Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Rise of The Fat Bike: Good or Bad

If you pay attention to the bike community, one of the hottest trends recently is the fat bike.  Essentially anything that has a wheel of 3" or wider.  They are designed to ride on sandy beaches and snowy trails.  The wider wheel allows you use a smaller psi which allows you to slice threw elements that normally would be very difficult.

People say they are a blast to ride and it doesn't look like a trend that will leave anytime soon.  The question I ask is, will it be good for the serious cyclist.  Most sports, there is always an "off season."  A time to restrengthen and realign and decompress from the previous competitive season.  No sport runs 365.

An article I read awhile back showed that those that did cross country skiing when compared to other lifelong endurance athletes were about 40% fitter.  If XC skiing was one of your off season workouts and you are switching to a fatbike, be prepared to be potentially less "injury proof," and less fit.

One of my other concerns, is though it can be viewed as a "strength component," when things get to specific to your trained movement it can cause mechanical changes.  This is the reason you don't run with ankle weights or throw a weighted baseball.  You don't want to let your legs get used to spinning at a lower cadence.

So if you choose to enjoy the fatbike, get some faster then normal cadence work in.  Spend a few more mini sessions at home or the gym ironing out better movement patterns in the lunge, squat, push up.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Pepsico Removes Controversial Ingredient In Gatorade

Watching the news this morning I saw a story that Pepsico will remove Brominated Vegetable Oil. (BOV) from its Gatorade line. It appears they removed it after a high school teen got 200,000 people to sign a petition to have it removed.

Gatorade says it's safe, but because public perception has BOV as problematic they will remove it.

What is Brominated Vegetable Oil?  Well it has Bromine as the main ingredient.  Bromine is patented as a flame retardant.  They use BVO to keep the citrus flavors from floating around, so it is essentially a stabilizer/emulsifier.

It will keep the BVO in it's other products, such as Mountain Dew, Squirt, a few of the Powerades.  It is not in Pepsi or Coke.

BVO is banned in Europe and Japan.  Is it any wonder kids are weaker and sicker then ever.  What's your daily dose of BVO I ask sarcastically .  If you can remove it so easily, why even put it in there in the beginning?

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Seminar Recap: Inflammation, Pain and Purification

This past weekend I went to a seminar here in Grand Rapids, MI entitled Inflammation, Pain and Purification.  It was put on by Standard Process, so in all fairness, they are talking about "THEIR" products, but regardless, the underlying theme of decreasing inflammation, pain and detoxing are always beneficial.  It was given by Dr. Davis Brockenshire.  He knew his stuff and was fun to learn from.

I will start by saying, I always get pretty excited to be learning about new products that people are supposedly using very successfully in their practice.  Then as the day goes on, I start to lose some steam, as we are now on the 15th product that is "Must Have."  By the end, it's almost paralysis by analysis there are so many options.

Here are my highlights.  While there was tremendous amount of information, these are probably the only ones I will use/implement or at least pass on if I find the right situation.

If you know you are getting a vaccine of any sort, prepare your body a week before by boosting your immunity with good foods and supplements.

The single biggest reason vaccine fails is the use of NSAIDS right after.  Vaccines cause an inflammatory reaction.  Don't extinguish it, if you want your body to accept it.

Gotu Kola supposedly helps to grow cartilage.  This got my attention big time, as I have ongoing elbow problems. The research is just on a pig, but definitely interesting.

Gotu Kola is great for manual therapy as it helps to decrease soreness after deep tissue work.  This seems more reasonable and I may look into offering this to patients.

Keep your trace minerals up.  This is an often overlooked supplement.  (Sometimes just a glass of water and Himalayan salt in the morning.)  That's a tip from a separate source.

It takes 3 months to make new blood.

B vitamins are deficient in many people.  If you fall asleep but wake up, may look into supplementing with B vitamins.

Black Spanish Root was mentioned so many times me and my buddy joked that it's the super supplement.  Stated to be great for digestion, liver and gall bladder health, respiratory health, and for detox.

The foods you eat are 3x more important then exercise for keeping weight off.

Something I will agree on, Green Tea has been proven to do so much good stuff for you, learn to love it and drink it a lot of it.

Turmeric is a great supplement for inflammation.  Curcumin is the active ingredient.

If you take Ibuprofen or other NSAIDS and this is your only way of coping with life, 7 days on and take 3 days off, if you want it to remain effective.

ORAC values of food is useless.  Doesn't take into account deep nutrition.  Broccoli only has an ORAC of 900. Yet it does much more then just "fight free radicals."

