Fat Loss via Thermogenesis

Okay, its been awhile since I’ve posted on here, but I thought I’ve found and practiced (important for what I do) some basic principles of fat loss. Nobody really likes having a lot of fat on their body. The low-intellect society in which we live shuns fat, in spite of the numerous studies which show that people in the BMI ‘Overweight’ category have the greatest longevity of all the weight groups! But, I like losing fat because it means my body is working well and utilizing the nutrients that I’m giving it.

Anyway, I’ve deviated from my main topic. This post is all about fat loss, generally via thermogenesis. Now there are two types of thermogenesis: cold and hot. Cold is generally the hated form, and for good reason: its pretty darn uncomfortable. But I will say this: the benefits of starting your day with a 5min icy-cold shower are plentiful – start the day by jump-starting your weight loss, if you do it right a basic vagus nerve hack, and of course a lovely jolt of awakening that beats a cup of coffee.

Oooops, I just told you one of my hacks. Gol ding it! Oh well, take it as a freebie. I’m really just annoyed that I went out of order. Anyway, here’s my full list of cold hacks:

  1. Yoga outside on a cool morning
  2. Drinking cold water throughout the day
  3. Taking icy-cold showers
  4. Generally staying in a cool environment

#2 is an especially fun hack cuz its easy! Plus you get the health benefits of good hydration while helping your body to burn some extra calories passively!

I’ll be honest: as far as heat thermogenesis goes, I don’t have much experience. I don’t like hot conditions as much as cold so I honestly don’t utilize it that much. I know, I should test everything but COME ON. I know what works for me, but if anyone has any good heat techniques be sure to let me know!

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Stress

Stress

Ah yes, stress. That great mountain so many of us have to climb. However, when I take a step back and observe, I realize something: we are making a mountain out of a molehill. Everyone scurries here and there, works their tails off, eats bad, drinks worse, make bad choices and wonder what went wrong. Wowzers. Alright, my beloved reader, calm down. Fine, everything will be.

A while ago, I realized I was at a stopping point for losing weight. I lost a bunch, but couldn’t lose anymore (aiming for the sixpack, almost got it). Aside from my semi-narcissistic goal, I was worrying about WHY I COULDN’T LOSE WEIGHT. It just wasn’t happening for me. But, I took a step back, observed my life, and realized the following:

#1 – I work a high-intensity job where I don’t take time to relax or recuperate

#2 – Family situation is out of whack, and a great source of stress

#3 – My nutrition was great for weight loss, but not neccesarily for overall health (ouch)

#4 – I worked full-time, then crammed my weekend full of social business (girlfriend, partying, extra work)

#5 – I didn’t take time to RELAX. ENJOY LIFE. And boy, I paid a price. My hormone levels were… bad.

But the good news, my intrepid reader, is that I’m going to share with you my tactics for reducing stress and increasing positivity.

Tactic 1) Yoga: I do yoga 3-4 times per week, and as a whole, its relaxing. Going through a series of poses slowly, listening to gentle music (or calming sounds like waves), and mmmmm, feel that calm energy flow. Best part? Time Economical (note the capital E). It only takes about 15-20min for my schedule. So I get great ROM improvements plus the stress reduction.

Tactic 2) Diet: Eating a diet that delivers all the necessary nutrients is essential. I eat high fat, low carb, med protein, and supplement well. I’m working on growing my own veggies (I live in the country and we have… unwelcome visitors). Before, I didn’t supplement, and ignored the usefulness of certain supplements/food strategies for improving calm. Magnesium is awesome before bed, and I love drinking tea (shout-out to chamomile decaffeinated).

Tactic 3) Work: This may be a controversial area, so bear with me. I do several things at work. I take short breaks (this breaks up monotony, and since I stare at a book or computer all day its necessary for eye health); I always have something to drink (vitamin C water, water, tea with butter; this helps to keep my hydrated, focused, and not be worried about running to grab a drink in the middle of the work day); I have a standing desk (this allows me to break up monotony of sitting and move around freely as I have a large desk); I talk with coworkers (our environment is fairly laid-back, and I love the people I work with).

Tactic 4) Activity: 3-5 times a week I either take a walk in our woods, do Insanity (a very fun DVD exercise program), walk the countryside, just get out and get physical. This helps in two ways. One it provides a counterbalance to my sedentary indoor working lifestyle. Two getting outside and getting some realness really helps keep me centered.

Tactic 5) Relaxation techniques: Some people do breathing exercises, yoga, etc. I love hot baths. Just sitting there, cool (mentally), calm, collected, listening to Beethoven’s 5th. Mmmmm. I love using my acupuncture mat for releasing endorphins/enkephalins, natural relaxers in the body. Experiment in this area, let me know whatcha come up with 🙂

Tactic 6) Religion: For me, my faith is important, and being able to give everything that happens to God is such a relief. Matthew 6:34 says,”Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” Some of you may not be religious, but its something of great and precious value to me, and I’d encourage some exploration if you think it will help.

