Nutrition Is Not About Calories {food for thought}

twinkie diet rush limbaugh 27pounds 01 Nutrition Is Not About Calories {food for thought}

These past few days I have come across a few different stories that have touched me in some way or another and I would like to share them. Each totally unrelated yet also very related. They are about nutrition/food, of course but ALSO about finding our ‘purpose’ in this life!

The first is an article from the Washington Post: The new front in the culture wars: food
The next was the Rush Limbaugh show: See, I told you so: twinkie diet
And then, a David Wolfe vblog: Mission and Values {see below}
And finally, this wonderful indie film: The Human Experience {brililant}

All I mainly want to say about Rush’s Show is that I didn’t enjoy even one aspect of it. It gave me that icky feeling I talked about before – sort of a cynical, depressed mood about where we’re at on the food front in our society. Just an overall bad energy and vibe. But, on the other hand, Rush is correct when he conveys that calories in minus calories out is the equation for weight loss. Eating TONS of “health food” won’t necessarily result in weight loss. In fact, it can be quite the opposite. I went from a diet of basically smoothies and salads to no sugar/fruit diet and gained 5 lbs.

Many people associate weight loss with Health. It’s crucial to remember that optimal Health is more than just weight. This is the COMMON simple-minded way of looking at health. The twinkie diet? I mean come on. But, unfortunately, this mentality is not all that out of the ordinary when it comes to most of America. { oh and cholesterol is one of my FAVORITE topics that I will tackle later on.}

This leads me to the Washington Post article and it’s discussion about culture. I often talk about this idea: for our society to REALLY change its diet we would have to completely restructure the foundation of the culture and its value system. The article references the ‘elitist’ connotation that goes along with the idea of ORGANIC food and health food in general. We’ve already debunked this idea awhile ago – the truth is that eating organic healthy food can be affordable and is available to all classes. The reality is, you’d find WAY more people out on Black Friday spending their wads on flat screen TVs than you would on let’s call it Green Monday – a day when Farmer’s Markets were on every corner selling veggies at a discount.

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Expediting Recovery, Benefits Of A Balanced pH For Athletes

brendan brazier balance ph 03 Expediting Recovery, Benefits Of A Balanced pH For Athletes Photographer: V Blak (CC)

It amazes me how little attention the value of balanced pH has garnered from the mainstream medical world. Positive acid/alkaline balance is one of the most important factors in athletic performance. In my opinion, by disregarding this fact, sport supplement manufactures have significantly reduced the effectiveness of their products. In fact some of the energy bars currently on the market are the worst offenders. Processed for the sake of shelf life and convenience, and consequently denatured and acid forming, many energy bars are not much more than disguised junk food.

When acidic forming food is consumed, starting with digestion and continuing until elimination, it produces toxins that the body must deal with. Denatured foods are toxin producers and as a result have the greatest negative impact on pH balance within the body. Highly refined and processed, denatured foods are void of any usable nutrients, yet retain their caloric value the worst combination. Toxins in the body lead to premature aging through cell degeneration. Aside from food, most prescription drugs, artificial sweeteners and synthetic vitamin and mineral supplements are extremely acid forming.

Highly refined and processed, denatured foods are void of any usable nutrients, yet retain their caloric value the worst combination.

Athletes in peak training are the most affected by acidosis. Vigorous exercise creates stress in terms of muscle trauma cased by the workout. Physiologically speaking, hard exercise is the stressor but equally important is rest and recovery. The correct balance of theses two opposing elements is the recipe for growth. Already physically stressed, many athletes also must deal with various types of performance anxiety. An increased metabolism is yet another factor athletes are met with, further lowering pH. Furthermore, athletes require more food in general with an emphasis on protein to aid muscle recovery.

brendan brazier balance ph 01 Expediting Recovery, Benefits Of A Balanced pH For Athletes

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Sickly To Mighty, V Blaks Journey Of Putting The Meat On!

sicklytomighty vblaks workouts 01 Sickly To Mighty, V Blaks Journey Of Putting The Meat On!
Photographer:V Blak

Hello world, my name is V Blak and I am a sickly looking vegan (was). I know how sad, poor Monkie.

Let me start with a memory, years ago, I was in New York City working with my friend Jay. My first day in town, he rushes me up to meet his new girl. She was transitioning to a raw food diet and exploring the whole vegan thing. She even had Jay embracing it. Big big change in lifestyle for him. He was so new to it, he really had no clue what being a vegan was. He would say things like, no red meat right, I can’t have steaks anymore? Yeah, Jay that’s it. You got it.

