Get Rid Of Acne… For Good!

Apr 10 2017 |

I was looking for my Clear Skin book to give to a friend, but I couldn’t find the damn thing. I searched for it on Amazon, Googled it… lots of alternatives, but not THAT book. So, I used my recollection of it, and typed out a long email. I decided to include it here, because one thing is for sure. Acne affects almost all of us at one time or another. And the treatment method laid out in that book was straightforward, simple, and gave amazing results! Search for yourselves, but if you’re looking to get to the bottom line quickly, just read the following. I think that this is definitively the best way of getting rid of acne and it’s remnants. Over-the-counter products, no “drugs”. I don’t think they work any better, anyway. In my experience, I used a sulfur/salicylic acid combination cream that worked great for me. You can find it over-the-counter… either sulfur, salicylic acid, or benzoyl-peroxide based (or a combination) cream. You apply it morning and night. The key is to dry the skin and let it flake. Drying/Peeling agents are what does that. Apply it and let your skin dry out. Obviously, you apply it to the affected areas and don’t need it elsewhere. You can go hard core or slowly, using an oil-free lotion to keep the skin from looking too weird as it peels, but I went hard core, used lotion to keep it from looking like a lepur, and in about a month had it reversing direction. It can really be dry, it can make your skin flaky, and make you think something may be wrong. But it’s supposed to be that way. Again, that’s going at it hard core. Obviously, if you immediately have a reaction to it, then you might be allergic to whatever you’re using. So once you’ve been using it for a few days or more, your skin dries out, begins to flake, you know it’s doing what it’s supposed to. The thing that the book explains is that if you keep using the stuff, your skin (hair follicles, actually) will eventually (about a month) be in a constant state of peeling from beneath the skin. But you won’t be visibly flaking at that point. You scale back on the amount you use, but you still apply it morning and night. So you’ll have cleaned-out follicles instead of clogged follicles, and the problem won’t occur again as long as you keep it that way. As for the left-over skin condition from the problem up to now, I was amazed at the before/after photos… what appeared to be scarring due to acne, was cleared up completely. So there is more than just hope. I would say follow the protocol, and it will be cleared up… almost miraculously. Note: the book described a lot about your hair follicles, bacteria clogging them up, different types of side-effects (pimples, blackheads, whiteheads, implosions, etc), and some science behind it all. But the treatment for all of those conditions was all the same.

The Basics to Health (and Fitness)

Apr 10 2017 |

The Basics? Seems like it’s always been “Eat a balanced diet, and exercise”. The exercise part could be replaced with “lead an active lifestyle”, or “be active”, but there aren’t too many of us who are healthy, fit, and trim into our adult lives who don’t put forth at least some effort on it. Does the following describe you? Your body weight remains at a healthy level, your nutrition is pretty good, you’re a generally happy person who doesn’t stress much, you have fulfillment in your life, whether career, family, or whatever. And all you do is eat nutritious foods, walk the dog, play with the kids, mow the lawn, clean the house, and viola’, you’re healthy, and you look and feel great! If so, good for you! Las Vegas has odds set at about 99 to 1 against that being you! Unfortunately, with the obesity level in the U.S. rising to 26.1% of our population in 2008 (read the CDC obesity report), I doubt that there are many healthy people who don’t work at it at least a little. And for those of us who aspire to being very healthy, remaining young/youthful (anti-aging is the buzzword), or being very active, functional, fit, and looking the part, we either have to really enjoy the lifestyle, or work at it despite how much we wish we didn’t have to.

A Quick Note on Body Mass Index – don’t worry too much about this, but it’s good to understand it. It’s kind of out-dated, but it’s still being used. As far as obesity and body mass index correlation, they are loosely correlated, but not absolutely. My body mass index indicates that I’m overweight, though I am extremely fit, and my body fat level is usually below 10%. Height: 5 feet, 10 inches Weight: 190 pounds (my weight fluctuates between 188 and 195, while my body fat fluctuates between 7-12%, usually being roughly 8%. My BMI, according to the adult CDC Body Mass Index Calculator:

“Your BMI is 27.3, indicating your weight is in the Overweight category for adults of your height. For your height, a normal weight range would be from 129 to 174 pounds.”

