture. We crouch over keyboards while our chests cave in and our hips shorten from sitting. We drive with our arms in front of us while, again, we’re seated with shortened hip flexors.

We sit in “artificial wombs” (a.k.a. cubicles) for hours at a time not moving and making the front of our body even tighter. And then we go home and slouch on the couch further tightening the front of our bodies. If You’re Not Doing The Kettlebell Swing, You’re Destined To Stay Fat, Tight & Weak For The Rest Of Your Life!

This overuse of the muscles on the front side of our bodies is called “anterior dominance” and it is plaguing our society. Anterior dominance results in imbalances in our muscles causing us to move and perform at sub-optimal levels. It compresses our lungs so that instead of taking deep long breaths into our belly like we were born to do, we take short, stressful breaths into our shrunken chests.

And because of our terrible posture – because our anterior muscles are shortened and tight pulling us forward – we give the illusion of being weak and un-confident as opposed to standing erect with our chins up.

It’s no wonder that we’re generally unhealthy compared to previous generations that didn’t live a convenience lifestyle in this information age. There is hope, however. And there is one exercise – that if you incorporate it into your daily routine – can easily combat the ill effects of anterior dominance and the Western Lifestyle.

The Kettlebell Swing is the Perfect “Anti-Western Lifestyle” Exercise.

 
Once labelled “hard core”, kettlebells are now popping up in every gym, garage and backyard because of their portability and reputation for fast results. They are the perfect portable, one-stop, biggest-bang-for-your-buck, piece of exercise equipment you’ll ever own. And if boredom wasn’t an issue, the kettlebell swing is the ONLY exercise you would ever need to do in your entire life.

The problem is that the way most people do the kettlebell swing is DEAD WRONG!!! Go into any gym and you’ll see inexperienced exercisers turning a swing into a front squat and shoulder raise exercise further tightening our hips, quads, chest and shoulders and just adding to the anterior dominance issue that I told you about above.

Simply put, improper kettlebell swing form just adds fuel to the already burning fire of postural imbalance. A perfect kettlebell swing will work your posterior chain muscles (back, abs, butt, hamstrings) and combat all the ill-effects of our anterior dominant Western Society.

It is, in fact, a hinge and NOT a squat movement. A hip hinge – like a deadlift movement – forces you to use those posterior chain muscles to move the kettlebell.

It will allow you to loosen your tight hips and strengthen your butt so that you’ll develop the rear end of an athlete. It will bulletproof your low back by creating an armored brace around your midsection, and it will get rid of that paunchy gut.

And the kettlebell swing will force you to use all the muscles in your upper back, thus opening up your chest and forcing you out of the slouchy shoulder look that screams insecurity. Yes my friend, the kettlebell swing is so good an exercise that…

“If You’re Not Doing The Hardstyle Kettlebell Swing, You’re Destined To Stay Fat, Tight & Weak For The Rest Of Your Life!”

1. HIKE
2. HINGE
3. ROOT
4. FLOAT

1. HIKE

Every rep counts when you swing a kettlebell – from rep 1 to rep 20 – each one should look as fluid and as powerful as the very first one. This is where the “hike pass” is so important.

As opposed to starting your set of swings from the standing position like how you see most amateurs do it, the hike pass allows you to pre-stretch your lats – a powerful muscle in your upper body with a direct relationship with your glutes – and get more “juice” out of your swing.

Set your kettlebell up about 12-18 inches in front of you. Push your hips back keeping your butt high and bend your knees slightly. Gripping the kettlebell with both hands, pull your shoulders into their sockets and fire your lats – the kettlebell will tilt towards you.

Always making sure your shoulders stay above the level of your hips, “hike pass” the kettlebell through your knees by contracting your lats. This is how you start your swing.

2. HINGE

If boredom wasn’t an issue, the kettlebell swing is the ONLY exercise you would ever need to do in your entire life.

Unlike a squat which is knee dominant, the HINGE movement is dominated by the hips. When you push your hips back keeping your butt high and your shins vertical, you are hingeing.

When you hinge, you overload your hamstrings and glute muscles. This is good because most people today are hip flexor and quad dominant (your anterior muscles), so learning how to load and use your posterior chain creates a natural balance between front and back that will help in preventing knee and hip issues.

The hinge is the foundation of the kettlebell swing. If you can’t hinge properly, you can’t swing properly. The reason why the hinge is so powerful is because we load the hamstrings like slingshots. The further back we push our rear ends, the more stretch we get in our hamstrings. Our hamstrings act as explosive, thick elastic bands.

When you drive your butt back, you load elastic energy allowing your hamstring to explosively snap back as you get into the…

3. ROOT

The ROOT is the finish of the swing. Think of the root as a standing plank where you are tightening every muscle in your body from your shoulders down…

Imagine that you are growing roots through your feet and grab the ground with your entire foot. Pull your knee caps up into your crotch (“flex” your quads).

Squeeze your glutes like you’ve got a $100 bill between your butt cheeks and someone is trying to yank it out. Brace your abs like you’re about to take a punch.

And pull your shoulders as far from your ears as possible contracting your lats. This is your ROOT position and this is your goal.

If you break down the kettlebell swing, it simply is just a series of high speed HINGEs to ROOTs. You move explosively from hinge to root to hinge to root throughout our set. You don’t worry about what the kettlebell is doing. It will react accordingly and give you feedback, letting you know if you are performing the exercise correctly.

