Wednesday, July 31, 2013

PN on Prostate Cancer Study

Did you hear about the "study that showed" fish oil causes prostate cancer?  Precision Nutrition does a nice job of debunking that "study" -

"A new study appears and it’s all over the news. Vitamin X or food Y is correlated to cancer, heart disease, or stroke! Suddenly people start avoiding vitamin X or food Y.
But hold on. What does it mean to say that two things are “correlated”, anyway?"
In brief, "not much", and PN explains why.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Carb Addict

Predictably, when subjects drank the high-glycemic shakes, their blood sugar levels rose more quickly, and several hours later had dipped lower than when they drank the low-glycemic version. They also reported feeling hungrier.
But researchers also noticed substantially more activity in the parts of the brain that regulate reward and craving, the same areas activated in addicts, four hours after the men drank the high-glycemic shakes.
Lead study author Dr. David Ludwig, director of the obesity research center at Boston Children’s Hospital, said the brain activity may suggest why some people get stuck in a cycle of reaching for — and overeating — sugary, starchy foods.
“Beyond reward and craving, this part of the brain is also linked to substance abuse and dependence, which raises the question as to whether certain foods might be addictive,” Ludwig said in a statement.

Makes sense to me, and reminds me of this archived three part post which shows how carb addiction may be understood as being similar to cigarette addiction.

To me, the good news about this model is that it helps make sense of out of control behavior, and provides a way to understand how to break the addiction cycle and restore control.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Wheat Belly - It Can Be Literal

Pretty incredible "Granny Smith" story about wheat elimination after reading "Wheat Belly":

I asked her to read the book and several of the ladies in her apartment building were reading it so we decided to try the 4-week challenge together to support each other. We listened to Dr. Davis on CBC's Maritime Noon a few weeks ago and we were further convinced.

The changes in my Mom's health are unbelievable. After 25 years of her body being wracked with uncontrollable diarrhea, she has not had an episode in 13 days. This has not happened in 25 years. Her stool is firm and she is able to control her bowel urges. Her stomach is completely flat. All her pants are loose and comfortable at the waist. It is nothing short of a miracle.

She was tested for celiac years ago and tested negative. She tried eliminating sugar and dairy with no success. She has suffered so much and the cure is seemingly so easy. She couldn't continue working as a bank teller because she had to run to the bathroom constantly and without warning. She has been on a disability pension due to her medical issues. I am feeling angry at the medical community and society in general that no one ever suggested to my Mom to eliminate wheat.I am having a hard time believing that these miraculous changes will be sustainable. I don't crave wheat. I am not tempted to eat it for some odd reason, even though two weeks ago I fantasized constantly about multigrain bread, crackers and nachos. I can't imagine it being this easy to lose weight. If I continue at the rate I am going I will have lost 10% of my body weight and reached my goal weight in 4 short weeks.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

If I Could Wave My Magic Wand ...

As I have several friends and family members who are struggling to make the jump from out of control to mostly in control of their health and body composition, I wondered what "the magic formula" would be.  That is, if I could wave a magic wand (My apologies to Rush, who wrote a song by the same name) and make people choose the right food, day in and day out, and ensure they did not fall back into years of habits that drive them towards the foods of defeat, what would that magic eating day look like?

Start with bacon and eggs, some avocado and tomato; unless tall, thin and smart (then more avocado, less bacon). Coffee? Google "bullet proof coffee" so you'll know how much butter, MCT, and/or heavy cream to add.  If not interested in BPC, just add heavy cream to your Joe and you can thank me later.

Feeling a bit peckish or longing for "elevensies"? Have combat snack ready - that's something you can keep handy at all times and which satisfies the need to eat without adding sugar to your system.  I like (and my kids like) coconut oil (unrefined) with macs or sunflower seeds.  Avocado works, high quality jerky works, plain meat works very nicely (leftover steak anyone?), hard boiled eggs, nuts/seeds, pork rinds - just find something (mostly) carb free and keep it close.

