Sleeping Better

Morning Folks! We’re giving you a double-dose of YouTube channel goodness this week. This time we’re giving you the run-down on Sleep Remedy, the creation of former Navy Seal and MD Kirk Parsley. This all-natural supplement has been a life-saver for JC and I as we’ve endured 5+ years of intermittent sleep deprivation raising our 3 kids. If you struggle to get to sleep or stay asleep, we highly recommend you give Sleep Remedy a 30-day trial.

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:


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

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!

Vision Therapy

A new vision exam for the 21st Century.


Last weekend I had the opportunity to sit down for some continuing education from one of my favorite providers on my recommended post-concussion rehab team, Dr. John Metzger and the rest of his staff at Kansas City Vision Performance Center. Though I went into the event hoping to further hone my skills as a Post Concussion Syndrome rehab provider, I walked away with much more. Put simply, my knowledge base on vision development, assessment, and therapy exploded. If you or someone you know has visual issues, difficulty reading, focusing, following directions, poor hand-eye coordination, were born by C-section, or motion sickness, it’s a good bet that you may need some vision therapy.

Let’s dig in a little here and talk about why visual skill is important and why functional optometry is the wave of the future (even though it’s a profession over 70 years old).

When you go in for your standard eye exam, your provider is looking at two things: eye sight and eye health. Though important, these are just two of a multitude of factors that determine the true fitness of your eyes and vision. However, even if eye health and sight check out, there are several other factors that are equally if not more important. Generally categorized those factors are as follows:

  1. Eye coordination
  2. Eye tracking
  3. Focusing
  4. Visual Processing

In the medical community, we have been consistently taught that sight is one of our five senses (along with hearing, smell, taste, and touch). What has been largely ignored related to vision, is that this “sense” is actually more of a key factor in motor development than we previously thought. Think about it, what would poor visual skills do to your ability to learn to walk, talk, write, and perform math? The Optic Nerve, the nerve connecting your eyes to your brain, has more sensory fibers than all of your other senses combined. Another True Fact: 20-percent of Optic Nerve Fibers go to areas in the brain outside of the visual cortex in your Occipital Lobe. Meaning, your eyes do a lot more than tell your brain what’s in front of you.

Dr. Metzger and his staff gave several examples of pediatric patients who have struggled academically, behaviorally, and even in sports, who benefited tremendously from the in-depth vision screening and treatments they perform at their clinic. Kids who were previously diagnosed with learning disabilities, ADD, ADHD, or dyslexia, were found to have fundamental vision skill problems that were hindering their learning and behavior.

Take Aways

So what are you to do with this info?

First if you have children who struggle behaviorally, physically, or academically, I urge you to schedule an appointment at Kansas City Vision Performance Center as soon as you can. They offer screens for kids as young as Pre-K to make sure they start off on the right foot as they reach school age. What’s my angle? I get absolutely no kickbacks, I just want all of our kids to feel better and do better. This is a big step in the right direction to feeling and performing your best, regardless of your age.

For you do-it-your-selfers, I’ve got some goodies for you, too.

Check out Bal-a-Metrics ( for a variety of products you can use at home to promote better visual skill and sensory integration.

This 30-question predictive checklist, from the College of Optometrists in Vision Development, can give parents a quick view of a potential vision problems that would be appropriately treated with vision therapy.

Do yourself (and your family) a favor, and go a little bit deeper to assess your true eye fitness. The difference vision therapy could make could be life-changing.

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!


Are You Ready to Run? Part XII

The dietary staple your runs can’t do without

As we continue on in our series to make you the best version of your running self (we’ve put up enough posts on this topic that we’re rivaling the number of Air Jordan models that have been released), we’re going to talk about the simplest and most effective way to enhance your running performance.

Quickly, a review of the previous standards and some links for those of you who need to catch up:

The Standards

#1-Neutral Feet

#2-Flat Shoes

#3-A Supple Thoracic Spine

#4-An Efficient Squatting Technique

#5 Hip Flexion

#6 Hip Extension

#7 Ankle Range of Motion

#8 Warming Up and Cooling Down

#9 Compression

#10 No Hot Spots

#11 Hydration

A few questions for you:

Are you hydrated? Yes or no? It’s an easy but essential question to answer.

