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Nutrition
 
Optimal Body Composition! Part 1 >
Making Sense of "Real" Nutrition Science >
Formula for Success: Mental Toughness >
Fast Rewards - Glossary >
Fast Rewards Inner Circle >
Optimal Body Composition! Part 2 >
 
 
Optimal Body Composition
 
How can I lose fat and eat more of the foods I love?
 
Weight loss is not just a matter of calories in versus calories out.  Not all calories are created equal.  Calories and nutrients aren’t the most important part of understanding weight control.  If you appropriately stimulate your body, eat the right types of foods at the right times and stay adequately hydrated, your body will work for you and not against you.  This will allow you to eat more foods, more often and still keep your body fat levels healthy and optimal.  There are several key strategies you must use to do this.  These strategies will set the stage to allow your body to metabolize and assimilate your foods more effectively.  You will have an improved metabolism and more energy throughout the day and for workouts.  This all will alow you to in turn eat more food and still lose weight.  You will also be able to continue to eat the foods you love.  On the Fast Rewards Diet no food groups are restricted and you can continue to enjoy any food you love.
 
 
 
What is the fast rewards eating system?
 
Nearly every other diet and training regimen follows a “calories in calories out” format which leads most people to failure.  Fortunately for you, your body is not as simple as personal finance and banking systems.  After years of education in Physical Therapy and Exercise Science, I had to ask why the calories in calories out approach does not work for everyone.  I discovered there are few key reasons why this approach fails most people.  First and foremost is that weight/fat gain and all body composition changes are based upon how your body is producing and responding to hormones.  Any changes a human may experience for the better or worse in performance actually lies in the neuroendocrine and neuromuscular systems.  These systems regulate your physiology of your metabolic and reproductive hormones. The Fast REWARDS eating system is based upon this realization.
 
The Fast Rewards eating system is so simple.  It eliminates counting and tracking numbers.  It gives you the empowerment to take control of your diet, your weight and your performance while continuing to eat all, I said ALL, of the foods you love.  Sounds too good to be true.  The science of the future always does.  In 10-15 years the science will catch up with modern day or common knowledge and people everywhere will be utilizing a diet regimen similar to the Fast REWARDS.
 
The Fast Rewards System is designed to allow you to achieve optimal states of health and performance, just like I had, in one of the most demanding sports in the world, college wrestling.  The kicker without starving yourself, performing hours of intense workouts and many of the other extreme attributes a competitive wrestler has to take on.  The more specific and focused you are, the easier life becomes.  You can get high levels of performance without wrecking yourself. If you are the type of person who enjoys pushing your limits to the max this plan will help you too!
 
The FAST REWARDS diet is based upon daily cycles of selective fasting from specific foods at specific times and REWARDing yourself with your favorite foods at specific times that YOU choose.  The foods that increase insulin levels, decrease insulin sensitivity, increase estrogen levels, increase toxicity, stress your immune system and cause decrease performance and energy levels are not eaten during the Selective Fasting times of the day.  This diet is not a total fast but an approach that employs selective and intermittent fasting.
This means that foods are chosen or consumed at certain times for certain reasons to have a positive effect on the body.
The REWARDS part is the best part.  By following the principles, when you are on the Fast Rewards diet, you are able to eat foods that are otherwise banned from most traditional diets.
 
On the Fast Rewards Diet if you follow the rules for short periods of time, less than ONE WHOLE DAY!!!, less than 24 HOURS!!!, you are able to reward yourself with the foods that are typically totally removed and forbidden from most diets.  This diet also teaches you how to ensure proper nourishment and how to properly use recovery meals following bouts of exercise or demanding physical activity.   Once again, you get to reward yourself for your hard work!  There is nothing better than having hard work pay off with hefty REWARDS.  Imagine you get to feel this way every single day.  Be careful you might actually start to like the FAST REWARDS DIET!
 
Sounds Great doesn’t it?  Well trust me, my clients and I totally agree with you and guess what? It works like a charm!  It might be the EASIEST diet you have ever been on once you get the hang of it.
 
