Browse Category: Food and Supplements

BEST NUTRITION ADVICE EVER?

best nutrition advice ever

Forget everything that you’ve been told about nutrition, eating healthy, and dieting.

For the vast majority of us, all it has done is create confusion.

So wipe the slate clean.

This is the best advice I ever heard:

#1: EAT WHAT ENERGIZES AND SATISFIES YOU

Our body is smarter than us. It knows which nutrients it needs and it will lead us there if we let it. We crave for a reason and to continually deny these cravings (for saturated fat, sugar, and salt) will do more harm than good.

Pay Attention. So we fell asleep after eating breakfast. What and how did we eat?

How do we feel after a muffin? sausage and eggs? lentils and broccoli? 3 bowls of ice cream? (There is a nugget to be found in these answers…)

Our energy and satisfaction will show us if these foods are for us.

#2: TRY A LOT

We don’t know what we don’t know, so we have to experiment.

Try a lot of different foods. Try eating a lot in the morning. Then try it at night. Try fasting. Then try eating all the time.

Find (and apply) what works and discard all the rest.

Once again, follow your energy and satisfaction.

Adapt what is useful, reject what is useless, and add what is specifically your own.

Bruce Lee

That’s it.

It doesn’t have to be harder than this.

As technology grows, however, and information flows, it’s just going to get more complex.

More studies, more diets, more gurus pointing to such and such food as the next best thing,  it’s all going to be vying for our attention.

So be critical.

Listen to your body, not the authorities.

No Pain, No Gain” in the dieting realm will make your life miserable.

Instead, make it enjoyable.

Eat what you like, when you like, how you like, and most of the time, keep your future energy and well-being in mind.

THE BEST SUPPLEMENT FOR ATHLETES

best supplement for athletes zma

Athletes play hard and if they are smart, they rest hard as well.

It is during this rest (this sleep), that hormones are released to help athletes adapt to the stressors that they faced during the day (like weight training).

The main hormone that helps with this adaption is called Testosterone.

This is the hormone largely accountable for muscle growth, freaky athletes, and home runs. And while women only have 1/10 the amount that males do, they still depend on it for a lean, tone figure.

It makes sense then that not only do we want to sleep well to facilitate the creation of this hormone, but we want to release more of it when we do.

zma

Enter ZMA

ZMA is conglomerate of the most bioavailable forms of zinc, magnesium, and vitamin b6.

Zinc is the most anabolic of all minerals while magnesium is the chief mineral that allows us to handle stress and be able to relax. B6 is added to promote the efficient absorption of the two.

WHY

  • The problem is over 90% + of the population is deficient in these first 2 minerals. The percentage grows even higher if you are athlete.

WHAT

  • Because we are more than likely deficient in these minerals, when we supplement, we see measurable benefits such as: Better sleep. Quicker recovery from exercise. Improved Immune and Cardiovascular function ( ie you have more wind). And a host of benefits that come with having more T (like boners and muscles).

HOW

  • While you can buy all the ingredients separately, you still have to be wary of which forms of the mineral you buy. Because of this, it can be a hassle getting the formula down. An easy way is just to buy ZMA (like right here).

WHEN

  • Before bed.

ZMA fills a hole that today’s food supply cannot do. Because of this, it reigns supreme over all other supplements. Move over protein shakes and fish oil softgels, we have a new king in town.

“HOW SHOULD I EAT?!” (HINT: DON’T DIET)

EATING CONFUSION

When I was younger, I wanted to go to school to become a nutritionist.

I believed nutrition was everything and that if we could just change someone’s eating habits, then we could get them on a path of health and wellness.

During this nutrition-centric time, I experimenting with multiple diets and read about a million books  on the topic of nutrition alone.

Here’s more-or-less what I learned:

  • Diets are bullshit and those that push them are even more-so (and yes, I used to be one of them).
  • The whole “eating clean” thing isn’t as important as we think and that intentionally cutting calories to lose weight may actually be one of the hardest ways to attain the body we desire.
  • Focusing on our diet takes energy away from other areas of our life that we could be improving.
  • The more holes we dig in other areas of your life (sleep, exercise, emotional), the more strict we will need to be with nutrition to achieve our goals. Still, however, the focus should be filling in those holes first.
  • Nutritionists and dietitians are often fat (red flag much?).
  • Eating is an emotional, intuitive, and a right-brained experience but diets are often left-brained, scheduled, and full of numbers. See the clash?
  • Selling diets and foods is a lucrative business. Selling just as important things such sleep and meditation is not.
  • And perhaps, most importantly: The more we restrict foods, nutrients, and calories – the more our body and mind will work its magic to get us to consume them.

