Monthly Archives: December 2012

To Empower Yourself or Not

In order to take charge of our health we must believe that we are able to. Our culture tells us that we are disease prone due to genetics, and while I will admit a genetic tendency to disease patterns, I refuse to believe your fate has been written in stone because of your parents genes. No…I say that while disease runs in the family, more importantly food choices and environmental factors run in the family (Epigenetics is a fantastic new study into how the environment changes the genetic structure by turning on and off certain genomes. You can find more about this in the book Pottenger’s Prophecy). The idea that our health is controlled by a genetic tendency forces the individual to give up their belief that they can change their destiny. In my opinion this is one of the primary causes of the health disaster that we call America. If you believe that you are unable to change your health destiny, especially since the “experts and doctors” tell you so, then why would you research or even think about possible alternatives.

Our sincere lack of individual empowerment allows us to be prey to an establishment that has a focus on their bottom dollar. This system includes an agricultural/food like substance industry which creates a sick population and pharmaceutical companies and insurance companies who are in bed with the FDA and government and also medical schools that train doctors from an allopathic perspective that does not train in holistic nutrition in a very busy system that does not allow for a significant amount of Doctor/patient consultation. The system does not benefit from creating a healthy population. This system is designed to create a population that is perpetually sick. This system wants a population that has a barely managed chronic disease. By doing this the entire system benefits. The food industry (which specializes in unhealthy food like substances) continues to sell their product with a significant amount of help from the government (just try to find subsidies for organic growers vs those of corn, wheat and soy), the insurance companies continue to sell you insurance because you are “unable” to take part in your own health destiny, the doctors continue to see you with a guaranteed paycheck where they then prescribe you a pharmaceutical in order to combat your ailing health and the government receives funding from all of the lobbyists in the medical community, just in time for you to continue down your destructive path without any true health information or encouragement so that you may end up starting all over in a month or so cycling through the medical community once again.

You must understand that you’ve been lied to. You’ve been molded to believe that you must rely upon an authority. The authorities believe this to be true as well. Forget all of that. You are the authority. You are your own sovereign. You can take charge of your life at any moment. In fact, you must do this.

The simple fact is that…we are the most capable beings on this earth..we can learn from each others mistakes…we must empower ourselves. When it comes to your body and your health you must listen…there is no greater power than you. Listen to your body. It responds to good and bad choices. If will guide you to the answers. You choose your health destiny. You decide your fate. If you choose to place that power into another’s hands then you place your fate into another’s hands. While you should take into account the advice of professionals, you alone, control your destiny.
While I was thinking about this post I ran across this on a friends Facebook page. She has a great blog called http://fromprocessedtopure.com You can follow her on Facebook as well.

I hope you enjoy the video and I hope that you think about the power that you possess and start taking charge of your health destiny. This blog is full of non traditional information that is based upon a holistic understanding of health. Health that begins with natural food and activity. You can change your health destiny. Here I am providing the information necessary in order to do just that. My initial cues for health have always been to find out what is the most natural things I can eat and do. This should appeal to everyone of faith or not. However this world was created it was beautiful and has worked tremendously well for far longer than we have been engineering foods.

and here is a great article if you have a few moments to read it:

http://www.lewrockwell.com/orig13/salatin1.1.1.html

Introductory Guide to Great Health and Longevity Part 3 (Training Philosophy)

Training Phiosophy

My goal now is to be fitter next year than I am now, and to do that without injury, feeling worn down or getting bored. It should be yours as well. I want to increase my strength and conditioning in a patterned, structured way. I want to train effectively and intelligently and I want to enjoy it. Also, I want to be able to enjoy my time between workouts without pain or complete exhaustion.

In order to do this I have switched almost completely over to kettlebell training. I follow the advice of a trainer named Pavel Tsoutline. His method is that of low rep ladders for slow strength and high rep ballistic movements for cardio and endurance training. This allows you to do as much work as possible while being as fresh as possible. The intention with kettlebells is to build strength and endurance without building an unreasonable amount of size. They will allow you to become stronger while maintaining functionality.

If you would like to use barbells he has a plan for you as well. Two sets of 5. As heavy as you can go while leaving one or two in the hole (i.e.…never going to failure). You must also use some form of cycling. Cycling is when you start out at at weight you can perform fairly easily and increase that weight. You continue to increase this weight until you are unable to perform 2 sets of 5 with a given weight. At this point, instead of getting stuck on a plateau, you drop the weight down to a lighter weight (but heavier than the original starting point). Then you work your way up once again, this time surpassing your previous plateau and continue training. This will allow you to build strength without injuring yourself or overtraining.

I am more interested in training for lifetime fitness and functional strength instead of looks. Here is a great part of an interview with Pavel Tsoutline.

How do you train soldiers differently than civilians? For example, how would the training of a soldier compare to the training of an athlete?

Pavel: Let us use strength as an example. An athlete can afford to be strong due to large muscles but a soldier or a Marine cannot. In wartime and even during exercises muscle rapidly melts away, thanks to malnutrition, sleep deprivation, and stress. A military man must gain strength by retraining his nervous system to contract his, even shrunken, muscles harder.

