Filed under: General Health, Nutrition
I know my blogging has been pretty much nil lately, but I assure you I have not been idle! Part of my job with Precision Nutrition is to write All About Articles, along with Ryan Andrews.
Quite a few of these articles have already been published. If interested check them out:
All About Coffee
All About Environmental Toxins
Calorie Control Guide For Men and Women (co-authored with Ryan Andrews)
There are some other great articles coming down the pipeline as well, so keep your eyes peeled on the PN Blog.
Filed under: General Health, Nutrition, Training, Weight Loss
A few weeks ago I received an email thanking me and EC for the Show and Go Training Program and Nutrition Guide. It was absolutely wonderful to see someone make such tremendous improvements in his health, body composition and performance. Here is what he had to say:
“EC and BSP,
I hope you guys are doing well! I just wanted to send you two a quick note of thanks. The Show & Go System has made considerable changes to my body, both outside and inside.
I’ve completed Show & Go three times with maintenance periods in between. Initially, I completed the 4x/week program. Really effective, but required too much time given I’m working full time, teaching two courses, and finishing up my PhD. Next, I completed the 3x/week program. Finally, I went back to the 4x/week program but only lifted 3x/week. I love the upper/lower split and the recovery time between sessions it offered me. It was during this last program that I absolutely destroyed my PRs! That is no joke! Here is a listing of gains I’ve made from January 2011 until June 2012:
Bodyweight (6’1”): 192.5 —> 209.5
Body Fat: 14.5 —> 11.5
Front Squat: 165x3x5 —> 235x3x5
Deadlift (conventional): 275×1 —> 415×1
Bench Press: 235×1 —> 285×1
Pull ups: +10x3x5 —> +37.5x3x5
I’m not brutally strong, but strong for someone who wasn’t blessed with the strong gene. I could go on and on about the gains, but the primary reason I’m emailing is to thank BSP for the Show and Go Nutrition Guide and to thank EC for including it. My family has a notorious history of heart disease. My dad’s grandpa died from his first heart attack at 50, my dad’s dad died at 56 (he had four heart attacks and three strokes), my dad’s uncle died from his first heart attack at 62, and my dad had his first heart attack at 48 (thankfully still alive). Odds not trending in my favor.
My wife and I switched to eating as BSP recommended as of July 2011. I had labs done in June 2011 and just had them done again yesterday at my yearly physical. Everything keeps improving as seen in the comparison from June 2011 to August 2012:
LDL: 108 —> 88
HDL: 40 —> 64
Triglycerides: 81 —> 55
I know these aren’t the only indicators of health, but they are pretty damn important to heart health. I owe just about all of the changes I’ve made to you two! This is crazy! Oh, and all while eating 5 eggs just about every day, in light of the new study released here:http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0021915012005047. Be aware that that study’s statistical interpretations are extremely suspect. Plus, any time you see researchers arbitrarily categorizing continuous variables (e.g., into quintiles) be skeptical immediately. Far too much information is lost due to categorization!
Anyways, thanks again and keep producing quality programs and providing quality information!
p.s., In 15 months, Show & Go also transformed my wife from a non-lifting marathon runner into an absolute beast in the gym. Her current lifts are, Back Squat: 170x5x3, Conventional Deadlift: 185x5x3, full hang chin ups: 7, Bench: 110×1. At a body weight around 130. Hopefully our kids get her strong gene! Thanks again!!”
I would say those results truly speak for themselves! In a matter of 1.5 years he was able to gain 21lbs of lean body mass (muscle and its associated components, bone, etc) and lose 4lbs of fat mass, while gaining tremendous strength and drastically improving his health to boot!
A recent review determined the Triglyceride to HDL ratio as the best single predictor of heart disease risk, with a goal of 2 or less. His ratio went from 2.025 to a fantastic 0.86! Not only that he was able to lower his LDL levels while consuming 5 whole eggs per day, pretty impressive stuff if you ask me.
