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Category Archives: Nutrition

Making Bone Broth is the Real Deal: Make your Own Joint Formula with Other Great Benefits

I’ve been buying bone broth once in a while and never really thought much of it. I bought it because I knew it was good for me but I didn’t realize all of the benefits that come from drinking it.  Recently, I started reading about it so I could find out how good it actually is for you.  Once I found out that is great for your joints, boosts your immune system, fights colds, decreases inflammation, promotes weight loss, strengthens bones, teeth and nails, supports muscle growth and much more.

When I first started reading about it, I decided not to buy it from the store. Instead I wanted to make it myself, so that I knew exactly what was in it and could control the quality of the bone broth.  I actually, started making it for my dogs, Bailey and Riley.  Over the last several months Bailey has been limping quite a bit because of arthritis in her elbow and ankle.  I realized that bone broth is a great joint formula, because it contains glucosamine, chondroitin sulfate and hyaluronic acid. All of which are common in joint formulas.  Now I can make your own joint formula. Within a week I started making it for myself also.

It also contains collagen (promotes tissue development) and gelatin which you will notice after placing it in the refrigerator overnight (Not Bill Cosby’s Jello). It contains a number of amino acids (arginine (produces muscle gains and promotes fat loss), glycine (is an antioxidant that also decreases muscle breakdown and is a neurotransmitter) , proline (great for the skin, helps reduce cellulite) and glutamine (helps with muscle recovery and excellent for gut health).

Bone broth is very rich in minerals and other nutrients, including Calcium, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium, Sodium and Zinc.

Bone broth is pretty easy to make but takes time to make. You will save a lot of money making it yourself and can prepare quite a bit of it.  In order to prepare it you will want to use  beef or chicken bones and will want to have the bone marrow intact and should have some joints which contain the connective tissue.

I have been using femur bones, neck bones and also chicken feet ( which seem kind of gross to me but they are full of nutrients and are very inexpensive.  I have had some people question me about practicing Voodoo when they see them on my counter.  I just give them the evil eye and they leave me alone.

The ingredients that I have been using: All are Pasture Raised and Organic

3 or more pounds of bones or 10 or 12 chicken feet ( I have added 2 chicken feet to the beef bones)

Distilled Water

2 Tablespoons of Apple Cider Vinegar (this will pull the nutrients out of the bones)

2 Carrots

1 Onion (whole)

Several Celery Stalks or Fennel

1 inch of ginger

2 garlic cloves

Parsley

1 teaspoon of salt

1 teaspoon of pepper

Bake the beef bones at 350 degrees for 30 minutes (make sure you turn them over.  I did add salt and pepper to them and also put it in the pot)

Chicken feet have to be blanched and also have the membrane removed

Add bones to the pot

Add distilled water and cover the bones by about 2 inches

Add apple cider vinegar

Add the salt

Add Carrots and Onion

During the last 30 minutes of cooking ad the garlic and parsley

Boil for 1 hour and then simmer for 72 hours. I have also used a crockpot.

Remove any foam that come to the top during the first couple hours.

When you are done cooking it, strain out all of the bones and everything else you put into the pot.  The bones should have been bare going into the pot but there will still be some bits of meat.

Put the liquid in the refrigerator overnight.

Remove from the refrigerator and remove the layer of fat on top.  You should have a gelatin.

You can keep it into the fridge for up to a week and store in the freezer for a longer period of time.

You can add other ingredients to it when you are preparing a meal.  I like adding an egg along with some salt and pepper if it doesn’t have enough in it already.

Not only did this blow away what I bought in the store but I think it is a higher quality.  Making bone broth is the real deal. I love this stuff and so do Bailey and Riley.

 

My Experience with Fasting and it’s Benefits: ProLon Fasting Mimicking Diet Review

Up until recently I never thought that fasting was a great idea.  I would never go a day without food.  I assumed that I would burn muscle and cause damage to my body.  It was my understanding that all I had to do was eat the right foods to make my body the best that it could be.   Food either works for your body or against your body.  It will help your body recover and grow stronger.   The wrong foods will create inflammation and oxidation.  I have been eating about once every 3 waking hours for the last 20 years.

Over the last year, I started to hear some good things about intermittent fasting and decided to give it a try.  I liked some of the results that I got from doing it.  Not too long ago I also found out about some of the benefits of fasting.  Which lead me to a particular type of fast that allows for a minimal amount of food throughout the day.

I am still learning about fasting, so I am far from an expert on it.  But I am starting to understand it. After hearing about these benefits, I decided to give it a try.