Conclusion? If you’re a sedentary person, body mass index charts are a fairly good indicator. If you have a lean, muscular physique, your BMI will be almost meaningless. On the other extreme, the stereotypical anorexic “waif” model body type often has a higher than healthy bodyfat level, with poor health, but their BMI is “perfect”.

Ok, so back to the basics of being healthy and fit… My take on it is this – you don’t have to kill yourself or hate the process to be healthy, fit, and energetic, and to look and feel good as well.

  • If all you want is to be somewhat fit, somewhat trim, be healthy by medical standards, and look and feel pretty good, regardless of your age, you can do so with a modest amount of time and effort.
  • If you want to be super fit, ripped, chiseled, and rock hard, super healthy, and look and feel great, you’ll have to work at it, and you’ll probably either love it, or love the results so much that you train your mind to “just do it”.

The amount of time and effort you have to put into it will depend on:

Time and Effort Factors

  • your genetics
  • your age
  • your beginning level of fitness, bodyfat, and health
  • your level of athleticism
  • your relationship with food
  • the fitness activities you choose
  • there are other factors, but they don’t matter as much

The Year Long Plan: I’ve taken 50-something men and women who were entirely unathletic, and helped them completely change their bodies over the course of a year. They worked out 3 times/week, and gradually changed their eating habits until they were at a B- grade level with regard to nutrition. The Fast Track to Health/Fitness: It can be done faster, but how fast depends on a number of factors. I’ll say that 6 months is likely for many people, and 3-4 months for some. The time frame for you depends on your goal, as well as the Time and Effort Factors listed above. But the beauty of it is that the basics are pretty much the same for everyone, while advanced goals require advanced exercise and intensity, and a more “scientific” nutritional plan. I use the term scientific because that’s what it is, but the common terms you hear are “more restrictive diet”, “eating super clean”, “a tighter diet”, or other similar-sounding terms. Note: I will refer to the term “diet” often, meaning your day-to-day eating habits, as opposed to a restrictive caloric intake strategy to lose weight. DIET = eating plan NOT a restrictive caloric intake strategy for losing weight The Bottom Line: Eating right and exercising are the prescription for good health. If you’ve neglected your body for a long time, you can start turning things around now. Just decide to start. Make a change. Start with one thing. When you’re accustomed to that, add one thing at a time, and before long, you’ll be living a healthier lifestyle. If you’re fairly healthy, but you want to improve in one or more areas, the answer is the same… just start to implement a new and improved plan. If you’re looking for a particular plan, you’ll find one that fits your needs on this site. Go ahead, you can do it. Get started today doing something, and it will lead to much, much more.

