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My diet vs your diet

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I’m so sick of hearing about food. So let’s talk about it. It’s all the rage to talk about it. On that note, it’s also all the rage to fight about it. Food wars can become nastier than political wars. “My diet” has become a dogmatic ideology that seems to contradict the very statement itself. As if to say that the way one person eats is the only and true way that everyone should eat. Then, it wouldn’t be “My” diet. It would be the epitome of “our” diet. The way, the truth, the life diet…the only exclusive way of eating.

This is absurd. Let’s talk about why we eat. Food is meant for only a few things. Fueling, building, healing, and enjoying. Macronutrients such as Carbs and Fats are used for fueling. Proteins are used for building. Micronutrients, vitamins and minerals are used for healing and sustainability. And, thank God, taste is used for enjoyment! I admit, I’ve oversimplified this, but for the sake of the subject, let’s roll with it. Where it gets sketchy is  when we decide the sources, amounts, and arrangements of these isolates that stem from our personal ethos, or way of thinking. Vegetarians vs meat eaters, Paleo vs SADD, Keto vs carbs, vegans vs everybody. We begin to pit ourselves against others in an attempt to project our ethos, not our science..not our clinical studies and n=1 of the eperson we’re trying to convince. My point, I DON’T KNOW WHAT THE RIGHT DIET IS FOR YOU! I’m still trying to figure that out for me.

Here’s what I know…

You can get lean and build muscle, and perform optimally by eating

as a carb burner (I’ve done it)

as a fat burner (I’ve done it)

as a carnivore (I’ve done it)

as a vegan (I’ve seen others do it, bless their heart)

as paleo (i’ve done it)

etc, etc…

Get the point?

“But you always talk about keto.” True homie, I do. I am keto. Right now. For the above reasons as mentionded for why to eat, keto has solved these for me. Restricting carb, increasing fats, and moderating proteins..using clean sources, has benefited my life in a ton of ways. Epigenetically speaking, it has warded off my auto-immune better than any other WOE (way of eating). Mentally speaking, my brain thrives on ketones for fuel and has optimized my focus and cognition. Metabolically speaking, it has healed and repaired by body and supplies me with more energy than I’ve received from any other WOE. I am able to compete in long distance races while fatsed and no G.I. Distress. It keeps me lean, And it tastes great. But, those are MY reasons. That is MY n=1.  Even as a Keto eater, I play around with the numbers. I’ve been paleo-keto with a more balanced approach. I have been 100% carnivore keto (check out Amber O’hearn) and found that that is quite lovely and sustainable. I’m now diving into plant based keto. I’m discovering myself.

I can tell you right now what the best diet is for you. I’m sure others have told you what you SHOULD eat. They’ve probably spouted some pseudo-scientific jargon from a source they found on Pinterest to help further encapsulate and protect their personal dogma. They sounded smart and knowledable, anyway. But, alas, at the end of the day it boils doen to this. Are you ready?

Eat in a way that works for you, and is sustainable. BOOM. Mic Drop.

*picks the mic back up*

That’s your grand truth. What food works best for your body to fuel, build, repair, sustain, and is enjoyable?

As a foodie community we can actually get along with one another if we peer through these lenses and stop projecting what we like or what works for us as the way for someone else. It makes no difference to compare a foods nutrient density that “fits our macros” as why another person should be conviced to eat them. Not when every person has a different genetic mapping that contributes to how those nutrients get absorbed, if at all. For instance, my wife does well with plant based protein. By body rejects it. My wife can eat more carbs than I can and not get the same insuligenic response. I have higher insulin resistance.

Aside from genetic mapping, we all have different gut biota schematics..different bacteria levels, colonies, and symbiotics. Your gut bacteria plays a major part in food absortion and utilization. I struggle with leaky gut and have to manage my diet around that in order to feed my gut biome properly. I have to be very careful with plant based diets due to SIBO (small intestine bacteria overgrowth). It’s not pleasant for me or those around me.

