Filed under: General Health, Nutrition, Training
I was able to catch up on some blog reading this morning, and I came across some stuff that I thought you guys might like, so check them out.
I also wanted to quickly mention that Mike Boyle’s Functional Strength Coach 3.0 is currently on sale for 25% off (a savings of $50!), which is a tremendous deal for those of you who didn’t pick one up the first time. Mike is a brilliant guy, and this is an awesome DVD set that encompasses everything Mike has learned in nearly 30 years of “in the trenches” experience at every level of sport and fitness.
1. Miscellaneous Miscellany Monday: Should I Get a Mac, Food Myths, and My New Favorite Stretch – Tony Gentilcore. Tony is famous for having some of the longest blog titles ever, but this one came out yesterday and already has 25 comments. I found it quite interesting to hear so many people advise him on whether or not to get a Mac, as I myself might be in the market for a new laptop in the not too distant future.
2. A Health Guru Dies of Cancer – Jonny Bowden. Jonny discusses a very important question; if even some of the smartest and healthiest people on earth die far too early from diseases like cancer, is all this effort to be healthy worth it? I like his answer.
3. Potatoes and Human Health, Part 1 and Part 2 – Stephan Guyenet. Stephan delves into the cultivation of potatoes (quickly), their nutritional content, health benefits and traditional use in diets. He also discuss glycoalkoloid content. Hmmm my description doesn’t sound nearly as interesting as it really is, but definitely check them out.
Filed under: Nutrition, Recipes
Who doesn’t love deviled eggs? It is one of my absolute favorite snacks at parties and get-togethers; I could easily put down a dozen without even blinking an eye.
Now since these are usually made with soybean oil-based mayo it certainly isn’t the world’s healthiest snack. People also usually use conventional eggs, which while not bad, are not as good as they could be. Needless to say, this snack could use a makeover, BSP style.
As you all know I love my eggs, and I just wrote what I think was one of my better blogs in a long time – Why Eggs Prevent Heart Disease - which is one of the inspirations for this post today.
To improve on the traditional deviled eggs we take them in a slightly different direction. Rather than use mayo at all, we use the delicious and versatile hummus. That coupled with some omega-3 or pastured eggs and some carrots makes for a fantastic snack that provides high quality protein, healthy fat, fiber, a serving of vegetables as well as tons of other beneficial nutrients.
BSP’s Deviled Eggs
- 2-4 whole omega-3 or pastured eggs, hardboiled
- 10 baby carrots
- 3 tbsp hummus
- paprika – optional garnish
Instructions - In a medium pot filled half-way with water, place burner on high. Once water comes to a boil place eggs in the pot. Turn down to about medium-high heat, so water is still boiling but not boiling out of the pot. In about 8-12 minutes eggs should be done.
Once done place eggs in a bowl of cold water for a minute or two, then remove and discard shells. Slice eggs in half.
Now you can just simply spread half of the hummus onto each half of an egg and power them down, and use the other half of the hummus with the carrots, or you can get a little fancier.
For you gourmet foodie types you can remove the yolks and whip up with the hummus, though you may need a little more hummus for this depending on how many eggs you are consuming. Then replace the whipped up mixture back into the empty eggs, and garnish with paprika.
I will admit that I eat a little more caveman style and do not worry too much about it being fancy, but it is certainly not a bad thing.
The snack will provide:
- Calories – 267-404
- Fat – 15-24 grams
- Carbs – 18-19 grams
- Protein – 15-28 grams
Filed under: General Health, Nutrition
A reader sent me an email with a link to an interesting and inspiring NY Times article.
This article discuss Dr. Preston Maring and his son, and their efforts to get other physicians and medical colleagues to embrace the importance of nutrition in the health and well-being of their patients.
Dr. Maring set up an all-organic farmer’s market at the Kaiser Permanente medical center at which he works. In his mind the kitchen must become as crucial as the clinic in managing and improving the health of patients.
One of my favorite quotes from the article is this:
“Food is at the center of health and illness, he argues, and so doctors must make all aspects of it — growing, buying, cooking, eating — a mainstay of their medical educations, their personal lives and their practices.”
I could not have said it better myself.
The article also goes into details about how doctors are not provided with sufficient nutrition education, and most do not feel comfortable discussing nutrition with patients (though people still ask and many doctors are more than willing to give poor advice).
Dr. Maring’s son, who is a fourth year med student, has also developed “a series of cooking classes that incorporate salient aspects of nutrition and clinical medicine.” I found that to be quite interesting and I hope that catches on at medical schools nation-wide.