Show and Go: High Performance Training to Look, Feel & Move Better is on sale for $50 off from now through Sunday, September 9 at midnight. Do yourself a favor and grab a copy of this incredible and comprehensive training program, and at the same time purchase the tag along Show and Go Nutrition Guide, written by yours truly. You won’t regret it, as you can see it can help you improve your healthy, body composition and performance all at the same time.
Filed under: General Health
Yes it’s true, I broke part of my tibia a little over a week ago. I played in a rugby tournament with some old college buddies and on the last play of the last game I got tackled (though not before I passed the ball off and we scored as time as expired to have a chance to tie. Alas we missed the kick.) and simply rolled my ankle inwards towards the ground, breaking part of my tibia.
Other than breaking my nose in practice, and subsequently re-breaking it two weeks later in a game, I have never been injured playing rugby. Bruised and battered yes, but never injured. Maybe at 28 I am past my prime! Probably so when it is only the second time I play in 4 years!
Anyway, apparently this injury is quite rare. 90% of the time you roll your ankle you roll it the other way, with the outside of your ankle going towards the ground, ending up in a sprain. I did this a bunch of times in high school soccer. This was different. After I got tackled I was able to walk off the field, but just a little while later after icing the ankle it stiffened up to the point that I could no longer walk.
After getting assessed by the trainer she was pretty sure I had broken the bottom part of my tibia. Apparently the ligament that attaches your tibia to your calcaneus (aka your heel), known as the tibiocalcaneal ligament, is so damn strong that instead of spraining, it simply breaks your tibia where it attaches. Awesome.
The white ligament going from your tibia to your calcaneus (heel)
Right now I am in a sweet cast with a walking boot. Fortunately I am able to walk about pretty well, and will be in this get up for 2 more weeks. From there we re-assess and see if I can go to a walking boot only or need surgery. Apparently 1 in 6 of these breaks don’t heal properly and require surgery, but I am young and healthy and this is less likely for me.
So, moving forward I will be discussing my nutrition and supplement strategies to help facilitate healing as well my training while I am injured. I will also be posting up some sweet vids of my training with a cast on, so be prepared!
Filed under: General Health
I have written before about the importance of air quality to your health (Breathing Green, Indoor Air Pollution, Dangerous Dryer Sheets). I recently came across a really cool tool to learn about the air quality for where you live.
I was reading my UMaine Today magazine, which highlights interesting research being done at the University (alas they haven’t been too interested in The Effects of Ecosystem Management on Wheat Composition), and came across 10Green.org.
Your city gets an air quality score from 1-10, the higher the number the better. It is impossible for any city to get a 9 or a 10 because global greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide and methane are at such high levels everywhere. However a place like Seattle scores a 7, which is great. A place like Auburn, Maine (where I live) scores a 5, which is decent. A place like LA scores a 3, which sucks.
The website not only provides a score, but it provides an explanation as to its score as well possible negative health consequences from each of the 10 hazardous pollutants it uses to calculate air quality.
The goal of the website is to provide people with real-time information. Too much of the focus of climate change research and advocacy has looked at what will happen 50 years from now. That is a hard concept for people to worry about, because it is not right now. This score is about right now, and having that knowledge to protect your health (and that of the environment) immediately.
There is a lot you can do even if your local air quality is substandard. Get some HEPA filters for your home. Get some plants for your home (I cover options on both of those on my Indoor Air Pollution post). Plant some trees and greenery around your house. Move to the suburbs where there is less traffic and more trees. Decrease exposure to fragrances and strongly scented items.
Check out 10Green.org and let me know what you think!
I also wanted to mention that Mike Robertson is putting on his annual Midwest Performance Enhancement Seminar at his facility in Indy. It is chock full of awesome presenters, including MR himself, Bill Hartman, Lee Taft, and Dan John to name a few. If interested, definitely check it out.