The End-All Be-All for Fitness

Apr 10 2017 |

Real or hype? You’ve seen the commercials and infomercials.  Countless of them touting this and that apparatus as the best, easiest, most effective, FUN, efficient, and all around greatest thing in the world!  Just minutes a day and you’ll be in the best shape of your life.  Need I make a list?  It will be outdated by tomorrow. Following suit are the super-duper workouts that guarantee even greater results in the least amount of time.  Follow their plan for just 90 days, and you’ll amaze yourself and your family and friends.  Go ahead, take the challenge! And finally, the fitness models who promote the equipment and workouts in commercials and infomercials, and even a Yoga instructor and franchise owner of a Yoga training system who promotes her system on DVDs, all have the same thing in common.  They’re misrepresenting the truth.  And that’s being nice about it.  The truth is, they get in shape one way, and they tell you they get in shape another way.  They’re trying to sell you the end-all be-all, but the way they stay fit is something entirely different.  Why?  Because the end-all be-all equipment and workout systems aren’t really end-all be-all.  Nor are they very good, at all! The Yoga franchiser is someone I know.  And someone I’ve watched work out with a personal trainer, doing a weight training routine, for years.  And when it’s time to get in tip top shape just prior to shooting a new Yoga DVD, she hits the gym hard, working out with that personal trainer, with weights.  Not heavy weights, but a weightlifting routine that targets all the major muscle groups, just like a bodybuilder works out, with specific modifications based on a different goal. Same holds true for the fitness models you see demonstrating the end-all be-all exercise equipment that will end up as a clothes rack or storage shelf in your house after 2 weeks.  They get in shape working out with weights, using progressive resistance, barbells, dumbbells, and heavy duty equipment designed for thousands to use every week.  And then they get paid to make it look like the equipment they’re demonstrating is effective.  You see the motion, the movement, their muscles contracting, and “wow, that looks like it really does the trick”! But someone who is in shape, lean, and fit, and who understands how their body and muscles work, can make it look like swinging a golf club is a good workout.  They can make it look like pressing the air is a good workout.  Because they can contract their muscles in the desired way, using specific movements, it will look impressive.  And anything they’re doing at the time will look impressive.  That’s how a bag of marshmallows could look like the ultimate workout gear! Bottom line: Don’t buy the hype!  There’s no silver bullet for weight loss, improving your health, or fitness.  If you can’t look at a piece of exercise equipment that’s touted as the end-all be-all and tell if it really is or not, then you don’t know enough about your body and how it works, and you should start with learning the basics of exercise first.  Exercise physiology is the term, and a basic understanding of it will expedite your progress towards being healthy, fit, and knowing how to be both.

