Restore/Thrive Turns 1

The year that was. And what’s to come.

partys-over

74 blog posts. 32 YouTube Videos. 2,178 visitors.

363 days ago (the blog’s official b-day is 5/28/2016) we launched this site with one goal in mind: to speak directly to you, internet reader, and help guide you on the path to a better life. Whether you had an injury to rehab or were looking to get bigger, faster, and stronger, we’ve been putting down work to help you achieve your goals.

Year 2 promises to be bigger and badder: The gym opens. The first self-assessment and performance guide goes live. We can’t wait to share it all with you.

In the meantime, we thought it would be fun to link to a couple of our most popular posts from year one. If you’re a new reader, consider this a primer on what we’re all about. If you’ve been following all along, feel free to share with friends and family who you care about.

#1: “Why We Train”-Be Strong to Be Useful.

#2: “Are You Ready to Run:?Part VII”-Whether you run or not, if you sit more than 3 hours per-day, master this standard.

#3: “Treating Concussions”-The new standards for treating concussions.

#4: “Why I Hate Physical Therapy”-The genesis of the blog and the gym.

#5: “Research Update”-A convincing case for personalized medicine and hope for those of us trying our best to avoid dementia-related illnesses.

A big “Thank You!” is owed to all of you who’ve read, watched, and subscribed to our blog and YouTube channel. We hope you all have a great holiday weekend and spend a moment or two in silence to remember and be thankful for the good men and women of the U.S. Armed Forces who paid the ultimate price for us to make the most of every day of freedom they purchased on our behalf.

Something For Mom

For all the mom’s this weekend, we love you.

I wanted to give all of my mom readers a heart-felt gift today, but I am not the world’s best gift-giver. Generally, I figure that if someone wants something for themselves, they’ll go out and get it. I don’t recommend this approach if you have a spouse who expects to be surprised. But I digress.

Growing up with a strong mother was one of the greatest blessings in my life. As a young boy learning how to become a man, I didn’t worry much about how much my mom loved me, what I looked like, or what I was going to become. I can say without a doubt that my mom’s influence is stamped all over my life, at a professional and personal level. Mom was passionate about her family, her faith, her physical well-being, her education, and her ability to love and serve other people in need. Which makes it all the more sad that my mother is suffering from Fronto Temporal Dementia. FTD has eviscerated my mom’s mind and heart.

Yet out of ashes a phoenix has risen. My mom’s dementia has driven me to this platform, spreading the word on how other folks can arm themselves to avoid the same fate, optimizing their health, and hopefully spreading the word to the ones they love along the way.

So today, I wanted to share with you another gold nugget. This time in the form of a podcast. Who’s podcast, you ask? This one:

If you aren’t familiar with the term “Paleo” or the “Paleo Diet”  then the name Robb Wolf won’t mean much to you. If you’re thinking about moving out of your house and into a cave, you probably have been influenced in some way, shape, or form by Mr. Wolf or one of his acolytes. Either way, I highly recommend giving this episode of the Paleo Solution Podcast a listen:

IMG_1672

You can listen to the episode in a couple of different places:

https://robbwolf.com/2017/05/09/episode-364-jason-seib-body-image-and-fat-loss-for-women/

https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/paleo-solution-episode-364-jason-seib-body-image-fat/id340221970?i=1000385241633&mt=2

Normally a podcast devoted to the topics of health, nutrition, and fitness, Robb stepped outside of his normal programming to offer one of the best discussions on body image, self-talk, and matters of the heart that I’ve heard.  The funny thing about listening to this one, as I was taking it in, I recognized some bad habits I have been harboring in regard to my self-talk and self-image. This discussion bridges the gender gap and exposes a lot of the lies and half-truths we’re prone to believe and torture ourselves with.

I hope you all have a great Mother’s Day weekend, whether you are a mom being celebrated or are the one loving on your moms. Share this with someone you love who needs a stong dose of love and truth about who they are.


COMMENT RULES: If you are a real person, leave your real name. We are not a clearing house for solicitors so don’t do it here. Criticism and questioning is fine, that’s how we all learn and grow. Personal attacks, name calling, and the like ARE NOT COOL-if we catch you doing it you’re gone. Other than that, have at it folks! We love hearing from followers and newcomers alike and will try to reply to as many comments and questions as we can!

YouTube Update

Five minutes to a better morning

Morning, Folks! We’ve got a new video up on the Restore/Thrive YouTube Channel. This one is for you if you have a hard time getting going in the morning, stiff shoulders, hips, or backs. Try it on and have a great day!