Just remember that when you’re in the ROOT, your goal is to get to the HINGE as quickly as possible. When you are in the HINGE, your goal is to stand up and get to the ROOT as explosively as possible.

4. FLOAT

The FLOAT is what happens to the kettlebell when you do the swing correctly. It ensures that your energy is focused on your glutes and not on your trying to “muscle” the kettlebell up to a certain height. When you go from HINGE to ROOT, the harder you contract your glutes, the higher the kettlebell will FLOAT.

The higher the FLOAT of the kettlebell, the more rest you get between reps FLOAT is what the kettlebell will do while the rest of your body is in the ROOT.

HIKE – HINGE – ROOT – FLOAT …it really is that simple.

Getting proper instruction from an expert so that you can MASTER THE KETTLEBELL SWING is the best thing that you can do for your training regardless of your goal. If you want to build strength, kettlebell swings will forge a grip of steel and will add pounds to your deadlift & squat.

If you want to boost your athleticism, kettlebell swings will make you more powerful and add height to your jump and shave seconds off your sprints.

If you want to pack on muscle, swinging a heavy kettlebell will build an intimidating upper back & set of shoulders. And if you want to shed body fat, swings will incinerate blubber like butter melting in an iron pan.

There really is no downside to adding this exercise into your arsenal – provided you know how to do it correctly. Make sure you do by learning to avoid this critical error.

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Eat Out Like a King and Stay Lean

Do you have a difficult time balancing a social life with your desire to get lean? Do you struggle with making healthy decisions when out with friends or family? Do you sometimes find yourself avoiding restaurants and bars, afraid of the temptation to eat and drink indulgent food? If you answered yes to any or all of these, I feel ya bruh.

Like many of us, I grew up programmed to believe that eating out too often is expensive and unhealthy. My passion is to make the general population happier, more productive, and less stressed by teaching people how to get lean without ditching restaurants, bars, and an active social life. Basically, to help you have your cake and eat it too.

The Diet Dilemma

However, when it comes to fat loss nutrition, most people seem to experience the opposite feelings: stress and unhappiness. When people decide it’s time to get lean, they defeat themselves before the boredom of traditional dieting even begins because of reading countless blogs entitled “10 Diet Rules You Must Follow To Get Ripped.” Have you heard or can you relate to any of the following statements?:

“Sorry co-workers, my trainer told me if I eat at restaurants I’ll get fat and die.”

“I mean, at least the diet is simple. I only have to eat chicken and broccoli for every meal and I get jacked… it’s only 8 weeks right?!”

“Honey, I can’t eat chocolate on Wednesday movie night anymore. Will you still love me if we can only snack on uncooked green beans?”

“Sorry college friends at Vegas bachelor party, I can’t drink alcohol for the next year because I want to look like DJ Pauly D.”

“I know it’s rude to bring my own tupperware food at Thanksgiving Mom, but it’s the only way I can get fit!”

“Ladies, of course I totes wanna brunch on Sunday but… I have to meal prep for 5 hours to get ready for next week.”

Slight exaggeration on a few? Maybe. Point being: Most people envision eating to get lean as a complex process of rules that must all be followed perfectly in order to achieve success. Some of those rules you may have heard of include:

● No more eating out
● Give up alcohol
● Eat chicken and broccoli with no spices or seasonings
● Cut out sugar
● Hibernate in your apartment to avoid social temptation
● Spend all weekend prepping food for the week

The Boring Meal Rule

I hate following traditional rules. Especially rules that make life less awesome. So I decided to create a new one to help people enjoy fat loss nutrition and their social life: The Boring Meal Rule. The boring meal rule isn’t so much a rule as it is a mindset. A “boring meal” doesn’t refer to the taste of the meal, it refers to the environment in which the meal is eaten. Boring meal environment examples include:

● 20 minute breakfast by yourself before work
● A quick office lunch at your desk
● Tuesday night dinner at home alone while your significant other is traveling
● Post workout snack on the drive home
● Early dinner before catching a flight to a conference

What do all these meals have in common? You are by yourself and are only eating to fuel your body so you can continue on with your day. They are boring. Mindless. So why eat unhealthy food? It just makes eating healthy in social settings even harder.

How to Make It Easier

Most people eat a majority of their meals alone. This creates a tremendous opportunity to make sure you are eating properly when you are alone (during a “boring meal”) so you can ease up a bit when you are eating with people you love, home for the holidays, or celebrating important events.

I am super strict with my boring meals meaning I eat only lean meat, fish, oils, and veggies. I eat very little sugar and zero refined carbs (or processed food for that matter).

Approaching fat loss nutrition this way not only helps you get lean by eating nutrient-dense food most of the time, it helps you maintain your sanity and can be easily implemented into your existing lifestyle with a little extra awareness. Like intermittent fasting, you are not cutting anything out or massively restricting calories. You are simply changing when you choose to eat certain foods.

What are the Benefits?

Improved cognitive function: Ever heard the story about the sales executive who ate a whole pizza at lunch and then came back to the office ready to crush the phones and make tons of money for his company? Yeah I haven’t either. Eating processed, carb-rich food causes 2pm desk naps and hour long bouts of zero productivity and motivation.

Eating foods high in protein and healthy fats (fish, oils, nuts) provides the brain with alertness, the energy needed to solve complex problems, and doesn’t cause the post-lunch crash. Eat healthy at work. Get shit done. Make more money. Go home early. Booyah.