The fast that I just finished takes place over the course of 5 days.  On the first day you have 1000 calories and 750 for all of the other days.   It’s called the ProLon Mimicking Dietand it has been the subject of clinical testing at USC.  It is backed by 25 years of research.  It is beneficial in rejuvenation and regeneration. Their studies show that it will also protect you from muscle loss.  It puts your body into a survival of the fittest mode.  The weak are destroyed while the strong flourish and get stronger.  When there is little food available your body will do what it has to in order to survive.  Your body burns food for energy, but once that is no longer available it will burn fat or muscle (The ProLon fast protects muscle from being burned).  It also kills off aging and damaged cells, and activates stem cell renewal.   The weak cells won’t survive and your body will function better.  Not only that but you can also expect a decrease in blood glucose, cholesterol, triglycerides, blood pressure and inflammation.  And the fast will activate stem cells.

I started this fast on a Monday.  Actually, the last thing that I ate outside of the products Prolon provided was on Sunday night. I’ve been pretty excited about trying this out and seeing if I notice any major differences.  Going into this fast, I had been eating like crap for about two weeks.  Normally, I eat pretty clean with an occasional cheat.  I guess I fell into a binge mode and when I decided on doing the fast, I figured I would wreck my diet until I started.  I also skipped the gym for almost a week. This put me into a pretty bad funk.  I felt like crap and was getting depressed and gained a few pounds.  Eating this way for a two-week period definitely had an effect on me mentally and physically.  Now I am expecting this fast to make an even more dramatic impact.

On day 1 of my fast, I went to the gym on an empty stomach.  I ate my first meal with which was far from filling, although it was very tasty.   I am really not use to eating so little and I eat much smaller portions than I use to eat.  Dealing with such a small amount of food over the course of 5 days actually takes a lot of will power.  I have also had the will power to make transformations in the past and even compete in body building competitions.  This is a little bit different but it still takes the same mental approach as a transformation.  I’m hungry and I want to eat.  But I also want to make my body heal.  If this fasting thing truly works, than there is only one way to find out. If you want it bad enough than, you will deal with the hunger for just under a week.

For the most part on day 1 I felt pretty good.  I ended up going to bed around 9 pm, because I was getting tired.  I probably had the best sleep that I have had in over a month.  I woke up feeling refreshed, but hungry.  I made it into the gym and had a decent workout.  I felt good but didn’t have a whole lot of stamina or strength, so I changed up my workout up a little bit.

On Day 2, my food was cut down to 750 calories from 1000.  To tell you the truth there really wasn’t that much difference in the amount of food I ate.  I think it was about a crumb or two less.  I’m hungry and I’m drinking a lot of water, but I do feel good, although I have been a little agitated today.  My morning workout was pretty similar to the day before.  I felt good in the gym but was low in strength and stamina.

On Day 3, I had another great sleep.  Went to bed early again.  Woke up a couple of times during the night but fell back to sleep pretty quickly. Woke up feeling great.  I was pretty surprised, because I wasn’t very hungry.  My stomach was empty and I could eat, but just didn’t feel like I was starving.  I had a pretty good workout.  Once again my stamina and strength were down. After my workout I ate my first meal, which was around 250 calories.  500 left for the day.  I had gotten a little bit hungrier since I got back and had my first meal and continued to get hungrier throughout the day.  Unlike the day before, I wasn’t agitated.  Coming into this program made me think about basically starving myself for 5 days wouldn’t be easy.  On the other hand I have cut my food back quite a bit for some competitions, so I knew I could do it.  Going into the third day on Wednesday morning, I knew that I wouldn’t have a problem getting through Friday.  I was already considering when I would do a fast again.

Day 4, I had another great night of sleep.  I actually use a Whoop to monitor my recovery through HRV (Heart Rate Variable).  It tracks strain, sleep, and a number of other things.  Last night I hit REM and Deep Sleep longer than I have since I got a Whoop. Usually, I get less than 20 minutes of both combined.  Wednesday night I had over an hour of REM and 25 minutes of deep sleep. I did wake up several times, but I felt great when I woke up and actually was up before 6 am, which is not something that I typically do.   Some of the other things that I noticed on the Whoop were my resting heart rate, was 45, which is about 8 beats lower than my normal resting heart rate. My HRV was 57, which is close to the highest it’s ever been since I’ve been tracking it.  My recovery was 96%, which was almost 3 times higher than it was on Monday when I started.  Recovery obviously changes every day.  At this level my body is ready to take on a lot of strain. What all of this is telling me is that this fast is working.

When woke up, I wasn’t very hungry.  I got some light cardio done at the gym.  My energy and strength were lower than usually.  My head seemed a little out of it until after my cardio. For the rest of the day I felt great, but my hunger increased as the day went on.

Day 5 my sleep was pretty good but not as good as the other nights, while fasting.   My Rem and Deep Sleep were better than prior to the fast.   I continued to wake up earlier than usual.  I got into the gym early and had a pretty good workout.  I still lacked strength and stamina but it was the best workout of the week.  Kind of weird since I was on the last day of my fast.  Hunger is not that much of an issue today.  It came on kind of strong after my workout, but after I had my little bits of food it went away.  I have been drinking a ton of water, which is pretty normal for me. My resting heart rate continued to be close to 45 beats per minute.   Middle of the day my energy seemed to climb.  By the time I went to bed I still felt great.