You must drink water more than you are likely used to doing.  Add a pinch of salt, and take supplemental potassium.  Do this because your body is "getting off of the sugar/insulin" and your tissues are flushing intracellular fluid.  Diet colas won't kill you, so if they help you stay off of real sugared drinks, and high carb foods, drink them with a smile.

Now it is lunch time and you've been humming along on a healthy amount of protein, some fat you ate, and some fat you are burning. But you are running low on fat oxidizing enzymes (which, since you didn't use them enough, you lost), and hunger may be kicking in. Don't fight it! Eat a salad with olive oil and vinegar, salt and pepper, and add lemon if you like it. Make it a monster salad - meat, any veggie you like.  Enjoy a few of the sweeter veggies like beets or carrots. Pile it on and chow down. Finish with more macs/coconut if you are not satisfied. Aim for 4-6 ounces of meat in this meal. Tomatoes, cukes, mushrooms, celery, lettuces, spinach, broccoli, cauliflower, cheese, olives, even peas - the more the merrier.

After lunch, the fun begins. Did I mention water? Keep drinking it, and add a pinch of sea salt for flavor so you'll drink more.  Headache? You went half baked on the water/salt/potassium - get more of same and "knock it back".

After a couple of days of this, you may begin to feel "not your best". Or, you may feel nearly euphoric - it depends upon how hard it is for your body to convert to higher levels of fat burning. How long this stage lasts depends upon your discipline, and how far from "normal" your metabolism had deviated.  A two to three week fat adaptation period is common.  Eat more fat, drink more water!

If you get hungry between lunch and dinner, eat. Salad? Yes. Salami? Yes. Nuts or seeds, with coconut oil? Yes. Another cup of BP coffee? Yes. Also recommended: Olives, hard cheeses, anchovies, sugarless beef jerky, eggs, bacon, or low carb veggies.

Now - you've made it! You ate the right food all day long and you are giving your body the chance it has wanted for so long to stop dealing with emergency sugar bombs. Congratulations! Now you have the last job of the day, which is to build a satisfying, nutritious dinner.

Start your meal like a chef - pick your protein.  What do you like? Make 3-6 ounces of that. Veggies? Pick your favorite. Fat? Butter, sour cream, hard cheeses, olive oil and MCTs on salads and veggies, and nuts. Eat to satiety. The only limit is you should be careful if going above 100g/day of protein, as this can interrupt fat burning adaptation (excess protein may be converted to sugar by the liver).

If you are focused on fat loss, stay away from high density carbs like sweet potatoes, potatoes, rice, or apple sauce.  However, after a 30 day super low carb adaptation period, and as you close in on the weight you want to maintain, you may want to add a potato, sweet potato, mashed cauliflower (it's a great excuse to eat butter, and it is very good), or small portion of rice (when you hear rice, think "soaked in butter"), and/or fruit for dessert.

In Magic Wand part II, I'll tell you have to quantify your progress towards metabolic health.
Minor edits August 5, 2013.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Amerisave Group, Thank You!

Hi folks, I enjoyed speaking and visiting with you today, thanks for your attentive listening and good questions.

Here's the list of excellent high fat foods:

}1. Avocados – 82.5% fat
}2. Butter – 100% fat
}3. Whole eggs – 61% fat
}4. Coconut oil – 100% fat
}5. Bacon – 69.5% fat
}6. Sour cream – 88.5% fat
}7. 70% Ground beef – 59.5% fat
}8. Full-fat cheddar cheese – 74% fat
}9. Coconut – 88% fat
}10. Dark chocolate – 65% fat
}11. Cream cheese – 88.5% fat

If you get 100g of protein, and 100g of carbs/veggies, you will still need to eat 1000-1500kcal, and these high fat foods will help you do that and stay healthy, reduce your blood sugar swings, and reduce your hunger.  