Ginko Balboa and Turmeric with DHA (tuna oil) for closed head injuries.  (concussion for example)  The Ginko and Turmeric cross blood brain barrier and the DHA is a brain food.  Thought this was pretty cool as there isn't much info on concussion nutrition.

Kids are becoming zinc deficient.  Think this statement was more from his clinical practice.  He showed a few slides where environmental toxins are way up and this leads to zinc deficiency.

Skittles have more food coloring then any other candy/food out there.

Mold turns radiation into energy.  Mold loves sugar, electromagnetic radiation.  A lot of oils fight mold very well such as Oregano.

Echinacea is the real deal when you get a pure clinically relevant sample.  Most of the echinacea in health stores are sub quality at best.  It shows as much promise as Resveratrol (red wine), but is much cheaper.  So for boosting immunity and lifespan, look at pure grade Echinacea.

If you are fighting a cold or the flu longer then 10 days, try taking some Astragalus.  Or if your someone that burns the candle at both ends.

Overall, I think the message I take away is, choose supplements wisely.  If your going to pay money for something, at least make sure what it is, is what it is.  Support your liver and do everything you can do to improve digestion.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Introduction to Biohacking Your Life

Very cool video on an introduction to biohacking your life.  Biohacking is doing small experiments in your life to improve it.  Don't wait for science or medicine to catch up, it may be to late.  A lot of the nutrition stuff he mentions I'm going to be trying out in the coming months.  I've always been a big believer in eating more fat.  I like the tip of 1000iu of Vit D per 25lb of bodyweight.  That makes sense to me.  Enjoy!

Friday, January 11, 2013

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Brewing the Perfect Cup of Tea

I have known the health benefits of tea for a long, long time.  Never cared for it.  I would occasionally do it, but never made it a habit.  That has started to change.  Who knew you could mess up tea?

Turns out, there are rules, and they matter!

Gone are my days of boiling water, throwing a tea bag in a cup and leaving it in there as I try to slurp it down.

Water: Filtered water, just like for espresso, makes a difference.

Temperature: Green tea and White tea, you don't want to let the water start to boil.  Boiling water for these two is to hot.  For Black tea, Oolong tea and Rooibos tea, boiling water works.

Steep Time: Green is 2-3 minutes.  White and Black is 3-5 minutes.  Oolong for 5-7 minutes, Herbal teas 10 minutes, Herbal teas that have some sort of Medicinal properties 15-20 minutes Rooibos ideally is 20 minutes, although can be drank after 15 minutes.

Dosage:  1 teaspoon for every 8oz.  If you want stronger tea, don't steep longer, add more tea leaves.

Loose leaf tea trumps tea bags in terms of quality of taste.

Following these steps has improved the taste of tea for me dramatically.  I don't look forward to it like I do espresso in the morning, but it is becoming a strong habit for me at night.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Does Your Choices Make Your More Fragile or more Antifragile

The first book I'm reading for the New Year is entitled, "Antifragile," by Nassim Taleb.  This was based on several recommendations from friends and colleagues.  I'm only two chapters into it, but can already say I've thought about things more and thought about things differently then any other book I've read recently.

Fragile is obviously something you want to avoid as a human.  When health is fragile, well, that's no good.  Taleb asks the question,  "What is the opposite of fragile?"  Most people say robust or resilient.  He makes the point that robust means things that happen have no impact, they stay the same.  If things happen to fragile, they break or are injured.  Anti-fragile then has the definition of if things happen to them they actually improve.


Exercise in the right doses can fall in any of these categories.  Extreme stuff, can break you, just as laying in bed for a week can hurt you.  This is fragile.  In the exact dosage of what you always do, nothing happens.  Run the exact same mile loop around your neighborhood and wonder why you don't get faster?  Hit the same weights 3x10 2x a week and wonder why you're not stronger a year later? This is Robust.  The correct amount stresses your system and requires an adaptation to improve.  This is Antifragile.

A helpful analogy in the book that helped me was with medicine.  With drugs, you are adding something to your system that you cannot predict the outcomes.  Hence, side effects, reactions ect...This would be the opposite of simply eliminating something from your diet, such as gluten or sugar.  Drugs would be on the fragile side, eliminating things to see how you react would be antifragile.

A good friend and great strength coach, Stu McMillan, just put up a blog post where he gives the best books he read in 2012.  Well worth a look if you are looking on stocking up your library this new year.