The Training Template

Are you getting the most out of your training or fitness program?

rustyweight

There are endless iterations of training programs, workout plans, fitness regimens, get-fit-quick schemes and the like littering the internet. While you, the would be consumer and user of said things, may think that the secret to better health, performance, and body composition is hidden within the depths of internet land, there is in fact a very simple way to understand and apply critical reasoning to any program you may be considering starting.

The human body is complex in many regards, but the primary patterns of movement it is capable of do not fit in the category of high complexity.

In terms of human movements we can divide them into a few primary categories. Let’s start with the upper body.

UPPER BODY PATTERNS

  1. Vertical Press
  2. Vertical Pull
  3. Horizontal Press
  4. Horizontal Pull

LOWER BODY PATTERNS

  1. Hip Hinge
  2. Step-Up
  3. Lunge

Perform quick test of these movements and you’ll notice that you can do all of them under a doorway. Hence, the reason we call them “Doorway Movements”. Now, layer on top of these primary patterns of upper and lower body movement, the three primary planes of human movement, pictured below:

bodyplanes-w320h240

It should be obvious that we can move in more than just the direction straight through the doorway. Moving side to side and rotating are not just available motions, they’re necessary components to train in order to develop well-rounded strength. Being strong in the Coronal (a.k.a. “Frontal”) Plane and Transverse (a.k.a. “Rotary”) Plane actually contributes to better Sagittal (a.k.a. “Doorway”) Plane strength. For you meatheads and bros out there, being strong in all three planes means better bench, squat, and deadlift totals.

APPLICATION

Throughout our warm-up, training, and cool-down, we can apply these primary human movement patterns. You don’t have to focus on just one area per-session. And you don’t need to spend 30 minutes on activating every muscle in your body before you feel comfortable picking up a weight. Your warm-up should look like your workout. For example, if you’re going to barbell back squat, it’s a good idea to do a few body weight squats rather than just bend over to touch your toes or grab your foot and pull it to your butt. The warm-up should send a clear message to your body and your brain you’re about to do something similar with more intensity. If your workout is primarily full of horizontal pressing or pulling (i.e., bench pressing, or rowing variations), mix in a few movements that force your arms to move out to the side, or even diagonally across your body. The cool down should flush your body and your nervous system in such a way that you stimulate the recovery process. Here, once again, body weight movements are a great idea.

Developing better strength, fitness, and athleticism is only possible when employing training that encompasses these fundamental laws of human movement. There is a skill component to these movements, but a quality coach will challenge and improve all of these patterns, shoring up weaknesses and building better depth to the individual’s strengths along the way. Anyone, athlete or not, who employs a plan such as this will experience exponentially better results than someone stuck in a plan that doesn’t address the multi-dimensional character of human movement and performance.

Paraphrasing a popular quote:

“Smart work beats hard work when hard work doesn’t work smart.”

If you need some help figuring the ins and outs of a quality training program, give us a shout here through our “Consulting” page.


COMMENT RULES: If you are a real person, leave your real name. We are not a clearing house for solicitors so don’t do it here. Criticism and questioning is fine, that’s how we all learn and grow. Personal attacks, name calling, and the like ARE NOT COOL-if we catch you doing it you’re gone. Other than that, have at it folks! We love hearing from followers and newcomers alike and will try to reply to as many comments and questions as we can!

 

Why Your Health Matters 

Hint: It’s not just about you.

I’ll get straight to the point: the biggest threat to the national security of the United States of America is the rising cost of health care. Metabolic Syndrome (you have this condition if you have high fasting blood sugar, high triglycerides, low HDL, central obesity-that’s fat around your stomach-and high blood pressure) and more specifically the diseases that result from it-namely Cancer, Stroke, Heart Disease, Alzheimer’s, Type 2 Diabetes-by the year 2040 will cost FOUR TIMES the U.S. Gross Domestic Product to treat.

What does that mean for you, your children, and your grandchildren? There will be no money for anything else. Roads, schools, military, police, fire, food subsidies, all left at the doorstep as we drown in medical spending.

What’s almost as troubling as this news is that there’s not much the government at a federal or state level can do about this problem. The U.S. medical system is a for-profit venture, and we the consumers are going to pay the price of rising health care costs. When the fastest growing cohort of the obesity epidemic in the U.S. is children under 12 months of age, it’s fairly safe to assume that the nation’s spending on health care is not going to regress back to the mean anytime soon. Those fat babies are going to become fat adults, and a childhood spent being significantly overweight exponentially increases the speed at which your body arrives on the doorstep of Metabolic Syndrome.