I guess you can say that I am no longer impressed with nutrition. Yes, I believe it’s still important but just not as important as everyone (your doc + media) is telling us.

And as far as getting someone on a path of health and wellness, there is no greater habit to create than that of exercise. This is why I am a trainer and not a nutritionist.

Now a while back I wrote a short piece that summed up my philosophy on eating which I will re-state again here: Eat in a manner that gives you energy and satisfies you, both in the short-term and long-term.

This vagueness comes with good and bad news.

The bad: This means you are responsible for creating your own diet.
The good: This means you are responsible for creating your own diet.

This will not be a quick fix type of thing, but rather a trial-and-error experiment that, in the end, will produce a way of eating you can actually follow indefinitely.

To get you started (and hopefully inspire you), here is a list of 21 facts and reasons on why I eat the way I do.

HOW I EAT

  1. My key to productivity ==> I naturally fast to start my day. Usually for 14 – 16 hours. Coffee, half n half, stevia, and sometimes MCT oil / coconut oil is about all I consume during this period. Read more: Coconut Oil, Coffee, and The Best Morning Ever
  2. When I consume caffeine, I almost always exercise (even if for 5 minutes). This means my workouts are [99% of the time] in the AM. Read more: Got Coffee Belly?
  3. No caffeine after 1 pm. Cannot risk screwing with sleep.
  4. I tend to break my fast after exercise and I do this with an easily digestible meal (see: carbs). Honey, oatmeal, and creamer is a favorite here.
  5. I don’t use protein powder. Seem to be doing fine without it.
  6. I usually nap after my first meal (sometime around 1 – 3 pm). When I miss my nap, I seem to eat more.
  7. I wake up and I eat again. Usually another carby meal.
  8. I can (and should) consume a rather high carbohydrate diet for 2 reasons: 1) I have lots of muscle and 2) I am quite active. Read more: Carbs: Where Your Diet Journey Begins
  9. How I lose fat ==> I don’t diet nor do I do extreme workouts. I eat to sustain performance and performance for me means both mental and physical strength. So instead of cutting calories or restricting myself, I create a caloric deficit by walking more. Read more: How I Lose Fat
  10. In the evening, I’ll have my biggest meal (usually high-fiber). Right now, this means roasted red kidney beans in ghee with a stir fry mix. I’ll eat enough servings to feed a small family.
  11. Before this meal, it is typical for myself to drink 2 – 4 cups of boxed wine or cider. Read more: Getting Drunk Tonight?
  12. I love dairy but I realize my body responds unfavorably to it (tongue turns to a white coat). Because of this, I only stick to my favorite sources: Creamer, chocolate, and ice cream. We seem to go through about 2 cartons of ice cream a week.
  13. Same story with wheat. I have a wheat allowance and I am not going to waste it on silly bread. Usually pizza, nachos, and chinese food buffets is what I spend it on. Try to do at least one of these a week.
  14. I have very little emotional stressors in my life. As a result, reward-eating is not an issue. When I do eat  “junk” it is more for the experience rather than an attempt to fill in a hole.
  15. One thing I despise: Trans fat (also known as hydrogenated oils). I’m pretty lax when it comes to processed food, but I refuse to buy products that have this “brain-numbing” chemical.
  16. I rarely eat meat. No or little beef, chicken, fish, or eggs. Once again, seem to be doing fine without it.
  17. Most of my protein comes for lentils and other beans.
  18. Because legumes contains a substance that impairs zinc absorption (and becomes my activity requires a crap load of magnesium to prevent a deficiency), I supplement with ZMA. Read more: The Best Supplement For Athletes
  19. I typically eat right up until bed. Having a feel stomach not only helps me sleep, but ensures that I am able to rock a wicked fast in the morning.
  20. More important than food ==>I try to be in bed by 10 pm and shoot for at least 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep. This is the biggest factor of what I can and cannot eat. Failing to get enough sleep changes the way my body responds to certain nutrients. Read more: How To Go The F*ck To Sleep
  21. How I know if I am eating the right foods ==> The next morning, the answer will be in my poo. If I am eating something that I am allergic to or doing something else that is stressful (like being Negative Nancy), my poo will tell me. Read more: You Are What You Poop

 

HOW YOU SHOULD EAT

Once again, you will have to follow your [own] energy. The reality is, different genetics with different environments will require different sustenance. To find out what that is, I suggest you experiment. A lot. Take notes and eventually you’ll find out what that is.