Day 6 I woke up earlier than the previous and was a little tired, since I was up too late the night before.  I ended up going back to bed.  I had a better sleep than prior to the fast, however it wasn’t as good as the two previous nights.  I did have a decent amount of REM and Deep Sleep.  This was a transitional day.  A day that starts off with soups and juices.  Add in some pasta and a little bit of fish or meat later in the day.  You don’t want to take in too much animal protein.  My breakfast was bone broth with hemp seeds.  Later I had some almonds.  Lunch was black bean pasta.  And I went to a friend’s restaurant for some Pho (Vietnamese soup with meat and noodles).   My energy level started to climb as the day went on.

One of the other things that I started to notice on day 5 and through day 6 (transition day) was that my usual aches and pains weren’t bothering me.  I am interested in seeing how I feel in the gym on Monday morning.  I did have a good amount of inflammation in my body going into this fast and I do notice that there are points on my body that seem to have either lost or greatly reduced the amount of inflammation.  The fast does activate stem cells and regenerate cells and tissues and decreases inflammation, so I would think that this is what is helping me with my old aches and pains.

On Sunday, I woke up much earlier than I planned to wake up.  I was up late and ended up having less than 5 hours of sleep. I would have gone back to bed, but my energy and alertness was through the roof. I was thinking that I should have been tired.  The short amount of sleep that I had was amazing.  All throughout the day my energy level felt almost euphoric.  And I am not feeling any of my aches and pains at all.  Up until about 2 nights ago have a pretty decent amount of pain in my right knee when I am sleeping, because of a torn MCL.  It bothers me at certain points during the day, mostly based on position or movements and then at night while laying in bed (not typically the entire night. Usually, starting up in the middle of the night).  At least for now the pain is gone.  Obviously, some of these injuries are still there, but with reduced inflammation and stem cell activation the pain has subsided.  I am even tempted to try running on it (haven’t been able to run for close to 2 months).

Because this fast is supported by credible research I had some pretty solid expectations.  So far I have been blow away by the results. Later this week, I will be getting a blood test that I can compare to my results from about 2 months ago. Back then I did have high Cholesterol and high Triglycerides.

All of the food that is provided for the diet matches the nutritional ingredients, which is supported by the 25 years of research.  As far as the food goes, they have these crackers and bars, which are really amazing.  The only thing that sucks is that when I ate them, I wanted more.  The bars blow away most of the other bars on the market when it comes to taste.  And I am not just saying this because I was really hungry when I was about to eat.  I don’t eat soup very often, but I do really like theirs and I looked forward to eating them.  They provide several different kinds of soup.

The biggest negative with the ProLon Fasting Mimicking Diet is that they provide you with several meals of olives.  I honestly, despise olives.  I could be eating a salad and if someone slipped some olives into, they ruined it for me.  Olives are definitely on my top 10 foods that I hate.  They might even be number one.  There has to be something that they could replace them with.  I found it kind of funny that they mention in a video something about “if you don’t like olives…”  They didn’t say that about anything else, so I guess I’m not the only one complaining about them. They are high in fat, which is something that you need while doing this kind of fast.  I ended up eating them, but I would throw them to the back of my throat, while trying to avoid my tongue.  Gag on them a little and then swallow them.  So if you like Olives than you will love the meals with them.

The other negative is their APP.  I haven’t been able to use it, because they have a high level of security on it.  I don’t really get what they are protecting. I signed up and it asks me to create a password.  As I am creating the password, it starts making suggestions. (Something that I have never seen to this extent.) “Add another word.” So I add another word.  “Add another word.”  What the hell, I already have 27 letters.  So I add another word.  Add a number.  Add a symbol.  Who the hell cares about my fasting diet enough to hack into this stupid app?  By the time I got done with my stupid password, I forgot what I wrote.  I do know that it was something like F@@@MUTHAF@@EATS@@@ .  So now that all of this is created I get an email to verify my account.   I figured the email would come right away.  WRONG.  It showed up the next day.   Well by now I have forgotten the password.  So I clicked the forgot password button.  Stupid email doesn’t show up until about 10 hours later.  I have sent in several requests.  I attempted to login again and it says. Account not verified. WTF.  I honestly think that they know people are starving on this fasting diet and they want to piss them off with some stupid app that probably doesn’t exist.  I think that there are benefits to being pissed off while starving.  It must accelerate the speed of the neurons firing in your brain.

The ProLon Fasting Mimicking Diet is backed up with a 25 of research at USC.  Their Phase 2 Clinical Trial proved that the Diet treats aging and reduces risk factors for multiple age related diseases.  Maintain healthy levels of Blood Glucose, Triglycerides, C-Reactive Protein, Stem Cells, IGF-1.  Decreases body fat percentage.  Mostly Visceral fat.  Protect Lean Body Mass.  Improve skin and energy levels.