Wait a minute… So you are saying I can eat chocolate every day and still achieve optimal body weight and body fat?  Yes, and it is possible on the Fast REWARDS Diet.   Get your results without depriving yourself! Finally you can!!!
 
The FAST REWARDS Diet is also designed to be able to be followed year round.  Once you understand the principles, it very easy to do this.  I wish you the best of Luck, even though I know you won’t need it!  It is hands down the best thing out there for getting leaner, healthier and improving your performance.
 
 
What are the Rules of the Fast Rewards Diet?
 
Rules are made to allow us to have efficiency in executing any plan.  This plan happens to be designed to enhance performance.
 
The Fast Rewards eating system is so simple.  It eliminates counting and tracking numbers.  It gives you the empowerment to take control of your diet, your weight and your performance while continuing to eat all, I said ALL, of the foods you love.  Sounds too good to be true.  The science of the future always does.  In 10-15 years the science will catch up with modern day or common knowledge and people everywhere will be utilizing a diet regimen similar to the Fast REWARDS.
 
The first rule that should be mentioned is based upon the fact that rules for performance are different in one very significant way.  This difference is that they all centrally focus on performance before and above all other things.  This gives these rules a special distinction among the rules of most types of planning strategies. training regimens should be designed to enhance performance as well as improve fitness and give you the leanest most muscular body.  This eating system is designed understanding that you want to be your best.  It’s design also understands that you are human and perfection is not one of your strong points.
 
Fortunately, the Fast Rewards Eating System has factored this in!  This is probably one of the best ways to feed a human and expect enhanced performance, sanity and optimal health.  It truly can’t be beat.  If you want to be your best, the rules you follow must be designed to enhance performance and not hurt it.  You should also not do what everyone else does!  Believe me it will make you feel even better once you are getting the results you desire!
I can tell you this can be quite the journey to take.  Set-backs and let downs are inevitable but will be overcome if you stick it out and stick to the rules.  Even if you get tripped up it doesn’t mean you can’t get back on track.  Simply start the process over.
The second rule of performance enhancement is to decide which level you want to compete at.  How committed are you?  How much are you really ready to change?  Do you want to be your best? Really?  That’s ok too.
 
Rule number two is really that you have to want to improve.  You have to want to get better and that means you have to be willing to change.  If you are truly willing to change the way you operate, then you can get anything that you desire in life.  You get to choose! Enhancing is a choice not sought by many.  It is not easy and can seem rather complex.  Once you understand this concept, it is not that complex.  The complexity is that the system needed for continual improvement requires continual refinement and re-assessment.  This means that you have to keep trying to improve.  The only true failure is quitting.  This plan is designed to give you the best starting point possible and also give you a place to return when hitting the wall.
 
Any diet that you follow should be designed to increase your performance.  Is your diet designed to enhance your performance?  Is it designed to do anything?  Most people I know and the diet plans they follow do not have improved performance as the number one goal.  There are many reasons why a proper nutrition program will allow you to excel.  A proper nutrition program allows you to meet these goals:
  1. Have fuel for activities of daily living(ADL’s)social life, work outs and competitions
  2. Have the fastest recovery and healing therefore least tissue damage and soreness minimizing the  risk for non-contact injuries and over training
  3. Have optimal body composition; for most athletes Maximum lean tissue and minimal fat
  4. Is easy to follow to minimize any unnecessary stress added to your already stressful life
  5. Doesn’t cause you to be miserable for long periods of time
 
Any diet regimen will be successful for you if
  1. The goals are well understood and defined.
  2. The principles of the diet are well understood
  3. The diet is easy to follow on a daily basis
  4. You have access to the foods recommended
  5. Do not have to eliminate food groups
 
The Rules of the FAST REWARDS eating system are simple and in syntax or hierarchical order:
  1. Stay Hydrated Drinking at least the minimum required amount of water per day
  2. Get at least 8 hours of sleep per night
  3. Stay with the recommendations for your prescribed “level” to allow adequate behavior modification
  4. Progressively eliminate junk food from the Selective Fasting Period
  5. Eat as high % of Real Whole Foods/Total Foods consumed as possible
  6. Use Recovery Nutrition after bouts of anything greater than moderately intense physical activity
  7. Take the recommended Supplements
  8. Effectively Perform Selective Fasting and progress towards level 7
  9. Eat plenty of the foods allowed during the Rewards Period but never over eat
  10. If wanting optimal results follow the Fastest Rewards format – Progress to Level 7
 
Why are most weight loss programs destined for failure?
 