I believe the journey of finding your WOE is a wondeful one. You get to self-discover and play. Instead of ripping pages from the gospel of Dr. Oz or the latest diet guru, you can listen to your own body and read the pages of how you feel and perform…and not feel guilty!

Epissode 6. Experiencing and Overcoming Dry Seasons w/Danny O’Toole

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When it comes to experiencing spiritually dry seasons in life, it can be frustrating and downright discouraging. Listen to today’s podcast as Danny O’Toole and I delve into ways to prevent, overcome these seasons and get back into the swing of things!

https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/fit-for-the-kingdom/id1195709802?mt=2

When you’re done, I’d love a 5 star rating and review. That way, more people can find and hear words of encouragment and education.

Abs in winter? The secret to a revealed 6 pack all year long.

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Tonight while I was walking around the house shirtless, my youngest man cub walked up to me and started poking my stomach. “One, Two, Three, Four…” he was counting my six pack; though right now it’s more of a four pack. The oddity of this is that it is mid-January. Not even body builders have six packs now. Normally winter months provide a season of shortned day light, less moving, more eating, bears hybernating, and me adding an extra layer of fat to my mid-region. Granted, I have added a little, yet still showcasing a very visable outline of my  transverse and rectus abdominus. I just recently listened to Arnold (if you need a last name youre on the wrong blog) on a podcast the other day state how the attempt to keep a year round six pack will drive you insane. I could see that. If you constantly have to work at it and fight for it, it would drive anyone insane. They are easily the hardest muscles to keep uncovered.

My secret, though, is that I don’t really try to keep a six pack. I try to stay on point with my diet and helath, and like a cascade effect, everything else falls into place. But antedotically  speaking, let me give you my training plan for keeping a low body fat percentage during the most difficult time of the year.

  1. I eat fat to lose fat.

I drop my carb intake which lowers insulin, and I increase my fats. Insulin is the hormone at the wheel of the fat storing car that drives fat retention. I eat until I’m full of foods that I love, that are nutrient dense, and full of healthy fats like grass fed butter, coconut oil, and olive oil.

2. I forgive myself.

My diet isn’t perfect every day. I will fall, and fall hard occassionally. The next day, I wake up, forgive myslef and start again. I don’t starve myself to get back on track, and I dont continue down the road of dietary depravity to a world of utter lostness and no return. I just start back eating the way I know I should…(see #1)

3. I intermittenly fast.

I eat only anywhere between 4 and 6 hours every day. Leaving myself with a minimal 16 hour fasting window, my body has the opportunity to reset crucial hormones, enter a fasted state of fat burning, and upregulate ketone production. The majority of the day I’m just burning fat stores as fuel. As an added bonus, fasting has been proven to increase testosterone and Human Growth Hormone, making adding muscle much easier.

4. I man up to the cold.

I don’t let the weather dictate whether or not I’m going to work out. Even though my crossfit happens to be in a heated facility, my running still takes place in the frozen tundra that is my local running route. My beard gets ice cicles hanging from it on occasion. I refuse to let uncomfortable conditions stop me from moving .

5. I sleep more.

With daylight shortened, I allow for the natural adjustment of my circadian rythym and I respect it. I go to bed much earlier and allow my body the recovery it needs. Sleep has a wonderful effect on fat loss! *Sleep is not the same as sloth.*

6. And lastly, I lift heavy things.

I dump loads of muscle glycogen for fat burning and hypertrophy. Building lean muscle mass is vital for increasing metabolism, burning fat, and regulating healthy hormone production. It doesn’t take much, just a couple or 3 times a week; bench, squat, deadlift with some added accessory lifts, overhead press, curl, dips, lunges.

 

These things have just become natural routine. I don’t stress it, and I don’t beat myself up at keeping up with it. And, for all of that being said, I get to enjoy (at worst) a 4 pack of abs in mid-January, without driving myslef crazy trying to. Which at best, leaves me closer toward summer to go ahead and lean into a ripped physique without much work.

Fit For The Kingdom

I’m excited to announce that we are now published to iTunes! I’ll be building this content with more topics and interviews that will be sure to encourage and challenge you to live better. Head on over to iTunes and give me a 5 star rating! That’s literally what it takes to get the word out and YOU can help do that.