Overall, life is better now. I’ve begun to lose weight, and my situations are much less stressful. Taking time out of your life to purposefully combat stress could perhaps be the key to unlocking a whole new you 🙂

A Day in My Life

Well my adorable readers, it has been far too long since I have shared my nutritional wisdom. Ha. Anyway, I’ll step off my high place of authority… *steps off* and proceed with giving you some good information. I realized that while I’ve given some protocols, its sometimes more useful to know what that person actually does. So, today, from beginning to end*ish*, here is my nutrition… Wakeup: Oil pull with coconut oil and oregano oil

Pre-Breakfast: 3g Vitamin C, 10000 IU Vitamin D, 3tabs Ginkgo Biloba, 2mg B12

Breakfast: Organic medium-roast coffee with 1Tbsp Unsalted grassfed butter

Mid-Morning: 1cup organic green tea with 1Tbsp Unsalted grassfed butter, 5g vitamin C

Pre-Lunch: 1Tbsp ACV

Lunch: Unwich (natural salami and roast beef, wrapped in organic lettuce with homemade mayo and mustard), organic salsa with organic blue corn chips,

Afternoon: Coffee with 1Tbsp Coconut Oil, Dark Chocolate

Dinner: Ummm… its my birthday, so we’re eating out. Mexican foooood!!! 😀

Post-Dinner: 4capsules Coconut Charcoal for detoxing

Evening: Oil Pull (same ingredients), Metamucil, Chamomile Tea with 1Tbsp MCT Oil, Magnesium (800mg)

My schedule is fairly simple for food. Remember, if you want a good body and good health, spend more time in the kitchen than you do in the gym.

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Light ‘Em Up…

Hello my dear readers! Its been a long time since I’ve posted, but I’ve come across some nutritional goodies that I simply cannot resist sharing about. While reading the book Oil Pulling Therapy by Dr. Bruce Fife, I noticed a commonality between the diseases that may be caused by bacteria seeping into the blood stream and spreading throughout the body.

The common cause is inflammation. This should almost be labeled as its own condition. Chronic inflammation is the worst, leading to possible diseases such as diabetes, osteoporosis, or even asthma! The science supporting these theories is astounding, and after reading a few of the supporting articles, I’d have to say that I’m starting to believe much of what Dr. Fife is claiming.

So, the question is, how do we reduce inflammation? That’s a million-dollar question, and one that I hope I can endeavor to help you with in this post. I believe that overall, you can do several things to help reduce systemic inflammation and get your body functioning in its optimal state.

Step #1: Reduce sugar and refined carbs – these raise inflammation levels on their own and produce no nutritional benefits. An occasional treat is ok, as your body can deal relatively easily with the occasional acute inflammation, but have a treat too regularly and you’ll have a problem on your hands. Fruit high in sugar (apples, peaches, grapes, watermelon) should also be avoided, as fructose can also be a cause for inflammation.

Step #2: Eat organic, or as much as you can. Pesticides, insecticides, growth hormones, antibiotics… the list goes on and on for the chemical crap we continually choose to pour into our bodies. Eating organic (better yet, growing your own food and/or raising chickens for meat/eggs) can be a great start to getting this stuff out of your body and helping reduce stress/inflammation.

Step #3: Eat as much saturated fat (coconut oil and butter are Amazing) and avoid polyunsaturated/trans fats. The former has been scientifically proven to help reduce inflammation by reducing cytokines (and coconut oil has natural anti-biotic properties) while the latter contains unstable/synthetic oils that present many opportunities for chronic inflammation to take hold in your body.

Step #4: Oil pulling. This removes many of the harmful bacteria that reside in your mouth. Its not a common idea, but think of this way: Your mouth is a part of your digestive tract, and thus is a good representation of the condition of the rest of your track. A nasty mouth means a bad digestive system. A tablespoon of  coconut oil (virgin, non-heat pressed, organic) swished for 10 minutes then spat out is by far the superior oil for oil pulling. As mentioned before, it has anti-biotic properties and as a saturated fat has better permeability for penetrating your gums and doing a thorough cleaning. If you wanna be really gung-ho, try adding a drop of oregano oil, also noted for anti-biotic properties.