Less time thinking about food: Thinking about food is annoying. Wouldn’t you rather be focused on getting a promotion rather than Yelping the nearest hot dog stand? The amount of time spent thinking about, ordering, grabbing, and eating food each day can be a huge waste of precious productivity.

 

By making a fast, nutrient rich lunch in the morning you spend less time thinking about food and more time staying focused. A typical lunch for me is spinach, grilled salmon (usually from the night before), walnuts, apple slices, goat cheese, and balsamic vinaigrette. Healthy fats. Protein. Deliciousness. Winning!

 

By making a fast, nutrient rich lunch in the morning you spend less time thinking about food and more time staying focused. A typical lunch for me is spinach, grilled salmon (usually from the night before), walnuts, apple slices, goat cheese, and balsamic vinaigrette. Healthy fats. Protein. Deliciousness. Winning!

Enjoy eating with friends – First of all, temptation to eat unhealthy food increases when you are out in public or at a party with others who are eating unhealthy food. Why fight it? Control what you can control by eating strict when alone (boring meals) and not stressing out if you indulge at a BBQ. Dude… it’s a BBQ. Do you really want to live in a world where you can’t eat baby back ribs? Not I.

Enjoy eating at restaurants – Trying to eat healthy at restaurants is like fighting an uphill battle. You are already at a restaurant so it won’t be as healthy / predictable as cooking your own food. Even the healthiest restaurant dishes are filled with butter, oil, and a list of other ingredients you are not aware of, making counting calories and macronutrients very difficult.

Again, control what you can control so you can actually eat food you like at a restaurant. Trying to eat “healthy” at restaurants is 1) impossible and 2) torture. God did not create 5 star steakhouses so people would buy house salads.

Fool your friends – By using the boring meal rule all of my friends are baffled that I am so lean because when I am around them I eat burgers, wings, and other “indulgent” food. What they don’t see is the other 70% of the time when I am eating whole, unprocessed foods to fuel my body for optimal health, fat burning, and cognitive function.

Time with friends and family is meant to be enjoyed, not spent dissecting the cheese off your pizza during a Super Bowl party.

Get lean – Why were doing all of this again? Oh yeah that’s right… to get lean and be happy  Although eating this way makes life much more simple and enjoyable, it also works!

Having a six pack is much easier than most people think but it involves more awareness. Staying lean happens because of awareness and efficiency not cutting out foods and exercising for 3 hours per day.

Author: Dane Witmer

http://www.bass-jump.com

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Upgrade Your Digestion & Upgrade Your Health

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Upgrade Your Digestion & Upgrade Your Health

The digestive system is responsible for turning food into much smaller molecules that can be used as energy. The nutrients we gain from our food also aids in the repair, growth and maintenance of the body.

Our health relies on the ability to breakdown and absorb nutrients from our food while efficiently eliminating what the body has no use for. If you can’t absorb the nutrients the body requires, or if you can’t eliminate waste effectively, your overall health will suffer.

By optimizing digestion, you will be taking the right steps to ensure that you’re healthier on a cellular level. You can have the best diet on planet earth with organic, local and pasture raised foods, but if you can’t break down and use the nutrients from the food because of digestive dysfunction, you will lose many of the benefits from those foods.

Addressing digestive dysfunction in a north to south fashion can alleviate problems further downstream that would appear seemingly unrelated to higher up function. These tips will be covered in a way that addresses digestive dysfunction at each stage of the process.

Relax: Rest and Digest

We need to be in a parasympathetic state (rest and digest) for the body to get ready for food. This sets the stage for proper mechanical and chemical breakdown of foods in the stomach, and causes digestive fluids to be secreted in anticipation of food.

Most people don’t take the time to relax before eating. This causes digestive distress because the body is not in an optimal state to begin digesting a meal.

Take a moment and allow the brain to communicate and prime the digestive system for the food you are about to eat. Put away all electronics and move away from the TV. Smell, see and even touch your food before eating to allow the body to begin digestion with the brain.

Chew Your Food

The next stop in digestion after the brain is the mouth. Chewing is an often ignored part of our digestion that plays a fundamental role in the breakdown of foods on a mechanical and chemical level. The more you can break a food down in your mouth, the less of a burden is put on the stomach to make up for lack of chewing.

Enzymes in your saliva are responsible for the chemical breakdown of foods. The main enzyme in your saliva, amylase, is responsible for the breakdown of carbohydrates. The more you chew, the more predigested those starches will be.

Try chewing each bite 20-30 times. Your food should be closer to a liquid than a solid by the time you swallow it. You can also put your fork down as a reminder in between bites. Once you get started on this habit, you will realize how little you really chew your food.

Support Your Stomach Acid

When you are deficient in stomach acid, your ability to break down foods and trigger further digestion is hindered. Foods have to be at a certain acidity before they are allowed to pass from the stomach into the upper small intestine.

Stomach acid (hydrochloric acid) is responsible for creating the acidic environment necessary to unfold proteins into smaller molecules named amino acids. Amino acids are the raw materials for neurotransmitters, enzymes, hormones, muscle tissue and bone formation. Amino acids are required head to toe, but to get them from proteins, you need adequate stomach acid production.

When someone is lacking stomach acid, foods are only partially digested and sit in the stomach longer than normal. Rather than being digested, these foods begin to rot and form gas.

This gas from the rancid food in your gut is the reason for bloating, burping, heartburn, digestive pain and excessive gas. If any of this sounds familiar, you may need a hydrochloric acid supplement to get things moving along.