We need to get doctors on board with actually providing sound nutrition advice, and it will all start with providing them with a better nutrition education. This one step alone can make a huge difference, and I sincerely hope this process continues.
I also just wanted to remind you that if you haven’t gotten it yet, today is the last day of the $50 discount on the Show and Go Training System so now is the time to buy!
Have a great weekend everybody!
Filed under: Training
Hey guys I don’t have a ton of time today as I got home late last night from Boston and I have to work early and all day for my dad out of town, so this is going to be a quick one.
I just wanted to remind you all that the Show and Go Training System introductory $50 off sale ends tomorrow, so if you want one at the lowest possible price you should act fast!
A lot of you have contacted me about whether I think this program would be right for you, and I know a lot of people have contacted EC as well asking the same thing. I happen to know this because I was at CP on Tuesday and I saw him answering a lot of questions!
Anyway to those of you unsure if this product is for you or not, here are some answers for many of the frequently asked questions Eric and I have received, straight from EC himself.
Question #1 – Can you give us a little idea of what this product is about?
Sure thing. It’s call Show and Go: High Performance Training to Look, Feel and Move Better. I hesitate to call this a book, as it’s more of a “resource.” Plus, it’s completely online.
In addition to the main manual – which features some background on the program, how it works, how to interpret the exercise recommendations, plus some frequently asked questions – we have four separate 4-week programs for a total of 16 weeks of training. Taking it a step further, we have a password protected online database of over 175 exercises videoed – basically, everything in the program.
The program themselves are already inserted into the exact training templates we use with our clients at Cressey Performance, so people can just print them out and record everything they do during each session. There are 4x/week and 3x/week training options – and a 2x/week training options available as one of the bonuses (ideal for in-season athletes and endurance athletes). Within each of the 3x/week and 4x/week programs, there are five different supplemental metabolic conditioning options from which people can choose to help individualize the program to their goals. Each phase has a unique full mobility warm-up.
In the main manual, there is an entire chapter (and corresponding video library) on exercise modifications for those who have limited equipment access (e.g., no squat rack or cables) and those who may have mobility issues that prevent them from performing a specific exercise (e.g., squatting deep).
Question #2 – How is it different from the other training products out there now?
Most products are written with a specific market – trainers, females, fat loss, or something else – in mind. In the marketing world, they tell you to not try to be everything to everyone. Well, I’m not a good marketer – so I decided to make this resource extremely versatile and a good fit for a LOT of people.
The reason is that there are a lot of things in a comprehensive strength and conditioning program that everybody needs to utilize. From the minutia to the big picture, I could go on all day: foam rolling, mobility warm-ups, single-leg training, more horizontal pulling, fluctuation of training stress, sufficient deloading periods, extra posterior chain work, a balance of open- and closed-chain upper body pressing, glute activation, rotator cuff strength – the list goes on and on.
So, I guess you can say that the #1 thing that is different about this product is that there are easy- to-apply modifications in it that make it a versatile resource that offers something for everyone. From the 2x/3x/4x per week training options to the supplement conditioning options, there are ways to make it the right fit for YOU.
And, the guy who created it is also extremely good looking, charming, witty, and charismatic!
Question #3 – Will I get fast results with this program or is more for long-term gains?
You’ll see some excellent improvements in body composition and performance in the 16 weeks, no doubt. However, I think a key benefit that will be overlooked is that you’ll learn a lot about programming along the way, pick up a ton of new exercises you can use for the long haul, and get an appreciation for how to “tinker” with things for different goals.
Hopefully that clears up some questions or concerns some of you may have had, but please feel free to contact me if you have any more questions. As I said before I give Show and Go Training my highest recommendation. If you haven’t picked up your copy yet you can grab it right here.
Filed under: Nutrition
I know that I have often written about the greatness of eggs, and many of my more enlightened readers actually take this information to heart and consume the whole thing on a regular basis.
Unfortunately I know that there are still many people who are resistant to make that leap of faith, still believing that the cholesterol in the eggs is going to give them heart disease, and failing to realize that not only does our body have a negative feedback system where when you consume cholesterol you simply produce less, but whole eggs actually contain substances that substantially decrease your risk of heart disease.
I actually showed just a snippet of data that disproved the idea that dietary cholesterol contributes to blood cholesterol right here.
Eggs are a good source of tons of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. They contain the cancer-fighting selenium, thyroid-regulating iodine, perfect protein, energy-boosting B vitamins, antioxidants lutein, zeaxanthin and vitamin A for eye health, iron, as well as being one of the few food sources of the incredible vitamin D. The well-produced kind also contain significant amounts of heart-healthy omega-3′s.