Anyways, back to the introduction. He introduced me, acting all excited, going on about how cool it was, that I had already been a vegan for years. His thinking was that she would be inspired or something. She wasn’t. She turned to me and said, oh yeah I can tell he is a vegan and she didn’t mean it in a good way. She meant yeah, he sticks out like a sore thumb. Pale, thin, gauntly, sunken in, walking skeleton, you know the type. The worst part is that she was dead on right. I was no vegan role model. I was looking pretty bad. Even worse, I wasn’t even concerned. I didn’t think anything was wrong with the way I looked. I didn’t even take in what she was saying. My mind just said, well that is her problem. I look fine, I am just a thin person, she just doesn’t understand.

The reality was, I was too busy working, trying to make a difference, trying to understand the world I was living in, trying to understand myself. Fighting through depression, fighting to just stay. I never stopped and thought about my health or what I looked like. And here is the thing, I was skinny for a long long time, but it wasn’t because I became a vegan, Vegans don’t have to be skinny and most are not. That is just a stereotype. I was skinny because I gave up on myself. I didn’t care about me. I had no balance in my life. I never ate. I would drink espresso, suppressing my appetite, so I could work longer hours, stay up more days. When I did eat, it would be something simple like a salad. A very very light near zero calorie salad. Very little fats or proteins. Worst of all, I sat in my chair day after day and completely gave up on working out. For me even the thought of working out turned my stomach. I would think, oh how boring, what a dull ill thing to do. I hated it. So, I just didn’t do it, ever. The last time I was physically active (until recently) was back in my early 20′s. So, think about it, a good 15 years just blew by as my body withered away. Amazing what we will do to ourselves.

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Skinny Bitch Says, Don’t Believe the Hype

rory freedman 09 Skinny Bitch Says, Don’t Believe the Hype

I get a lot of emails from readers asking various diet and health questions. Some are from people who are already in “the know” and are familiar with healthier ways of eating. Others are from people who eat shit full-time and are inspired to overhaul their diets. Surprisingly, though, it’s the former group of people who seem to be the most confused when it comes to milk.

We can all agree that pasteurized milk sucks and has no place in our diet. (If this is news to you, park your ass in a bookstore and read chapter five of Skinny Bitch.) But for some people, the waters get muddy on the issue of raw milk. Yes, pasteurization destroys beneficial vitamins and enzymes, makes milk harder to digest, and even creates free radicals. Raw milk is clearly a better choice. And if you’re a baby cow, you should insist on drinking your milk raw. But if you’re a human and you’re old enough to read this, you shouldn’t be drinking milk, period.

Mother Nature knew what she was doing. She created all mammals with the ability to nurse their young. And that’s what all mammals do. And when their offspring reaches a certain age, they’re weaned off milk and they eat solid food. Not one goes back for milk after that last serving! Not one. You certainly don’t go kicking down your mom’s door for breast milk, do you? So why in the hell would you think you need the milk of a cow or goat any other animal now, as an adult? Why would you think it’s good for you?
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My New Life as a Juicer | Part One, Fitness and Tools of the Trade

basil juicing life 11 My New Life as a Juicer | Part One, Fitness and Tools of the Trade

Just like the title of the site says, I am a dark twisted green juice guzzling Monkie or at least that is my goal. Right now I have the dark and twisted thing down. I have been a vegan for about 12 years and in all that time, I have never really taken my health into consideration. I am a burn the candle at both ends kind of guy. I don’t know how to not be extreme. I am famous for confusing work as living. As soon as my eyes crack open in the morning, I start my long 12, 24 or 96 hour shift. Yes, for years I did 96 hours straight, with just naps and truck loads of espresso to keep my body going. So you know my blood is all out of wack and way on the acid side. Maybe not as bad as the average pillow butt American, but pretty bad. No offense to you Pillow butts out there.

Don’t get me wrong, I eat pretty healthy, I am a vegan, you wont find any McAnything stuck in my intestines, but I don’t eat with health in mind. My diet has been increasing over the years towards raw organic whole foods, such as salads and farmer market veggies. But I still eat a good amount of cooked items, such as asian noodles, frozen corn and worst of all bags of organic corn chips. I just crave chips, salsa and guacamole. I guess my years in Texas has altered my DNA, causing my cells to scream for anything remotely mexican foodish. For some reason I just love them in a sad food bingeing bag inhaling stomach aching way. You know what I mean. You think you want to eat them, but half way through the bag, they turn on you and form a concrete lump within your stomach.

basil juicing life 09 My New Life as a Juicer | Part One, Fitness and Tools of the Trade

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Whole Food Marathon Fueling And Making Your Own Raw Apple Cinnamon Energy Bars

brendan brazier training thrive diet 01 Whole Food Marathon Fueling And Making Your Own Raw Apple Cinnamon Energy Bars

Photographer: G Monkie (CC)

As you are probably aware, commercial versions of many sport nutrition products are not always the healthiest option. Commonly packed with artificial flavours, refined carbohydrates, denatured proteins and sometimes even harmful fats, I certainly don’t want to consume anything that doesn’t put overall health first.While some commercial options are not as bad as they once were, I like to know exactly what goes into mine and keep them completely natural.