That’s the bad news. We are not a healthy country, and if something significant doesn’t occur to change the direction of our country’s health and well being, the end isn’t going to be pretty for anyone.

One of the biggest lies you’re most likely to believe is that your life, your decisions, and your daily habits don’t matter to the people or the world around you. If you believe that lie, you’re dead wrong.

Now the good news. YOU can do something about this. As is the custom in most of the discovered world, most revolutions in thought, culture, and tradition begin at the grassroots level. YOU can decide to be the change you want to see. YOU have the opportunity to build up yourself and others every single day.

Every day is Monday. A new day. A new start. So get after it. Dream big and then chase those dreams down until they are the life you’re actually living. Fight the good fight for yourself and the people you love. Speak the truth in love. Don’t stop. Don’t give up. Keep learning. Keep growing. Keep believing.

I’ll leave you with two of my favorite quotes. One I used to keep on my desk at my day job until it was burned into my mind. The other I always come back to when I feel like giving up on the venture I’ve begun on this website:

“Those who think they have not time for bodily exercise will sooner or later have to find time for illness.”-Edward Stanley

“Never forget, a small group of people can change the world. No one else ever has.”-Micah Sifry


COMMENT RULES: If you are a real person, leave your real name. We are not a clearing house for solicitors so don’t do it here. Criticism and questioning is fine, that’s how we all learn and grow. Personal attacks, name calling, and the like ARE NOT COOL-if we catch you doing it you’re gone. Other than that, have at it folks! We love hearing from followers and newcomers alike and will try to reply to as many comments and questions as we can!

 

The Keto Challenge, Part II

How much bacon can one man eat?

99675e10cc7db873dc440dde81ea8e38

About four years ago, in mid-2013, I was a younger middle-aged man. JC and I had one child (the advantage was still ours). I was active and apparently healthy, lifting weights 3-4 times per-week, doing some sort of cardio another 2 days a week, eating a generally clean diet, but splurging when I wanted to. Except there was one problem. I was getting heavier. And less healthy. My cholesterol numbers in particular were headed the wrong direction. I had resisted taking drugs (statins) that my doctors had recommended for the last 5 years. Eighteen months before this point I finally gave in and started taking the statins, and though my cholesterol numbers started to lower, I was not well. My energy levels were in the tank. And my testosterone levels were tanking, despite a vigorous exercise routine and a low fat, multi-grain, lean protein dominant diet.

I was desperate, to be frank. I felt like my youth was escaping me and I had no idea what I could do to reverse this train that seemed to be leaving the “Health” station and heading on to “Fat, Sick, and Slowly Dying” town.

And then, I came across an article from a blog I had been reading for the past 6 years, The Art of Manliness. This particular post was written about increasing testosterone without drugs-a big selling point for me as I wasn’t wild about the idea of taking more pills to fix problems that I had a sense of having deeper causes. Within this post there was a link to another blog post (see Internet rabbit hole: enter here) titled “The Straight Dope on Cholesterol”. This 2-part series that took me less than 2 hours to read, and in that time taught me more about the role of cholesterol in human health than I had learned in 4 years of undergraduate studies as a science major, and 3 years of graduate work in the field of medicine. The author of this series, Dr. Peter Attia, wrote a larger, multi-part series on the nuts and bolts of cholesterol metabolism and it’s relation to human health and longevity on his own blog, The Eating Academy.

Armed with more information than my primary care doctor could explain or put into context, I immediately decided to do two things:

  1. Fire my primary care physician.
  2. Eat a ketogenic diet.

Brief primer: ketogenic diet= 60-80% of calories derived from fat, 10-15% from protein, 10% or less from carbohydrates. I know, it’s crazy. Hang in there, I’ll explain.

Point #2 is what brings us to the reason for this blog post today. When I switched to a ketogenic diet a funny thing happened, I had to buy new pants. Smaller pants. Like 2 inches smaller. In 3 weeks. I was 18 pounds lighter. And all the weight I lost was around my stomach and waist.

Before you run off and start eating keto to fit in those pants you haven’t worn since high school, let me finish the story.