To tell you the truth, I originally believed that you could go out on try to replicate this diet on your own.  But based on the years of research I don’t think it would be that simple.  It’s not just that they provide the convenience of providing you with everything that you need.  They have the research to back it all up.   I will personally stick with something that is proven with years of research.    I will definitely recommend it and I do plan on fasting again next month for 5 days and the following month for 5 days.  I am going in for blood tests next week so that I can see if there is a difference in any of my blood markers. .  I will also continue to bitch and moan about the Olives.  As for the App, I have actually contacted the company and they are planning on changing it and making it more user friendly.  That was pretty impressive that they responded on that so quickly.  I guess I can add, great customer service to my review.

If you are interested in trying out ProLon, it costs $249.  You get a discount when you buy more than one.   When I purchased it, I quickly realized that over the course of 5 days I would probably spend about $150 for food if I ate at home the entire time.  About $60 more if I went out to eat twice.  No matter what my health is more important than spending dollars on something that will keep me from spending money on drugs to control any of my biomarkers.  And you can’t put a price on feeling great.

My experience with fasting has been minimal, but because of the benefits, it has also been exceptional.  Which leads me to giving ProLon Fasting Mimicking Diet a review of a 5 Star rating.

Here is the link for more info on ProLon and to order: ProLon Fasting Mimicking Diet

 

If you decide that you would like to try the diet they do have a list of people that they say should not do it:

Who should NOT be on a Fasting Mimicking Diet?

  • Children under the age of 18, or people who are elderly and frail
  • Women who are pregnant or nursing
  • Individuals who are allergic to nuts or soy
  • Individuals with a Body Mass Index (BMI) <18 or >40
  • Individuals diagnosed with serious medical condition or disease, unless approved in writing by a physician appropriately trained to treat that condition
  • Individuals who have been severely weakened by a disease or medical procedure
  • Individuals who are taking medications which may not be safely consumed with a calorie restricted diet
  • Individuals with Diabetes (type 1 and type 2), cardiovascular disease and cancer, unless approved in writing by a licensed physician. ProLon should never be combined with glucose lowering drugs, such as metformin or insulin
  • Fasting is prohibited for individuals with certain metabolic disorders including those affecting gluconeogenesis (in vivo glucose synthesis)
  • Individuals with a history of significant cardiac disease, particularly uncompensated congestive heart failure NYHA grade 2 or more or LVEF <40% on any prior assessment
  • Individuals with a history of syncope (fainting) with calorie restriction or other medical co-morbidities
  • Individuals with special dietary needs that are incompatible with the ProLon meal plan
  • Individuals with liver or kidney disorders that may be affected by the very low glucose and protein content of the diet

 

Click here to order: ProLon Fasting Mimicking Diet

 

 

 

Lack Of Probiotics Might Make You Pass For Pregnant

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I was at the on a business trip with a friend of mine, who I had just seeing 2 months earlier.  When I saw them this time, I thought, “Wow, they must be pregnant.”  From the looks of things they were due any day now.  I thought that it was kind of strange, since I hadn’t even noticed the pregnancy the last time that we hung out and they never even said anything about it.  The other odd thing was that my friend is a guy.  Well maybe he got fat really fast.  Could happen.

Later on that day he tells me that his stomach is bloated and keeps getting bigger.  He said that he had walking pneumonia the last time that I saw him.  He was on antibiotics for a couple of weeks to get rid of it.  That’s about the time the bloating started.  By the way he lifted up his shirt to show me and he really did look pregnant.  His belly button alone was bigger than a baseball.  I was expecting Alien to jump out.

The first thing that I did was call TMZ to get them to do a story on a pregnant man.  After that I called up a friend of mine that is a biochemist.  Right away he told me that it was yeast growing inside of him.  When he took the antibiotics, they killed the bad bacteria, but they also killed the good bacteria.  Without the good bacteria yeast can flourish.  The gas produced by yeast can cause bloating. If not treated it can cause a lot of other problems, including leaking gut.

Unfortunately, TMZ has no interest in doing a story on a guy who has yeast overgrowth and a baseball sized belly button.

If you are on or have taken antibiotics, it would be wise to make sure that you can build up your good bacteria.