With time, you’ll be your own authority (nutritionist).

WHAT HAPPENS WITHOUT A SUN

With summer over and the fall slowly turning to winter, some of us are going to get SAD.

We are going to start having troubles waking up in the morning, the tendency to over eat (especially carbs) is going to sky rocket, and our focus and energy is going to wane. Some of us may even notice ourselves withdrawing from family and friends as well as a decreased sex drive.

Straight up — it’s going to suck.

The condition I am referring to is called  Seasonal Affective Disorder or simply, SAD.  This is a mood disorder in which people who have normal mental health throughout most of the year experience depressive symptoms in the fall or winter.

We get it, in large part, because we are now absorbing less sun light.

In an evolutionary perspective, less sunlight told us it was winter (see: famine) and time to hibernate, move very little, and eat up whatever we find.

To accomplish this task of moving less, do you know what nature “gives” us?

DEPRESSION!  (Nature, you are my bitch lover…)

And if we don’t actively try to get sun this fall/winter (skiing, anyone?), we will probably get it some degree as well.

Here’s how we can fight back:

1. Supplement w/ Vitamin D

  • Strong correlation between depressed people and low levels of the D (it aids in the production of serotonin – our happy neurotransmitter).
  • Besides organ meats and fish, we can only get vitamin D through the sun.
  • Take with calcium and with foods that contain a little fat for optimal absorption.
  • Most experts recommend anywhere from 1,000 iu to 5,ooo iu a day.

2. Use Light Therapy

  •   Either from being outside shoveling sidewalks or through using an artificial source such as Full Spectrum Lights, get some sun.
  • This will increase the levels of serotonin (Happy, happy!) in your brain.
  • Short, 20-minute sessions work for most people while some might need up to an hour.

—————-

Sure, there are other tips and tricks to help you battle the blues this winter, but if you have your bases covered (vitamin d + serotonin), you’ll be well on your way…

GROWING FOOD 101

grow your own food

You can cook, but can you grow? Sure enough, there will come a time and place when you will want (and maybe need) to learn how to produce your own food. This post is for those that are ready to take it to the next level despite not having the space that they may think they need.

HOW TO GROW A GARDEN ON YOUR BALCONY

Living small or love for the environment makes people choose apartments over houses. This, however, also makes them miss their connection with nature. Since gardening is often associated with wide spaces and big plots, apartment dwellers assume they can’t start their own garden until they move to a bigger house. And here’s where they are wrong. One can start a garden, no matter how spacious or tiny their apartment is.

Do you have window sills, balcony or a patio that receives five to six straight hours of sunlight? That’s all you need to experiment your green thumb. Put window boxes and clay pots on the floor, or start vertical gardening using trellises and hanging planters. Feel like re-purposing some old items? Discarded containers, empty glass or plastic bottles, a broken bench, an old shelf, or a rusty wheel barrow, make excellent planters. You can grow anything from herbs to perennial bushes on your balcony.

Here are some tips to get you started:

 

1. Amount of Sunlight

Your plants must get five to six hours of sunlight. Too much heat or too little can destroy the plants. You might also be required to move them around or shade them when heat is intense.

 

 2. Choice of Pot

The choice of your pot depends on the plant that you are growing. Underground crops such as carrots and radishes require a deep pot. Herbs and salad leaves do not demand depth, but they do require width. So keep this in mind before sowing any seeds.

The pot should also have good drainage at the bottom. This drains out excess water and maintains the right moisture level for soil.

 

 3. Compost

Since one of the reasons why people start their own gardens is to have access to chemical-free food, making your own compost is like adding cherry on top. Compost made from kitchen waste and garden scrap enriches the soil naturally. All you need is some green ingredients, brown ingredients, oxygen and water.

Don’t be startled. These are ingredients already available to you, and that too conveniently. Green ingredients include kitchen waste such as fruit peels, used tea bags, and egg shells. Some other items are fresh grass clippings, and weeds. Your brown ingredients are branches, twigs, dry leaves and hedge clippings. Green ingredients being fresh and wet provide nitrogen to your compost. Brown ingredients, on the other hand, being old and dry act as carbon.