Training Strategy – It Helps To Have A Plan

Apr 10 2017 |

How many of you have seen guys in the gym who seem to be wasting their time, huffing and puffing, and never seeming to make progress?  It’s not always the guys trying to lose weight, either.  I’ve seen guys in great shape, but a little too skinny, who’re trying to gain more size who can’t even put on an ounce… in a year.  So what’s my point?  There’s more to it than that Attaining “body beautiful” status is as much about what you do OUTSIDE the gym as what you do INSIDE the gym… and all it takes is a little thought in coming up with an overall strategy that’s best for YOU.  Here’s what I mean. Most of what you see and read about working  out is just that… the process of working out.  But look into the training strategy of any of the great bodybuilders, and you’ll find that sleep, rest, eating, and training schedule had as much to do with their progress as anything else.  It’s all tied together, and if you can spend a little time coming up with the best strategy for YOU, you’ll see better results. Before we get going, I want to emphasize that your strategy is to get RESULTS… so setting priorities is a must.  For those who don’t have much time to think about it, let alone do your workouts, then your strategy is to do SOME exercise!  Doing something is better than nothing, and 30 minutes, three times a week, is sufficient for progress and better health.  And then you can build on that strategy as you go.  A successful strategy can become more successful, but at least you’re moving forward, so don’t worry about taking small steps.  They’re better than NO steps! Don’t be one of those guys who figures that if you can’t duplicate Mr. Olympia’s workout, eating, and sleeping routines, that it’s just not worth it.  You’ll look back in ten years (or less) and wish you’d done SOMEthing.  Don’t make excuses!  Just decide what you want and then make it happen… because you CAN. The best TIME to work out is whenever you have the chance.  The important thing is that you fit it into your schedule sometime, because working out at 3am is better than nothing… assuming you don’t lose any sleep as a result. Most guys go to the gym after work, which means 5 or 6 O’clock for most of you.  Physiologically, research shows some differences with regard to time of day, but there are a lot of factors that come into play.  So, if you’ve got freedom to work out whenever you want, you should work out when you’ve got the most energy during the day.  I’ve read studies that show mid-morning to be best for most people, but it’s an individual thing. When I was in college, working out was as much a priority as academics, and I experimented by working out at all different times.  I found that no matter what, I had the most energy, focus, and strength at around 8pm .  I figured out that it had to do with the fact that my body had been “loosened up” from the day’s activities, and that my energy stores were good because I’d already eaten 4 meals to that point. When I tried to work out at 8am , 10am , noon , or in the afternoon, I felt better as the day wore on.  The mornings were the worst for me.  I felt sluggish, and lacked energy. But now it’s quite the opposite.  I prefer working out sometime between 10am and early afternoon.  I think it has more to do with mental energy though.  If I’ve been working (my work is low-stress, and mostly done from my home office), and I work out late in the day, I find that it takes more time to get my mind clear for the workout.  So I wake up around 8-10am , have breakfast, and make a few phone calls or whatever, and then I head to the gym. It may be different for you, but again, the best thing is to figure out when you’re going to get your best workout.  Try a few different times if you can, and go with what works best for you. Once you’re getting to the gym on a consistent basis, the question is, how much working out is optimal?  How many days per week and how long for each workout?  Again, it’s an individual thing.  Most of us will need at least three workouts each week, but probably more like four or five.  If your priority is to lose weight, then more workouts are usually better, especially when you’re talking cardio.  But if you’re trying to gain muscle, and your workouts are very intense, then you’ll need more rest. Your workouts should be about an hour in duration… give or take.  Mine have been taking 2 hours on ultra intense days, or when I do legs.  If I’m training during a lighter phase I’ll keep the pace faster, lighter, and do a few more sets, but the workout goes quicker because I don’t need as much rest between heavy sets. It’s smart to get in touch with your body, and learn when it needs rest by how you feel, or how your muscles feel.  If I have two ultra intense workouts, one day after the next, I take a day off.  If I don’t, my next workout is going to suffer, and I’m not allowing my body to heal.  If you’re sore, or feel a lack of energy, take a day off.  A little tightness or soreness is fine, but experiment a little, and you’ll find that more rest between workouts is usually better than less if you’re unsure. If you’re not sure, train two days in a row, and then take a day off, and every week or so take two days off in a row.  Fit your workout into an hour for starters, and adjust it from there based on your needs, and progress.  If you feel great and want to string together 3 workouts in a row, then do it.  If you have to work out 4 days before a rest day due to travel or whatever, then do it, but get back to your routine after that. Equally important in creating your physique strategy is eating, and scheduling your meals.  Normally, whether you’re trying to gain or lose, 5 smaller meals are better than 2 or 3 larger ones, but you have to do what you can.  Protein bars can be a great thing if you can’t find time to eat, by the way. On training days, it’s best to eat a light meal an hour before your workout… and if you work out after a large meal, just wait a little longer.  The key is to not feel sluggish in the gym due to a bunch of food in your stomach.  So again, go by how you feel.  In college, I could eat a huge meal and work out immediately afterward.  It just depends on you.  Listen to your body, and make adjustments. And now, EQUALLY as important, if not MOST important in creating your physique strategy, and LIFE strategy, is SLEEP.  I heard on a news program last night about more data that shows we Americans are becoming more sleep deprived as time goes by.  Studies have shown that waking up to an alarm clock is not as “healthful” as waking up naturally.  Eight hours of sleep shouldn’t be considered a luxury, or wasting time, or non-productive.  It’s the way the body is geared.  It needs time to heal, and for the mind to do its processing.  Your health depends on it. Parenthetically, a poll was taken asking some top CEO’s about their sleep time, and most of them said that they slept at least 8 hours… and felt it was important to their success. As for workouts, if you go to the gym feeling like shit because you haven’t had enough sleep, you may as well not be there… so go home!  Basically, get enough sleep as a rule, and if you only get six hours of sleep once in a while, as a departure from the norm, your workout will go fine.  Make it a habit, and you’ll be one of those guys huffing and puffing and never making any progress. And that goes with the rest of the strategy items.  Eating, sleeping, training time, and frequency… they all make an impact on your progress… as much an impact as the actual workout.  Every month or so, sit down by yourself, or with a workout partner, and talk about what you’re doing… strategy-wise, covering all the areas I’ve just covered.  Use it as an excuse to go have a drink and hang out without any other agenda.  You’ll like your results.