 

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FIT FOR THE KINGDOM PODCAST

https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/fit-for-the-kingdom/id1195709802

 

Evangelistic about keto

A throwback episode of my interview imgres-3with International best selling author and America’s long running health podcast “Livin La Vida Low Carb” with podcaster Jimmy Moore.

 

Never meet your hero. They’re messed up more than you are.

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There’s an old adage that says “never meet you heroes”. Everyone has heroes, right? I mean, sort of? Isn’t there a person or persona that we all look up to and idolize? As a kid my hero was Bruce Lee. (If you’re a guy) don’t act like he wasn’t yours too. Or perhaps yours was someone like John Wayne or Wonder Woman. We can idolize these larger than life figures, well, because we will never meet them. Fictional characters can be perpetuated into whatever we like them to be and dead characters, like wine, only get better with time. Then there’s the real to life, seemingly large than life figures that we’ve spent time trying to emulate in our own lives. We see these people as who we want to be or be like. They’re successful, they have it all together, why, they are untouchable! If it were ok with our spouse, maybe we’d even hang a poster of them over our bed and dream up the perfect scenario of what we would do if we ever met them.

(I once wrote Paula Abdul a letter when I was 10. I lied and said I was very sick and hoped she’d visit me. She didn’t)

So, what if we could meet them? What is it about the afore mentioned adage that beckons a warning to prevent this disastrous occasion? What’s wrong with meeting our heroes? The answer… “There is none righteous, no not one.” Romans 3:10 In our eyes, they only seem so.

I’ve met many of my heroes. Over the course of the years, I’ve developed an odd knack for connecting with larger than life individuals. I have no idea how, it just happens. I’ve hung out with professional athletes, mega-pastors, internet celebrities, best selling authors, CEO’s of million, and billion dollar corporations, you name it. Many of which Ive found myself idolizing and emulating. Here’s the one take away from my experiences…they’re all flawed. This is the thing we don’t want to have to face. It destroys our image of them. I’ve found most of them to be narcissistic, neurotic, having tendencies to lie and over exaggerate, and possessing severe emotional or mental handicaps. I’m not saying they’re fake. I’m saying, I focussed on or was only allowed to see that which was impressive to me and others. However the truth is this, these men are screwed up, flawed men, who have crafted one thing very well. They got good enough at something, that it took the attention off of the bad things. Our heroes are not really deserving of that title. And, better yet, they don’t want it. They’d more readily eschew such attention than be clothed in it.

I’m not saying not to have heroes or people that you look up to. Remember, though, that they are your hero for a reason, their craft; not because they have it all together or are even a good person. Babe Ruth had a drinking problem, Bruce Wayne was bat feces crazy at times, my musical hero Tom Petty smokes too much weed, and every one of the Apostles that Jesus called to be His world changers had deep seeded issues each to their own. Peter was impulsive. James and John had indignant tempers. Judas…so yeah. So, my advise is to admire, but do so from a distance. If given the chance to finally meet your hero, DON’T. Just settle for an autograph.

and P.S.

Meeting your hero will not make you best friends. Your hero meets their fans everyday. In reality, you’re just another one and that doesn’t make them stuck up.

 

The man bun or coffee enema. Which one is more beneficial? (how biohacking is changing the way we view health)

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Before you read this, let me give a reader discretion advised clause here. Hide the children and erase your internet history afterward. Ok, it’s not that bad, but, I’m going to probably make you judge me a little. I’m a biohacker. Now, that word is becoming a buzz word and cliche and soon to go the way of the man bun. But, unlike the man bun, biohacking has a dignified place in our lives. Simply put, to bio-hack ones body is to tap into natural biological prevention, maintenance, healing and optimization, using various modalities and techniques. As a biohacking personal trainer, I tend to experiment… a lot. Some for my own health. Some for the health of others. I can’t suggest someone else do anything that seems strange if I haven’t put it to the test first. I can tell you within the past month I have ingested things with labels that read “not for human consumption”. I see that as a subtle suggestion. In Silicon Valley, I’d be seen as normal, or even boring. In my own camp, that of also being a Baptist pastor and church leader, I’m viewed a little unorthodox. (However, just last night I taught my church how to fast without hunger to better optimize their prayer and fasting experience.)