Speaking of hunger, if you get hungry, eat!  All of these foods are a good option for those hunger moments.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Murphy, Happiness Formula

1. Journal:
A. List three problems that you are thankful for (the reasons you are thankful must be to remind you something you know you are in the core of your being or what there is to learn from the problem, the learning of which will empower you with a new belief that will better you. Example, "I am thankful that I am scared to death of making these business cold calls this week because it will help be breakthrough my fear of being good enough, overcome caring so much about what other people think of me, and allow my business to go the next level by brining in clients and revenue so that I can take another vacation and help another person change their life)
B. Journal any other thoughts, ideas or concepts worth nothing and thank your unconscious mind for giving you those ideas and insights (regardless of if they are negative or positive)

2. Exercise: Put some form of physical movement in your day. A minimum of 20-minutes out in the sun for some vitamin D. Anything to get some additional oxygen to your mind and body, get your lymph system going and get those natural feel good drugs released (as my daughter says, "get those 'indoor-friends' moving" (endorphins)

3. Meditation: Meditation is proven to support a healthier immune system, relaxation and stress release. To get in the habit I suggest just meditating to your favorite song without words. Or, sit in your car before or after work for as little as just two minutes and clear your mind, practice turning off your brain.

4. Perform one meaningful, random act of kindness. It has to be meaningful which means it involves something that is emotional. An example, everytime I take my kids to McD's, I ALWAYS put my change and a few dollars in the Ronald McDonald box because I know what they did for one of my clients who they supported when his son needed a brain operation. It immediately fills my heart with thankfulness and I think of the families in need who will have kids in similiar situations and all the good it will do for them.

Feelings need to be cultivated. They need to be cared for, watered, nurtured and supported so they can grow and produce fruit! Try this challenge for 31-days with me and see how it changes your life.

Read the full post - James knows the stuff.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Classic Quote, Lee

"We must expect reverses, even defeats. They are sent to teach us wisdom and prudence, to call forth greater energies, and to prevent our falling into greater disasters."

Robert E. Lee

As applicable to behavior change as to any other of life's great challenges.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Bacon, Avocado, Feta - Ice Cream?

Any self-respecting child has dreamed of having ice cream for dinner. Not just as a distant finish, but right up front at the starting line. Regrettably, by the time we’re old enough to make the dream come true, sense and scruples have taken over. We dutifully eat our entrĂ©e and our salad, and hold the shivery delights until the very end.
Why not realize the dream? I’m not talking about sweet iced treats; I’m talking about savory ice creams and sorbets. Forget chocolate and fruit: everything from cheese to fresh peas can be made into a sublime frozen concoction.

It's a heck of a premise!  Read on, and if you tackle this please let me know what you think.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Phil Eich on CrossFit Kids

The CrossFit Kids curriculum is effective because it creates a physical learning environment that builds on the idea that all children have differing abilities and need to be challenged at their individual point of development in order for effective learning to take place. This differentiated instruction allows a child to continually and efficiently progress, minimizing the risk of frustration or stagnation. Every skill, every movement, every workout and every game can be scaled to a child’s ability (made easier or harder) so he or she is challenged by something difficult but not discouraged by something impossible. This not only allows for efficient and effective teaching and learning but also increases students’ desire to participate and challenge themselves.
CrossFit Kids uses the natural process of motor development to increase learning effectiveness and efficiency. Instead of confining a child’s development with rules and movement limitations of sports while running the risk of contributing to the detrimental effects of overspecialization, CrossFit Kids uses a child’s natural propensity for constantly varied movement by using constantly varied movement.
Phil, not related but a fine gentleman, lays it down nicely!  It's a great read, I'm on my third time through and still digesting.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

New Study Tells Us What We Already Know
"Importance:  Understanding the major health problems in the United States and how they are changing over time is critical for informing national health policy."
Really?  National health policy is what is going to unfrock the last forty years of disastrous health policy?  Not likely.

But if you are a public health policy monkey, these kinds of pronouncements probably sound oh so important.

Are they going to let insurance companies deny health coverage to folks booze too hard or become addicted in other ways?  Are they going to drop people with metabolic syndrome, sarcopenia and the other lifestyle diseases from the health care dole?