Chest Exercise – The Bench Press

Apr 10 2017 |

This post is a timely one, because it was today that I gave some unsolicited advice to 3 young lifters (could have been in High School) who were doing flat bench press, or trying.    I was doing my workout, and noticed them at a nearby bench.  I don’t give unsolicited advice often, but once in awhile I can just tell when someone isn’t sure about what to do, and either is hoping someone will help them out, or they’d at least be accepting of help if someone gave it. I didn’t know if that was these 3 guys, but I couldn’t continue to see them gripping the bar in the position they were.  Just wrong.  Way wrong, unless they were intending to do this exercise to get a very specific result.  I waited until the one lifting finished his set, and took a few steps over and said,

“Hey guys, are you trying to work your chest and get stronger in the bench press?  (all 3 nodded yes)   Well, if you’ll grip the bar wider, so that when your upper arms are parallel to the floor, your forearms are at about 90 degrees to your upper arms, that will give you the most leverage.  Otherwise, you’re wasting energy and strength, and not working your chest as much.”

They seemed to appreciate the advice, said they did, and were polite, anyway.  And they adjusted their grip and continued bench pressing.  I didn’t wait to watch, I just went to do another set of Back Rows.  After my set, I look over… Ooops!  I need to tell them something else.  Again, only after the one on the bench was finished with his set. This time I started off saying, “I know unsolicited advice isn’t always wanted, but I’ve got a tip for you.  If you don’t like it, don’t use it.”  They were ready for it.

“This is the key to the bench press, getting stronger, and building your chest.  When you bring the bar down to your chest, do it under control, and pause… for a full second, but you’ll count fast, so pause for 2 seconds at first, and then press the weight up from a dead stop.  Keep tension at the bottom, but lightly rest the bar on your chest, each rep, for a full second.  You may feel weaker at first and have to decrease the weight to do it that way, but in two weeks?  Your strength will shoot up, and keep going from there, much faster than any other way.”

One of them then asked me if I was familiar with training with bands on the barbell, a method of increasing resistance as the bar is pressed up and the band stretches.  He said that he had used that method with someone before, so we chatted about the technique briefly.  They thank me, and again, I leave to do my next set of Rows. As I walk a few steps to a Lat Pulldown machine for my last exercise, I glance over to check on their progress.  What I noticed when I glanced over was that I was going to have to give them one last bit of information.  So after my set, I approach them for the last time.

“OK, the last thing I’m going to say (smiling) – you need to find the angle that feels the most comfortable and strongest for your arms, across your chest, elbow to elbow.  If they’re straight across, you’ll probably feel the most tension, but you may feel some discomfort in your shoulders, so you may naturally drop them down at a slight angle.  That’s important.  You don’t want shoulder impingement.  So feel for good tension, but so that it feels “right”, not “wrong”.   That’s it guys, see you later.”

The bench press is the king of chest exercises, and whether you’re doing flat bench barbell or dumbbells, or incline bench barbell or dumbbells, the principles to your technique should be the same.  Grip the bar at a width that makes the angle between your forearm and upper arm 90 degrees when the bottom of your upper arm is parallel to the floor (when the bar is a few inches or so from your chest, your arms become parallel to the floor).  That’s just to establish your proper grip so the work you do benefits you fully. The other positioning principle is for tension through the chest.  The more your arms are in a straight line, elbow to elbow, across your chest, from side to side, the more tension you’ll feel.  But the chest happens to be activated more when your elbows are tucked under a bit.  Find what feels comfortable, but where you have a good bit of tension, like a rubber band stretching, and seek that maximum tension across the chest.  You’ll feel the variation in tension if you move your arm positioning during a set. And The Pause method is just a tip, but the most significant thing I can tell you about getting strong!   It’s the most effective way to gain strength in the bench press, it was taught to me when I was 18 and a novice.  He knew what he was talking about.  I felt like a weakling taking substantial weight off the bar in order to pause correctly, but it only took 2 weeks until I was back to my previous weight.  And my strength did continue to increase way past that.  Rock solid, real strength.  Try it!