Even with that impressive list, one of the best components of eggs is a compound called choline. It is similar to the B vitamins, and has some absolutely amazing benefits.
Our bodies can make some choline, but not nearly enough to make up for an insufficient dietary intake, and choline deficiency can also cause a deficiency in the vital B vitamin folic acid. Since more than 90% of Americans are deficient in choline, this is a problem.
Choline is a key component to cell membranes, as their flexibility and integrity depend on it. In fact there are two molecules that make up a large percentage of the brain called phosphatidylcholine and sphingomyelin. These two molecules are down-stream by-products of choline, and without a sufficient supply of choline they are markedly less abundant, and our brain health and function is diminished.
Phosphatidylcholine also increases the solubility of cholesterol, lowers cholesterol levels by removing it and excess fat from tissue deposits, especially from the liver, and it also inhibits platelet aggregation.
Another down-stream by-product of choline is acetylcholine. Acetylcholine is a neurotransmitter that is the body’s primary chemical messenger to send messages between nerves and muscles.
That sounds like some good stuff right? Well there is a lot more. The choline in eggs has been specifically shown to reduce inflammation, and as we know inflammation plays an enormous role in the development of heart disease and many other diseases such as osteoporosis, cognitive impairment and Alzheimer’s, as well as type-2 diabetes.
A study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition showed that people whose diet had the highest intake of choline (>310mg/day) had inflammatory marker levels at least 20% lower than people whose diets had the lowest intakes (<250mg/day).
- 22% lower concentrations of C-reactive protein
- 26% lower concentrations of interleukin-6
- 6% lower concentrations of tumor necrosis factor alpha
Now do we see why eggs do not cause heart disease? To add even more, choline has also been shown to convert the inflammatory and blood vessel-damaging homocysteine into more benign substances.
Another worrisome issue is the fact that pregnant women do not get nearly enough choline, and pre-natal vitamins are too low in this critical component (though that is changing). Choline is essential for proper brain and memory development in the fetus.
Each egg yolk contains an average of 125mg of choline, and 315mg of phosphatidylcholine. Now I have shown before how pastured eggs are much more nutrient dense than their conventionally raised counterparts, so in my mind it stands to reason that pastured eggs will also contain significantly more choline as well.
Before we wrap this up, and just in case you weren’t yet convinced, there was another article published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition where researchers had 54 children aged 8-12 years consume 2 whole eggs daily for a month. Not only did their ratio of total LDL to HDL not change (so the cholesterol in the eggs had no effect on the amount of their blood cholesterol), but the size of their LDL particles did change.
15% of these children shifted from the atherogenic pattern B to the benign pattern A, meaning the LDL particles shifted from the small and dense type, to the large and fluffy type after just one month of eating eggs, and all of the subjects actually saw an increase in large, fluffy LDL and a decrease in small, dense LDL. This is a big deal, as egg consumption significantly decreased their heart disease risk from a cholesterol standpoint, not too mention most likely decreased their inflammatory markers, as noted above.
I hope I have made clear how incredibly nutritious whole eggs are for you, so go ahead and enjoy a few every morning, as your eyes, brain, heart, liver and more will thank you. This also means you can stop the non-sense of those egg white omelets, which are ridiculous.
More reading on the greatness of whole eggs
The Incredible Edible Pastured Egg
Eggs: I am so confused ?!?
Monday’s New Take
Filed under: General Health, Nutrition, Training, Weight Loss
I know I have talked about Show and Go incessantly for the past week, but I am very excited for its release. As of this moment, Eric Cressey has just opened up the doors to his brand new Show and Go Training System!
He’s offering a huge discount on the System and is giving away some really cool bonuses for you if you act fast. But hurry they won’t last long…
You can get all the details right here!
I’ve known Eric for several years now and I can personally tell you that I consider him to be one of the finest performance enhancement coaches in the world. I have seen hundreds of Eric’s clients make the best progress of their lives under his guidance, while also improving their long-term health and performance.
I have also seen this actual program in action, and I absolutely know that it works! One of my best friends in college was a guinea pig for this program.
Now this is a guy who had been training properly for a full year prior to testing Show and Go, and he had made some nice progress. He had cleaned up his diet, gained some strength, improved his body composition as well his performance on the rugby pitch.
In the 4 months of the Show and Go program he lost 10lbs of fat, decreased his bodyfat by 4% and made some tremendous strength gains: his squat went up 30lbs, his deadlift 40lbs (to 405!), his bench by 15lbs, and his chinups by 25lbs!