No, it sounds like they are going to continue to recommend that we all eat 100 pieces of fruit every 3 minutes, cause god knows that will cure anyone.

i don't know that we needed another expensive epidemiological study that tells us what we already know - folks are killing themselves with lifestyle choices that have been aided and abetted by USDA food pseudo science and a medical industry that makes money for keeping sick people alive.

I don't think the medical industry or the government is any closer to figuring out how to make our population kill itself with less vehemence.

CrossFit however is doing just that and we should be proud of it, and make it a centerpiece of each box. CrossFit teaches those willing to learn how to eat for health, and how to maintain an active, thriving life.  The best thing that could possibly come from this supposedly so important study is it may steer a few more folks to CrossFit boxes.


Understanding the major health problems in the United States and how they are changing over time is critical for informing national health policy.

Objectives  To measure the burden of diseases, injuries, and leading risk factors in the United States from 1990 to 2010 and to compare these measurements with those of the 34 countries in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries.
Design  We used the systematic analysis of descriptive epidemiology of 291 diseases and injuries, 1160 sequelae of these diseases and injuries, and 67 risk factors or clusters of risk factors from 1990 to 2010 for 187 countries developed for the Global Burden of Disease 2010 Study to describe the health status of the United States and to compare US health outcomes with those of 34 OECD countries. Years of life lost due to premature mortality (YLLs) were computed by multiplying the number of deaths at each age by a reference life expectancy at that age. Years lived with disability (YLDs) were calculated by multiplying prevalence (based on systematic reviews) by the disability weight (based on population-based surveys) for each sequela; disability in this study refers to any short- or long-term loss of health. Disability-adjusted life-years (DALYs) were estimated as the sum of YLDs and YLLs. Deaths and DALYs related to risk factors were based on systematic reviews and meta-analyses of exposure data and relative risks for risk-outcome pairs. Healthy life expectancy (HALE) was used to summarize overall population health, accounting for both length of life and levels of ill health experienced at different ages.
Results  US life expectancy for both sexes combined increased from 75.2 years in 1990 to 78.2 years in 2010; during the same period, HALE increased from 65.8 years to 68.1 years. The diseases and injuries with the largest number of YLLs in 2010 were ischemic heart disease, lung cancer, stroke, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and road injury. Age-standardized YLL rates increased for Alzheimer disease, drug use disorders, chronic kidney disease, kidney cancer, and falls. The diseases with the largest number of YLDs in 2010 were low back pain, major depressive disorder, other musculoskeletal disorders, neck pain, and anxiety disorders. As the US population has aged, YLDs have comprised a larger share of DALYs than have YLLs. The leading risk factors related to DALYs were dietary risks, tobacco smoking, high body mass index, high blood pressure, high fasting plasma glucose, physical inactivity, and alcohol use. Among 34 OECD countries between 1990 and 2010, the US rank for the age-standardized death rate changed from 18th to 27th, for the age-standardized YLL rate from 23rd to 28th, for the age-standardized YLD rate from 5th to 6th, for life expectancy at birth from 20th to 27th, and for HALE from 14th to 26th.
Conclusions and Relevance  From 1990 to 2010, the United States made substantial progress in improving health. Life expectancy at birth and HALE increased, all-cause death rates at all ages decreased, and age-specific rates of years lived with disability remained stable. However, morbidity and chronic disability now account for nearly half of the US health burden, and improvements in population health in the United States have not kept pace with advances in population health in other wealthy nations.

The United States spends the most per capita on health care across all countries,12 lacks universal health coverage, and lags behind other high-income countries for life expectancy3 and many other health outcome measures.4 High costs with mediocre population health outcomes at the national level are compounded by marked disparities across communities, socioeconomic groups, and race and ethnicity groups.56 Although overall life expectancy has slowly risen, the increase has been slower than for many other high-income countries.3 In addition, in some US counties, life expectancy has decreased in the past 2 decades, particularly for women.78 Decades of health policy and legislative initiatives have been directed at these challenges; a recent example is the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, which is intended to address issues of access, efficiency, and quality of care and to bring greater emphasis to population health outcomes.9 There have also been calls for initiatives to address determinants of poor health outside the health sector including enhanced tobacco control initiatives,1012 the food supply,1315 physical environment,1617 and socioeconomic inequalities.18