For people who have used the Calories in calories out approach I have some revealing news for you.  The calories in calories out approach is missing some of the simple principles of what actually is working and what is not.  Anyone who follows this approach will be sure to experience frustrating plateaus and setbacks because of the principle of diminish returns.   Focusing on weight is the key to calories in calories out.  However, for the best performance and optimal body composition, you must focus primarily on two key factors or metrics to understand the best approach.
  • Performance
  • Body composition
 
If a training regimen isn’t designed to focus on the primary improvement of these two variables it is destined for failure.  You also have to think about it a little more.  If these variables aren’t first they might as well be last.  There is no reason you would want these two key variables to be the opposite, poor performance and increased body fat!!! Which is exactly what you will get if you don’t put them first.  Remember, you always want to start with the end in mind.  A lot of programs and plans will create changes.  The question is, Are these the changes you were looking for in the first place?
Here’s some more information to help you understand the Energy Balance or “calories in calories out” proposal.
There are 3500 calories in a pound of fat.  A 6 pound weight loss for the week would equal 21,000 calories for the week in deficit.  This deficit considers all calories consumed versus all calories expended.  The deficit needed to lose 6 pounds would be 3000 calories per day.  We would have to either exercise like crazy, almost 18 miles (at 6 mph = 3 hours straight) of running per day or you would barely be able to eat barely anything.   Most people barely have a resting metabolic rate below 2000.   You would have to burn another 1000 calories per day (6 mile run) and only eat 2000 calories.  For a male who weighs 150 pounds the lowest calorie intake possible would be 1950 calories to prevent starvation.   This type of lifestyle will also cause a decrease in fast twitch muscle fibers because of all of the long duration steady state exercising needed to burn the calories.
 
A diet that is focused on calories in versus calories out is destined for failure.  You will eventually reach a point where you can’t exercise anymore and you can’t restrict any more food without injuring yourself or becoming ill.
 
 
 
How does any weight control diet actually work?
 
All weight loss diets and strategies end up pushing you into a catabolic state.  All weight gain strategies end up putting you into an anabolic state.  Doing either consistently for long time periods is detrimental because your body will experience negative side effects.  Prolonged periods of anabolism for example, such as most off-season programs for athletes, often yield an undesirable accumulation of excess body fat which the athlete has to fight to lose when getting closer to the season.  As the athlete tries to lose the body fat, they also start to lose their muscle because they are staying in prolonged catabolic states to lose the weight.  They ultimately lose most of the muscle they gained in the offseason.  This doesn’t make much sense.
 
As you lose weight, your body begins to react by resetting its set point for your weight, ultimately attempting to decrease your metabolism.  If your metabolism decreases, you will be burning fewer calories throughout the day.  This can be counteracted by exercise and/or in combination with selective fasting and carb cycling.  See what is Selective Fasting?  If you continue to eat the same types of foods and do not increase your activity, your body will reset its set point and metabolism at your current weight.  Body composition improvements and weight loss will plateau.
 
Poor understanding of catabolism and anabolism, is the number one reason people experience weight loss plateaus.   You must be aware of the calories in versus calories out equation and be aware that it does not determine your body composition.  With that approach, increases or decreases of portion sizes and food groups based upon your weekly results are required to coincide with future alterations in caloric intakes.  Yuck! You can eliminate this problem by understanding your body and being sure to re-assess and reset your management program once every 1-2 months.
 
The formula for weight gain is simple.  Increase your production and stimulation of anabolic hormones such as insulin. The formula for fat gain is even simpler.  Constantly spike insulin levels when the body is already full of carbohydrates and when a person has not exercised or fasted from sugary and starchy carbohydrates.  One or two bottles of Pepsi or other soft drinks per day can easily place us in this anabolic state for most of the day.  Stay in this state and chronic disease associated with obesity, insulin resistance and metabolic syndrome will eventually manifest.
 