These would be impressive gains from a beginner, but from a guy who had done some training on and off for a few years, and then had a solid year of high-quality training prior to, these are astounding numbers! And he did it all while getting significantly leaner and not actually dieting! He simply committed himself to some nutrition guidelines I had given to him years prior that he had never truly put to use!
To think, he did all that in just 16 weeks! Keep at it and imagine the results in a full year!
The best part about it all is though Eric and I had kicked around the idea of me writing the nutrition component for his next project for quite some time, it was actually when we were discussing this guys particular results that it truly came to fruition. And thus, the Show and Go Nutrition Guide was born!
I give Show and Go my absolute highest recommendation; from the soft-tissue improvements, the warm-ups and mobility improvements, to the top-notch training and performance improvements this book has it all. Not too mention all of the incredible bonuses and amazing Nutrition Guide!
Do yourself a favor, take your training, nutrition and performance to the next level, and get the Show and Go Training System Now!
Filed under: Training
So I am sure you will all notice the new look around here! I have my good friend Nico to thank for the work he did in revamping my site, and I must say he did a tremendous job! There are a few more bugs to workout, like for some odd reason we lost the search function, but that should be up and running by the end of the day today.
I was able to barter a training program and some nutrition consulting with Nico in exchange for the website work, which I was also pretty pumped about!
Please let me know what you guys think of the new layout and design, any and all comments are welcome!
I am also very excited/nervous, I guess anxious would be appropriate, for Show and Go to launch tomorrow! It is the first book I have written, and although I have the utmost confidence in it I can’t help being just a little nervous! I don’t think I have ever used that many exclamation points in my life. I feel like Mike Robertson. Just kidding Mike.
I am in Boston for a few days with my wife as she is in town for a conference on dental implants. I know exciting stuff right? I am locking myself in my hotel room today (which her company is paying for, booya) and adding the final touches on the site as well as finishing up my 3rd article for t-nation.
We of course packed lots of healthy portable snacks to bring with us. Some mixed nuts, dried fruit, fresh fruit, natural peanut butter, whole-grain bread (unfortunately sprouted-grains wouldn’t last long without refrigeration), and protein powder.
Of course while in town I am going to make an appearance at CP tomorrow. Get in a lift with the staff, see some friendly faces, meet the new interns, do lots of observing and maybe even do a little coaching, mainly because I just can’t help myself.
It will be so nice to be back in a gym with some actual attitude. It is amazing the difference it makes when you are surrounded by loud music, like-minded individuals and people actually training with a purpose. In fact an online client of mine sent me an article from the NY Times showing that the tempo of the music you listen to can highly influence how hard you train.
Greatest lifting music of all time
The study found that when people listened to the same song at either 10% faster or 10% slower tempo, their work output matched the tempo. Meaning when they listen to the slower version of the song (without knowing it) they actually worked less hard. When they listened to the faster version they worked harder. The crazy part is they knew they were working harder (though they didn’t know the song was faster than normal) but they persevered none-the-less.
Needless to say, Tony Gentilcore will NOT be in control of the music when I am at the facility tomorrow, that’s for sure!
That’s it for today guys, and please let me know what you think of the new layout!
Filed under: General Health, Nutrition
It has been a crazy week around these parts. I got to enjoy an absolutely beautiful day yesterday by playing 18 on at Fox Ridge, one of the best courses in Maine. It was even better because I played with a member, which cut down my cost, and I had a gift card, so it only cost me $5!
Though after playing some excellent golf last week, I was hacking my way around the greens and couldn’t putt to save my life! Regardless it was great to get out and enjoy a little sunshine, as that will most likely be my last time out this year.
Anywho, I’ve got some interesting stuff for you today.
1. One of my classmates sent me a link to this article on NPR radio. It was all about how a judge laid the smack down on the sugar beet industry, no longer allowing them to plant genetically modified crops because of problems with cross-pollination with non-GMO and organic crops.
The genetically modified Roundup Ready (seriously what commodity crop does Monsanto not have their hands in?) beets are very similar to the Roundup Ready soybeans and corn that dominate the American Midwest landscape.
This is a huge problem because non-GMO and organic crops get sued for patent infringement if cross-pollination occurs, even though it is through no fault of their own. There just happens to be some Roundup Ready crop nearby, wind blows the pollen to the “other” crops, and that farmer gets sued by one of the biggest companies in the food production industry for “patent infringement.”
That and the fact that Monsanto owns all of these Roundup Ready seeds, so farmers can no longer save seeds from one year and replant them the next, which is how farming has been down for centuries, probably millenia. That is now illegal. This monopoly (Monsanto’s Roundup Ready soybeans make up 90% of the market) has caused farmer’s to lose their fundamental right to choose the crop of their choice.