You add oxygen to your compost by tossing and turning green and brown ingredients. You can also purchase worms from a gardening store to speed up the decomposing process.

When you prepare your compost bin, layer the bottom most layer with worms, but don’t overcrowd. Also ensure there’s good drainage or else your ingredients will attract moss. Then spread the green ingredients, sprinkling water on top. Cover it with a layer of brown ingredients. Gently pour more water. Repeat the steps until you have completely filled your compost bin. Cover the lid. Toss and turn every week to allow oxygen. Your compost should be ready within six weeks.

4. Plants for Beginners

Crops such as tomatoes, radishes, beets, garlic, lettuce, and basil give little trouble to first timers. If it is a flower garden that you are more interested in then start with sunflowers, marigold, sweet peas, nigella, aquilegias, nasturtium, Californian poppy, fuchsia and pansy.

Plan how you want your flower garden to look like. Do you want bright flowers, fragrant ones, or those that don’t demand much attention? At my window sill, one container is holding herbs, other one has crops, and the third one is for the pleasure of eyes. I wake up to bright and fragrant jewels of nature.

 

 5. Overcrowding

Starting a garden can overexcite you. That’s natural. I felt the same way. I planted six carrot  seeds in one hole and when they sprouted they didn’t have enough space to grow. Eventually they died. It was a lesson well-learned for me.

Do not overcrowd. Your plants need room to grow and nitrogen to live. When the planter is not spacious, plants fight among themselves for nutrients. Avoid it. Each plant has different requirements. You will have to read up on the distance between seeds, and how deep the hole should be before you begin planting.

 

6. Tying Up

Some plants love growing tall. Is your balcony protected with a grill? In absence of a grill, place them next to a wall and fix a trellis. Plants will find their way to grow. You can also insert thin wooden sticks or cane inside the pot. Give them something to climb on.

 

 7. Watering

Watering plants can be tricky, as we tend to overdo it. Balcony plants do not require too much water. Water them early in the morning and around mid-day check the soil. If it is moist to the touch, your plants are well-watered.

Another watering concern is source. You can either install a faucet on your balcony (which is not viable for many people), or carry a bucket. If you get self-watering containers, you save yourself a backache and also conserve water. Talking about conserving water, I know someone who uses AC condensate to water his plants. He gets up to four buckets every morning from the previous night’s air conditioning. Brilliant!

 

 8. Focal Point

Whether you are planning a garden to grow food or designing a place to sit and unwind, create a focal point. Place a small tree to add some privacy and extra color. Bushes such as camellia, tree rose, Japanese maple and crape myrtle are your best bets. They are small and thrive under sunlight.

Keeping the basics in mind, do a little study on the plants you wish to grow. Understanding what they need will give them at least a chance to survive. As you start your garden, many surprise visitors will drop by. Place a water pot for them, if you can.

YOU ARE WHAT YOU POOP PT. 2

you are what you poop

Good pooping is a ride.

It’s quick and effortless with no pushing or straining necessary.

If we, however, have the time to read a magazine or even do the whole “clenched hand thing”,  than you can bet your butt there is more than going on besides an extended bathroom trip.

Confused as to why this matters? Read part 1.

You’re not? Let’s dive in.

WHY DOES GOOD POOP GO BAD?

The same concept that is behind virtually every cancer and disease is also behind why the Good Poops Life keeps avoiding many.

The concept is that of [chronic] stress.

Here’s how it looks:

  1. When we get stressed (it doesn’t matter what from), our age-old “fight or flight” mode is activated.
  2. With this, more blood is shuttled to the skin and the muscles so that we can get away quick or stab a pirate if we need to.
  3. This also means less blood to our digestive organs.
  4. Less digestion, more-or-less, equates to 1)  more time the trash sits in the dump and 2) not breaking down food as well.
  5. When our stressors never go away, neither does this poor digestion.

BAD POOPS IS A BAD LIFE

Here are some examples of what this could produce:

Auto-Intoxication – This is defined as a “disease caused by the accrual of contaminants produced inside the living organism”. This basically means less poo is coming out relative to food intake (and that feces that is left behind is actually collecting in our colon). As you can imagine, this is not good news.