 
 
What do you mean when you say food is information?
 
All processes of the human body are sensory motor.  This means when we experience anything, our brains must process, integrate and interpret this sensory information. Whether you are conscious of the sensory experience or not, your body is going to respond with a certain set of potential motor responses to this sensory experience. Depending on what state your body is in, catabolic or anabolic, you will have a preset response to the types of foods (sensory information) you eat.  This can be different each time you eat something. It primarily depends on the quality and quantity of your physical activity levels and your most recent meals.
 
The body is pre-programmed to respond to natural foods.  Some food stuffs, you place in your body however, is not able to be recognized by your body.  Synthetic foods such as high fructose corn syrup are so foreign that your body cannot figure out how to metabolize them.  This leads to metabolic dysfunction, toxicity, energy declines, hormone imbalance etc.  Several studies have revealed when fed diets high in HFCS, animals will express a serious medical condition which is potentially fatal called cirrhosis of the liver.  Whether, you know it or not, your body is paying attention to what you do and how you treat it.  
 
 
 
Why should I care if I am getting fatter?
 
The body is composed of many different tissues which make up our body composition.  All body tissues have a purpose.  When the body is in homeostasis and far from a state of pathology (Sickness), it will have an optimal range for the amounts of different tissues.  When the body becomes out of homeostasis, it will cause a decrease in lean muscle mass, dehydration and an accumulation of body fat, both subcutaneous (under the skin) and visceral (around and in the organs).  In other words, a decrease in lean muscle mass, dehydration and/or accumulating body fat can be signs that your body is moving towards a state of pathology.
 
Lean muscle is most desirable because it has a higher energy requirement than fat.  This means that simply being more muscular will allow for high Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE) and that your metabolism will be higher.
 
Body fat is used to protect your organs and other body parts.  It is also used as energy for activity.  It is used to line your organs, keep your body warm by insulating you and it also insulates your nerves allowing for better signal transmission.  See what is myelin?
 
Body fat is also used as a storage tank.  Yes, it stores fuel for energy but once it is stored there, it is the hardest to access.  Quite the conundrum!  Body fat also stores toxins.  Some toxins are natural and others are not, more like poison. See food chocies – No’s – Posion Control Center 
 
The body looks at things simply.  Do I need this?  If so what do I do with it? If no then eliminate it? Do I have enough of it? Is there too much of it?
 
If you are over stressing your systems by dumping in more toxins than you can remove, you will store toxins in your fat.
 
Excess body fat is an undesirable body tissue to accumulate for many reasons beyond aesthetics.  For example, body fat is a location of the production of the aromatase enzyme.  Aromatase converts testosterone into estrogen.  When your body fat percentage is higher than normal, you create excess aromatase and therefore increase your estrogen levels.  High estrogen levels promote extra fatty tissue.  Estrogen is typically the reason why women have higher body fat composition than men. This is also the main contributor to the wonderful world you live in today filled with MAN-Boobs.
 
Remember, body fat, just  like all other tissues, has a purpose.  However, accumulation of body fat outside of normal ranges for your body size is a sign and symptom of underlying sickness and dysfunction.  The worst sign for poor health is an expanding waist line.When you find yourself in a hole, the least you can do is stop shoveling. Stop getting fatter.  Turn off the faucet.
 
By following the Fast Rewards Diet you will at the least, stop gaining weight and getting fatter.  This is a crucial but often overlooked step in the process.
 
 
 
Why should I use a program designed to improve body composition?
 
Many exercise and nutrition programs are designed for weight loss.  Weight loss most often occurs when you are in a calorie deficit.  Meaning we burn more calories than we consume.  However, weight loss is indifferent to which tissues are being lost.  Most often, weight loss programs cause you to lose lean muscle and water.  These programs are ineffective and not sustainable.  Your body already fights against you to lose fat but will respond even more negatively when muscle wasting and dehydration occur.  As you lose lean tissue, your body also resets your metabolisms to need less energy and subsequently lowers your metabolism.
 