This ruling could be a big step in improving our current food production methods, so check it out.
2. Many smart people dismiss the potential health implications from artificial sweetener intake, and I think this is a mistake. Now others take it too far and if you even consider their consumption you are playing with fire and ruining your health.
The fact of the matter is there is considerable research and mountains of anecdotal evidence, claiming that artificial sweeteners do cause plenty of health problems. In fact here is a study done on 59,000 Danish women showing that artificial sweetener intake (aspartame, from diet soda) increased risk of pre-term delivery. Just one diet soda per day increased their risk by 38%, while 4 diet sodas increased their risk by 78%!
There is also some very alarming research done in rats (here and here) which showed that consumption of aspartame within the accepted daily limits caused a tremendous increase in incidences of cancer. They also showed that exposing rats to aspartame while in the womb increased their risk of cancer even more.
Not too mention some research has shown a significant association between artificial sweetener consumption and weight gain!
And that is just for aspartame. There is also research on the negative health effects of Splenda, which I have blogged about before.
So like I said, is some minimal and random consumption going to be a problem? Probably not. But artificial sweeteners are packed into more and more things these days, even ketchup, that you might be surprised by your intake. It is definitely something to keep in mind.
3. For those of you who don’t consume much pasta as there are not many great sources or you are just trying to keep your carb intake down, here is a solid alternative – spaghetti squash. While my wife is not a fan, many people swear by it.
1 cup only has 40 calories, 10 grams of carbs and 2 grams of fiber as well as 120mg of omega-3′s. Just some food for thought for you low-carbers!
Well that does it for me today, have a great weekend everyone!
Filed under: Nutrition, Training
So on Tuesday I let you know about the launching of Eric Cressey’s Show and Go: High Performance Training to Look, Feel and Move Better. To kick start it all Eric provided an awesome FREE video on how to get a deeper squat.
This time he is back with another kickass FREE video – 4 Must Have Variations to Master the Squat.
To top it all off, if you want to see all of my thoughts and philosophies on nutrition compiled together and in one place, I have written an accompanying Show and Go Nutrition Guide. In my opinion it is freakin awesome!
But you don’t just have to take my word for it. Eric’s guinea pigs for the program were offered the nutrition guide early, as a thank you. And this is what one of them had to say:
“First off, Brian, as one of the testers of Eric’s new program, I was offered a chance to buy the nutritional add on early, which I have taken up.
Now I haven’t sat down to read it through yet, but at a first glance, it appears to be just what I need. As a personal trainer, often the biggest barrier is changing nutritional habits. You have provided what looks to be a very user friendly resource, without dumbing down or skimping on the information. Congratulations and thank you.”
So again, check out this new FREE video and learn more about the awesomeness of Show and Go.
Filed under: Nutrition, Recipes
I guess I am always surprised when people tell me they run out of ideas for snacks. There are so many options, but for some reason we all seem to get stuck in ruts and never expand our snacking horizons.
Well today I am resurrecting a childhood classic that I think far too many of us have forgotten in our adult lives. I am talking about Ants on a Log.
What could be a better snack than some vegetables, fruit and healthy fat that tastes absolutely freakin awesome and reminds you of watching the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles?
While many people will declare celery to be a useless vegetable, while truthfully there is no such thing. While I am a believer that foods are much greater than the sum of their parts, it can still be helpful to know what nutrients foods contain.
For example celery is a good source of vitamins C and K, folate, potassium and calcium. It also contains phthalides that may lower your blood pressure, and coumarins that may help prevent cancer.
Raisins are a good source of potassium and the trace mineral boron, as well as having a tremendously high phenol content, including resveratrol. Boron is an interesting one because it is necessary for optimal vitamin D status, which as we know is very big deal.
Peanut butter is a good source of niacin, vitamin E, magnesium, phosphorus and manganese. It is also a source of resveratrol and rivals most fruits with its high antioxidant content.
Not a bad combination if you ask me!
Ants on a Log
- 3 large organic celery stalks
- 3 tablespoons natural peanut butter
- 2 tablespoons organic raisins
I specifically recommend celery and raisins be organic as they are two of the worst offenders when it comes to pesticides, just something to keep in mind. Simply spread each tablespoon of peanut butter evenly over each celery stalk, and sprinkle raisins on top. If you want to make this into a smaller snack, simply decrease to 2 large celery stalks, 2 tablespoons of peanut butter and you can either keep raisins the same or cut down to 1 tablespoon. Enjoy!
- Calories – 392
- Fat – 24g
- Carbs – 32g
- Fiber – 7g
- Protein – 12g