Healthy Unhealthy Colon

Parasites –  It’s really easy for these little guys to find a home in our intestines when things are not broken down (ie destroyed) in the stomach as they should.

worm infestation

Bacterial Overgrowth – When the bad bugs outnumber the digestive-friendly good ones, bad poops happen. Not only that, but so does bad skin, bad tongues (take a look below), and an immune system that is not able to defend itself.

Luckily overgrowths will show themselves on your skin and in your mouth. (Or maybe that is not so lucky?)

Candida welcomes you to the White Furry Tongue.

THE SOLUTION

Now let me be clear: The problems associated with a dysfunctional butt and gut don’t end here with these 3 examples. Because our immune system is just a bunch of bugs in our gut,  every ailment – both in mind and body – is rooted here (by some degree).

So whats the one overarching piece of advice I can give you ? Stress Less.

We get into the Bad Poops predicament because our system has become overwhelmed and cannot adapt to the stressors that is coming at it. The key, then, is too back off.

To do this, we’ll want more-

+ Sleep
+ Fun, humerus activities
+ Positive people and environments
+ Light activity such as walking and yoga

And less-

– Drugs
– Tense work
– Processed foods and toxins
– Things that you are allergic to
– Frequent, never-ending workout sessions

The biggest thing we will want to improve will be our sleep (as running on fumes is the most stressful thing we can do). I’ve wrote about how to get more sleep before. Note: Personally, when I am getting 8 -10 hrs a night, it doesnt matter what I eat, it all comes out good on the back-end.

Next to that, when and how much we eat will make the greatest difference. My advice is to save the times for when we are stressed and/or active for liquid fasting (such as this concoction), and the times for when we are relaxed and chill for eating (afternoon – bedtime).

Lastly, let’s not forget percieved stress. If you are constantly beating yourself up about shoulda-coulda-wouldas, then you could be nuclear bombing your gut.

Relax and be at peace with yourself.

The Good Poops will come…

GETTING DRUNK TONIGHT? (READ THIS FIRST)

I’ve wanted to write this for a long time.

I wanted to write it because, as humans, we tend to be extremists. So extreme that when we adopt new ideas and behaviors (such as “I want to be healthy“), we can end up shunning all things that seem opposed to those ideas.

When it comes to turning over a new leaf, most often it is sugar that gets the biggest beat-down while next on the list is alcohol.

Now it’s easy to say alcohol is “bad” just like it is easy to say that is “good” (perhaps that’s why we do?), but without context, there is no way an accurate answer can be given.

So rather than answer that question for you, here are 3 facts that may help you decide that for yourself.

THE 3 FACTS

1) The calories from alcohol cannot be stored as fat. This is because alcohol is a toxin. When we consume alcohol, our body puts fat burning on hold and immediately goes to work eliminating the alcohol from our system (or else we stay drunk forever). The food, however, that we eat when we are getting our buzz on — that definitely has a higher chance of getting stored as fat.

Read more: The truth about alcohol, fat loss and muscle growth

2) Getting drunk screws with our hormones. In short, getting “blasted” leads to a significant drop in testosterone (the stuff we want if we want to maintain muscle and lose fat) and an increase in estrogen (the stuff many of us do not need more of as an excess can contribute to fat storage). So even if we abstain from food during an alcohol binge, it can still wreck our body composition.

Read more: Heavy Drinking Will Lower Your Testosterone Levels

3) It makes us more creative. Just like coffee can make us more detailed-oriented and focused, alcohol has the opposite effect in that it spaces us out and allows us to see more of the forest from the trees. This “spaced out” feeling — this is right-brain thinking where epiphanies and creativity are born (and where it is easy to zoom out of our worries and frustrations). The only caveat of drinking alcohol to spur creativity is that we cannot overdo it as past a certain stage not only do we become more infantile, but we remember less of our creative ideas (so it’s best to write them down).

Read more: Why Being Sleepy and Drunk Are Great for Creativity

IT’S ABOUT CONTEXT

Can you drink alcohol on a fat loss or muscle gain plan? Absolutely. Can you drink it everyday and not see side effects? Again, absolutely.

Like everything else, context is what matters most:

  1. Opt for drinks that have no sugar added (such as liquers and wine).
  2. It’s either food or booze. Don’t go nuts on both.
  3. Drink to get buzzed, not drunk (this will also help ensure you don’t binge on food).
  4. If you are going to drink to boost creativity or chill your nerves, know when to stop and make sure you have a pen handy.
  5. If your stress load is already high (from lack of sleep, poor nutrition, or the percieved kind), keep the consumption very low.