With increasing focus on population health outcomes that can be achieved through better public health, multisectoral action, and medical care, it is critical to determine which diseases, injuries, and risk factors are related to the greatest losses of health and how these risk factors and health outcomes are changing over time. The Global Burden of Disease (GBD) framework19 provides a coherent set of concepts, definitions, and methods to do this. The GBD uses multiple metrics to quantify the relationship of diseases, injuries, and risk factors with health outcomes, each providing different perspectives. Burden of disease studies using earlier variants of this approach have been published for the United States for 19962022 and for Los Angeles County, California.23 In addition, 12 major risk factors have also been compared for 2005.24

In this report, we use the GBD Study 2010 to identify the leading diseases, injuries, and risk factors associated with the burden of disease in the United States, to determine how these health burdens have changed over the last 2 decades, and to compare the United States with other Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries.

"Good Mechanics Is Everything"

" sports physicians, we've all been amiss for years worrying about putting people back together and fixing things and new techniques. But we've largely ignored the real problem: prevention of injuries. Everybody now agrees that the time is right to keep these kids from getting hurt so often. That's been my mission for 10 to 12 years, and it's really come to the forefront that last three to four years."

"... [your] kid needs at least two months off each year to recover from a specific sport. Preferably, three to four months. Example: youth baseball. For at least two months, preferably three to four months, they don't need to do any kind of overhead throwing, any kind of overhead sport, and let the body recover in order to avoid overuse situations."

"PD: What advice would you give pitchers, in general?
J.A.: 1. Use proper mechanics. The No. 1 problem in any specific sport is improper mechanics."

The good news for all of us is that "using good mechanics" is also the key to generating the most force, whether that be with a baseball, a spear, a barbell, or manipulating one's own body through space for pull-ups.  

The problem is so few of the folks who coach kids have any idea what good mechanics are, or how to teach kids how to move well.

The keys to the CrossFit kingdom are to understand mechanics in every application of human force generation, and understanding how to coach any client who walks through the door how to achieve those mechanics.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

CrossFit for Hope, CrossFit for Cures, You Know You Want It!

Hope For Cures: A Lesson To Be Learned

Coach Greg Glassman, in his inimitable way, lays out why CrossFit is hip deep in CrossFit for hope.

I have received several generous donations since my first appeal to you, dear reader, for funds.  My thanks to those who took the occasion of this reminder to give to a cause I think we all feel strongly about.  If you have not taken the time to do it yet, please go to this link and drop $10, $25 or what you think you can afford.

Any one of us has too many blessings to count, and taking a tiny bit of our life energy to give to these kids and their families is literally, the least we can do.

Conditioning....What's best for the athlete?

Mike Boyle makes a great point in his book Advances in Functional Training, he states:
“Injuries usually occur during training camp because the program ignored three vital components of the conditioning process.
• Acceleration
• Deceleration
• Change of Direction
The ability to tolerate the muscular forces generated by accelerating and decelerating are the real keys to conditioning. Deficiencies in these components are often why athletes feel out of shape.”
So instead of running your FALL SPORTS into the dirt during this time frame, try incorporating the following fundamentals into your early off-season programming.
• Proper Body Positioning (posture)
• Balance
• Stability
• Mobility
• Proper Acceleration Mechanics
Remember when developing a conditioning program, its important to go watch practices and games. This will give you an idea of the demands being put on the athlete, plus build great relationships with your sport coaches and athletes you are working with.

Excellent point - we never train for the cutting, stopping starting - but we should.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013


In my recent adventures with the POSE method of running, I have enjoyed the following techniques quite a lot.

First, I ran the 30/30/30 run; 30 seconds on pace, 30 seconds walking/resting, for 30 minutes.  Running the 30s on the metronome pace was much better than trying to run to a metronome non-stop, and was almost enjoyable.  It is also very informative to running in the POSE.  The metronome pace varied from 90-96, with the goal of pulling one foot from the ground with each beep (IOW, either left or right, thus the pace was 180/min to 192/min).  I was surprised by the difference in my perception of 180 foot falls per minute and the timed measure of 180 foot falls per minute.

