Since Posting "The Definitive Guide to Doing a Muscle Up", I've continued to train. Just sharing a little progress in this vid ;)
Saturday, May 11, 2013
|Joshua Weisman, Todd Dosenberry and Stefani Ruper.|
(And bacon in the background because why not have bacon in the background?)
A few months ago I had the honor of being asked to host an episode of Jimmy Moore's Livin La Vida Low Carb Podcast. Jimmy has been in the business for a long time and I admit that I was a bit nervous.
How could I offer his listeners something different, something unique, something worthwhile when just about every expert, author, or thinker you can think of has already been on his show?
The solution to this dilemma came to me at this past year's PaleoFX event when I saw how many young people were attendance. I was particularly impressed by Todd Dosenberry (aka Primal Toad), Stefani Ruper (aka Paleo for Women) and Joshua Weisman (aka Slim Palate) all three of whom were under twenty five, but showed business acumen, leadership qualities, and poise that far exceeded their respective years.
I realized that they were the future of the Paleo movement and that it would be great to have all of them join me in a panel-style discussion of the particular challenges and opportunities that being young, health-motivated, and passionate about Paleo provides.
Amazingly, we were able to synchronize our schedules and go together to record the podcast.
The discussion covered issues both great and small, everything from navigating the highschool lunchroom to national health policy and everything in between.
It would be great if you could give it a listen (link below) and share your thoughts and feedback in the comments section.
Cheers to the future!
Livin La Vida Low Carb Episode 678: Guest Host Tony Federico on The Next Generation of Paleo
Sunday, May 5, 2013
This is a guest post from Kevin Geary, creator of The Rebooted Body blog and host of The Rebooted Body Podcast. Kevin shows people how to reprogram their body and mind for rapid weight loss, vibrant health, and peak performance. I wanted to give him an opportunity to share with you some of his advice on bouncing back from injury and think he did a great job showing how you can be SMART with your recovery!
Last week I called to check in with a brand new client of mine who was in his second week of my Total Body Reboot program.
"Brendan, how's it going so far?" The voice on the other end of the line wasn't sounding too confident. Without hesitation he replied, "I'm out."
"What do you mean, you're out?" I asked.
"I'm done. I was playing racquetball a few days ago and I tore a muscle in my leg."
Of course, racquetball isn't in the activity protocol I gave him. The only thing he was supposed to be doing was walking -- a lot. Apparently he ignored my advice and -- like so many -- decided to get his "workout" through sports participation.
There's a good reason I tell people to avoid sports for their fitness or activity protocol at all costs. First and foremost, sports are designed to make you better at sports, not to make you healthier or more functional. Second, they have an astronomically high injury rate compared to functional exercise. And being injured is like slamming on the brakes for most people. All bets are off and health goes straight downhill.
Injury is bad for two reasons: it makes life suck and it has a knack for causing people to drop the ball and give up altogether. Brendan was on track to make great changes in his life and now he's resolved to pull out a sleeve of Oreos and call it a day because he's injured and doesn't feel like he can make any progress. So why try?
As a coach, I tried my damnedest to talk him out of giving up, but he was so early into this thing it was impossible to convince him.
Another one bites the dust.
Even if you don't do sports, injury is always a potential outcome of life. When I was in high school, a girl I worked with broke her ankle stepping off a curb. She was relatively fit and mobile and just had a slight misstep that resulted in being in a cast for 6 or 8 weeks. Another girl I knew was kicked by her horse and ended up bedridden for weeks with a shattered pelvis.
Being injured doesn't have to derail us from our goals. It doesn't even have to slow us down if we have a strategy and positive outlook for dealing with it when it happens. I've outlined five strategies below which you can easily remember with the acronym SMART.
One of the first things I teach people who want to make big changes to their weight and body composition is that 80-90% of your goals are going to be reached by optimizing what you feed your body. This is important when talking about injury recovery for two reasons: it assures people that they can continue to lose weight during injury by continuing to focus on food (and not give up altogether) and nutrition is the key to recovery itself.
When you give your body nutrient dense foods to work with, repair is expedited. There's nothing better for injury recovery than dense sources of micronutrients.
Depending on the type of injury, mobilizing the affected area and surrounding areas can be an effective strategy for expediting recovery. This is especially true for nagging, less serious injuries or overuse injuries. Even with more serious injuries like a broken or severely sprained ankle, knee, etc. rehabilitation and mobility work is key to restoring full movement and function after healing.