Muscle requires more energy or calories to maintain than fat. Lean muscle also helps you stay stronger and have improved physical capacity.  Stimulating your lean tissue through exercise and demanding physical activity improves your insulin sensitivity and carbohydrate digestion. Therefore, gaining and/or keeping lean muscle is imperative to continued success in health, fat loss and performance.  In fact, increasing levels of body fat is not only visually undesirable for most, it is also a sign that your body and metabolism is dysfunctioning.  This dysfunction eventually leads to sickness and diminished physical capacity.
 
Furthermore most weight loss diets do not work because when you are no longer able to maintain a calorie deficit, weight gain will occur.  This weight will be disproportionately fat.  You will not gain muscle back without heavy weight training and even then it is still very likely impossible to put on pure muscle.  Therefore, if you lost 10 pounds on the program, modestly, we will say 5 pounds was actually fat.  Then when you regain the 10 pounds, some of it will be water but most of it will be fat.  You might gain 8 or 9 pounds of fat back.  You are now fatter than you were before because you lost muscle and gained fat and your body fat percentage will be higher.  This makes it much harder to lose the fat next time around. 
 
As mentioned previously, body fat is stubborn, especially that fat under your skin.   Our body will tell us to eat before it turns to our fat for fuel.  Fat also produces the aromatase enzyme.  The aromatase enzyme is responsible for converting testosterone to estrogen.  Estrogen promotes fat gain, especially in males, around the hips and chest.
 
It is very important to use a program that focuses on body composition rather than weight loss.  You don’t want to end up skinnier and fatter, with less lean muscle.  That just doesn’t make sense.
 
 
 
What are the 5 key components to optimally facilitating an improvement in body composition?
 
  1. Hydration
  2. Nutrition – REWARDS and Selective Fasting
  3. Daily Physical Activity and Fitness training
 
Moderate to High Intensity Interval Power Endurance training
 
Circuit/Superset resistance training
  1. Proper assessment and coaching – See Why do I need a baseline measurement?
  2. Proper Supplementation See What supplements should I take? Should I take Creatine?
 
 
 
What is an example of being anabolic/catabolic?
 
When you are in any state for short periods of time, your body is priming the systems to prepare for a change into the next state.  For example, exercise is a stressful catabolic (breaking down or weight loss) activity as is under eating or fasting.  Following a period of exercise or fasting, your body is ready to shift into an anabolic (building up or weight gaining) state and fuel your muscles.  Unfortunately many of you do not get enough physical exercise and you also tend to eat too many foods that spike your insulin, causing you to be in an anabolic state, or growth state even when your muscles are not primed for energy uptake.  Chronic exposure to anabolic hormones from being sedentary or overeating the wrong foods causes your body to be more likely to store fat when you have not exercised or stressed your body.  If you are chronically stressed, starve yourself, or exercise too much, your body will begin to catabolize your muscle, which is obviously detrimental.  The key is to use these state changes to your benefit.  You want to manipulate this to get the most out of your body.  You must go back and forth, in and out of these states to create the optimal body composition.
 
 
 
Why should everyone avoid processed foods?
 
Not too bland.  This causes us to eat as much as possible.  Food processing companies know this all too well.  Create the right flavor and people will eat much, much more.
 
Today, almost all processed food companies have been bought by one company.  Hard to believe but one of the largest food producers in the U.S. today is Phillip Morris, the Big Tobacco powerhouse which makes Marlboro cigarettes.  Is this who you want in charge of creating your food for you?
 
Processed foods are devoid of the nutrition we need to fuel and repair our bodies.  This leaves our body saying “Hey, where were the nutrients?”  This in turn causes us to eat more.  The food industry provides people with food stuffs that the body is not designed to recognize or handle.  There are many natural and unnatural substances added to these foods to get them to their bliss point.  Michael Moss describes The Bliss Point in his book Salt, Sugar, Fat.  The Bliss point is a taste that will keep you coming back for more.  A Harvard scientist discovered this point while working on MRE’s for the U.S. military/government.  Many soldiers do not eat because of stress in the field. His job was to figure out how to make these foods taste better so the soldiers would eat more and not become malnourished and ill when in the field.  After working with the military he was hired by large food corporations, General Foods, Kraft foods, PepsiCo, and Campbell’s soup.  When eating foods too high in a certain flavor or chemical, sensory specific satiety occurs.  When food is rich in a certain chemical, your brain tells your body that it’s full sooner and to stop wanting to eat.  The bliss point is in the “Goldie Locks Zone”, not too rich,
 