Hydrochloric acid is also the first line of defense against pathogens and bacteria you ingest. Without the proper acidity in your stomach, pathogenic microorganisms can survive the digestive process, enter your bloodstream and make you sick. The normal acidity of a healthy stomach helps prevent bacteria and parasites from spreading by killing and digesting them.

If you need to kickstart the production of stomach acid, drink 1-2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar or lemon juice in 4 ounces of warm water 15-20 minutes before a meal.

Digestive Enzymes

When food leaves the stomach, it enters the small intestine. 90% of all the nutrients will be absorbed here. Digestive enzymes secreted by the pancreas break food into molecules small enough that they pass through the walls of the small intestine and into the bloodstream. These food molecules are delivered to the area where they are needed.

Unfortunately many people do not produce enough of these digestive enzymes anymore because of inflammation, chronic stress, aging, insufficient stomach acid and food allergies.

By supplementing with digestive enzymes, you will be able to extract and use more nutrients from your foods. The discomfort that comes from incomplete breakdown of foods such as occasional gas and bloating can be avoided by supplementing with enzymes.

Make sure you are taking a full spectrum high quality digestive enzyme supplement such as DigesTech with your meals to help you break down and absorb nutrients efficiently.

Consume Probiotic-Rich Foods

The intestine is home to over 100 trillion bacteria. There are roughly 4 pounds of bacteria living in your GI tract alone. On a cellular level, you are outnumbered by bacteria 10 to 1 in your own body.

While the roles of these bacteria are just beginning to be understood, it is very obvious they are vital to our health. These healthy gut flora help protect you from infection, assist gastrointestinal function, manage metabolism and help with immune system function.

But many aspects of the modern lifestyle are not conducive to keeping healthy gut flora. Some of the things that create problems are stress, infections, sugar and processed carbohydrates, and not eating enough fiber.

To help give these beneficial bacteria a boost, you can consume fermented, probiotic-rich foods such as; sauerkraut, kimchi, kombucha, kefir and beet kvass. You can also take a high quality multi strain probiotic supplement.

Digestion Requires Water

Diuretic beverages are drinks that pull water from the body such as fruit juice, coffee and soda. When you combine diuretic beverages with a severe lack of water consumption, it is a recipe for dehydration and a sluggish digestive system.

Digestion is an energy and fluid-intensive process that requires liters of fluid just to digest a single meal. The body will pull that water to the digestive system from other areas because it is crucial to function properly. This becomes a problem when you no longer have enough water to support proper digestive function and your bowels become sluggish and less frequent – preventing your body from eliminating waste.

It is amazing how many clients I have seen that suffered from chronic constipation that was resolved by consistently drinking more water and reducing diuretic beverage consumption.

Start by taking your body weight in pounds, divide that in half and drink that many ounces of water daily as a baseline. Remember to sip water instead of chugging to let your body absorb it.

Bone Broth Heals the Gut

There are a number of ways that bone broth nourishes your body, but a key one is that it provides exceptional support to your gut. The gelatin that is extracted during making bone broth is helpful for healing and sealing the digestive tract.

Glycine is an amino acid found in bone broth that helps to stimulate the production of stomach acid to break foods down. Glycine is also a crucial ingredient in bile acids, which are responsible for the breakdown of fats into their usable form.

Glutamine provides fuel for the cells in the intestinal walls to regrow and repair damaged areas of your gut. Glutamine also supports the immune system, which is predominantly located in the digestive system.

Bone broth has a ton of gut healing nutrients, and can be made easily (recipe below). If you have any kind of digestive issues, try having at least 4-8 ounces of bone broth a day to support overall digestion and gut health.

Gut Check Recap

Here is a quick recap of the habits you can begin doing today to improve your digestion:

● Relax and take a few moments to ready for the body for digestion. Experience your food through sight, smell and touch before eating.

● Put your fork down and chew 20-30 times between bites. Turn your solids into a liquid before swallowing.

● Drink 1-2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar or lemon juice in 4 ounces of warm water 15-20 minutes before a meal to support stomach acid production. You can also take a hydrochloric acid supplement with meals.

● Use a broad spectrum, high quality digestive enzyme to breakdown and absorb more nutrients from your food.

● Consume fermented probiotic-rich foods such as; sauerkraut, kimchi, kombucha, kefir and beet kvass on a daily basis.

● Drink half your bodyweight in ounces of water a day. Sip, don’t chug!

● Add 4-8 ounces of bone broth twice a day to your routine.

Bone Broth Recipe

Ingredients:

● 3-4 pounds of bones (from pasture raised, grass-fed animals)
● 1 gallon of water
● 2-3 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar
● Any spices or vegetables you want to add for flavor

Instructions:

● Put all the ingredients in a large crock pot
● Cook on low for 24-72 hours
● Cool the broth when done cooking
● Strain and place into a container
● Store in refrigerator or freezer
● Enjoy better digestion!

AUTHOR:
ALEX MCMAHON

www.evolvenutritionaltherapy.com

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Weight Loss & Wellbeing: Your Complete Guide to Nutrition

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Weight Loss & Wellbeing: Your Complete Guide to Nutrition

The hardest part about getting healthy is understanding that “healthy” is not a state; it’s a lifestyle. Lasting positive physical changes only come with the realization that what we put into our bodies on a daily basis is every bit as important as being active. After all, food is what fuels lifestyle.

Think of Your Body as a Sports Car

 

Diesel is a thick, heavy fuel that evaporates much slower than real gasoline. If you put diesel in a sports car’s gas tank, there will be no vapors and nothing to spark, which means your car won’t move.