For example, once you've sprained an ankle you are more likely to re-sprain that ankle again in the future. Multiple studies have concluded that proprioception exercises and mobility treatments to the affected ankle greatly decreases the risk of re-injury. So it's not just the rehabilitation component that's important, but the prevention component as well.
Typically an injury either affects the lower body or the upper body. If you had a choice, you'd probably want the injury to affect the upper body. But, in either case, there's always an alternative exercise protocol we can follow.
An upper body injury doesn't prevent you from walking. And it doesn't prevent you from doing bodyweight strength training with a focus on the lower body, and vice versa. There is always an alternative and it's imperative that you find it.
Another key to fast, effective recovery is rest. And the definition of rest isn't limited to staying off the affected area; it's also about sleep and stress. Good luck recovering from injury quickly when there's a bunch of excess systemic inflammation and cortisol coursing through your body -- the type of inflammation caused by low quality or low quantity sleep and stress.
You should be getting 8-9 hours of sleep in a pitch black room every night for optimal performance anyway, but especially when trying to recover from injury.
On top of that, sunlight exposure, meditation, and deep breathing to relieve stress and keep your body relaxed all help speed recovery. Lastly, the more serious or debilitating the injury is, the more positive your attitude towards recovery needs to be.
As you work to heal with sustenance, mobility, alternatives, and rest, it's important to target -- which is to say, set a timeline for recovery. This target date or series of target dates is an important psychological factor because it gives you a tangible measure of progress and enhances your focus on the goal of recovery.
Think about those who are injured who mope around with no positive outlook and no timeline for rehabilitation; the body works and heals better when you're on a mission. Set realistic target dates for recovery and hold yourself accountable to the schedule by being tenacious with regards to the four previous SMART guidelines.
Have you stayed on track through injury or fallen off the wagon as a result of one? Share your thoughts and advice in the comments.
Tuesday, April 30, 2013
5-7lb Pork Shoulder
4 tbsp yellow mustard
1 cup pickle juice
1 hard apple cider
5 cloves garlic (smashed up a bit)
Pickled vegetables (sauerkraut, pickles, etc.)
Smear the pork shoulder with mustard and place in the slow cooker (you could also let it sit in the fridge covered overnight if you want the flavor to go in deeper). Pour the pickle juice and cider around the sides of the pork and toss in the garlic cloves.
Cook on "low" (I recommend NEVER using the "high" setting unless you like tough meat) for 6 to 8 hours. Avoid the temptation to open the lid early too. The trapped steam is what cooks the portion of the meat above the liquid and you don't want to mess with that.
When the meat is tender and falling off the bone, serve it with pickled vegetables and wash it down with another hard cider.
Every couple of weeks I pick up a nice fatty pork shoulder (aka pork "butt", aka "Boston roast" from the store and throw it in my slow cooker. The well-marbled meat, perfect for the "low and slow" treatment", inevitably comes out flavorful, juicy, and fork tender.
The trouble is, I'm super ADD and can never do the same thing the same way twice. I'm always playing with flavors, cook times, etc. and so I never know what is going to come out of the crock pot, magic or inedible mush. Fortunately for you, the kitchen atrocities don't make it onto the blog, I only share the keepers with you, and this time, we've got a keeper.
As Miami Florida native, I was raised with the flavors of Cuba. My mom would take us shopping and, depending on how well my sister and I behaved, we would get rewarded with a croqueta or some other little snack. We didn't have much money growing up, so these little treats meant a lot and were savored like a the rare treasure that they were. As I got older, I reconnected with my upbringing by visiting Cuban restaurants outside of my hometown. A consistent staple, of course, was the Cuban sandwich.
The classic Cuban sandwich is a flavorful combination of roast pork, ham, cheese, and yellow mustard pressed between flaky Cuban bread. The sourness of the pickles and mustard cut the richness of the pork, and the crispy texture of the bread provides just the right amount of textural contrast to bring the whole thing together.
Going back to my pork shoulder, I decided to bring in some of these flavors and qualities while ditching the bread entirely. I typically don't bother trying to make Paleo versions of things like bread (although I have certainly done so in the past) because at this stage of the game, I don't even crave bread-like substances. If I really want a damn piece of bread that bad, I'll just eat it and then go back to my regular Paleo-style diet. But I digress. As far as this recipe is concerned, it's all about the meat and veggies, so to bring some crunch and texture to the table, I recommend pairing the pork with naturally fermented pickled vegetables like sauerkraut. (If you can get it, get Bubbies, that shit is good!)
One more thing, you might be wondering why I diverged from my purely Latin inspiration by the addition of hard apple cider. The bottom line is that I've been on a real cider kick lately and knew that I would want to drink one with my meal. As it is with wine, I think it is only proper to cook with what you're drinking. The cider also lends a bit of sweetness that pairs well with pork.