Eat whole foods and avoid foods with labels, packages and do not eat where you buy gas. These types of foods are laden with excess calories usually in the form of sugar or fat, especially trans fats.  These foods are also the cause of the highest consumption of salt and other toxic chemicals.  The levels of chemicals and nutrients in processed foods are recognized by the body as toxic and causes significant distress to our metabolic, digestive, cardiovascular, immune and endocrine systems.  If it is not a whole food, it is probably not the best selection.  Whole foods are what humans were designed to eat.  Foods demonstrate their most beneficial characteristics when closest to their natural state.
 
Eat as wide a variety of foods as possible.  Eat Omega 3 fatty acid rich foods such as fish, green leafy vegetables, as well as flax seed and olive oil every day.  Omega 3’s are a natural anti-inflammatory and an antioxidant.  Eat at least 2 whole fruits every day. Fruits contain large amounts of fiber and anti-oxidants.  Eat whole grains such as oatmeal, quinoa, and brown rice.  Limit white breads, wraps, pastas etc… it might as well be straight sugar.  White breads are called white because they are blanched.  The blanching process adds chemicals and calories while removing beneficial nutrients.  Food processing also removes the fiber from whole foods which aids in the digestive process.  Higher intakes of fiber are the most directly correlated factor to preventing and avoiding chronic disease such as type II diabetes and atherosclerosis.
 
 
 
Why should everyone avoid refined sugars?
 
Sugars that are not from whole fruits or vegetable sources should only be consumed during and within 2 hours after workouts and during the Rewards meal.  Food labels have ingredients listed by weight.  The first ingredient on the list is the most concentrated substance in the food.  If sugar is one of the first three ingredients, do not eat it, unless it is during or after our work out or the Rewards meal.  The following fake foods should be avoided at all costs: maltodextrin, sucrose, cane sugar, sugar syrup, high fructose corn syrup.
 
Crack Cocaine.  According to Michael Pollanthere is a great similarity between sucrose/high fructose corn syrup and crack cocaine.  Crack cocaine is derived from the coco plant and the roots are commonly chewed on for energy by the indigenous tribes in South America.  This is much like what you probably do today by drinking coffee.  The chemicals are now extracted from the roots and concentrated into a form that gets people high.   Corn contains fructose, or fruit sugar, which is a disaccharide many times sweeter than table sugar.  If corn has such a sweet sugar in it, why does it not taste as sweet as a honey? Why don’t you just put corn into your water, coffees, and sports drinks?  The fructose content in corn is not concentrated enough in nature, just like the coco plant.  Your body was never meant to handle crack cocaine, which is obvious today.  Your body was also not meant to be able to handle ingesting concentrated sugar syrups or other processed sugars either.
 
If these types of foods are going to be eaten, you will get your best results when following the principles of the FAST REWARDS Diet. When initially starting this plan and for best results, as mentioned previously, avoid sugary foods altogether.  Believe it or not, If you can follow this plan, desserts can be eaten daily and weight, primarily fat can and will be lost.
 
 
 
Why are antioxidants important?
 
Excessive oxidation depletes our amino acids to be converted to antioxidants like gluthaione.  This can cause your body to leach your protein from your muscles through gluconeogenesis.  This ultimately leads to a lesser desirable body composition.
 
Whole foods are loaded with Antioxidants. Your body is constantly exposed to a significant amount of stress on a daily basis.  The stress your body is under causes oxidation. Oxidation can lead to degeneration of your cells and alter the biological processes in your body.  This can decrease your performance and recovery.   Some experts believe oxidation is what leads to cancer. Through urinalysis it is possible to measure oxidative stress. We can now detect the levels of isoprostanes in your urine.  Isoprostanes are a direct measure of the amount of oxidation your body is experiencing.  Exercising, especially as much as athletes do, creates a considerable addition to our daily encounter of oxidation, inflammation, and stress.  By consuming foods high in antioxidants and utilizing the proper supplements (multivitamins, bioflavonoids, omega 3’s etc…), you can decrease your levels of isoprostanes, limit the oxidation your body is experiencing, and ultimately have better performances and health.
 
