Nutrition: My Theory

Everyone has their own version of the truth. Here’s mine:

Your body needs calories. We didn’t evolve to what we are today by forgetting to eat, or not having enough to eat. A long time ago, humans who forgot to eat, or didn’t pursue enough food, died and probably didn’t pass on as many genes as the people who pursued food more aggressively. We evolved to want food and in the right amounts. Only the hungry survive.
Trying to restrict your calories to lose weight is like trying to not sleep to take on a second job. It’s just not going to work for too long. You’re going to crash. You can’t say that’s ill willpower. Don’t do this to yourself.

This is why conventional advice to ‘eat less, move more’ is arrogantly over simplified and ineffective.

Carbs create insulin.

Reduce/ manage insulin spikes that cause a surge of calories to be stored for later use by managing carbohydrate intake. The body sees high blood sugar as a medical emergency and will do everything it can to throw those calories somewhere to get them out of your bloodstream ASAP and it does that by changing it to triglycerides and storing it as fat.

This is why excessive carbohydrate intake causes high triglycerides which cause heart problems much more effectively than dietary fat intake.

Also, the carbs cause inflammation in the arteries, making the arterial walls swollen and therefore smaller passage way. Inflammation causes leaky gut, high blood pressure and increased toxicity due to increased gut permeability. Coupled with high intake of toxins (chemicals, artificial food, pesticides, pollution, Frankin foods) is a recipe for increased cancerous cellular division.

When your body has an “emergency” like high blood sugar or toxicity this takes priority; much higher priority than normal maintenance like muscle growth and repair.

People with higher metabolisms and/or lower body fat can handle more carbohydrates. This is why there is no perfect diet. Everyone has different needs.

Carbs are immediate energy. It’s either used or stored. If you are more concerned with having more energy ( already lean endurance athlete) then eat carbs. If you are more concerned with fat loss, eat less carbs.
Insulin is, literally, the hormone that allows energy to enter the fat cells. Without insulin, fat storage is impossible. (This, however, isn’t the same as the release of energy from the fat cells)

Ask your muscles to take the calories instead of fat cells by strength training.

Fat provides energy too, just without the insulin spike. Extra fat will be stored as fat, don’t get me wrong…but it isn’t rushed into your fat cells in an emergency situation like carbs are.

And breaking down fat (ketone bodies) for energy is a little bit longer process than breaking down sugar. (remember the immediate energy thing) That’s why, your first trip down Paleo path makes you feel like a sloth. But don’t forget how wonderful and adaptive your body is. If you ask it to do this more often, it will become much more efficient at it. But if you constantly have carbs in your system ready and willing to provide immediate energy your body will always burn them off first, preserving fat for after they are gone.

A ketogenic diet (<30-50g of carbs a day) fells like crap the first month or so, but after that your energy delivery is much more consistent and you are burning fat like a motherf’er. But most people quit on the 2nd week of feeling like crap and ungodly strong carb cravings. And one cheat and your back to burning sugar and you start over. However, someone who spends the majority of their life as a fat burner as opposed to a sugar burner will have a much easier transition back to ketosis after a cheat. I know this, trust me, I’ve talked to many people who were able to achieve this, have a monthly or so cheat, and be back into ketosis in 1-3 days. This is my goal (at least for right now) of where I would like to be.

Exercise is a great way to burn calories but your body is smart. You will want and need to eat more when you train more. The more frequent, intense and/or high volume the exercise the more you will want/need to eat. You can’t change that. You probably won’t replenish ALL of the calories you’ve burned, so yes, exercise (cardio/metabolic conditioning) does help reduce body fat but much less effectively than proper nutrition and redirecting calories to muscle (strength training). (Notice I said body fat loss and not body weight loss.)

But don’t negate the importance of exercise. It’s very good for your heart and provides endorphins. And if you think mood/stress/sleep doesn’t affect weight loss you need to do your homework.