Six months later, I was cruising along not missing bread, pasta, rice, or any other carbohydrates, as I stuffed my face with bacon, eggs, cheese, heavy cream, full-fat milk, and meat, meat, meat. I was nearly 20 lbs lighter than I was a half-year earlier, I hadn’t lost any of my strength or stamina in the gym, and my mind was razor sharp from the time I got up until the time I went to bed. I could go 16 hours without eating, then go lift heavy weights for an hour, and slam down a “Fat Shake” (8 oz. heavy cream, 8 oz. half & half, scoop of protein powder), and be good to go for another 16 hours without feeling one pang of hunger.

Yet beneath this dramatic change, was a lingering concern. My libido had left town and hadn’t left a forwarding address. I didn’t get it. I was living each day like my hair was on fire but felt flat emotionally. Depression set in. Deep, anxiety-inducing depression. The kind that people can’t talk you out of, cheer you up from.

It was time to stop playing doctor and ask for some help. To turn the ship around, I turned to the good folks at the University of Kansas Integrative Medicine Department. And I learned a few valuable lessons.

First, no matter what you think you know about yourself or how to take care of yourself, you need an objective 3rd party to help you sort through your health concerns. I say it to my patients and clients all the time: we all need a coach. You’re not objective enough or smart enough to handle everything on your own.

Second, test, test, test, and test. And then re-test. You have to have some objective data to make important decisions about your health and figure out if you’re headed the right direction. As it relates to diet, it is extremely helpful to have advanced cardiovascular, micro-nutrient, and genetic testing done to figure out exactly what the proper air/fuel mixture is to help your body perform its best. For me, when I got those tests done we found out a few key things:

  1. Wheat, gluten, and dairy don’t agree with me (goodbye, Fat Shake) in such a way that they actually were the cause of my tanked testosterone levels.
  2. I don’t metabolize certain vitamins and minerals efficiently, and in some cases, at all. Supplementing to help support my crappy genetics was actually one of the big keys to helping me feel my best.
  3. My risk of dementia and cardiovascular disease is somewhere between 10 to 20 times higher than a person who doesn’t have my specific genetic characteristics (in this case, I am a member of the rare ApoE 4/4 allele) .

Which brings us to our conclusion. After all the testing I switched from a true ketogenic diet to a low-carbohydrate cousin of it. And for the better part of two years, I’ve motored along pretty well. But as of late, I’ve been a little less than my best, mentally and physically speaking. I can’t tell you exactly what is off, except to tell you I’m just not as sharp as I previously have been.

And so, I’m back in ketosis. But this time, we’re being a little smarter about it. No dairy fat. More mono-unsaturated oils. More non-starchy veggies. Paying more attention to the lifestyle details: good sleep hygiene, dedicated stress-relief work every day, and (gasp!) no alcohol.

You may ask me, “Won’t you miss the fruit, the sweets, the booze?”.

And I will tell you this:

Compared to living long enough to walk my daughter down the aisle at her wedding, teaching my boys to be real men, and growing old with the love of my life, no food or drink holds a candle to them.


Post-Script

If you’re curious to hear more about this story, please feel free to e-mail me directly at restorethrive@gmail.com and I’ll fill in the gaps and give you the road map I followed. And if you want to learn more about yourself before you start making dietary changes on a whim because some yahoo with a blog told you about how you could fit into your high school jeans, please get some help. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, my colleague and friend Robyn Johnson is one of the premiere integrative dietitians in the country. Click on the link, get the help you need.


COMMENT RULES: If you are a real person, leave your real name. We are not a clearing house for solicitors so don’t do it here. Criticism and questioning is fine, that’s how we all learn and grow. Personal attacks, name calling, and the like ARE NOT COOL-if we catch you doing it you’re gone. Other than that, have at it folks! We love hearing from followers and newcomers alike and will try to reply to as many comments and questions as we can!

Let’s Eat! Q1, 2017

Another addition to our growing recipe library.

idea-ology-adornments-silverware-3

Food. Food is what brings us to this web page today. We love to eat (as well we should). And today, we’re bringing you another round of some of our tried and true favorite recipes. Keep in mind, our approach is minimalist in nature. Even some of these recipes that look like they would take all year and a day to complete are perfect for everyone from the novice cook to the accomplished chef. Prep time is usually under 15 minutes, meaning you’ll have plenty of time to check your Facebook page, Twitter feed, yell at your kids, maybe even fix yourself a drink.

Without further delay, here are some of our latest and greatest favorites.