In the last couple of months I’ve done some new experiments.

I’ve started drinking mushroom coffee. I am really pleased to say the least. With just 10% of the caffeine of regular coffee, I still feel the jolt. The chaga mushroom is known for its energy and the lions mane for mental focus. I’ve tried it bulletproof (adding MCT oil, and butter), french vanilla, and straight. All of it has been good. Check out http://www.foursigmatic.com. They provide a really nice product. Sort of a full bodied, nutty flavor.

I’ve been playing around with some nootropics as well. A nootropic is a brain enhancing supplement, not a smart drug. Alpha GPC, phenubut, GABBA, these are just some toys in my cabinet at the moment. I’ve been firing up my brain and running on all cylinders. It’s improving my mental workload capacity, as well as my physical work load capacity. My brain isn’t tiring and so my body stays motivated to keep going as well. Isn’t it amazing that ‘so as a man thinks…so is he’?

Also, I’ve been playing around with manual lemphatic flushing massage. I’ll speak more about this later in another blog, but it’s really cool. Your lemphatic system is responsible for keeping you from getting sick and diseased, right? Well did you know that this system is pumpless? Unlike the circulatory system, which has a pump (your heart), the lymphatic fluid can actually build up and even get stopped up, causing a myriad of problems to our health. I should know, I no longer have two parts to my lemphatic system, my tonsils and adenoids, So, you can actually massage the fluid through the system as therapy. Plus, it feels nice.

I’m getting ready to interview one of my biggest influences, Ben Greenfield, on Monday. Google him. He’s on top of the world when it comes to biohacking, fitness, and triathlete and endurance competition. Because of Ben, I find myself venturing into realms I’d never dreamed of… like shooting coffee up my butt. Yep, you read that right. It’s called a coffee enema. As I studied this, I found out that there’s lots of things people shoot up their butt for health reasons. The obvious one is saline, as a diarrhetic, to get things moving. Apparently though, evaporated milk is also common. But why coffee? Coffee has been used as a detoxifier. It contains alkaloids that stimulate the production of an enzyme called Glutathione. Glutathione is used by the liver to make the detox pathways run, enabling toxins to be flushed by the body. So basically, giving yourself a coffee enema is a sure fire way to speed up the detoxification process in your body, increasing bile production and feeling way better immediately. Who knew the brain wasn’t the only thing coffee has the ability to wake up?

I believe the world of health is changing at the speed of light right before our eyes. I believe that is true for fitness as well training and conditioning. Hacking your health is not seen a taboo as it used to be. As a matter of fact, I stay quite busy with people searching me out for training and advice just to keep them from having to go the traditional routes of health and wellness. I believe as strange as a lifestyle as I lead, and as unorthodox as I may seem, I’m on the right road. And as I marry these together with ministry, I say look out…you’ll know my name.

How to bio-hack your way out of stress

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Do you struggle with moments of stress and anxiety? Let me rephrase that. Are a human being? Of course you deal with stress and anxiety. Granted, some of us have better coping skills, genetics, and emotional hygene that naturally help us to alleviate the damaging effects of stress. There are just some people who are cucumbers; just cool. They go with the flow, survive by adaptation, and quickly rise above the stress modalities. Admittedly, I am not one of those. This comment is not science backed, but I often wonder if part of my struggle is hereditary. I have excess worriers in my family. Added to that is lifestyle and career that is chock full of stress. I am a pastor and church planter. I have my personal struggles that I deal with plus the struggles of a congregation. I admit to you that I’ve always had a proclivity to gravitate toward anxiety. It’s something I have to keep in serious check. In 2011, I hit the wall. I burned the candle at both ends. I fried my hard drive. Use whatever metaphore is available…I was a wreck. Stress and anxiety nearly took my ministry, my family, and my life. I’ve spent years since then developing better, personal techniques for dealing with these tenencies.