I also feel the need to touch on Leptin resistance. Leptin is the hormone released in the hypothalamus to tell you that you’ve had enough to eat when you’ve had enough to eat. Insulin blocks Leptin and this causes Leptin Resistence. With high insulin, the message can’t be transferred and you over eat. This isn’t a theory. It’s a fact, and it’s very recently discovered, actually. Look it up. Most people who binge eat have Leptin Resistance.

Medium chain triglycerides (i.e. coconut products and ghee) are a very easy to break down fat. Basically the structure cannot and will not be stored as body fat because of the nature of how fast it breaks down. Much like a carb but without the insulin spike, and won’t convert to body fat! Basically they are a carb like structure without the negative effects of carbs and will provide immediate and concentrated energy. They will also help to reduce your carb cravings and help prevent glycogenesis (converting protein to glucose) when in a reduced carbohydrate state.

Omega 3 to Omega 6 ratio is huge! Take Omega 3 supplementation and eat quality omega 3 sources. Generic and cheap “Fish oil” is usually omega 3-6-9 and defeats the purpose of the supplementation. Saturated fats (animal fats) are omega 6’s. There is nothing wrong with saturated fat as long as it is from quality sources and you are consuming more omega 3’s than Omega 6’s.

Carbs, over-eating in general, not exercising, inflammation and not having enough omega 3’s in your diet cause heart disease and/or high cholesterol, not dietary cholesterol/ animal fat and/or saturated fat. Do the research; it’s there. And EAT THE FUCKING YOKE!

I know, I know… the American Heart Association disagrees…and they have made awesome advancements in the field of preventing heart disease and obesity and all but…..(I’m being sarcastic)

As for trans-fat, they fuck everything up. I suggest you eat nothing fried ever under any circumstance no matter what. And vegetables oils are bad too…and soy is the devil; full of estrogen and GMO.

Buy Organic, don’t support Monsanto, Round-up or cancer. Seriously, that shit is NOT safe. Again, do the research. Monsanto owns some 98% of the food supply. They have money. They know people. They pass laws.
Try to eat quality meat as much as possible. Always buy organic/hormone free/pesticide free and try to buy animals that ate food that they are supposed to eat. Full fat grass fed beef is good for you. Taco bell meat it not. The way they raise these animals and crops (especially imported fish) is really gross and unhealthy. This is where all the ‘meat it bad’ data comes from. Not from quality meat. DO YOUR HOMEWORK.

Last thing: I intermittently fast. I can’t decide if I think it’s a good thing or not, but I’m self-experimenting with it and hope to have some sort of conclusion in the future. I like to be able to eat larger portions too. I do think anyone struggling with psychological eating issue (and these are probably WAY more common than you’d imagine) could benefit from periods of fasting. It helps you to identify habit/boredom/sadness/whatever vs. hungry. And many studies have shown health benefits of periods of fasting. I’m sure cave people fasted, just not intentionally.

The most important thing is that you not trust people. Research, experiment, try, think about…keep an open mind. Don’t believe what I say, just consider it. Everybody talks. Most people have good intentions but are just reiterating what someone else told them and are too arrogant, lazy, naive or close minded to investigate. Don’t be that guy. If you’ve read this, you clearly have an interest in your health…good for you. Now go do something about it.


Fruit Loops

I drove to the store to go get it knowing all and well that if I turned around everything would be ok. But I didn’t. I kept going. I willed myself to turn around. I thought gum, coffee, diet coke even. Something other than what I’m about to do…please. But I kept driving.

I drove to the store. Power walked to the candy isle. Grabbed what I wanted quickly. I really don’t care what it is. There was no line that could be fast enough. I felt it in my hand and knew what it would taste like. My mouth was watering. I paid for it and opened it. It was in my mouth before I was out the door. I got to candy bar number 2 by the time I got to my car. I looked around; really hoping no one was able to see me. How embarrassing. However, I knew perfectly well I wouldn’t take the time to move my car before I allowed myself to indulge into the 5th and 6th candy bars/pastries/cookies in my hands to hide.