Now think of your body as the sports car and processed foods like potato chips, fast food, and refined sugars as diesel – they make you feel heavy, slow, and they gum up all your organs. After eating these foods, you’ve lost the spark that helps you be active and think clearly.

If you put regular gasoline into your tank, the car will move, but it’s not going to be quite as efficient. This is what it’s like to eat foods of a lesser quality like inorganic or foods that you’re allergic or intolerant to. You’re still going to move with some efficiency because you at least have the right kind of fuel, but you’re not going to be at your optimum.

Both, inorganic and those food items you’re intolerant or allergic to, interfere with your physiology, slowing you down, causing brain fog, and brings digestive issues along with random aches and pains.

Our bodies are super cars, designed for super fuel. Whole foods like vegetables, fruits, meats, nuts, seeds, and whole grains are the body’s high-octane fuel (organic, grass-fed, and pasture-raised whenever possible).

Just like premium gasoline, these foods are high octane, giving your brain and body an extra boost so you can be efficient and on top of life. View your body like a sports car and treat it like that. Give it the fuel it actually needs to keep it running efficiently.

What Not To Eat

 

● Potential allergens
● Wheat
● Gluten
● Dairy
● Soy
● Corn
● Any processed form of sugar
● Cane
● Beet (GMO and not organic)
● Any form of corn syrup (especially high fructose)
● Agave nectar (very highly processed, high in fructose, and almost as hard for your body to process as corn syrup)
● All processed foods: if it comes in a bag or a box, check for hidden sources of allergens and follow these two guidelines:
● If you can’t pronounce it or don’t know its function, leave it on the shelf
● If it has more than 5 ingredients, it should not go into your cart.

What To Eat

 

● Whole foods
● Meat
● Vegetables
● Fruits
● Nuts & Seeds

All meat should be grass-fed, organic, and pasture-raised, when possible. All nuts/seeds should be organic and refrigerated to prevent the oils from going rancid. Always choose organic fruits and vegetables when given the option. Have a tight budget? Check out the12 fruits and vegetables you absolutely should get organic and the 15 conventional ones you can buy.

Food For a Typical Day

 

Breakfast

● Water
● Protein
● Vegetable
● Complex carbohydrate, if needed

Lunch

● Water
● Lean protein
● Vegetables
● Fruits
● Complex carbohydrate, if needed

Dinner

● Water
● Lean protein 4-5 days per week
● Red meat 2-3 days per week
● Vegetables (at least one serving from the cruciferous family: broccoli, kale, cauliflower, cabbage, mustard greens, Brussels sprouts)
● Add onion and garlic whenever possible

Snacks

● Water
● Vegetables
● Fruits
● Nuts/seeds/nut butters
● Tea

Types of Foods

 

Complex Carbohydrates

Sweet Potato

A low glycemic index food that will provide vitamin A (in the form of beta-carotene) and a lot of fiber, helping to keep the blood sugar stable.

Organic Wild Rice

A carbohydrate that has much more fiber than regular versions of rice. It also contains many more B vitamins and phytonutrients.

Proteins

Eggs

The most complete protein you can get. Don’t skip the yolk! The yolk contains half the total protein, choline, vitamin A, vitamin D, and a whole host of B vitamins. While eggs do contain cholesterol, it’s not bad for you. Eggs are best cooked in a way that protects the yolk, and thus the cholesterol is not exposed to oxygen, keeping the cholesterol safe from oxidation: hard/soft boiled > poached > fried > scrambled

Lean Meats

Chicken, turkey, white pork, and fish. Limit fish consumption to once or twice per week because they are often laden with toxins. Salmon should never be Atlantic or farmed; only consume wild, Pacific versions. Tilapia is actually okay as a farmed fish. Large fish like sushi-grade tuna should be avoided due to its high mercury content. Remember: the larger the fish, the higher the mercury content.

Red Meat

Beef, bison, buffalo, venison

Elimination Diet

 

Keep your diet completely free of processed sugars, gluten, corn, dairy, and soy for 2 weeks. On day 15, add one of the items, like gluten, back into your diet and wait for 2 additional days to see if you have any symptoms. This is a time to listen to your body. See if the food is causing any gastrointestinal distress, headaches, or is just making you feel less energetic than before. Allergies and intolerances to foods can take up to three days to manifest, so be patient and vigilant about your body.

After you’ve added in one food, take it back out, and swap it for another, like dairy. Again, wait 2 additional days to see if you have any symptoms. If you do, then you now know you have either an allergy or an intolerance to that food, and it unfortunately, is not good for you. You should avoid it altogether or as much as possible. Don’t add sugar back into your diet; it’s generally just bad for you and should be avoided whenever possible.

Other Dietary Advice

 

Fasting

Intermittent fasting is great for detoxification as well as increasing metabolism: consume nothing but lemon water, herbal teas, and lots of water from dinner until 12-16 hours later (yes, sleeping counts as fasting time)!

Pre and Post Workouts

Hard workouts burn through glycogen (stored form of sugar) reserves so it must be supplied and replenished. When we don’t have enough sugar, protein can and will be burned in its place. 30-60 minutes before training, consuming fruits high in vitamin C will supply glucose (free form of sugar) energy and support the adrenal glands that are worked so hard during an intense training session.

Combine that with an easily absorbed protein like hemp to help prevent your body from breaking down your muscles for energy when it runs out of sugar. The same can be said for post-workout consumption. Carbohydrates that are easily absorbed, along with an easily absorbed protein have been proven to be most beneficial 30-60 minutes post-training for both glycogen recovery and muscle repair.