If you abuse it, of course you’ll pay the price.

Make sure you know the 4  indicators of health so you’ll be able to know how much is TOO MUCH.

YOU ARE WHAT YOU POOP PT. 1

Erase the phrase “You are what you eat” from your brain.

It’s no longer valid (and it’s really stupid).

Pretty much everyone in the health and fitness industry regurgitates this line and tells us that if we just eat “clean, healthy” food, than that’s what we’ll be: Clean (disease-free) and Healthy.

But…

  • What if we are not properly digesting what we eat?
  • What if we are allergic to “clean, healthy foods”?
  • What if we have holes in our gut that don’t allow you to properly absorb the nutrients from this clean food?

Then that advice won’t mean crap.

And if we continue to eat the way authorities tell us too (with set foods and diets) without question, it may just take us further away from health.

BE YOUR OWN POOPOLOGIST

Our health is in our poop, not in our food.

More specifically, it’s in our gut (and it’s our butt that shows us what our gut looks like.)

If we can learn what good poop looks like and how to get it, than we can know if our diet really is healthy (and for us) and/or if we need to improve other factors in our life (such as more sleep).

Our butt doesn’t lie.

First up on this truth quest is to good a good idea of what it is trying to tell us.

For this, we turn to Paul Chek’s Poopie Line-Up (from right to left)

  • The Policeman – The ideal in poops. It’s well shaped, easy to pass, light brown in color, smells earthy, and about 12” in length (per day)
  • The Flasher – You’re seeing bits of breakfast, lunch or dinner. Means that food isn’t being digested for some reason – not good. Could be a sign of food intolerance, an inflammatory disorder of the gut, low stomach acid, or that you’re not chewing enough.
  • Diarrhella – You’re body is trying to rid itself of something toxic. Not only bad because you have something bad inside of you, but it also leads to dehydration since your body will find water from wherever it needs to in order to facilitate Diarrhella’s exit.
  • Pellet Man – Rabbit turds are for rabbits. If you’re pooping pebbles, it could be that you’re dehydrated, or that your gut flora or bacteria may be out of balance.
  • The Bodybuilder – Like a condensed pellet man, meaning that it’s probably sitting in your colon for a longer period of time . . . not good. Poop shouldn’t hang out in the body for more than 72 hours. Build-up like this can start pushing up against other things and cause discomfort and impede other body functions. The diameter of the poop also won’t feel good coming out.
  • The Olympic Swimmer – Lighter in color than the Policeman, indicating a higher fat content. The undigested fats could be a sign that stools are passing too quickly, or that your bile salts aren’t breaking down the fats.
  • Mr. Sinker ‘n’ Stinker – Paul considers this persistent little guy one of the worst offenders and attributes his presence to too much processed foods, toxic environment, or medical drugs (think anesthesia).

To summarize, healthy poop should be-

+ Light brown color – not too dark, not too light.
+ Smells like poo, but not like death and poo.
+ Soft, well formed, and consistent in shape and color.
+ Easy and satisfying to pass.
+ 12 inches a day.
+ Transit time (mouth to out) should be between 12-18 hours.

If it’s not, something is off.

It could be that you’re emotionally stressed, lacking proper sleep, been eating some real cruddy food, allergic to something in your environment, or something else that is pissing off your gut.

In the following posts, I will lay out some reasons for why the poop may have gone bad, as well as the ways to make it better again.

“Good Poops is a Good Life” Click to Tweet

Everyone has the right.

FASTING: IS IT HEALTHY?

Random friend: You wanna get some breakfast?
Me
: Nah, I don’t really eat in the mornings.
Random: What?!
Me: Yeah. I pretty much just fast.
Random: Isn’t that a little unhealthy?
Me:   …   (big smile on my face)

—-

Even though fasting (and more specifically, intermittent fasting) has been on a meteoric rise for a few years now, the virtue of it is not as common as I thought.

So here is a short post to answer the question, “Is it healthy to go without food?”

In short, the studies say yes, my own experience and energy say yes, and the current science and the evolutionary perspective say yes as well.

At the root of these “Yeses” lies the why: It gives our digestive system a rest.