I still struggle, though now I am able to more quickly identify, assess, and impliment healthy bio-hacks that have helped me navigate and stay healthy. Now, before I get into these techniques, understand that I am a Christian. I follow the teaching of the Bible and am grounded in them for daily practice, diciplines, and faith. As a part of my faith, I regard as truth “You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You.” (Isaiah 26:3) There is nothing more saving than my meditation and relationship with God through Jesus Christ and this has proven itself over and over. Some of what I’m gong to mention may seem a bit unorthodox, yet I believe God has given us an array of faculties to use as a way to operate in optimal health. Though I do not use pharmacueticals for stress relief, I do not demonize their use.

  1. I listen to my body. When stress arizes, it triggers physiological signals. Sometimes I don’t even know I am stressed if not for these physical signals. I’ve become in-tune with these signals enough to be able to stop any detrimental effects before they get started. My breathing will become short and shallow. I can feel my body tempurature spike rather quickly and my cortizol levels rise. Adrenaline, epinephrine, and norepinepgrine begin surging through my blood stream. My blood vessels constrict and my skin tingles around my neck, face and ears.
  2.  My immediate step begins with a change in breathing. I stop what I’m doing and begin some deep diaphragmatic breathing or some box breathing; doing nothing but concentrting on each breath in and each breath out. I do this for several minutes.
  3. I have a mantra that i repeat to myself. No, not the eastern philisphical type of mantra. The Bible says “the truth will set you free.” As I begin to relax my body, my mind relaxes on this thought, “All in my world is good.” How can this be true? Just within the past couple weeks, much has happened that has deeply stressed me out. Because, this world is not MY world. I belong to a kingdom, the Kingdom of God. That is where my true citizenship lies. In THAT world, God’s will reigns supreme and for that fact alone, all is good. Even everything that happens that stresses me out, though it may be damaging to this temporal world or MY fleshly will, it is working perfectly in God’s planning and providence.
  4. I get get out of breath. A little run or some exercise does more than the body good. It will flush those stress hormones, utilizing them, instead of allowing them to continue to circulate. Also, exercise increases dopamine and seratonin in the brain. We runners call that the “runners high.” these are the opposite of stress hormones.
  5. I tap into herbal alternatives and nootropics. Theres an array of natural stress reducers on the market and much reearch and education in this area is deserving. Ashwaganda is a fantastic adrenal builder. Gabba is a neurotransmitter with a soothing, calming effects. So is L-theanine,  and 5-HTP.
  6. This one is a really weird one but studies have shown the benefits, but I use what’s called “frequency therapy” to promote calming brain activity. It’s called binural beats and is really cool. We know that our cognition works differently with sets or measures of different brain waves. Our excititory nervous response to different stimuli have an effect on our learning, creativity, restfulness, or calming. Ideally, when it comes to reducing our brain’s stress signals we would opt for the “Theta” brain wave..as opposed to somethimg like “alpha” which could result in higher stress or impulsive decision making which is bad during times of high hightend stress. So, I use my ear buds and a free app called “brain waves” and it emits 2 seperate whole tone frequencies into each ear, resulting in my brain harmonizing with the resulting “binural” frequency, in this case the “theta” frequency. Think of a piano being harmonized to a tuning fork. This puts my brain into de-stress mode rather quickly. 

Stress and axiety are common place and vastly responsible for a myriad of diseases and life threatening health issues. I’ve stressed my body to the point of depleting my adrenal glands and twisting my lumbar spine into acute scoliosis. Even worse was the depression and suicidal thoughts. Stress and anxiety are nothing to ignore and hide. Perhaps one of the greatest practices for stress relief is talking it out with a friend. “As iron sharpens iron, so does one man sharpen another.” (Proverbs 27:17)  Listen to your body and let someone else listen to you. Above all, I hope you know that God’s ear is always attentive and his presence always comforting. Consider some of these practices the next time you feel a stressful situation effecting you negatively. It actually may be your answer for turning it around into something positve and efficatious to your life.

 

 

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