I make my own.

Whole food energy bars, sport drinks, energy gels, energy pudding, post-workout recovery drink, whole food meal replacement smoothies and even performance pancakes are all part of my specific sport nutrition program.

Immediately before exercise

The body’s first choice for fuel during intense exercise is simple carbohydrates. However, once the body has burned all the simple carbohydrates available, it will then opt for available complex carbohydrates. It’s in the athlete’s best interest to ensure that the body is provided with enough simple carbohydrates to fuel activity so that complex carbohydrates are not relied upon. If the body has to resort to burning complex carbohydrates while exercising at a high intensity, it will have to use extra energy in order to convert the complex carbs into simple carbs. Additionally, if too much protein is eaten before intense exercise, it will likely cause muscle cramping due to the fact that it requires more fluid to be metabolized than carbohydrate or fat does.

Also, protein is not what you want your body burning for fuel. Protein is for rebuilding muscle post-activity, not fuelling it. When too much protein is consumed in place of carbohydrates immediately before exercise — and therefore burned as fuel — it burns “dirty,” meaning that toxins are created as a result of its combustion. The production and elimination of toxins is of course a stress on the body, and as such causes a stress response. Ultimately endurance will decline.

brendan brazier training thrive diet 02 Whole Food Marathon Fueling And Making Your Own Raw Apple Cinnamon Energy Bars

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Brendan Braziers One-Step Nutrition Based On The Thrive Diet

brendan brazier onestep nutrition 01 Brendan Braziers One Step Nutrition Based On The Thrive Diet

Photographer: G Monkie (CC)

G Living’s Brendan Brazier is one the world’s few professional athletes whose diet is 100 percent plant based. He’s a professional Ironman triathlete, bestselling author on performance nutrition, and the creator of an award-winning line of whole food nutritional products called Vega.

The following is our third excerpt from Brendan’s new book “The Thrive Diet”, on sale on Amazon.com. Or take a look at a Digital version of The Thrive Diet on Google Books.

One-step nutrition is the term I use to describe food containing nutrients already in a form usable by the body, with no breaking down required. The nutrients get into the body and go straight to work. Nutrients in foods in a typical North American diet are in a form that the body must first break down and convert before it can utilize them.

By consuming one-step foods, the body is fueled and able to rebuild efficiently. Requiring minimal energy to become usable and assimilated, foods containing one-step nutrients in effect provide the body with more energy by helping conserve energy. Gaining the greatest amount of energy from the least amount of food is the goal of the Thrive Diet.

thrive diet books by brendan brazier Brendan Braziers One Step Nutrition Based On The Thrive Diet

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In Fitness Consistency Gets the Goods

raw model consistency 01 In Fitness Consistency Gets the Goods

Opinions on what we should and should not eat flood our lives every day. I’ve been on a high-raw vegan diet for almost 5 years now. A good proportion of that ended up being green smoothies and superfood smoothies. If someone includes those two items into their day, its pretty difficult not to stay high-raw…they are total meals by themselves.

I’ve been branching out a little bit lately with what I’ve been listening to. Not exactly the same raw vegan material as before. I’ve been listening to some speakers with a more “paleo” style of eating, which would include raw, grass-fed meat and dairy. And eggs. LOTS of eggs. I heard a speaker online today talk about healing someone with 18 raw eggs a day.

Im not saying AT ALL that im going to get into that way of eating. I like my diet the way it is. I’ll occasionally have some pasture-raised chicken eggs, but the real bulk is in the superfoods, greens, and raw plant fats, especially hemp and coconut.

raw model consistency 02 In Fitness Consistency Gets the Goods

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Enzyme Enhancement On The Thrive Diet

brendan brazier onestep nutrition 02 Enzyme Enhancement On The Thrive Diet
Photographer: G Monkie (CC)

G Living’s Brendan Brazier is one the world’s few professional athletes whose diet is 100 percent plant based. He’s a professional Ironman triathlete, bestselling author on performance nutrition, and the creator of an award-winning line of whole food nutritional products called Vega.

The following is an excerpt from Brendan’s new book “The Thrive Diet”, on sale now in Canada and and in the U.S. in January.

Raw and low-temperature cooked foods | Enzyme Enhancement
High-temperature cooking and processing of food destroys the enzymes and nutrients that allow the food to be efficiently digested. Therefore, before the body can make use of cooked food, it must produce enzymes to aid in the digestion process. That takes work.