Step #5: Supplement. If you follow the above steps (particularly the part about eating organic) you’ve eliminated bad foods which reduces inflammation, but making sure your body has enough high-quality nutrients can also help your body fight inflammation. I take the following regimen, which is broad and helps immeasurably:

Vitamin C – Dual Focus – roughly 10g per day – powder form, stirred in water (bonus: blend Vitamin C with water and 1 Tbsp MCT oil to achieve higher bioavailability): strong antioxidant properties

Vitamin D – Solaray – 6,000 IU per day – pill: affects over 1000 genes and is a precursor for hormone production

Fermented Cod Liver Oil – Blue Ice – 2mL per day – liquid: source of vitamin D and vitamin A, also Omega-3

I also take a variety of nootropics to help my brain function at max capacity. Overall, inflammation is one of the biggest enemies in your body, and the above steps helped me tremendously in my quest for better health.

The Weeknd… Its Always Worth It.

Well, it once again Friday. Ah, yes. That fabled and hallowed day that so many people look forward to. So why is it, when Friday rolls around, instead of being filled with excitement, I’m filled with sadness at a streak of work being interrupted by 48hrs of fun? My dear readers, I believe it is because of three distinct factors which, while they can be analyzed independently, they are very much connected.

The first thing is, I’m motivated. I like goals, things you can tangibly check off. “Hey, I need you to do this!” and bam. Its done! I like accomplishing things, getting stuff done. And when the day known as Friday rolls around, it means… I have 2 days during which I don’t have to accomplish those goals. I’m a go-getter. I like being busy. And the weekend usually is a break from that. I can appreciate that, but I like working and getting stuff done.

The second thing is, I love my job. Yes, allow me to repeat that. I. Love. My. Job. I say this tentatively for fear my boss may one day Google my name and discover this little digital arm I’m growing. But anyway, I digress. My love for my job is fueled by the fact that I get to do what I like to do. And because I’m good at it (it helps to be good at your job! [sarcasm]) I generally get to do it how I want to do it. Enjoying your job and what you do are of critical importance. And (wait for it)… I also love getting the stuff done. See what I did there? The point is, if you love your job, you’re generally motivated to get a lot done and get it done well. If you do that… hey! That leads into my third point!

The last point is job security. Because I love my job and display the exuberance in it that I do on my blog, my boss likes me… or maybe just my attitude. Job security can be a big deal. I understand that with certain jobs, there inevitably comes lower security due to the surrounding nature of the job itself. But. But. But. If you are good at your job, nay, excellent!, and you display a good attitude, even if the security is lower you’re more likely to stay hired. To wrap up this section I’ll say this: “The best workers are the ones who aren’t afraid to get fired, because that generally means they’re good at what they do and have fun doing it”.

So. A lot of information, but mostly nothing too deep. The point is, if you’re a weekend junkie who can’t wait to get out of the office (or wherever it is you labor), you should probably fix your attitude. I know, you’re thinking, “This little dork knows nothing. I work hard for my family (or myself) but I can’t afford to try changing careers”. Let me ask you this. If it would make you happier (and most likely richer, because most people who are unhappy tend not to advance), would your family sacrifice to help you change careers? Food for thought.

Anyway, got to get going. The weekend is upon me and I’m heading to hang out with friends at college. Funny thing is, they’re all hardcore weekend junkies. Maybe I should email the link to my blog…

Starting a Health Career

To some, the idea of being a health researcher may seem like one of “those” terms. The one where, when you hear someone say they’re one, you smile, nod your head, and say, “Cool!”. But what does this term truly mean? And for added context in my case, I do work for a Christian Healthshare ministry. Medical Symbol

For the most part, being a health researcher is not an overly glamorous or sometimes particularly exciting job. It means hard, long days of wading through oceans of medical information. With the territory comes writing, something I especially enjoy. While I’m new to the job, albeit not the field, I enjoy the feeling of accomplishment that comes with the mentally grueling work.

Now this is when the Christian side comes in. From my beliefs, I believe that people need to take care of their bodies. From 1 Corinthians 3: 16-17 “Do you not know that you are a temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? If any man destroys the temple of God, God will destroy him, for the temple of God is holy, and that is what you are.”

Now, most people can, at the least, agree that its important to take care of your body. After all, its what you use to get out of bed, brush your teeth, hug your kids, and other daily activities. But from a Christian perspective, its especially important to do so because God gave me my body as a gift, as His holy temple. And the aforementioned verses provide a deeper sense of motivation to take care of my body.

So, with that context in mind, because of my research I’m biased to holistic nutrition. My research is mostly aimed to that end. While many of the books I read are not authored by Christian doctors or nutritionists, their views align with mine, and they provide very good sources and reasoning that, in logic, theory, and practice, support their claims.

To conclude, being a health researcher is a job that people must be both patient and ambitious in order to do well in. It doesn’t include much legwork, but plenty of mental energy and a good attention span are required. So, next time someone tells you “I’m a health researcher!” you can say “Hey! That’s really cool!”, and have the priviledge of knowing what they grow through to provide solid information to the public.