I looked at it and said I don’t want to do this. This is going to be horrible. I don’t want to start over. I don’t want the consequences. I am going to beat myself up about this. I wish so bad I didn’t have this as I finished ever last bite of whatever was in my bag.

You can never have enough. I wanted more but I knew it was over. Now to sit and wait. Wait for the guilt. The conclusions I’ll drawl. The failure; self-hatred. The mirror the next morning. Remembering this feeling next time I get a craving. Next time I beat it. Next time I don’t.

Comparing this feeling to the last time I had it.

Then fear. Fear I’ll never succeed. Fear I’ll never be able to do this. Fear that I don’t have control of my choices. Fear this will happen again in an hour. Fear that tomorrow won’t be better. Fear of how this will affect my workouts. Fear of those jeans. Fear of the mirror.

I don’t miss it when it’s not here. I really don’t. I don’t miss having just a bite. And I don’t crave ice cream after not having it for 4 months. Day 94 is a million times easier than day 1.

Now please, tell me, how I’m depriving myself from NOT having what everyone else is having. Tell me about how I’m not living a happy fulfilled life because I don’t eat dessert. Tell me everything in moderation, please.

What I have is an addiction. This isn’t normal. This isn’t healthy. This is sickness.

I’ve read studies where mice starved to death because they were unwilling to walk across a bed of broken glass to get to their normal rat food. But then the scientists gave them fruit loops and they were willing to walk across to get to fruit loops when they weren’t even hungry. That’s not normal. Fruit loops aren’t normal.

These Frankin-foods are saturated with addictive features your body just doesn’t know how to handle. Your DNA sees these foods as HIGHLY rewardive. Your body thinks Fruit Loops is the best thing that’s ever happened to you. And you give your body this immense reward every 3 hours if you follow the Standard American Diet. (Fruit loops for breakfast, protein bar for snack, pasta for lunch…etc) So how sad are you going to feel when you stop this? How easy is it for you to just give up most of what creates your highest Serotonin (happy hormones)? It’s not easy. And it’s not all willpower. It’s not all your fault. Your instincts are strong, stronger than your willpower. You can only fight them off so long before you break.

That’s why you have instincts. If instincts were easy to ignore there would be no point in them. Your body is a wonderful, amazing, powerful thing and it’s just trying to help you feel better. You’re the one fucking it up. Respect your body. You have no idea of its capabilities until you stop limiting yourself.

So when you get sad, your body demands something happy; something good. Some crave sex, drugs, gambling, money, but most crave Fruit Loops. You don’t crave the taste of fruit loops any more than you could crave the foods that are good for you. You just crave reward. So reward yourself with something that’s real. That’s the cure. Reward yourself with something that’s not been injected into your veins, against your knowledge, by an extremely jaded food system….something that’s not causing the demise of your health and personal/ psychological well-being.

Sounds a little dramatic, I know. But it’s not. You ARE brainwashed.
“They” purposely create these foods to leave you wanting more. Don’t believe me yet? Watch the video I have linked. There is a multi-billion dollar company that other food companies contract, that’s sole purpose is to make stuff taste good and make people want to eat more of them. They make flavors that are over stimulating but end abruptly to make you want more. These flavors are in everything processed. It isn’t even on the food label because it is in such small quantities the USDA doesn’t require it to be.

You know your body better than I do. If you’re happy with your relationship with food, you’re probably not reading this anyway. But if you’re not, you probably have an addiction.

“The salt slide” –A term derived from McDonalds in 1972 by CEO Walastein to describe the tendency of customers to scrape the French fry box for any remainders of food, or salt granules, no matter how full they were or the portion size before adopting the concept of “Super Size.”

Chronic Deprivation?

So we’ve established you’re not on a diet. We know that. You’ve made a lifestyle change. Cool. There is a huge difference and you know that now.  You’re learning…

So what’s up with all the 30 day diets?