Sample Menu

eggs.jpg

 

Wake-Up

Immediately, room-temperature lemon/salt water

Breakfast (Eggs and Hash)

Ingredients

● Eggs (free-range, pasture-raised, organic)
● Avocado
● Coconut oil, organic
● Sweet potato (not too much of this)
● Frozen broccoli florets (organic; can also used a frozen veggie mix)
● Salsa or hot sauce (organic; no added sugars, corn, gluten, or preservatives)
● Sea salt (to taste)

Instructions

1. Combine the sweet potato, vegetables, and sea salt in a skillet and cook until cooked through
2. In a separate, non-stick skillet, fry or scramble the egg(s)
3. Top the sweet potato/veggie hash with the avocado, egg(s), and salsa/hot sauce (optional)

Lunch (Swiss Chard-Turkey Wraps)

Ingredients

● Whole leaves of swiss chard (organic)
● Slices of roast turkey (organic, preservative-free, like Applegate Farms)
● Dijon mustard (organic)
● 1 cup organic wild rice (limit this food)
● Red onion slices
● Cut up veggies like cucumber, carrots, bell pepper, etc. (organic)

Instructions

1. Wash and dry the chard leaves
2. Lay each leaf flat and top with turkey, mustard, wild rice, and red onion
3. Roll each leaf

Dinner(Oven-Roasted Chicken and Vegetables)

Ingredients

● Chicken breasts, thighs, or drumsticks: bone-in and skin on (organic, free-range, pasture-raised)
● Sea salt
● Black pepper
● Garlic powder
● Baby broccoli, organic
● Mushrooms, thinly sliced
● Cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
● Yellow onion, sliced
● Cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
● Melted coconut oil, organic

Instructions

1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit
2. Rinse the chicken off and pat dry
3. Place the chicken in a dish capable of handling 450 degrees
4. Add ¼ inch water to the dish
5. Generously salt the chicken then add the black pepper and garlic powder
6. Place the chicken in the oven for approximately 40 minutes, or until juices run clear
7. Place the prepared vegetables onto a baking tray
8. Cover and mix the vegetables with the coconut oil, sea salt, and black pepper
9. Place the vegetables in the oven with the chicken for approximately 15 minutes (or until fork-tender)

Snacks: General

● Pre-cut organic vegetables
● Organic fruit
● Organic nuts/seeds
● Organic tea
● Oolong
● Green
● Rooibos

Snacks: Pre-Workout (30-60 minutes before)

● Organic coconut water
● Organic fruit high in vitamin C like kiwi and citrus fruit
● Smoothie with organic beets (will improve blood circulation for intense workouts)
● Easily absorbed protein like hemp (Hemp Force)

Snacks: Post-Workout (30-60 minutes after)

● Easily digested carbohydrate, like organic coconut water
● Easily digested protein, like hemp (Hemp Force)

Commonly Asked Questions

 

Why do processed foods make me feel so good, but so hungry?

Often, the foods we eat and even “crave” are the very foods we’re intolerant to. It seems like a strange concept, but when you stop to think about it, it actually makes sense. Take gluten, for example – not only does it activate opioid receptors in the brain (the addictive “feel-good” receptors), but it’s usually consumed in highly processed, highly refined forms.

These foods tend to spike blood sugar, raising insulin levels to drive sugar out of the blood, causing you to come crashing down. When blood sugar drops, you get hungry. What do you crave when you’re hungry? Something that’s going to spike your blood sugar and make you feel satisfied. This is the never-ending cycle of processed foods.

I quit eating bad foods, so why do I feel so bad?

It takes a few days to start feeling the beneficial effects. Sugar is a very addictive substance, as are gluten and dairy. It takes the body time to detoxify and get past the cravings, usually three to four days.

Once the body is able to begin regulating its own blood sugar, the cravings subside and the body begins to restore its natural cycles. Remember too, that toxins are stored in your fat cells so as you begin to burn fat, those toxins will be released into the bloodstream, making you feel less than optimal.

How can I get the toxins out of my body?

A clean, unprocessed diet will prevent new toxins from entering your body, but many of these foods will also help remove the toxins. Antioxidants (vitamins A, C, and E), found in many brightly colored fruits and vegetables like carrots, tomatoes, and berries help to neutralize the damaging activity of toxic compounds. Onion, garlic, and cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, kale, cauliflower, turnip, cabbage, Brussels sprouts) contain sulfur compounds that are essential to moving the neutralized toxins out of your body.

What are sources of gluten? Corn?

Remember to read labels and follow these 2 guidelines: 1) if you can’t pronounce it, you can’t buy it. 2) if it has more than 5 ingredients, it should not go into your cart. However, if you must buy something processed, these are the hidden sources of gluten and corn to watch for:

Gluten

● Main sources: wheat/wheat flour, barley, rye, oats (unless certified gluten free), beer (unless certified gluten free)
● All bread (unless certified gluten free), flour tortillas, most baked goods, most fried foods
● Other sources: Glucose syrup (usually wheat or corn-based), soy sauce, oyster sauce, molasses, gum, modified food starch
● Non-food sources: cosmetics, toothpaste, and medication labels – wheat and/or corn can be used as fillers in these; however, DO NOT STOP ANY PRESCRIPTION MEDICATIONS unless you’ve consulted with your physician

Corn

● Corn, corn-products (like popcorn or tortillas), high fructose corn syrup, corn starch
● Other sources: xanthan gum, maltodextrin

Diet Rules

In this section, I have included a simple list of rules that you need to adhere to every day in order to make you diet work as effectively as possible.