Sunday, April 21, 2013
Returning to Austin TX for it's sophomore event, the 2013 iteration of the Paleo FX "Theory to Practice" symposium drew nearly a thousand attendees to the Palmer Event Center for three days of presentations, mastermind panels, movement, and meat, lots and lots of meat.
This year I was honored to be involved as a Mastermind Panel moderator as well as a participant, and have to say that standing on stage with the likes of Robb Wolf, Abel James, Josh Whitton, and more was completely surreal. I first learned about Paleo reading Robb's "The Paleo Solution", and never in a million years did I think I would be talking to the guy, and not just as a fan, but as a peer. Working for Paleo Magazine and doing PMR definitely helped prepare me, but nothing I've done before can really compare.
While being on stage was thrilling, nerve wracking, awesome and stressful, being out in the crowd was my Paleo hippie love fest, a constant mixing and merging with so many people who are "weird" just like me. Imagine a high school reunion except you actually want to know how everyone is doing when you ask them "How are you doing?" That, and everyone looks better than they did in the past. Not wanting to miss a single handshake, hug, or quick conversation, I attended only a few of the talks, opting rather to meander around the expo floor or outside of the convention halls. Much of the value of attending an event like Paleo FX is in this dynamic interaction, this building of real-world relationships with passionate purposeful people. Plus, you can always watch the talks here ---> Paleo FX Video On Demand
After the event closed each day, there was always an opportunity to keep the party going a little (or a lot) longer. The social events were hosted in beautiful venues and the meals were impeccable selected for the decidedly picky crowds. There was the typical "shop talk", but, after several glasses of red wine, kombucha-vodka cocktails, or Nor-Cal 'ritas, people started to cut loose and more than one dance-off spontaneously emerged. In a world where everyone has a blog or a book, it was nice to see people step outside of their Paleo persona.
Even though the schedule was jam packed, the three days of Paleo FX flew by. Leaving Austin and the company of my fellow Paleo peeps was a heartbreaking, and I am already counting down the days to AHS '13. I always feel like I "should" write these recaps immediately, but I never do. Maybe I'm procrastinating, but maybe it's because this is something that needs to be carefully chewed, swallowed, and digested before ending up on your computer screen.
For the sake of clarity, I've organized my thoughts in to seven lessons that seemed to have stuck with me. I could talk about the science, the specifics, or any number of other things, but this is a better representation of my personal inner experience.
Lesson #1, Get Dirty - Get grass in your hair, get itchy, lay on the ground. When you physically touch the Earth, something inside you is awakened. Joy. Peace. Groundedness. All the bad things in this world are still there, but the good thing inside you outshines them all.
Inspired by - Darryl Edwards and his Primal Playaround
|James from "Fast Paleo" getting dirty|
Lesson #2, Let Loose - What is that guard rail protecting you from? Who is that retaining wall holding back? Walk across the path, climb over the wall, jump out of your skin.
Inspired by - Tracy Barksdale, Parkour Instructor from True Nature gym in Austin TX
|Parkour with the True Nature team|
Lesson #3, Grow Your Own - Don't trust the system? Create your own system. Food is living breathing reproducing life and you don't have to be a simple spectator. Start where you are and strive to make the world a better place.
Inspired by - Karen Pendergrass, author of "Eat Paleo and Save the World"
|Chickens at the Albert Oaks Bed and Breakfast|
Lesson #4, Wait - Gratification is exponentially increased when it is delayed. Cheat codes ruin video games, quick fixes do the same thing. Spend some time in line. Get off your cell phone and talk to a stranger. Get hungry. Cultivate patience. Drop Abe Lincoln quotes.
"A man watches his pear-tree day after day, impatient for the ripening of the fruit. Let him attempt to force the process, and he may spoil both fruit and tree. But let him patiently wait, and the ripe pear at length falls into his lap!" - Abraham Lincoln
Inspired by - The line at La Barbeque in Austin TX and Stacy Toth from Paleo Parents for telling us about this place.
|Line, why you 90 minutes long???|
|Melt in your mouth brisket and beef ribs that's why.|
Lesson #5, Be YOU - Embrace who you are and don't be afraid to put yourself out there. You might be mocked, taunted, or ridiculed, but if you aren't willing to show your true self, you won't be happy either.
Credit goes to - Clifton Harski and his booty shorts
|I see you baby, shakin' that ass.|
Lesson #6, Come Closer - Unless you meet a zombie, chances are you won't get bitten. Why give a handshake when you really want to hug?