Things to avoid: Sugar, Wheat, Dairy, Alcohol
Things to take:
Probiotics Supplement – Bacillus Coagulans- spore forming lactic acid. This survives the gastric environment more effectively than most other probiotics

Anti-fungal Supplements: Garlic, Oil of oregano, Grapefruit Seed Extract, Undecylenic acid- 200mg  three times daily. Important due to its ability of inhibiting Hyphea (fungus)

Probiotic Foods:
Yogurt that is live-cultured (stay away from those high in high fructose corn syrup, artificial sweeteners and artificial flavors)
Kefir
Miso Soup
Sauerkraut
Komaucha
Spirulina
Blue-Green Algae
High Quality Dark Chocolate
Raw Cacao – Make your own chocolate
Bananas
Tomatoes
Artichokes
Green Beans
Apples may increase good bacteria

Signs and Causes of yeast overgrowth
Antibiotics
Birth Control Pills
Sugar and Bread Cravings
Fatigue
IBS
Bloating and Cramps
Vaginal Infections
Itchy Burning Eyes

Why does Turkey make you sleepy?

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Because of Tryptophan?  Maybe it’s a huge meal with a lot of carbs.
What is Tryptophan?
It’s an essential Amino Acid (Amino Acids are the building blocks of protein biosynthesis)
Tryptophan also raises Serotonin levels in the brain.  Serotonin does regulate a persons mood.  It helps with memory and learning.  Serotonin also converts into Melatonin, which can help with a deep sleep.
It has been used to treat depression.  Sounds better than the advice from the guy who told me that if I was depressed I should squirt hot butter up my ass ( https://evolvemylife.com/2012/10/01/not-the-right-diet-for-me-but-a-great-story/ ).

You can find Tryptophan in other foods including: Chicken, Tuna, Salmon, Shrimp, Halibut, Sesame Seeds, Sunflower Seeds, Asparagus, Eggs.

Does Milk Really Do A Body Good?

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I rarely have dairy.  I have always loved it.  Growing up I use to drink more than a gallon of milk a day.  During my junior year in college, I came back from a run and realized that I didn’t feel sick.  That’s weird, normally I feel sick after each of my runs, I’ve even puked on the football practice field during warm ups.  How come today is different?  I feel great!  So the next day I was back to my normal self.  My stomach felt awful and I realized that I have been feeling like this for a long time.  I didn’t even remember when it started.  So what did I do or didn’t do yesterday that was different from any of these other days?  Well I got up and I had my shake and I went for a run.  Hang on.  We were out of milk yesterday.  I used water in my shake.  Don’t tell me that I am lactose intolerant.  

Over the course of the next 3 days I went without milk and noticed a huge difference.  I felt great.  On the 4th day I drank milk and immediately felt awful.  With that figured out I knew what I had to do and I wasn’t very happy about it.  I stopped drinking milk but I did continue with other dairy products but just not as frequently.  Could I really give up Ice Cream, Grilled Cheese Sandwiches and Pizza?  Nope.  I still would get sick from these things but it was not every day.  

When I went through my transformation I decided to remove almost all dairy because I noticed that when I have any kind of dairy I develop mucus in my throat.  I had tried raw milk and did not develop mucus when I drank it.  Mucus is a sign of inflammation.  When you have inflammation one of the bodies responses is to produce mucus to get rid of it.  So in my case, “Milk Does A Body Mucus”. 

Living A Healthy Lifestyle Is The Fountain Of Youth

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One of the benefits of dropping 40 pounds was that now I look younger.  Instead of being embarrassed about sharing my Before Picture, I now have something that makes me proud.  It’s almost surreal looking back at that before picture.  I love it when people claim that my Before and After pictures are two totally different people.  I almost agree with them.  I don’t even feel like my former self.

I feel 10 years younger and think that I look 10 years younger.  I’m sure that a big part of it is that I guess I must have had a lot of fat in my face, because it is a lot thinner.   But when you live a healthy lifestyle it can make a huge difference with the aging process.

When Oxidation takes place in the body it creates Free Radicals (Damaged Cells).  When metal Oxidizes it turns to rust.  The human body has a similar effect.   Oxidation is part of the aging process and can be sped up by having an unhealthy lifestyle.  Smoking, Alcohol, Stress and other factors will speed Oxidation.  Not only will the body age quicker, but a person can be at an increased risk of heart disease, cancer and other heath related problems.

I’m sure you’ve heard people say, “Eat blueberries they have Antioxidants in them.”
Ok so what do they do?  Antioxidants prevent and reduce free radicals (damaged cells caused by oxidation).  In comparison if the body were rusting like metal than the body would prevent the body from rusting.  They are in a wide range of foods and each of them do different things.  This is another reason why you want to eat a balanced diet.  (Examples of some Antioxidants: Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Beta-carotene and Selenium)  One of the best sources of antioxidants comes from Blueberries, raspberries and other berries.  They also show up in fruits, vegetables, nuts (almonds, walnuts), Spices (cloves, cinnamon, ginger, black pepper, oregano).

I try to add certain things to my nutrition each day that provide antioxidants as well as other benefits.  I probably add cinnamon to 3 or 4 of my meals a day.  I add different types of fruit to my shakes.  I use a lot of black pepper and garlic.

A healthy balanced diet will do a lot more for you than just help you drop weight.