I remember when I was a little kid, watching people eat shit I wouldn’t allow myself to eat, thinking when is my turn? I recognized the absurdity of a “diet” when I was young, maybe 9 or 10, and knew that I had to do this forever, not just temporarily.  Was I unlucky enough to be cursed with a lifetime of deprivation? That seems so harsh. Could I be so unlucky? It took me about 15 years to answer this.

Happiness is always the ultimate goal. If you are unhappy with the mirror, most likely you are unhappy with your life.  But staring at someone eat, green with envy, constantly worried, constantly hungry, constantly deprived…that’s not very happy either.

I’m here today to tell you people you don’t have to choose between being fat or constantly deprived. You don’t have to chose between unhappy and unhappy.

You just have to not want the things you don’t really want.

I used to slam some fast food. Now McDonald’s disgusts me. I don’t feel deprived at all that I don’t eat it. Quite the opposite, actually. I feel blessed that I am disgusted with McDonalds.  Mt. Dew disgusts me.  I see my clients drink it and I get a queasy stomach, my teeth feel grainy from the sugar I imagine nestled on my teeth.

You get the point.

It’s not all easy. I’m getting there. Ice cream still looks pretty yummy and doughnuts still smell pretty good, but it’s getting easier. I think of the spike in my blood sugar, the insulin, the bloated feeling, the inflammation, the feeling of failure, the cravings for more after having just a little…etc. It makes it easier to turn it from something I am not allowed to have to something I don’t want to have. Deprivation Free.

I truly do not want to eat anything that isn’t good for me, anymore. I am not deprived; I am not waiting for my diet to end. I am just eating, lifting and living and it’s fucking liberating.  I’m not so jealous of the people eating cake anymore. I feel bad for them because they are as trapped as I used to be.

I’ve had a lot of jealousy issues. Clearly, I’ve loved food my whole life. I have always been so mad that I HAD to be on a diet; that everything in my life seemed to revolve around something some people just didn’t have to worry about. It’s a lot for me to deal with, as a child and now. I lost a lot to this fight, but gained so much more in the end. I thank God every day that I have this wonderfully slow metabolism and chronic perfectionism tied together. I would have never cared about fitness or nutrition if it didn’t spawn from my desire to be skinny. And look what it has turned into! My life, my passion, my goals,my dreams -all have stemmed from my continued failures.

Eliminate bullshit from your life, my friends. Bullshit of all kinds. You’ll only end up with awesome once the bullshit is gone…and it is so liberating.

Core Values and CrossFit

Life values I’ve learned from CrossFit and why I want to introduce CrossFit to everyone:

Integrity…Goals…Excuses…Confidence…Truth…Equality…etc, etc…

It’s weird when I try to explain to people how much I’ve learned about life from a nutrition/fitness program….maybe I can explain a little better…

When I first made my blog about my personal challenge of this 30 day diet, I said that it was hard for me to post this so publicly but doing so helps keep me accountable.

So there I was a few days later, sizing up my (whatever I wanted to eat), looking for an excuse to make it ok, I realized I would have to push back the entire experiment, admit failure to everyone and look like a weak person. I didn’t want to do that. I didn’t want to look like a weak person after making such a strong and public declaration. And I have people who read my blog tell me they respect my will power. I didn’t want to let them down. I knew, if I’m going to eat this, I’m just going to have to lie about it. I have to appear like a person of integrity.

Why am I aspiring to LOOK like a strong willed person? Why am I aspiring to LOOK like a person of integrity? I don’t want that. I want to BE a person of integrity.

Because, people sense genuine, and people know bullshit.

I sucked at double unders. It took me about a year and a half to get more than 3 together. I would complain about them, how I’m not meant to be good at them, how they were just never going to come to me, everyone knew I hated them. I went to Rogue and got a custom rope. I would “work” on them after the WOD. I would do a few, stand around, do a few, talk to the homeless people, try a few more, look around, get pissed off, and then call it a day. Then one day it started raining, I was in the parking lot across the street from the gym fumbling around with my rope, and it was a pretty quiet day. A few people were working out but no one was really outside or walking around to see me. I had no one to validate the fact that I was trying to be better at double unders. I had no reason to continue.