Credit goes to - Once again Darryl Edwards, this dude rocks!
|Worlds largest group bunny hop (your's truly is #6 from the right)|
Lesson #7, Fly Higher - Aim for big things. Try to make a difference. Give yourself a goal. Going airborne is scary and you'll feel out of control, but keep at it and you'll grow wings (even without a RedBull)!
Inspired by - Abel James. At last year's Paleo FX, he had just quit his job and started a "little" podcast. Yeah, it's now #1 on iTunes and he has a staff.
|Somewhere in the stratosphere.|
|Darryl Edwards going airborne.|
A special thanks to all the people who made this trip so amazing!
Keith and Michelle Norris
Roger Dickerman and Marissa Pellegrino
Bill and Haley
Shilpi and Amit Mehta
Clifton Harski and Amy Heidbreder
Karen Pendergrass and Tony Kasandrinos
Friday, April 5, 2013
New to Paleo? Old to Paleo? It doesn't really matter!
The Primal Life Kit, a bundle of cookbooks, exercise programs, and other products put together by Neely Quinn of PaleoPlan.com, is an unbelievable deal that you definitely shouldn't pass up.
My own personal reasons why I think the Primal Life Kit Rocks
Stuff to read - Digital access to EVERY ISSUE of Paleo Magazine and The Performance Menu: Journal of Health & Athletic Excellence
Stuff to eat - Discounted Kasandrinos EVOO, and Bulletproof Coffee plus BOGO AMRAP bars!
Stuff to cook - Digital copy of "Well Fed" by Melissa Joulwan, Paleo Crock Pot by CivilizedCaveman.com, and Paleo Power Lunch
Stuff to inspire - Primal Deliverance by James Gregory of FastPaleo.com, The Wild Diet by Abel James of TheFatBurningMan.com, and 21 Life Lessons from Livin La Vida Low Carb by Jimmy Moore
Stuff to heal - PCOS Unlocked by Stefani Ruper, 21-Day Paleo Cleanse by Neely Quinn
And MUCH more!
The Primal Life Kit is only available till April 9th 2013 so buy now if you don't want to miss out!
Saturday, March 16, 2013
"May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind always be at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
and rains fall soft upon your fields.
And until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of His hand."
-Old Irish Blessing
Growing up, I was always fond of St. Patrick's day, and in particular, I was fond of the food. The stringy, salty, bright red corned beef was especially intriguing and though I couldn't understand what corn had to do with it, I loved the stuff.
Later, I came to realize that corned beef was actually a cured slab of beef brisket and that it could be easily prepared at home with a simple brine of salt and spices. I introduced my wife to this tradition and we celebrated St. Patty's day with this dish (and a few Irish Car Bombs) each year.
When this St. Patrick's day came rolling around, I found myself busy with a new podcast (see Paleo Magazine Radio), a new job, and a laundry list of "to do's". Brining my own beef just didn't happen, but as a rule, I try to avoid letting "perfect" be the enemy of good, so I decided to go the semi-home-made route.
I went to Whole Foods and found a reasonably priced and reasonably real pre-prepared corned beef. Made by Wellshire Farms, it had legit ingredients and the beef itself was not treated with antibiotics and at least fed a "vegetarian" if not wholly grass-based diet. Plus, there was a jolly leprechaun on the package.
My traditional method of preparation, slow cooking in a pot, would also have to be modified to accommodate the fact that I would be in and out of the house all day. Cleaning a stove-top covered in boiled-over meet gook isn't my idea of fun, so I turned to the slow-cooker.
With crock-pot, corned beef, and a melange of root vegetables (and the obligatory cabbage) in hand, I set to work.
One 3-5lb corned beef brisket (if you want to make one from scratch, here's how you can do it)
1 whole head of cabbage (divided into wedges)
1/4 red onion (sliced)
3-4 large carrots (chopped into large chunks)
5-6 medium red potatoes (quartered)
3-4 medium parsnips (chopped into large chunks)
4 cloves garlic (peeled and lightly smashed)
5-6 cups water
Put your corned beef into the bottom of your Crock-pot. Layer in the carrots, parsnips, potatoes, garlic and onions. Add enough water to cover the brisket by at least 1". Cook on high for ~4hrs or low for 6-8hrs.
About 20 minutes before eating, boil the cabbage in a large pot with a generous pinch of sea salt.
When finished, the vegetables will be soft and flavorful and the brisket will be tender and easily pulled apart with a pair of cooking tongs.
Serve with plenty of Guinness and maybe a shot or two of Bailey's.