The next training session was a 6k using a metronome for 30s, then my own pace for 30s, then walking for 30s, using 91 beats/second on the metronome.  In this session, I had the BFO (blinding flash of the obvious) that it was easiest to "find" the metronome pace when running in place. After hitting that pace, I could easily hold it as I let my hips come forward to run.  I found myself running at high speeds almost effortlessly using this technique - the high speeds were anaerobic and not sustainable, but sustainable wasn't a requirement.  Running that fast and that effortlessly for 30s was good fun.

As I went through this cycle, I found I could feel with good precision when I was running over my center of gravity, which is to say, I was in the best position for running well.

I've trained with the metronome before but never found it to be so instructive.  The interval training was enjoyable and set the stage for more learning.  Being able to run with no knee pain is near to miraculous.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Young Athletes - Do Not Specialize!

"I started seeing a sharp increase in youth sports injuries, particularly baseball, beginning around 2000," Andrews told The Plain Dealer in a telephone interview. "I started tracking and researching, and what we've seen is a five- to sevenfold increase in injury rates in youth sports across the board. I'm trying to help these kids, given the epidemic of injuries that we're seeing. That's sort of my mission: to keep them on the playing field and out of the operating room.
"I hate to see the kids that we used to not see get hurt. ... Now they're coming in with adult, mature-type sports injuries. It's a real mess. Maybe this book will help make a dent."

The short version - kids need variation in the demands that are placed on their bodies.  To help them express their full potential, make them athletes first, sports specialists later.  They need strength and power, they need to sprint, jump and play.  Throwing baseballs or footballs all day every day is not the path to a healthy future.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Hero WOD: Smykowski


For time:
Run 6k
60 Burpee pull-ups
If you've got body armor or a thirty pound vest, wear it.

U.S. Marine Corps Sergeant Mark T. Smykowski, 23, of Mentor, Ohio, assigned to 2nd Reconnaissance Battalion, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force, based in Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, was killed on June 6, 2006, while conducting combat operations in Al Anbar province, Iraq. He is survived by his mother Diana Ross, father Bert, and brothers Darren and Kenny, both Marines.

Fair winds and following seas warrior!


Vaughn - Use the RDL

(Note:  RDL is romanian deadlift.  RDLs look like strait legged dead lifts, and generally allow one to test and develop strength in the hamstrings)
We use the RDL for position and movement strength, but not just in the hamstrings and the rest of the posterior chain. Get into bottom position of the RDL and relax your lats so your arms are hanging straight under the shoulders the shoulders should be in front of the knees. How far from your body is the bar? Maybe a foot or more. We have to push the bar back to keep it as close to the body as possible in the strongest "lever" position. With heavier weight, the bar will, of course, want to drift away. And even though you will only be moving through this specific point briefly as you perform the whole lift, we need as much insurance as possible. This is so critical that you should be able to get into this position and hold more than 100 percent of your snatch or clean with either grip while keeping the bar pushed against the body for at least five seconds.

Be aware this number must be met without cheating the position. This means that if the knees are pushed too far forward (the shins are not vertical) or the shoulders are behind, directly over or just not in front of the bar enough, keeping the bar close becomes much easier. But remember this indicates the bar is no longer in the correct path and your body is no longer in the position of best leverage and activation. Also, if you are back on your heels too much and have created a backward angle with the shins, you are actually bringing the shoulders back over the bar instead of in front of the bar. This is only OK in an RDL in which you are going past the knees or to the floor, as it will activate the hamstrings/posterior chain differently. But again, you are now out of that best path and position. What I recommend when doing an RDL for ideal positioning and technique strength is to just focus on the range of motion from standing down to that transition point (bar above knee). Get to that point, hold three to five seconds, and then come back up while maintaining the perfect body position established at that lowest point.