Top 10 Excuses Not To Eat Healthy

The toughest part of my transformation was eating a healthy diet.  I wasn’t successful until I was able to have the self-control that it takes to be stronger than my excuses.   Motivation from my results and being able to enjoy my food helped enforce my self-control.

10) Healthy food doesn’t taste good.  (Maybe you need to experiment more.  It is possible to make a lot of healthy meals taste good.  If you enjoy your food, than you can stick with your healthy nutrition.  Check out the recipes in my blog.)

9) I have kids and we have a lot of junk food around.  (Why do your kids have to eat crap?   Get them into healthy food while they are kids.  They can enjoy their food.  The results will not only keep them healthy but can give them an edge in sports.)

8) I don’t have time to cook most of my meals.  (I make a lot of meals in less than 30 minutes.  I also make enough so that it will last me through several meals.  Plan ahead.)

7) Healthy food is more expensive.  (So is heart surgery.  Eating healthy can save you thousands of dollars in medical expenses from living an unhealthy lifestyle.  You can still budget and cut costs in certain places.)

6) I love (insert surgery snack here) and can’t do without it.  (I use Raw Honey several times a day.  It’s a great sugar replacement.  I also make homemade chocolate and other nutritional snacks that taste like they are bad for you.)

5) If I eat something that I shouldn’t I can burn it off while I workout or run.  (You are better off eating food that works for you than against you.  Eating healthy and working out will keep you in shape.  Before I started my transformation, I was working out and trying to eat healthy.  I made excuses like these and continued to build fat.)

4) I have tried diets but they never work for me.  (Many diets are set up to fail.  If you don’t like the food you won’t stick with it.  If you cut your carbs out, it can cause other issues, such as kidney problems.  It is possible to enjoy your food on a healthy nutrition program.)

3) If it’s in front of me I will eat it.  (Eating healthy is mostly psychological.  You have to control your own mind.  Be stronger than your cravings.)

2) I like to eat out.  (I don’t eat out as much as I did but when I do I ask them to make changes to my meals.  I ask them to use olive oil instead of butter.  I ask them to leave things out of my meal.  Such as no croutons or cheese on a salad.  Most importantly if you have something that is supposed to come out with your meal but don’t think that you should be eating it, ask them to leave it off of the plate or substitute it for something else.

1) I don’t know how to eat healthy.  (Eat 6 meals a day.  Both Protein and Carbs.  Use portion control.  Protein should fit in the palm of your hand.  Carbs should be about the size of your fist.  Vegetables should be about the size of your fist.  Protein includes, eggs, chicken and fish.  I do eat beef but not as often as before.    Carbs include, sweet potatoes, brown rice, oatmeal – steel cut oats, quinoa.  Carbs also include fruits and vegetables.  Eat them along with several of your meals.  No processed food.  Nothing that is man-made.  I don’t eat bread or pasta.  There are other people who have diets similar to mine but they do eat both of those things.  Drink 50% of your weight in ounces of water each day.  I eat organic fruits and vegetables.  My protein is free range and grass-fed.)

Check Your PH. What does it mean?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PH (Potential Hydrogen)
Anything below 7 is acidic and anything above is Alkaline
A persons PH should be in the range of 7.35 to 7.45
They should have a slightly Alkaline PH but
Too Acidic or too Alkaline will cause health problems
This starts with oxygen deprivation from the cells
The body fails to absorb nutrients and minerals need for the body
The result: Fatigue, Weakened Immune System, Sickness
A person who has an Alkaline that is above 7.5 could develop problems also

What can you do?
A balanced diet will prevent the body from being in an acidic state.
There are foods in a balanced diet that will make your body acidic and foods that will make it alkaline.
Even though they make you acidic you still need some of them: Meat, Chicken, Fish, Eggs, Nuts, Grains, Alcohol, Sugar, Cheese, Coffee, Soda.
Foods that will help you be alkaline: Vegetables (especially leafy greens like spinach), most fruits (including Lemons – Yes they will help make you alkaline), spices, pro-biotics.
Processed foods will also make the body acidic.

Make sure that you eat your fruits and vegetables

Cancer can not live in an Alkaline State, but thrive in an Acidic State

Symptoms of an Acidic PH
Fatigue
Depression
Digestive Tract Problems
Insomnia
High Blood Pressure
Cardiovascular Problems
High Blood Sugar
Trouble Focusing and Thinking
Headaches
Losing Eyesight and Hearing Rapidly
Poor Tooth and Gum Health
Hair, Skin and Nails aging quickly
Ulcers
Poor Circulation
Joint Pain
Fungal Growth
Kidney Stones and Gallstones
Kidney disease
Liver Disease
Bone Disease
Cancer

Pick up a PH test kit and test your PH level several different times over the next few days.  They should be available at drug stores and nutrition stores.

