Wednesday, November 20, 2013

6 Signs That You're Taking Your Diet Too Seriously

No matter how much time you spend online arguing with people about diet/nutrition, it's too much time. Rarely do these interactions have any worth. Take, for example, the vegan guy who trolled my YouTube channel this week (read the comments). He left several ridiculous comments, like "Oh Eggs, Yummy! One of the cheapest ways to insure you get cancer and/or heart disease!" and "Well there is actually nothing out there that beats the scientific research that was done on the China Study (a popular vegan book)." He really has no idea how much of a jerk he was being. He takes his diet ideology, veganism, far too seriously and personally.

Unfortunately, this kind of thing has become very common... diets are becoming religions... I don't care if it's vegan, vegetarian, paleo, raw vegan, low-carb, low-fat, or anything else, what you eat should not take over your life and turn you into an ignorant zealot. Sometimes we need to check ourselves. Here are 6 signs that you're taking your diet too seriously.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Why You Should Eat More Potatoes

<3 Potatoes
In recent years, the white potato has gotten a bad rap. There are plenty of reasons why, some more valid than others... they've got the high glycemic index, the white color that people tend to associate with "bad" foods, the fact that people are generally down on carbs these days. But I've gotta tell ya... it just doesn't deserve the bad press, the potato is an incredibly healthy food! And here's why.

The glycemic index of potatoes is misleading.The glycemic index is a measure of how quickly a carbohydrate food is digested and how much it subsequently raises your blood sugar. According to the theory, high glycemic foods increase blood sugar more than other foods, hence increasing insulin and leading to a blood sugar crash soon after. But there are a few problems in there.

First, the "glycemic score" is based on a 50 gram carbohydrate serving. But what it neglects, however, is how likely we are to actually consume a given food at that level. To get 50 gram of carbohydrate from potatoes, you'd need 253 grams of the stuff, or for the Americans, more than 1/2 pound. That's a hefty potato... probably bigger than you're willing to eat (unless of course you add bacon and cheese, but that's another story entirely). For another high glycemic carb, like white bread, you only need 100 grams of the stuff to get 50 carbs. And to go even further, you'd only need a 16 fl oz serving of soda for that many carbs, or a 1/2 cup of vanilla ice cream, or less than 2 ounces of cotton candy. What I'm getting at, is that the amount of carbohydrates matters too. And the fact is, we're not going to eat nearly the quantity in potatoes that we would of another high glycemic food.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Get Up and Move: The Perils of Sitting

When I first heard that sitting too much was associated with chronic disease, I was extremely skeptical. Of course it is, I thought... people who sit more exercise less, they lose cardiovascular fitness, and they burn fewer calories throughout the day, setting themselves up to gain weight. It's not that sitting too much directly promotes disease, I thought; it must be all that goes along with it. It's the lack of exercise and the weight gain that's the real problem.

Welp, I was wrong (1). Turns out, we now know of specific molecular processes that take place when we sit, and they're distinct from intentional exercise. In fact, even if you get the "recommended" amount exercise, 30 minutes a day, you can completely undo those metabolic benefits by spending the rest of your day sedentary in a chair. Sitting continuously sets off a series of unwanted cellular mechanisms that immediately reduce your HDL and increase your triglycerides, two common risk factors for cardiovascular disease. Over the long term, we put ourselves at high risk for chronic disease, and that includes heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and obesity.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Elliott Hulse: The Meaning of Strength

If you've never heard of Elliott Hulse, it's time to listen up. It was about four years ago when I first found Elliott Hulse's YouTube channel, strengthcamp. Like most of his fans, I started watching for the exercise/nutrition/supplementation info. He had some cool stuff going on, and that's exactly what I was really into at the time. That's what drew me in. But what really hooked me was something much deeper. It was his life philosophy, which was much the same as mine, although I'd never heard it put so succinctly: Become the strongest version of yourself. It became clear very early on that Elliott was far more than just your average strength and conditioning coach... he's a philosopher, a truth-seeker, a father and husband, and a master in conveying his ideas through words.

Elliott's videos have had a profound impact on my thoughts and my experiences. I'd like to just talk about a few of my favorites and why they've meant so much to me. Hopefully, through sharing how they've affected me, I can pass this information on to others and broaden their horizons as well.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Harvest Your Health Bundle: 71 eBooks (over $1000 value) for $37!!

It's that time again folks! Another amazing bundle of eBooks for an unreal price tag. You may remember last winter's sale of 37 books for $37??? Something like that. Well, this one blows that out of the water. For the next 7 days, you'll be able to get 71 eBooks!!!!!??!!!?! for just $37. This is legitimately the best deal I've ever been a part of, and I hope you take full advantage of it.

Here's what you get!!:
71 eBooks of various health-related topics...

  • Cooking and preparing healthy and/or paleo food
  • Natural fertility and motherhood
  • Natural solutions to hygiene and home care
  • Fitness
  • And most importantly to me... life improvement books!! Get that mindset right guys!
3 subscriptions to paleo magazines...
  • Admittedly not my cup of tea, and probably contains biased, cherry-picked, pseudoscience that needn't be followed by most of us. But hey, it's thrown into the bundle. Just be skeptical.
18 discounts to health/nutrition-related websites...
  • Awesome. Worth the price of the bundle ALONE.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Cooking With Gram: Post-Workout Superfood Smoothie

Check out our new Cooking With Gram video, the Post-Workout Superfood Smoothie! It's a great way to kick start your recovery after a tough workout!

Subscribe on YouTube, don't miss a video!

1 cup chopped kale
1 cup frozen blueberries
1 banana
1/2 avocado
1 tbsp maple syrup
2 scoops Standard Process Whey Pro (15 g protein)
Dash of salt

Nutrition Facts:
Calories: 418
Fat: 11 g
Carbs: 63 g
Fiber: 14 g
Sodium: 204 mg
Protein: 20 g

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Stay Humble: We Don't Know What We Don't Know

I've used this pic before. I don't care.
I'd like to share a story with you. The other day in one of my classes, we were discussing the history of vitamin D. My professor told us a fascinating story about the early research on vitamin D and rickets, the bone disease children get as a result of a deficiency. This particular researcher, Leonard Findlay, had performed experiments with dogs, and he was convinced that rickets could be cured simply by exercising. In 1908, he published a paper detailing his experiments: "The Etiology of Rickets: A Clinical and Experimental Study".

What Findlay did, essentially, was induce rickets in dogs by keeping them sedentary. He would keep them locked up indoors in cages, providing them food of course, until they would develop symptoms of rickets. Then, as an experimental treatment, he would take some of the dogs outside and let them run around. Allowing the dogs to run around outside cured their rickets, and so Findlay assumed that exercise was the reason why.