Filed under: General Health, Weight Loss
I don’t know about you, but I certainly tire of receiving credit card offers all the time, car insurance junk and other miscellaneous junk mail. I shred the credit card offers and I recycle what I can, but I came across some cool information recently that is much more effective at saving the earth than even recycling – stopping the junk mail altogether!
In fact I came across this info as I was researching what I can and can’t recycle in my new town. Here is what I discovered:
A staggering 4 million tons of junk mail is sent each year – much of it never opened. Even if the junk mail is recycled, there are enormous environmental costs associated with production of paper, ink, energy to produce and deliver the mail as well as in the process of recycling. It is must more effective to stop the mail at its source.
If you are interested in no longer receiving junk mail, simply send a letter with your complete name, address, zip code and the phrase “activate the preference service.” Send this to:
Mail Preference Service
Direct Marketing Association
PO Box 643
Carmel, NY 15012-0643
In fact the Direct Marketing Association estimates that this will stop 75% of all national mailings!
The worst offender, for us anyway, are the credit card companies. Nearly constant solicitation. While the above tactic won’t stop them, there is another strategy.
All of the major credit agencies sell aggregate credit information to any bidder. To stop direct mail and credit companies from soliciting your business you need only make one call (1-888-5 OPT OUT or 1-888-567-8688). A recording will confirm your phone number, name, address and social security number. The service last for 5 years.
I just did both of these this past week, and I am really looking forward to getting less junk!
If you need a little more convincing, if everyone in the U.S. was able to reduce their average of 10.8 pieces of junk mail received each week, we could save nearly 100 million trees each year.
On another note Precision Nutrition is opening up its doors for another round of its tremendously successful Lean Eating Program. And this time they are putting up $75,000 of their own money to the best transformations.
To find out how you can win the cash — and get in the best shape of your life — check out today’s post:
Can $75,000 inspire you to lose fat & get healthier?
Filed under: General Health, Nutrition
This week I wanted to highlight a fantastic food that can be utilized in many different capacities – guacamole! A while back (like 3 years ago) I wrote a piece about my favorite condiments, which of course guacamole was on the list and that certainly has not changed.
In particular I want to highlight the Wholly Guacamole 100 Calorie Packs. While I don’t normally endorse 100 Calorie Pack foods because they are usually junk, in this case you get a pre-set portion of a healthy item. In addition since guacamole tends to good bad quickly when exposed to air, utilizing these small packages limits waste.
One great way to use guacamole is in place of meals where you, might use mayonnaise. It provides that same creamy texture, but is less calorie dense, provides a serving of produce (avocados are one of those in between types, where they are treated as both fruit and vegetable) and provides a good source of fiber, potassium, lutein and more.
In terms of consumption I like to use half of the package on my sandwich or wrap, and use the other half with a serving of baby carrots, cucumber slices or bell pepper slices. You are using produce as a condiment for produce! Now that is a winning combination.
In the end guacamole can be used in a lot of different ways, provides a creamy texture with a mild flavor, is made up of mostly avocados and provides more than 25 essential nutrients.
Filed under: General Health, Nutrition, Training
Strength Training Programs: The 7 Most Common Power Clean Technique Mistakes - by Wil Fleming. This was a guest post on Eric Cressey’s blog that I thought was excellent. Wil addresses seven common technique mistakes of the clean (probably the most butchered exercise in history, and that is saying a lot!) in an easily understood manner, along with some helpful videos.
Q & A: Fixing the “Tuck Under” When Squatting Part 1 & Part 2 – by Tony Gentilcore. Having the pelvis tuck under when squatting is an incredibly common problem in the gym (when people are actually squatting to depth). Tony does a great job of outlaying what the problem is and some solid, but simple techniques to fix it.
Doctor Detective with Bryan Walsh. This is a running series over at Precision Nutrition, and I just find them simply fascinating. Bryan Walsh is an uber brilliant dude, and in this particular case is able to identify what is causing this patient’s thyroid, cholesterol and immune system problems.