Practical Anti-Aging Tips

Apr 10 2017 |

Besides our genes, which account for roughly 1/3rd of our aging destiny, the the other most important factors are eating right and exercising, which you can read about in other articles in the aging section. In addition, here are some practical tips that researchers have determined will help you live not just a longer life, but a happier, more healthful, active life! 1. Love someone, or be in love with life and everyone 2. Don’t “retire” to boredom at any age.  Work, or personal interests keeps you young! 3. Companions are good for you, even if the 4-legged variety 4. Have sex.  Doing so satisfies a bunch of these things by itself! 5. Decide to age gracefully, or remain youthful! 6. Decide to live your life.  Live! 7. Remain social 8. Never stop learning 9. Be calm.  Don’t sweat the small stuff.  Practice it, or just choose it! But these can all be summed up with just 3 general categories: 1.  Connections with others – people or pets, social relationships, and sex! 2.  Use it or lose it – Keep your brain & body active.  Learn, do, live! 3.  Attitude – decide to remain youthful and enjoy life, and that the rest doesn’t matter.  Don’t sweat the small stuff!

Getting in Touch… With Yourself!

Apr 10 2017 |

bicep_curlMore to the point is getting in touch with your body, it’s function, and what it is supposed to feel like when moving it’s parts. Many out-of-shape people can’t relate. They don’t have complete sensory experience because their bodies aren’t capable of it. Before you can ride a bike, you’re unable to “feel” what it’s like to ride a bike. Even if you’ve got someone helping you stay up on two wheels (or four, in the case of training wheels), your body isn’t doing it with ease. Instead, you’re struggling, twisting, contorting much of your body, trying to balance, your face muscles and neck possibly even straining due to effort, fear, concentration, or all three. Body awareness. If you don’t have any, you can develop it. When you do you’ll feel things you’ve never felt before. You’ll be aware of the muscles in your butt contracting as you walk. That was one of the most exhilarating things to me in graduate school as I walked thru campus and realized something new about my body. And that was just the beginning. It feels good to stretch, reach, twist, expand, squeeze, push, pull, throw. As long as your body is moving the way it’s supposed to. With efficiency. Fluidity. Economy of motion and effort. If you’re not in tune with your body, if you’re not athletic, you can still develop your body-awareness skills. You’ll have to learn what to do and how to do it. And focus on the feel. Once you learn, like riding a bike, your body will never let you forget. Learning the basic function of the muscles by using them in basic ways allows you the most basic body function skill. Athleticism. You won’t have to work very hard doing anything you want to do with your body that requires physical effort. You can just do it. Live it. You can participate without thinking about it. Whether it’s climbing over rocks or swimming, walking, jogging, playing (with your kids), throwing, lifting, carrying, or riding – you’ll be able to do it, you will have used your muscles in a similar way before. The way you become the master over your own physical self, the way you become “athletic”, is by using weight training, or resistance training. Resistance training means any movement that allows you to move your body or a part of your body through a normal functional range of motion while experiencing some resistance to that motion. Free weights are great, and workout machines are as well, being engineered to fit the body and allow motion in a way that may not be possible with free weights that use only gravity to provide the resistance. The absolute key to it all is doing it correctly. Enough emphasis can’t be placed on learning the proper way to perform the exercises. Doing so will dramatically enhance your progress, regardless of your goal. When my brother and I first started workout out, we would perform bench presses by bouncing the bar off our chests to reverse directions as we began to push the weight up. An experienced-looking bodybuilder walked over to us once and suggested that we try using lighter weights and pausing on our chest before we pushed the weight up. He said that we’d feel weaker at first and might not like using lighter weight, but that in two weeks we’d be lifting more than the heaviest weight we were lifting using our previous technique. He was right. I’ve paid close attention to proper form ever since. In addition, performing exercises in a manner that allows for the fastest strength increases also happens to be the safest method. And you’ll more fully understand what the exercise is supposed to make the muscle feel like. “Feel” is a key term here. Concentration on proper form while learning an exercise will allow you to focus on the physical sensation you should feel, similar to learning a golf or tennis racquet swing. But using proper mechanics for the motion is essential to understanding the sensation. When you understand the sensation, you’ll be able to duplicate it faster when you change something about your workout, making a new workout effective right away. Besides making your workouts more effective, understanding muscular sensations will enable you to go to any gym, sit down on a foreign-looking piece of equipment and do two repetitions of the exercise to determine whether it was designed and constructed properly. And understanding the sensations will allow you to understand your body, how it moves, how it functions. You’ll be athletic, if not a good athlete. And you’ll be the master of your own body! For those of you interested, the scientific field is biochemistry, and the term that has to do with muscular sensation and establishing the proper “feel” is neuromuscular control.  Also Neuromuscular pathways,  and Bioelectrical pathways.

