Filed under: General Health, Nutrition
This is a question I get asked a lot, and it is one that has always been hard to answer. Obviously getting local eggs from farmer’s markets or directly from local farms that allow their chickens to pasture, eat grubs and whatever else they please.
However, this isn’t always feasible, even for me. So, what do you choose?
Fortunately a client of mine pointed me in the right direction. Many of you should be familiar with The Cornucopia Institute, as I have linked many times to their report on organic dairies. It is my go to resource for helping clients find quality grass-fed dairy in their area.
However, I had never realized that they researched more than just dairy! They also did a report on organic egg producers, which was absolutely fantastic. It was very eye-opening, and will cause me to change my grocery store egg choice.
Now that it is summer, I will have access to tremendous eggs that are locally grown and allowed to do their thing. In the winter though, the grocery store is what we turn to. Plus there are just times when you get in a bind and just need some eggs, so this report has been very helpful to me, and can be very helpful to all of you as well.
Check out the Cornucopia Institute Organic Egg Scorecard, and make an informed choice.
Filed under: General Health, Training
This month I made my first appearance in Men’s Health magazine, which I am pretty pumped about. On page 114-118 of the June 2011 issue there is an article by Lou Schuler called 15 New Muscle Builders.
Lou asked various experts for new tips on improving muscular growth, posture and performance. I was fortunate enough to be one of those guys, and in fact my tip is #1!
Other experts include guys like Tony Gentilcore, Eric Cressey, Lee Boyce, Nick Tuminello, Chad Waterbury, Jonathan Fass, and Stuart McGill. That is some pretty incredible company and I feel humbled to even be a part of it, so check it out!
Filed under: General Health, Nutrition
I recently wrote an article on phytic acid that caused several questions and concerns in the comments section. I thought they were worth being put in a more public forum than the comments, so I am going to respond to them here.
1. According to wiki ” Simply cooking the food will reduce the phytic acid to some degree” So we can toast our brown bread to reduce the Phytic acid content!
2. Brian, one of the ingredients in Ezekiel bread is wheat gluten? Are you not concerned with the fact that gluten is added as an additional ingredient.
3. That’s interesting. How much does Phytic acid add up to in the grand scheme of things?
4. Sprouting and soaking doesn’t Eliminate all the phytic acid It only reduces the amount and then there is the issue of lectin, another anti-nutrient found in grains.
I guess my point is what benefit, besides convience (which could be argued), does eating bread provide. Especially when we have plenty of non-processed carbs available to use without the negative attributes!
1. While I appreciate the humor, the degree to which it is decreased is probably minimal at best. Cooking can definitely decrease the content, but starting with less in the first place is a far superior option.
2. Unless you have a gluten sensitivity, no I am not concerned. There is still less gluten in Ezekiel products than regular bread. Gluten is a sticky protein which keeps bread together, Ezekiel bread is not nearly as strong due to its lowered gluten content. It contains far more than just wheat, with legumes and other grains that are gluten free.
3. That is a good question, and I guess it depends on how much of your diet is dominated by phytic acid-containing foods. If you don’t consume a ton of grains, it probably isn’t a huge concern. Regardless, to me it is a small change to make for definite improvement.
4. While it doesn’t decrease all of the phytic acid, it does decrease a lot of it (which is what I said in the post). As far as I know sprouting also greatly decreases the lectin content in the grains as well. While grains may not be the ideal carb source, for most people a moderate grain intake from properly prepared grains (like sprouting) is not an issue. I do agree that starchy tubers like potatoes or sweet potatoes are probably better, sprouted grains are a solid choice as well.
I think the fastidious belief that all grains are evil, gluten is the devil and that we should all eat low carb is another fanatical view that is missing the big picture. Humans have consumed these foods, with proper preparation, for a very long time. Some people don’t tolerate grains or gluten well, and for those people it is best to minimize or avoid, but you can’t extrapolate that subset of the population out to everybody.
Filed under: Uncategorized
On Saturday, May 14 at 10pm my wife gave birth to our beautiful baby girl! Kate Sweet St. Pierre weighed in at 7lbs 11oz and measured 20.5 inches long. She is happy and healthy and I am looking at her right now as I write this!
Everyone tells you that having a child is a life-changing experience, and I can say first hand that you don’t truly understand what that means until your child is actually born. I am sure this will only continue as she grows up.
Needless to say there have been several sleepless nights and a tremendously disrupted routine. I have actually lost 7lbs due to the lack of sleep, stress and totally messed up schedule! I was able to get to the gym today though and I am definitely looking forward to more of that.
I must say it is also amazing how fast you learn to change diapers, soothe your baby and absolutely just fall in love with them. I also want to thank everyone for their congratulations and well wishes, it is all greatly appreciated.