Nutritional Guidelines That I Followed During My Transformation

The most important thing about my transformation was and still is mostly psychological.  It is all about controlling my own mind.  I have to make choices and they include not eating processed foods, sugar, drinking alcohol.  It also means that I  will make sure that I eat 6 healthy meals a day.

More Self Control.  Know when to say when.
Portion control is something that people have a great deal of trouble with and I was no exception.  When people eat out the portions are typically huge.  An easy way to figure out a good portion is to look at the palm of your open hand and that is what your protein portion should be.  Your fist would be your carbs and for vegetables that would also be your fist.

I don’t really like to refer to what I eat as a diet, because I believe that the word diet comes with a negative connotation.  People try diets.  People do diets for a set amount of time and in some cases an undefined period of time.  Low carb no carb, grapefruit, 30 day diet.  These are diets that you can’t stick with.  I guess you get on them and lose some weight and go back to your old ways.  You are setting yourself up to fail.  Planning is a great idea, however, I don’t like to plan to fail.  If it happens, I’ll learn from it but I don’t want it predetermined.  In 1998 when I did the Body for Life and got my body fat into the single digits, I was on a diet that I couldn’t stick with. It was pretty much a bodybuilder diet.  All of my food was bland.  If I wanted to get crazy and spice things up, than I would put spicy mustard on my bland chicken.  In some cases I would also cut my carbs.  You do cut fat, but you also burn muscle and you feel like crap.  I stuck with it for a long time. Eventually, I failed.

My new program had to include a nutrition plan that I could stick with for life.  I had to enjoy my food.  Based on my past history this would have been impossible.  I didn’t think that I could find something that was good for you that also tastes good on a daily basis.  I learned enough from the turkey baster diet to start looking into organic vegetables and fruits and free range chicken and eggs and grass feed beef.  Plus seafood.  First of all this way of eating tastes so much better than the crap I was buying prior to my transportation.  I already knew that processed foods were not good but still had to have the self control to avoid those foods.  I got rid of all of the food that I no longer allowed my self to eat.  I cleaned out my cabinets and it all went to a food drive.   Instead of getting sauce out of a bottle or can, I started to make my own with organic tomatoes and other organic vegetables.

The following are the guidelines that I set up for my transformation and that I continue to follow:

It provides more of a view of what to eat and what not to eat. I did make changes throughout my transformation but most of it was early on.  I still make changes occasionally.   I started screwing around with a different diet and dropped it close to the start of the program because I looked at it and realized that I could not do it for life.  I didn’t think that I could do it for another day.  Oh, I guess I couldn’t.  The nutrition program that I ended up following is awesome.  The food is great and I can do it for life. I don’t feel like I need a cheat meal and I am not anxious. I have been ripped before and ate bland food and it doesn’t work as a life style. You always want to cheat. There are lots of options with the way that I eat.

When I finished the first 12 weeks I had started to pay attention to calories for the next 4 weeks, in order to see how many calories I was eating. They ranged between 2500 and 3000.  I eat protein and carbs with every meal and I have 6 meals a day. Protein intake is close to my body weight in grams. I am estimating that I eat around 200 or more grams of protein a day.  Typically, my carbs in my first two meals come from Oatmeal. It ranges between 1/2 a cup and a full cup.  Oatmeal takes a long time to break down and it is low on the glycemic index. The other meals are usually sweet potatoes which break down quickly. Sometimes I replace them with brown rice or quinoa. Carbohydrates are fuel.  These foods will provide you with energy and will help you build and retain muscle.  They also possess many other benefits.  I actually use them in several different recipes.

Carbs
Vegetables – I eat organic vegetables – for the most part I stick with spinach and asparagus, sweet potato and occasional will add other vegetables to food that I make.  There are plenty of choices.
Fruits – Go with organic here also – tomato, avocado, grapefruit, bananas.  I add a number of other fruits to my diet as well.  Tons of choices here also.
Grains: I stay away from grains with the of exception of oatmeal, quinoa, brown rice.
Nuts: They are high in fat and carbs, however they are very nutritious and should be a part of your diet.  Just don’t overdue it.   I probably eat almonds more than any other type of nut. And I do eat peanut butter or almond butter every once in a while.
Protein – I stick with food that doesn’t have hormones or other crap in it. Grass Feed Beef, Bison, Seafood (usually fish), Free Range Chicken and Eggs

The way I define processed is anything man made.  This includes bread and pasta.  Both of which I love.  When people talk about carb loading the day before an event, I don’t consider pasta.  I eat, extra sweet potatoes and oatmeal.

I eat RAW honey and cinnamon 2 to 4 times a day.  Both of these are very beneficial.  If you are going to try it out make sure that you get RAW Honey.  In order for your body to digest it easily it has to be RAW.  Processed honey will cause your blood sugar to spike.