Are you drinking a minimum of 2 to 3 quarts of water each day?

Do you know how to check your hydration status?

How much performance are you leaving on the table by being dehydrated?

Some True Facts Related to Hydration

A 2 percent drop in your optimal hydration level can decrease your VO2 Max power output-the physical capacity that allows you to maintain your race pace from start to finish-by up to 11%!

You sweat out 3 cups of water through your feet every day. The average human loses 3 liters of water per day just perspiring, breathing, and peeing.

Water is the base of the aqueous environment inside of your body that allows a host of functions to occur: oxygen transport (fairly important if you want to breathe while you run), protein resynthesis (for muscle, tendon, cartilage, ligament and fascial repair), and hormone and antibody transport, to name a few. If you’ve got creaky knees from degenerative cartilage and you’re not on-point with your hydration game, you are accelerating the process of grinding your knee cartilage into a fine dust.

When you’re dehydrated while running, your body steals water from your muscles to keep your brain functioning-helpful in terms of keeping you from running into traffic, not so helpful in terms of keeping your muscles functioning properly. Chronic dehydration leads to muscle breakdown and a general loss of energy required to power that running motor of yours.

We’ve talked at length about tissue health and mobility. When you lack adequate hydration, those tissues get stiff, matted down, and stuck together. That quick roll of your ankle as you attempt to side-step a pothole in the sidewalk turns into an ankle ligament tear when those tissues aren’t properly hydrated and supple.


A few simple practices will help you stay hydrated and optimized for running greatness.

First, a simple rule: you need electrolytes to absorb your water. Before you race out a buy the jumbo case of Gatorade at Costco, let me offer an easier, more cost-effective, and healthier approach. When you’re slamming back your Camelback water bottle throughout the day, add a pinch of salt. Otherwise that water will run right through your body instead of being absorbed by your tissues. I prefer Nuun hydration tablets, to add a little flavor to my water. If I don’t have any handy, a pinch of Himalayan Sea Salt (just about any brand) does the trick. When you’re eating food, salt your food and drink pure water.

Second, don’t count on the color of your urine to tell you if you’re hydrated. Spend $10 bfor a 100-count of Rapid Response Urine Dipsticks (RRUD). Dr. Stacy Sims has done in depth research into the hydration needs of male and female athletes, and has some specific markers to look for on your RRUD’s:

  • Look at the Specific Gravity (SG) marker:
    • Fully hydrated status is 1.005 to 1.015
    • When you approach 1.020 you’re 1 percent down from normal hydration status and approaching the threshold of a dramatic drop in performance
    • When you read 1.025, stop and drink up!
  • Leukocytes (LEU) indicate how well you have recovered from your previous training day. No change in color tells you no leukocytes are present. If leukocytes are present, the reagent strip will turn purple, the darker the more leukocytes are present. If this is you, hydrate, eat well, get some extra sleep, take some extra vitamins and minerals, and take note if your resting heart rate is higher than normal. It’s a good idea for you to take the day off from training if you find yourself in this situation.
  • Protein (PRO) will show up on the reagent strip in a tint of green. This is normal in the hours following training, but if the strip is green when you retest the next day, you need a lighter day of training or a day off all together.

The basics are the basics for a reason. If you don’t like drinking water, try the hydration tabs. If you refuse to drink water and think you’re immune to the effects of dehydration, we’re going to have to ask you to hand in your Adult Card. Handle yourself. Top-notch hydration practices are essential not just for running but to operate day to day like a normal human being. Drink up!

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!


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”

The 40-Day Kundalini Yoga Challenge

For those of you who know me personally, I think it’s pretty obvious that I am not a “woo-woo”-type person. I don’t hang dream catchers over my bed. I own not one pair of Birkenstock’s. The only crystal I own is in our kitchen cabinets.

So why in the world am I writing about Yoga? Continue reading “The 40-Day Kundalini Yoga Challenge”