The above style of neural strength training is ideally done when the trainee is totally fresh. But a soldier must exert himself when he is exhausted. Therefore at least some of the strength practice must be conducted in a state of fatigue, sometimes extreme fatigue. In the Spetsnaz it is an SOP to initiate a new guy by putting him through all sorts of hell and then have him fight a few fresh and experienced guys hand to hand. Applied to neural strength training, you could hump ninety pounds of gear on uneven terrain or go for an ocean swim, and then do your pullups and kettlebell snatches.

To sum with an analogy, an athlete is like a racecar that performs like a clock on a perfect track, with top grade fuel and oil, etc. Pull it out of its ideal environment and you have got a problem. A soldier is a Hummer that will perform under most adverse conditions.

The above is from Girevik Magazine. http://www.powerathletesmag.com/archives/Girevik/First/interview.html

I would much prefer to be the Hummer with a social life than a racecar without one. In fact I just recently ran all over Enchanted Rock (Texas) with a light pack on with my girlfriend and dog at the tail end of a bout of illness without much difficulty. I am very pleased with the efficiency of my workouts. Ill continue to train with kettlebells and will probably add in free weights when I get a chance down the line.

Introductory Guide to Great Health and Longevity Part 2 (food)

The food portion of great health and longevity can be seen as quite simple. With a few basic rules you will be well on your way.

Three things to Remember

All you really need to do in order to eat healthy is to keep these three things in mind:

1. Whole Foods

2. Fresh Foods (mostly fresh, preferably organic or natural)

3. Eat more vegetables (especially leafy greens), high quality meats (grass fed and/or naturally raised organic meat) and less carbohydrates (especially simple ones such as sugar and refined flours)

This is the basis of a healthy diet.

You should not fear your food. Enjoy it, embrace it and love it. Eat real food and stop worrying so much about it. Food is a social event. Eat it, enjoy it, savor it and live.

Whole Foods

Whole foods are the entire edible portion of the food. Typical whole foods are your fruits and vegetables, whole grains and meats. Typical refined foods are white breads, instant oatmeal, cookies, frozen dinners and anything boxed. I once heard two pieces of advice when choosing foods at he grocery store. One was to shop on the perimeter of the grocery store (vegetables, fruits and meats are found on the perimeter while refined foods are on the inside aisles) and the other was to purchase foods that do not have a label telling you that they are healthy. Fruits and vegetables do not require a label telling you that it is good for you. The added vitamins and minerals on the packaged food is a marketing ploy to get you to buy them.

Fresh Foods

Soon after your food is harvested the nutrient level begins to decrease. Typical grocery store foods travel incredible distances to reach your pantry. This food is often picked before it is ripe and chemically ripened. Consuming local natural/organic produce supports both your health and the health of you local economy and farmers. Frozen fruits and vegetables maintain a very high level of nutrients as well.

Eat more Vegetables/Quality Meats and less Carbohydrates

The standard american plate is centered around meat. Increasing the amounts of vegetables that you eat will make a large difference in your health, especially leafy greens. High quality meats are naturally/organically raised, such as grass fed beef. I believe our bodies are geared to work properly on the fats and proteins of these meats. As you fill your plate with these meats and vegetables you will thankfully crowd out the simple carbohydrates such as white breads, sugars and sodas. Eating fat does not cause weight gain.

The Timing of Meals

Humans are predators. Predators are geared to be most effective when they are on the hunt, and they hunt when they are hungry. Therefore we are naturally at our peak performance when we are hungry. We should only be eating for 4 hours in the evening, with small recovery meals after a workout or to stave off the worst of the hunger pangs. No more scavenging food at all hours like a vulture. These are the main reasons why.

Insulin Regulation

Insulin regulation is achieved through proper food choices and intermittent fasting.

“When you fast, insulin drops and the hormone glucagon increases, to ensure a steady supply of energy to the body. When glucagon dominates, most of the body’s energy is derived from glycogen reserves and fat stores. Also, the drop in insulin allows the growth hormone to peak. Elevation of GF increases the body’s capacity to rejuvenate, repair tissues, and burn fat.”

“The Warrior Diet” by Ori Hofmekler

Detoxification

Natural detoxification allows the body to remove toxins that you have in your body. When you eat breakfast you are literally (break)ing your (fast). This allows a daily fast (controlled fast/under eating phase) as well as an opportunity to “indulge” in the evening. In the evening you eat as much food as it takes to make you full and then during the day you fast.

“It’s east and undeniable whence experienced. – The body’s natural purification in the am, and the dissipation of hunger throughout the day…and the permitted and “healthy” bit of hedonism at sunset. Every time I hear the 6 small meals a day, all I think of is self slavery.” Todd BandiagaRa

I believe the food portion is the most important portion of being healthy. All of this is found throughout this blog. Search through for further details on the above. Blog posts to look for in particular are the earlier ones on the specifics of food and The Timing of Meals parts 1 and 2.