Also in keeping with the birthday theme, Eric Cressey is celebrating his 30th birthday by having a huge sale on Show and Go: High Performance Training to Look, Feel and Perform Better, taking $50 off! If it is a product you have considered but have yet to pull the trigger on, you will never get it for a better price, and it will provide you with some tremendous results to boot.
Filed under: General Health, Nutrition
What is phytic acid and why is it a concern is a question I get from a lot of people. Fortunately the answer is short and sweet, and there is a very easy solution to the phytic acid problem in grains.
Phytic acid is an anti-nutrient that is present in many foods, grains in particular. Whole wheat bread is a rich source of phytic acid. While it may be “better” than white bread, it is certainly not perfect.
Phytic acid binds to and prevents the absorption of many important minerals such as zinc, iron, calcium and magnesium, as well as the vitamin niacin. This could potentially lead to mineral deficiencies and some corresponding health problems that none of us want.
To solve this issue you can go one of two directions. You can choose white bread, as the refining process removes the bran where the phytic acid is located, or you can choose sprouted grain breads, as the sprouting process greatly decreases the phytic acid content while also increasing the mineral content.
The white bread option is clearly not a favorable one, as the refined flours contain far less fiber, phytonutrients, and minerals while also jacking up blood sugar. Fortunately sprouted grains have a far lesser effect on blood sugar, contain more fiber, more phytonutrients and more bioavailable vitamins and minerals.
The clear choice on bread and bread products are sprouted grain versions. They contain more of what you want, and less of what you don’t. They are becoming more highly available in the health food section of your local grocer, and are usually found in the freezer as they don’t contain any preservatives. You can simply keep them in the fridge.
Having said all that, is having whole-wheat products a bad thing? I wouldn’t go that far, but I do think sprouted grains are far superior and would highly recommend them.
Filed under: General Health, Nutrition
First off I want to quickly say that things have been a little crazy around these parts. I have had several clients tell me to make it more clear on here why I have been unable to blog much as of late. As I noted in a previous blog, April was an insane month for me, and the end of it spilled into May. I was working hard to maintain my 4.0 (making my mom proud) and I was absolutely swamped by my thesis work, as I am racing to get it done before my daughter is born.
Speaking of that, Anna is due any day now (it was technically last Friday) so that has also been a huge part of my life as we prepare for the arrival of our daughter!
So I hope all of you will forgive this small blip in writing, as I will be back on track as soon as I can.
Q. Hey Brian,
After reading Poliquin’s article on GMO foods HERE
He pulls up some research on mice showing the negative side effects of GMO foods and I was wondering what your take on them were. Is there only one side to this argument?
A. I’m not a fan, simply because so little is truly known about their long-term effects on human health. I find it hilarious that RD’s will comment on my blog and say they need to see more data on the safety of protein, because there are no long-term studies showing a high intake to be safe, and yet nobody questions the safety of eating genetically modified foods? We have been eating protein since the dawn of time, and health professionals question its safety, yet GMOs have only been around for 20 years or so and they seem to get a free pass. Seems a little backwards to me.
Many GMOs are banned in European countries (like France), and there is definitely some research in animals that makes me even more wary. Having said that, they might turn out to be just fine, but I have my doubts and I tend to avoid them simply to err on the side of caution. I certainly can’t prove that they will kill you, but I prefer not to chance it either.
In addition the companies that create these “foods” are not companies who I would ever want producing my food. Monsanto is not exactly concerned about your well-being, they are only concerned about their bottom line. Watch Food, Inc, it may make you never want to purchase another Monsanto product ever again.
Filed under: General Health, Nutrition, Training
I know my blogging has been lacking a little bit lately, I have just been swamped with my school work and thesis research the past two weeks. I have some good topic ideas that I just haven’t had time to flesh out, but once I do it will be a BSP Avalanche of Awesome, so keep your eyes peeled!
I also wanted to let you guys know that Mike Robertson has released on DVD his Bulletproof Knees and Back Seminar that he presented in Vancouver in late 2010. As usual Mike has provided a high-quality product that would benefit any fitness professional or fitness enthusiast.
Considering that about 80% of the population will develop low back pain at some time or another, and many of us suffer from knee issues as well, Bulletproof Knees and Back is well worth checking out.
Here is some good content from others that I thought might interest you guys.
Maine Voices: Health hazard signs require understanding and action – Dr. Larry Catlett. This was sent to me by one of my best friends, as this article was written by his boss. It voices my opinion on the topic of healthcare models, and how it is imperative that we shift our mindset to a preventive/proactive approach. It is simple and clear and very enjoyable.
How to Deadlift: Which Variation is Right for You? (series) – Eric Cressey. Eric is in the midst of a phenomenal series on the benefits of deadlifting, outlining appropriate technique, and specifically discussing when and where you may want to utilize conventional, sumo or trap bar variations.
Organic or Conventional: Is There a Difference? – ME! This is an oldie but a goodie, that I think is still a relevant topic. Maybe even more so with the ever increasing gas prices and the impact on produce prices and food budgets.