Cancer – Natural Cures and Prevention

Apr 10 2017 |

Swift and dramatic changes at the genetic level. That’s right, you read it correctly. And it’s backed up by bonafide research! How do you make these swift and dramatic changes? By eating right and exercising. Again, yes, you read correctly. I’ve known about it for years. Natural medicine is the name, and it’s been around for a long time. So this little study was done with men who had low-risk prostate cancer, and they used “natural” methods instead of what they’ve called “conventional” medical treatment such as surgery and radiation or hormone therapy. Which natural methods? Eating lots of vegetables, fruit, and other nutrient rich foods, taking a few supplements, limiting fats, and exercising a little, along with some meditation and stress management. “After three months, the men had changes in activity in about 500 genes — including 48 that were turned on and 453 genes that were turned off. The activity of disease-preventing genes increased while a number of disease-promoting genes, including those involved in prostate cancer and breast cancer, shut down, according to the study published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.” Bottom line? You want to prevent cancer and other disease? Eat right and exercise! Live your life, not somebody else’s. Take care of yourself. You only live once, so choose, and choose so you’re happy with it all when you’re done. You can read the entire original story here.

Gut Check – Probiotics & Immune Health

Apr 10 2017 |

I have felt great lately (nothing really new), and have been cycling my carbohydrate intake, remaining lean by restricting carbs for 3.5 days and then doing a moderate carb load for about 1.5 days, training super heavy the day after the carb load, and reaping the most anabolic benefit possible from it. Then I go back to low carbs, starting the process over. You need to know that I also had taken antibiotics for a nasty bronchial infection about 2 months ago, and after my 2nd course of antiB’s, I started taking extra probiotics to replace what had been killed. I didn’t realize that my intestinal flora was so out of whack, but taking the probiotics kept me healthy and feeling good, training hard, and living life like I had no worries. Until… I hadn’t realized, but I had decreased the amount of probiotics I was taking, sometimes taking very little or none in a day, and maybe a small amount another day.  And when my probiotic lull coincided with my first really BIG carb load day, I started feeling a sore throat.