1. If you can’t kill it, pick it or grow it, you should avoid it.
2. Avoid most foods that come in a box or a bag; read the labels!
3. Eat only real, whole, organic foods.
4. Seafood must be wild caught, never farm raised (except tilapia).
5. Chicken and eggs must be organic & free roaming.
6. Shop for fresh food every four days.
7. Avoid processed foods, fake foods, food additives and agricultural chemicals at all costs.
8. Limit caffeine consumption to one or two cups of coffee per day.
9. Drink half your bodyweight in ounces of water each day.
10. The only oils acceptable for cooking are: coconut, red palm, grass-fed butter, grass-fed lard, or ghee.
11. Have carbs on training days and none (other than vegetables and fruit) on off days.
12. Limit fruit consumption to 1-3 servings per day.
13. Limit consumption of inflammatory foods: corn (or corn based products), dairy (eggs are not dairy, so they’re ok), wheat, white flour, fried foods, trans fats, soy, sugar.
14. Use nuts and seeds the same way you would use condiments – in very limited quantities.
15. Rotate foods. Don’t eat the exact same thing on a daily basis.

Shopping List

Protein

 

Wild Caught Salmon
Tilapia
Orange Roughy, Catfish, Trout, Rockfish, or Cod
Organic, pasture-raised Eggs
Lean Ground Turkey
Skinless Chicken Breasts or Tenders
Lean Ground Beef
Lean Ground Bison
Grass-Fed Steaks
Pork Chops
Venison or Other Wild Game Meats
Wild Caught Shrimp
Wild Caught Scallops
Mackerel
Herring Filets, Sardines

Carbohydrates

 

Broccoli
Broccoli Rabe
Cauliflower
Kale
Spinach
Mixed Greens
Arugula
Romaine Lettuce
Tomatoes
Avocadoes
Brussels Sprouts
Asparagus
Bok Choy
Collard Greens
Green Beans
Onions
Bell Peppers
Squash (for workout days)
Swiss or Rainbow Chard
Sea Vegetables
Kimchi
Raw Fermented Sauerkraut
Olives
Garlic Cloves
Sweet Potatoes/ Yams
Wild Rice
Buckwheat
Pumpkin
Squash
Beets
Strawberries
Raspberries
Blueberries
Blackberries
Cherries
Lemons

Fats

 

Coconut Oil (safe for cooking)
Extra Virgin Olive Oil (use for salad dressings)
Grass Fed, Raw Butter or Ghee (safe for cooking)
Almond Butter
Cashew Butter
Hazelnut Butter

Herbs/ Spices/ Condiments

 

Cinnamon
Cloves
Cumin
Oregano
Garlic
Cayenne Pepper
Sea Salt
Rosemary
Sage
Thyme
Turmeric
Mustard
Apple Cider Vinegar
Organic Salsa with no added preservatives

Author: Brenda Gregory

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5 Benefits of Battle Ropes Training

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5 Benefits of Battle Ropes Training

As far back as 3500 to 4000 B.C. in ancient Egypt, humans have used rope to improve their quality of life – helping to pull, haul, carry, drive, push, and lift people, vehicles, and equipment.

Revered as one of the greatest inventions of its time, it’s still in use today as a prominent implement for the same uses. Only recently have ropes become a direct way to improve someone’s quality of life through human optimization both physically and mentally.

John Brookfield was the first to implement ropes into the human physical training methodology. Since his incredible impact in the fitness community, ropes have been found in almost every fitness center around the world.

However, most people do not know how to use this tool to produce human optimization effectively. The following information will provide a solid foundation for the trainer, coach, and student to use the Battle ropes effectively.

1. Ropes Provide a Dual-force Dynamic Effect to Improve Physiological Response

Ropes are significant in that they create a dual-force dynamic effect, one that uses the force of gravity and the force created by rope waves to amplify, and improve all of the human systems physiological response.

Most of the implements people use today amplify the effects of gravity on the body, creating physiological response in the systems the trainer, student, or person is trying to improve or build adaptations.

For instance, if a body builder is trying to grow adaptations in his or her musculature, he or she will create moderate to excessive load on the musculature (as well as cardiovascular, pulmonary, and nervous systems) day after day and week after week using gravity-based implements (i.e. barbell, dumbbell, etc.), and it works.

If a runner is trying to improve his aerobic capacity or endurance, he will run (gravity-based load and exercise) day after day and/or week after week to build adaptations in the muscular, cardiovascular, pulmonary, and nervous systems to improve aerobic capacity/endurance.

In this way, ropes are significantly different. The coach, student, or person is able to amplify load in two directions: gravity (and the many ways we know how to leverage gravity because of the lifters, coaches, and trainers that came before us) and wave force (which is a new field of physiological pursuit, providing myriad ways to improve our body’s adaptation response).

2. Less Injuries and More Results

The dual-force effect and contralateral movement common to rope use can accelerate adaptation in the body, while curbing injuries because each person is limited by their own force production. Much like jumping, if we cannot create enough force to get off the ground, or our nervous development disallows proper timing and sequencing for us to get off the ground, it will be hard to get injured.

We cannot create enough force through jumping or landing to be injured (note: most people injure themselves landing in the jump sequencing, because their focus is only on the first part of the movement–the jump, but that is a topic for another time).