1. Dry-Brined Steaks: By far the easiest and tastiest way to make steaks at home. Turns Choice steak into Prime and Prime into Heaven on a Plate. We recommend you use Grapeseed oil (higher smoke point), instead of the butter recommended in this recipe to sear the steaks before you put them in the oven. And if you haven’t read The Four Hour Chef by Tim Ferris (the book this recipe came from) you owe it to yourself to pick up a copy. This book gets opened in our house on a weekly basis-two years after buying it.

2. Bacon: If you don’t like bacon, you’re wrong. In this recipe, we use the food of the gods to adorn asparagus. Again, super simple prep and execution. Click, apply, enjoy.

3. Sausage, Kale, and Spaghetti Squash Boats: Ahh, feel the trendy whole-food goodness shining through in this recipe. An easy weeknight recipe requiring about 20 minutes of hands on time. Big and small eaters alike will enjoy this one.

4. Sweet Potato Casserole with Pecan Topping: We made this for our extended family when we hosted Thanksgiving, then again the day after Thanksgiving for another family meal, and then again 4 weeks later for a family Christmas dinner. You could say we’re fans of this one. Requires a little more hands on work but it is sooo worth it. Anytime eating your vegetables feels more like eating dessert, you’ve got a keeper recipe.

5. Paleo Cinnamon Rolls: We roll gluten, dairy, and soy free in our casa because of our incredibly crappy genetics (not to mention I’d like to avoid growing man boobs from eating all that hormone-wrecking soy junk). Thank goodness for internet foodies with similar problems (and concerns). This one is a weekender-don’t try to make this if you’re in a hurry. The right amount of sweet and savory awaits you.

6. Healthy Shamrock Shake: Everyone loses their mind when Mickey D’s releases the Shamrock Shake. Even if I wasn’t lactose intolerant, there’s something scary about knowing that green shake has 56 ingredients in it. I would wager that lot of you don’t even have 56 different grocery items in your home. Lucky for you, this version of the Shamrock Shake can be make with 5 ingredients and some ice.

We hope you all enjoy these recipes as much as we have. And if you’re looking for another blog with a bunch of favorite recipes aggregated for your clicking pleasure, check out our post we put up last fall here.

And feel free to post links below to any of your favorite recipes. We’ll give ’em a shot and if they make the cut, we’ll give you props when the next “Let’s Eat!” post rolls out.


COMMENT RULES: If you are a real person, leave your real name. We are not a clearing house for solicitors so don’t do it here. Criticism and questioning is fine, that’s how we all learn and grow. Personal attacks, name calling, and the like ARE NOT COOL-if we catch you doing it you’re gone. Other than that, have at it folks! We love hearing from followers and newcomers alike and will try to reply to as many comments and questions as we can!

YouTube Goodness and More

Written YouTube Logo

Morning Folks! We’ve got another addition to the Restore/Thrive vlog up on our YouTube Channel. You can click here to check it out. This one is particularly useful for those of you who have chronically tight hamstrings or recurrent sciatic nerve pain.

Also, we wanted to encourage you to check out last weekend’s Research Update post if you haven’t already. More than anything, we want to spread the word regarding the exciting progress that is being made in the field of treating Alzheimer’s and related neurological diseases. So click on over here, and share with someone you love.

 

Research Update

Share this post with someone you know and love.

Morning, Folks! Rather than try to summarize 11 pages of research, I’m going to give you the link and strongly suggest you follow it: Reversal of Cognitive Decline: A novel therapeutic program. Go ahead and click on that link and let it sink in.

That’s right, there are now completed human trials that show that sleep, customized nutrition and supplementation, exercise, and stress-reduction can actually halt and reverse the process of Alzheimer’s and related diseases of cognitive decline.

If you all could do me one favor today, it would be to share this link with as many people as you know. Alzheimer’s is the third-leading cause of death in the U.S. and will effectively bankrupt our country through the cost of medical care in the next 30 years. Dementia hits close to home for me personally, as I’ve had 4 members of my family suffer the awful progression of this disease in the last 20 years.

I want to say thanks to my friend and colleague, Robyn Johnson, for forwarding this research my way. You can check out her website here, and I strongly recommend you contact her if you have questions regarding personalized nutrition and supplementation.

Lessons Learned and Fear-Setting

partyhatsAs 2016 comes to a close, I’d like to look back and reflect on the experiences that have shaped me this year and the life lessons I’ve been able to apply in my own life in the hopes that it will provide some encouragement to all of you. Continue reading “Lessons Learned and Fear-Setting”