It took me until the next day, when I was getting sick, to figure out the probiotic/carb load connection.  My probiotic intake had decreased, but my immune response didn’t suffer as long as my carb intake was low enough.  When I overloaded on carbs – bam!  My intestinal flora went nuts… bad and ugly! And I started to get sick. I immediately started taking much more probiotics, and I started feeling better the next morning.  I hypothesized that what was the beginning of a nasty cold was thwarted by the probiotics balancing things out quickly. A day later and I feel still better, with my soar throat entirely gone, and just a little stuffiness remaining. Saturday – afternoon carb load begins, scratchy throat noticed Sat night Sunday – carb loading continues, along with continued cold symptoms: soar throat, runny nose, stuffy sinuses. I began taking probiotics on Sunday evening. Monday – soar throat has diminished some, symptoms haven’t gotten worse Tuesday – feeling better, thinking that the probiotics are doing the trick, but won’t claim victory yet Wed – soar throat is gone, all is well except for a little stuffiness. I decided to write this last night while laying in bed. This experience has driven home the importance of probiotics and intestinal health. So much of immunity is affected by gut health. I’ve known this, but haven’t been reminded of it in such an extreme way before. Today I ordered products to help kill whatever candida, bad bacteria, or yeast in my gut, and I will continue to take loads of probiotics until things are balanced again. A quick search just yielded a couple great sources of research on probiotics and immune health… U.S. Probiotics Univ of Michigan Health System

Update on Feb 24, 2013

After much personal experimentation with dosage, frequency, and carbohydrate intake, as well as other variables… I haven’t been sick in roughly 5 years.  I think that probiotic intake is the easiest and quickest way to affect your immune system health (all other things being equal, and assuming relatively “normal” health).  Take a high dosage (anywhere from 30 Billion organisms to 50 to 100 Billion, it just depends on you, and you’ll find out by personal experimentation – the worst that happens if you take too many is that you get a little diarrhea) of probiotics every couple hours over the course of a day or two or three.  Your probiotic dosing can be likened to your foot on the gas pedal in your sports car… take more and it revs up your immune system, keeping your “good” to “bad” bacteria ratio balanced in your favor.

Update on May 17, 2014

Make it 6 plus years without a full-blown cold, flu, or anything else now.  I’ll post again at the 10 year mark! 😉 A TED Talks video.  Finally, probiotics are not NEW news, but this is getting GOOD now!

The gut flora: You and your 100 trillion friends:

Sex Sells It Better

Apr 10 2017 |

How to get her to “yes” in 3 seconds flat! That was the headline on the front cover. It should have said “How to get her to xxx in 3 seconds flat!” I thought for a moment and wondered why that mag didn’t have the headline “How to keep your liver from jumping out of your body!” instead. The feat would be about as likely to come true as the 3 seconds would be, and it would apply more to the healthy bod on the cover than 3 seconds would. ;-) Ok, it was a Hard Bodz magazine, and I’m guessing by the fitness chick (oops, model) in a teenie bikini on the front cover that it’s a muscle (almost skin) mag. And looking at a couple other mags nearby, Cosmo being one, SEX, SEX, SEX was all over the covers. It just struck me that everybody’s displaying sex, selling sex, promoting sex, in order to sell their “stuff”. Maybe just a rant, maybe something really worth discussing, not that I think it will change anything. So I’m writing this just to say it, if nothing else. I’m into female skin and sex-sex-sex just as much as the next estrogen-attracted male, but I sometimes forget that the mags are marketed with the least common denominator in mind. Would a magazine sell if the cover said “How to keep your liver from jumping out of your body!”? Let’s try. ;-)Then follow it up with an article about the effects of drinking, drugs, pharmaceuticals and otherwise, cigarettes, and the chemical-laden junk food diet on your liver, along with a sexy photo of a healthy liver and a not-so-sexy photo of a damaged one. Would that magazine sell? I started working out to become a better athlete. I continued to work out because of the attention from estrogen-laden females. I learned about the health benefits along the way, and continue to work out for all of those reasons and more.  Regardless of your motivation, getting strong starts the process of building muscle, and making metabolic and other changes, mental and physical, that go hand-in-hand with anything that you might be motivated by.  Stop for a minute.  Again, it works regardless of your motivation.  Strong is the new Sexy.  For your health, for yourself, and really, because it makes you the best you can be!