Filed under: General Health, Nutrition
In today’s piece I wanted to give a nice little tip on fruit preservation – specifically bananas. Bananas are one of my favorite fruits. Apparently when I was wee little lad I used to stand up in my crib and yell “nanas” over and over to my mom until she fed me some bananas, and that love affair has never ended. However, unlike most foods, I am rather particular about my bananas; I like them a little green, and once they are spotted brown I simply won’t eat it. Fortunately there is way to keep bananas at their desired state of ripeness far longer than you might think possible.
Normally bananas are kept in a fruit bowl or hanging from a rack. While this is fine, if you are like me and really prefer your bananas at certain point in time, then that is far from optimal as they brown quickly. This leads to bananas simply going uneaten, and I hate wasting food. A far superior method is to actually keep your bananas in the refrigerator!
Once bananas have reached your desired level of ripeness, simply place them in the fridge in your fruit drawer and they will remain at that state for nearly a week! The peels themselves will change plenty, turning brown and kinda nasty looking, but the fruit itself hardly changes, preserving that delicious flavor. Try it out and let me know how it goes!
Filed under: General Health, Nutrition
I hope you all enjoyed my recent post Today’s Health Tip as I am planning on making that a new weekly feature on the site. As much as I like writing more in-depth articles, sometimes all I have time for, and all you want to read, are quick and readily applicable tips you can incorporate into your daily lives.
Continuing in the theme of that post I want to quickly discuss a topic that I touched upon earlier, that of genetically engineered food. As discussed a few days ago when produce is genetically engineered it will have a PLU code starting with the number 8, however do any of us actually want genetically engineered food? I know I don’t, but unfortunately it is around for the time being. If it is going to be around, I certainly want to know if the food I am purchasing has genetically modified ingredients, because at the moment food companies do not have to provide that information.
Fortunately the Environmental Working Group is trying to change that, with the Just Label It campaign. They have a petition that you can sign right online that is being sent to the FDA. They currently have 84,000 signatures with a goal of 100,000. The deadline is March 27, so if you want food companies to tell you if they use genetically modified or engineered food in their products, this is your chance to let them know.
—> Click here to sign the Just Label It petition <—
Just for example to let you know how prevalent this is, in 2010 the National Agricultural Statistics Board annual report stated that 93% (93%!) of soybeans produced in the US are genetically modified, specifically Monsanto’s Roundup Ready soybean. Just an FYI, Monsanto is a chemical company (they make Roundup), not a food company and they own patents on the genes of more than 93% of soybeans, 80% of corn, and 95% of sugar beets planted in the U.S. — all genetically modified to be resistant to their weed killer Roundup. Gross.
These particular soybeans have been linked to infertility in hamsters, early death in rats, organ dysfunction in rats and more. If GMO crops are in there, I want to know. I don’t want to feed them to myself, my wife, or especially my daughter. Sign the petition to force companies to simply tell you if they use GMO crops or not, it is that simple.
Filed under: General Health, Nutrition
I am currently in the midst of reading Healthy Child, Healthy World: Creating a Cleaner, Greener, Safer Home. In it I came across a nice little tidbit that I had heard once before but had forgotten all about. When shopping for produce sometimes it can be difficult to tell if it is organically or conventionally grown, and it is almost impossible to know if it is genetically modified. Well here is a little trick that can give you all of that information – the PLU code on the sticker.
Conventionally grown produce has a four-digit code, such as 3577, while organic produce has a five digit code that begins with a 9 (such as 93577). Genetically modified produce also has a five digit code and will begin with an 8 (such as 83577). Nice to know huh?
Bonus Tip – This spring and summer my goal is to increase my local food consumption. My wife and I get local eggs, butter, yogurt, corn, strawberries and a little more while the Farmer’s Markets are open here in Maine. I want to expand that and greatly increase my local produce consumption this year. With that in mind I am going to utilize a website called eattheseasons.com to let me know which foods are in season each week and month. Check it out yourself.