I replaced table salt with Sea Salt because table salt has a negative effect on your body and Sea Salt provides electrolytes and minerals for your body.  It contains some great health benefits.

I take supplements which includes a good protein powder every day.  If I want additional carbs with my protein shake, sometimes I will add half of a baked sweet potato to it.  One way to see if you are taking a good protein powder is to check the label and see how high Cholesterol is on the product.  Good protein will be low in Cholesterol.  Typically it is going to be more expensive.

I also add Metamucil or Psyllium Husks to my regular diet.  It adds needed fiber to your diet and has many benefits including reducing cholesterol.

This is my sample diet on a typical day

I add things to my diet which will help burn fat, lower cholesterol, provide energy, lower blood sugar and other things that play a role in being healthy.  If you take a look at any of the recipes that I put in my blog, you will notice that I put the benefits of the ingredients at the end of the recipe.

Wake up
Make a shake with 3 raw eggs, 1/2 a cup to 1 cup of oatmeal, raw honey, cinnamon  sometimes add protein powder sometimes add a banana or other fruit – add a couple ice cubes

Run within one hour

1 hour after run
3 egg omelet with tomatoes, onions, garlic, hot peppers

cup of oatmeal with honey and cinnamon and a grapefruit

or
Oatmeal Pancakes
Grapefruit

3 hours later
Almond Coconut Honey Chicken
Tropical Sweet Potato 

Spinach

Prior to workout
Protein Shake with half a sweet potato blended into it

Post workout
I take a recovery product that has carbs and sugar immediately after workout (I stay away from sugar other then post workout)
Protein Shake within 15 minutes of my workout ending

1 hour later
Seared Tuna with Mango and Ginger
Asparagus

3 hours later
Protein Shake

I usually get my carbs from vegetables at night.

Water is an important for health and it will also help fill you up.  Drink 50% of your weight in ounces of water,  plus 16 ounces for each pound that you lose working out.  I try not to drink water 30 minutes before or after I eat.  It can interfere with digestion.

I allow for one cheat meal a week.  However, it usually ends up being once every two weeks.
It could be pizza, pasta, pf changs, a steakhouse where I eat bread, ice cream or something out of the ordinary for me.  It never seems as good as i use to think that it was.  Still tastes good but i eat so many other good things that are good for you.  To tell you the truth I have felt terrible the day following a cheat meal several times.  My body isn’t use to some of the things that I rarely eat and it reacts in a negative way.

Self Control and Will Power are crucial for your diet.  I still go to dinner with friends and I am very careful when ordering out.  There are plenty of temptations when you go, from bread to alcohol.  You have to be strong enough to control your mind.  Also, if you don’t plan on eating something that comes with your meal it is always better to have it removed from your plate before it is brought out.  Remove the temptation.  Plus it’s a waste of food.

Funny thing is that people think that when they are trying to lose weight, they can’t enjoy their food.  That is exactly what I thought because that was my past experience.  Not only are my regular meals good but I eat several things that make me feel like I am cheating, including the Oatmeal Pancakes.  If you love chocolate checkout the recipe in my blog for Coconut Flavored Chocolate.

Planning is another important aspect of the nutrition program.  I wrote down everything that I planned to eat and followed up with what I actually ate during every meal, every day.  I got into such a routine, even though my meals varied that after about week 8 or 9 I stopped writing anything down.

Enjoy your food and make it work for you not against you.  Take advantage of the healthy benefits that these foods provide.  Learn to S.W.I.M. to improve your life.

How To Order Breakfast While Eating Out

Trying to eat healthy while eating out can be pretty difficult. The things that I mention in this video are pretty simple and maybe it isn’t so hard to order your breakfast, but since breakfast is the first meal of the day, why not make it as nutritious as possible. Also many people have trouble with portion control. This will help keep your portions down while you eat out.

When I booked my trip to Jackson, WY, I booked a hotel that had free breakfast.  A lot of good the free breakfast did me.  When I am checking out the breakfast I always ask if the eggs are real.  They always look at me like I am an idiot.  Usually they say yes.  So then I ask them if the eggs come out of a bag, carton or box.  Did you crack a shell? Did you pour them out of a bag? It’s really not that hard to look at the eggs that they cook and realize that there is something wrong with them.  Sometimes the people say yes we do get them out of a bag, but we can make you real eggs.  They aren’t going to be free range but I rather go with this option.

At the point that I find out that the chicken was given Milk of Magnesia in order to spray paint eggs, I start looking at my other options, which will include going to restaurant.  I usually look for a place that just serves breakfast and lunch or a diner.

Hopefully this video will make you think when you order your next meal.  Eat healthy and enjoy your food.

For other tips on living a healthy lifestyle check out http://www.facebook.com/EvolveMyLife and http://www.EvolveMyLife.com

Remember: Before you Evolve you must learn how to S.W.I.M.

Cristian Mihai

writes a short story every week

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