One of the least appreciated yet most important components of our diet, enzymes are vital to achieving optimal health. An absence of enzymes in your diet can result in the same sickness and disease associated with malnutrition, even if your diet is otherwise healthy. Without enzymes, food cannot be turned into usable fuel for the body. As with hormones, enzyme production in the body diminishes with age, leaving us reliant on diet to provide them. In the distant past, that was of little concern, as enzymes were plentiful in food. But today enzymes are not so abundant in our foods. As our fresh whole-food choices dwindle, making way for highly refined, processed options, enzymes in our foods diminish.

thrive diet books by brendan brazier Enzyme Enhancement On The Thrive Diet

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Reducing Stress From Your Diet Can Save Your Life And Strengthen Your Body

brendan brazier reducing stress 01 Reducing Stress From Your Diet Can Save Your Life And Strengthen Your Body Photographer: G Monkie (CC)

There are several reasons people struggle with change. In fact, those who make positive changes are more likely to discontinue them than those who make negative ones because those who see themselves as making a sacrifice in exchange for a certain improvement want their investment to pay off quickly. If results aren’t instantaneous, interest quickly dwindles. In addition, negative initial results are almost certain to be a deterrent.

For example, many athletes I know have, at some point, tried a vegan diet, although usually not for more than two weeks at a time. Here’s the problem they encounter: when a new way of eating is adopted, the body must adapt. And with adaptation comes stress. Most commonly referred to as detoxification in this case, this is the body’s way of eliminating toxins accumulated over years of consuming sub-optimal food.

Our bodies are equipped with coping mechanisms that allow us to function optimally relative to the nourishment supplied. Seemingly counterintuitive, the first few days of an optimal diet will not be a pleasant experience. Often, years of less-than-ideal eating practices have rendered the body nutritionally stressed. The poorer the quality of the previous diet, the longer the detoxification process will last. Those converting from a Standard American Diet (SAD), for example, to an exclusively whole food plant-based diet will likely take in excess of four weeks to ‘cleanse’ the body of toxins. Usually detox symptoms include headache, blotting, fatigue, and sleep disturbances.

As you can imagine, an athlete who has made the transition to a vegan diet for the sake of improved performance is not going to be tolerant of these symptoms. Also, to make matters worse, most athletes are hyper sensitive to change. In effect, the detox symptoms are magnified in an athlete’s body due to the high level of “body consciousness” that most athletes have innately developed.

brendan brazier reducing stress 02 Reducing Stress From Your Diet Can Save Your Life And Strengthen Your Body

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Guide For Transitioning To A Healthier Diet

brendan brazier heathier eating 03 Guide For Transitioning To A Healthier Diet Photographer: G Monkie (CC)

At this point, most of us know what foods are healthy. The challenge is no longer in finding the best health-promoting foods, but rather conveniently incorporating them into the diet on a daily basis without overextending our time budget. What then is the best route to take when aiming to integrate more healthy foods into the diet by replacing the less-healthy options?

A common approach when transitioning to a new way of eating is to eliminate certain non-health promoting foods. However, the most effective way to seamlessly adopt a new eating plan is to include more health-promoting foods as opposed to eliminating the less healthy. This is a practical solution that works on a physiological level as well as a psychological one.

Physically, this approach is ideal in that it allows time for the body to detoxify itself. Healthier foods generally have more fiber, more chlorophyll and are often enzyme rich. These three components of healthy food will, however, take the body a bit of time to adapt to. By slowly adding foods that are rich in these nutrients, the body will grow used to them and actually begin to expect and even desire them over time.

brendan brazier heathier eating 01 Guide For Transitioning To A Healthier Diet

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Brendan Brazier’s Tips To Safely Increasing Running Mileage

brendan brazier training thrive diet 03 Brendan Braziers Tips To Safely Increasing Running Mileage Photographer: G Monkie (CC)

When building up running mileage, it’s important to do it gradually to allow tendons, ligaments and muscles to recover before stressing them with the next run.

The safest way is to not increase running mileage or time by more than 10% per week. A three week build cycle followed by one week of recovery is a sound approach.

I go by time run instead of mileage because it’s easier to calculate. Simply time each run and add up the total number of minutes spent running in a given week. For example, if you went for a 30 minute run on Monday, a 60 minute run on Wednesday, a 45 minute run on Friday and an 80 minute run on Saturday, your total for the week would be: 195 minutes. Increasing by no more than 10%, that means the following week should not exceed 214.5 minutes of running (195 x 1.1 = 214.5).

brendan brazier training thrive diet 02 Brendan Braziers Tips To Safely Increasing Running Mileage

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