Less energy for digestion = more energy for other processes

If we can give our digestive tract a break, it not only gets to work on cleaning and repairing itself, but the whole body  is “cleaned” as well. This often entails improved skin complexion, better tissue repair, and enhanced mental clarity.

And when we do eat something, we will break it down faster and more efficiently (good poops is a good life).

Like anything, though, to really understand the benefits, one has to do it.

So how do we  fast?

Let’s not make this rocket science.

  • Go once a week for 24 hrs.
  • Or go every other day for 18 – 20 hrs.
  • Go 5 days a week at 14- 16 hrs.

Note: The fast is the length between meals. Most people wake up rocking a 10 hr fast already. Go without solid food to noon or 1 pm and you’ll be there.

In the end, do what is natural. It may feel totally unnatural in the beginning, but that is simply because you are running on different instructions (your current software). To change any habit (code), will require work.

For this, let the caveman of our past be your inspiration: Wake up. Hunt / gather  = Move. And then relax and eat in the afternoon.

That is, get busy. Do what is most important. If you must, drink a coffee concoction like I do. Then when the work is complete, eat and/or nap.

Remember: Your health is your energy.

If you become mentally fuzzy, physically fatigued, and your libido dies, than fasting may not be healthy for you. Often, however, we just have to adjust some variables (like a shorter fast or more sleep) to make it be.

COCONUT OIL, COFFEE, AND THE BEST MORNING EVER

young slim girl drinking green coffee

It goes without saying, how we start our day sets us up for the rest of it. A good morning leads to a good evening, but a bad morning… well, look out!

So what entails a good morning?

  1. A full night of sleep
  2. Great nutrition
  3. Love, positivity, laughter, and sunshine

Let’s focus on #2.

What we eat (or don’t eat) in the morning is crucial. Failure to eat the right energy-sustaining foods in the morning could cause us to eat rather draining foods later on (chinese food for lunch? otay). On the same token, having a big meal in the morning can weigh us down (literally).

So it is my belief (and this jives with the evolutionary perspective) that we were meant to go light or fast in the morning.

Before I get the “I must have my  8 eggs and 2 slices of toast to start my day” rant, let me state this:

WE ARE CONTINUALLY REAFFIRMING OUR CURRENT PROGRAMMING OR IN THE PROCESS OF REPROGRAMMING OURSELVES.

So the more we eat in the morning, the more we build the habit and the cravings. It doesn’t mean this is the best way to eat or how we should eat, it just means this is how we programmed ourself to eat. To know if this is the best way, we must experiment with other techniques.

Note: Building a new eating habit takes work but it’s the only way to know, really, how great your diet is.

THE GREAT MORNING

THE GREAT MORNING

So the first thing we should do after we wake up (and go to the bathroom), is drink a lot of water. We just went 8 hrs without liquids and we are more than dehydrated.

Next, start making your “breakfast”.

This consists of 2 parts.

Part 1: If you plan on exercising or have a manual labor job, I recommend coffee. If you are more sedentary, I advise weaker coffee or going the hot coco route. Personally, I tend to make a hot little mixture over the stove of some coffee, some baking coco, stevia for sweetener , and half and half for flavor.

Why caffeine?

Because it gets us going! Caffeine is meant for movement – both for legs and for our bowels. It also breaks down our body fat so we can use it for fuel. On top of that, it can be great for focus and helping us face the to-do list.

Part 2: To your beverage, add 30 grams of the following: Coconut oil and/or pure MCT oil. I buy my coconut oil from Vitacost and the MCTS from Swanson Vitamins.

Why coconut oil?

Not only is this probably the safest/healthiest oil,  but it is also over half MCTS. These MCTS (or medium chained triglycerides) are special in the fact that they do not need enzymes or bile to digest. They can be used for energy almost right away and unlike carbohydrates (which can get stored as fat if we don’t use them), MCTS are almost impossible to store.

So with part 1, we provide a source of energy by unlocking our own fat to use as fuel. But because we can go through this rather quickly, we add in another healthy fat source to keep us energized longer.

It’s light, we don’t have to cook, and because MCTS are so nice to our body, it’s pretty much a liquid fast.

I first learned of this coffee + coconut oil trick from Dave Asprey of Bullet Proof Exec (dot com).  I usually drink 2-3 cups of this mixture in the morning and stop around noon. He suggests making 2 pm your cut off point.

In taste and in energy, coconut oil will only add to your coffee (or coco) experience.

Have a great morning.