Hmmm…wait a minute. Why am I more concerned that people SEE ME attempting these than I am actually getting them down? I’m faking it! I’m just looking for people to validate that it’s not my fault I suck at these, and It’s ok, at least I’m trying. I got pissed at myself. I was shocked and embarrassed of my own childish behavior and excuses I didn’t even realize I was making. Do I want to be a good athlete, or do I want to appear like a dedicated athlete? …because I’m sure as shit not becoming a better athlete from standing around here trying to make people feel sorry for me, and feeling sorry for myself.

Feeling sorry for yourself or encouraging other people to feel sorry for you is completely and utterly pointless.

I emailed someone I respect a lot about diet, my biggest vice. I needed help. It just wasn’t working for me. I need his secrets. He said ‘cool, tell me what you’re eating and I’ll get back to you.’ I quickly logged on my online food journals and erased all the McDonalds I ate 3 weeks ago. I left some stuff out; moments of weakness I didn’t want documented, for myself or others, on display. And I waited; I waited for him to say “I don’t know, man, everything looks good. Poor you, you are doing all the right things.”

…and I waited. And I waited and about 6 weeks later I hadn’t heard from him and I finally was able to email him to admit I was a fraud. He forced me, unknowingly, to self-reflect on my diet. It wasn’t his secret knowledge I needed. It was someone to call my bullshit. I wanted people to feel sorry for me because I felt sorry for myself. I just wanted my efforts validated, and that was getting me NO WHERE.

So I called my own bullshit.

Ask yourself, have I really, truly done EVERYTHING POSSIBLE to achieve my goal. If I were to look back on what it is that DIDN’T get me there, and eliminated it, would I be successful? Is it worth it? Do I want that thing that is standing in my way more than I want my goal?

And if you ever get there, if you can look back and say I have tired 100% absolute hardest I know how and didn’t achieve my goal, you were never supposed to. Either that or life is forcing you to further educate yourself. Challenges are a gift. Embrace what you learned and move on.

Don’t feel sorry for yourself. Don’t want other people to feel sorry for you either. As coy as you think you might be, you’re probably just annoying. Don’t get jealous, get better. Life’s not fair, deal with it. Learn to recognize excuses. They are sometimes hidden. And be you. Don’t lie to others or yourself.  Fuck people who judge you. They don’t matter. Friends are always quality over quantity. Don’t fill up your life with bullshit; it takes away from the awesome. And you only have so much time.

Being true to who you are, being truthful to yourself and others, being happy with who you are—it is liberating. And people know. You can’t fake being a genuine person. It just doesn’t ever work.

Fasting Experiences


Fasting, outside of the metabolic benefits, is good for the psyche too. Like everything I blog about, I learned this from my own experience.

I learned that we, as humans, tend to freak the fuck out when we are hungry. I know I do. Being hungry sucks. But it’s really OK to be hungry, it’s normal. And the worry, the fear, the “OMG I have low blood sugar, I’m in a catabolic state, my stomach is growling, I need to get something to hold me over”, is just you being dramatic. I promise, you’ll be alright.

Do you really think that caveman were able to satisfy their hunger immediately all the time? Do you think they woke up with available bacon every morning?  Do you think they got a snack to “hold them over” until dinner? Do you think they had a guaranteed dinner every night? Do you think that the fishing/hunting was any easier for them because they had a hard workout that day?

I know, I know. Mr. Caveman probably didn’t look at a tree log on the ground and think “hm…I think I’m going to thrust this 21 times, and then pull my body up over this tree and then do it again 15 times and then 9 times and not stop until I vomit or die” I get it. Competitive athletes should eat more than caveman did, but you still should eat like a human.