With battle ropes, it is far less detrimental, because there is a constant connection to the two force producers (rarely in battle ropes training is the athlete off of the ground or disconnecting the chain of force and then reconnecting with it at high level forces), and it can be as explosive or dynamic as the athlete is able to produce force, thus creating the opportunity to grow endurance, strength, power, and skill without a ceiling.

Whereas if an athlete runs out of an external load such as dumbbells to provide the adaptation effect, you would have to purchase another dumbbell with a higher load, or figure out a way to leverage gravity in an increasing way. This will hardly be a problem with the ropes as the force is self-inflicted.

3. Making Weak Body Parts Strong

 

Through the dual-force dynamic the areas, which tend to be weak, are strengthened: your grip, shoulders, core, hips, knees, feet, ankles, and mind. Your grip strength and grip endurance must increase as your ability to produce higher force in your waves increase.

Just like loading up more weight on a barbell, as your waves increase in size, speed, distance, or duration, they increase the force through the rope, requiring a stronger grip in order to not let the rope slip out of your hands.

The shoulders should stay in a fairly “packed” position, with your elbows lower than your shoulders, and tight to the sides of the body when first starting with rope waves (it should go without saying that the athlete will have neutral spine and the shoulders down and back – think big chest), this not only prevents injury, but it does wonders for the shoulder strength and stability. Innovative Results has been known to use the ropes as a way to prehab and rehab shoulders back to their fully optimized state.

The core (or torso to include shoulders and hips) is mobilized, stabilized, and strengthened through repetitive rotation and anti-rotation involved in the basic battle rope alternate wave. This is a contralateral movement (left lower limb moves in sequence with the right upper limb and vice versa), which is how the body works when walking, running, crawling, swimming, and cycling, only instead of just a gravitational load, the body experiences the load of the wave as well.

This is how the hips are strengthened as well. The hips can also be strengthened in all other planes of motion through changing the way the wave is produced. The knees, foot, and ankle are strengthened because the body is working with gravity to leverage wave output through the upper body (torso, shoulders, and arms).

Every wave produced from the upper body, has been a chain of movement that uses our body’s relationship with gravity and the ground through the foot, ankle, knees, and hips. Just like a punch, the athlete creates a timed sequence to produce a force through the rope to where the rope is connected to an anchor.

All of these body improvements in the weak areas produce a more confident, healthy, and tough mind (toughness will be generated by pursuing higher volume, or power –greater single wave output, which is simple, but simple is not easy).

benefitsropes.jpg

4. Mobility

As in all areas of fitness mobility must come before stability, and stability before endurance, strength, and power. Any mobility sequence from Onnit or Innovative Results will suffice, but the athlete should focus on the above weak areas. As the mobility in the grip, shoulders, core, hips, knees, foot, and ankle increase, the athlete will see a dramatic improvement in his or her performance.

Start the training session with dynamic mobility (stretching through movement), and end the sessions with either more dynamic mobility or static mobility (stretching in one position for a prolonged time).

5. Stability

Whether you are creating waves, pulling the ropes, or lifting the ropes stability is generated. Think of the ancient sailor on a ship, pulling, lifting, wrapping, and tying ropes (they are actually referred to as “lines”) all around the ship as a means to an end. You probably are not thinking of an unstable, off-balance character.

Through these repetitive movements the sailor becomes very stable and very strong, in both his lower body and his upper body. We experience this same level of stability as we continually put the dual-force dynamic through all of our physiological systems (nervous, cardiovascular, pulmonary, and musculo-skeletal).

http://www.innovative-results.com

Author: Aaron Guyett

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Basic Human Movement Programming

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Basic Human Movement Programming

As a baseline, a focus on an exercise in each movement pattern is a sensible approach. This may also need to be adapted for certain individuals. You could also substitute any of the exercises below for a comparable exercise with a specific training implement. The following is an example of a basic human movement program with exercises and comparable daily activities:

1. Squat

The bodyweight squat is a simple movement pattern that can be progressed or regressed through altering the level of support, range of motion, or resistance. The squat is comparable to sitting down and standing up.

2. Lunge

The lunge is a vital movement pattern that has good transfer into walking, stair climbing, and picking up things from the floor. Again, it can be progressed or regressed through the level of support, range of motion or resistance.

3. Hinge

A classic deadlift movement is not only an excellent exercise to strengthen the posterior chain but is one of the most functional of daily movements – picking up an object from the floor. The deadlift can also easily be performed in any environment e.g. with a holdall, shopping bag, or suitcase. The range of motion and resistance can easily be adjusted and variations like the suitcase deadlift offer additional flexibility and progression.

4. Push

An exercise like the push-up is the simplest upper body push movement but can offer difficulties for those with reduced mobility. As a baseline exercise, I actually prefer a standing resistance band press as it also helps to develop balance. For those who are unable to stand, the exercise can be regressed to a seated version.

5. Pull

A standing resistance band pull offers a great antagonist to the resistance band push. As with the push version, the resistance band pull can also be performed from a seated position if necessary.

6. Rotate

A standing resistance band rotation is effective in developing both rotational strength and balance. Like the resistance band push and pull, it can be performed from a seated position if necessary.

7. Walk

The ability to walk is such a fundamental part of daily life that it should be a priority in any training program, and specifically one aimed at seniors. This can mean that the training program actually contains walking or that it is constructed to help enable a healthy gait (most likely it will be a combination of both).

http://www.sandbagfitness.blogspot.com/

Author: Matt Palfrey

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