I have been struggling with skipping breakfast on weekends and days when I don’t have to go directly to work upon waking up. I wake up and I want breakfast. That has been my schedule for 24 years. So last week I took a day off work and had to fast until 2 pm so I could get my blood taken to test my cholesterol. I woke up about 6 like normal and wanted bacon, like normal. I started to search for a justification to have bacon. Anything, anything…common there has to be some reason TODAY is the day I break my rules and eat bacon right when I wake up. But I remembered I HAD to fast. It wasn’t even my choice. At this point I was relieved, no guilt, no decisions, no consequences, no excuses, no failed diet, no deprivation, just no…and bacon…at 3 pm like I was supposed to do. I made it just fine without my breakfast.

Do you ever wonder why people who are diagnosed with severe allergies and will die from peanuts usually don’t have any problem not eating peanuts, although peanut butter addicts just can’t seem to break the habit?

Stop giving your willpower a choice. Don’t walk into work, see doughnuts on the table and look for a reason why it’s ok. Just don’t even think about it. I promise you’ll be ok.

Hunger pains and sugar cravings are a lot alike. And both go away if you ignore them.

Habits, good or bad, are hard to break. The more you say no the easier it becomes and the more you make excuses to make it ok the harder it becomes to even recognize the excuse. Relieve yourself from the pressure of failure. Just avoid it and do what you should, when you should. Whatever that may be.

Acquired Taste


One of the many things I hear my clients regularly say that makes me want to punch something is “We don’t like water.” How do you not LIKE water?!?! It doesn’t taste like anything. You’re a HUMAN! You drink water. But let’s be real, it’s not that you don’t like the taste of water, you just like the taste of Mountain Dew better.

I have clients tell me all the time that their child will eat chicken nuggets but doesn’t “like” baked or grilled chicken. I have even heard that they love McDonald’s but don’t “like” Wendy’s chicken nuggets. How much do you want to bet the kid just likes the toy at McDonald’s better?

Trying new foods can be legitimately kind of scary. And to a child every food is new.  And almost every time you try something new (unless it is a new kind of ice cream) you are probably not going to like it. Especially if it fails to meet your expectations of what it is going to taste like.  And food eaten with a biased tongue is always gross…hence th e children who don’t like Wendy’s chicken nuggets.

When I first tried almond milk I didn’t like it as much as cow’s milk and unsweetened almond milk took some effort to acquire a taste for too. Now I don’t mind it. But now I don’t even need it. Now it’s a treat.

I was a Splenda and milk whore in my coffee every morning. You can ask any of my co-workers.  I put like 5 Splenda and a quarter of my cup was milk. I slowly transitioned to Truvia (someone said it was better) and almond milk, to Truvia and unsweetened almond milk, to just unsweetened almond milk, to coconut milk, to unsweetened coconut milk to just black coffee.  I used to want so badly to like black coffee, back in the Splenda whore days. I remember trying it and being so grossed out.   But I made an effort to and now I do. Now, every time I order black coffee it’s a little victory.

I acquired a taste for pure, unsweetened chocolate. It doesn’t taste anything like a Hershey’s bar. And the first time I ate it, I literally gaged, expecting something else I associated with chocolate.  But it’s so yummy with some raw almonds.  I love it now.

I used to be a ketchup whore, too. I switched to lower sugar ketchup, which was really expensive, so I started making my own with cherry tomatoes and vinegar,which was very time consuming and annoying. So one day I skipped it and my eggs were fine without it. Now I don’t mind the lack of sweetness with my eggs, hamburger meat, whatever. I acquired a taste for it. And I stopped acting like a child wanting a treat.

You are not a child. We are all spoiled. Food is fuel. Nutrition should be the number one reason we make food selections. Not flavor.  It’s fine to eat meals that are fine. Not every meal has to be covered in your favorite flavors. Try new things, try them again. Stop adding bad shit to good shit. Something that tastes fine and gives your body what it needs is fuel. A meal that has extra shit added to make it taste better is a treat.

How often are you treating yourself?