Antioxidants occur naturally in plant sources of whole foods such as whole grains, fruits and vegetables.  Plants do not get cancer and are very good at defending themselves from the external environment.  They create antioxidants to do this.  Plants can get a tumor similar to a human.  The plant however is able to live, survive and actually thrive.  The plants natural defenses protect it from the tumor and the tumor doesn’t kill the plant.  Humans, however, are not very good at this and need to consume plant sources of whole foods to adequately decrease oxidation and deal with the stress encountered on a daily basis.  Plants contain the vital nutrients that help to strengthen our detoxification and immune systems.
 
Cancer cells occur in your body all the time.  Cancer cells are simply a mutated cell.  When you are healthy, your body is able to remove these cells via our immune system.  Excessive oxidation causes damage to your cells and makes you susceptible for developing more cancer cells.  If your detoxification system is not functioning at a high level, it places stress on your immune system.  If your immune system is malfunctioning for long periods of time, it will be unable to remove the cancerous cells.  The cancerous cells will begin to accumulate and will attack your healthy cells.  The next step is chemo, barfing, losing all of our lean tissue and potentially death if it is not caught early enough.
 
 
 
What is 15 minute rule?
 
Your brain does not register that you have consumed anything until 15 minutes past consumption of the food or drink. Most people eat too quickly and consume too many calories prior to this message reaching their brain. You should begin your meals with soups or salads, vegetables, or a healthy appetizer. Since the process takes 15 minutes for your brain to comprehend that we have eaten something; you should try to take as much time as possible while you eat.  You should try to consume food every 2-3 hours to ensure we do not have significant drops in our blood sugar.  Drops in blood sugar will cause metabolism to slow down.  It will also cause an intense increase in hunger and you will be very likely to over eat at the next feeding.
 
Your brain will also tell you that you are starving when you are not.  Your perception of hunger kicks in way before your body ever starts to utilize your energy stores.  This is likely a primitive survival mechanism for an organism that was once living in a world with scarce food.  Your body could not afford to spare energy reserves and would signal you to find food in order to preserve your own existence.  Today you live in a world of abundance.  It is likely you also have an abundance of energy storage.  See spare tire and love handles.
 
 
 
 
Making Sense of the "Real" Nutrition Science
 
 
What is the human made of?
 
All nutrients, except minerals and water, contain carbon in some combination with other atoms and compounds.  Carbon is an easily shared atom secondary to its electron configuration.  Nitrogen is the base atom associated with amino acids and proteins in conjunction with carbon, hydrogen and oxygen.  In fact all nutrients are derived from carbohydrates, oxygen and carbon.  The human organism is 3% nitrogen, 10% hydrogen, 18 % carbon, and 65% oxygen.  The rest but maybe the most important is comprised of trace minerals and elements.
 
 
 
What is a Carbohydrate?
 
Carbohydrates exist in several forms.  Over 200 monosaccharides, simple sugars, exist in nature.  Glucose, galactose and fructose are the most common.  Fructose is the sweetest of all the monosaccharides.  Sucrose is a disaccharide, or double sugar.  Monosaccharide and disaccharides make up the simple sugars.  These sugars are found commercially in honey, brown sugar, syrup, malt molasses, lactose and table sugar.  Polysaccharides, complex carbohydrates, are carbohydrates with very many linkages of sugar molecules, simple sugars.  Polysaccharides form during dehydration synthesis.  This means as each mono or disaccharide is linked together in our bodies; two hydrogen atoms and one oxygen atom are removed from the carbohydrates, with a remainder H20 molecule.  Polysaccharides are found in many plant forms some as whole grains and vegetables.
 
 
 
What are the roles of Carbohydrates in the body?
 
They are primarily used as an energy fuel especially during physical activity.  We must have daily replenishing of carbohydrate stores to have adequate function.  Once our cells have stored enough glycogen it converts excess glycogen to fat reserves.  Adequate carbohydrate intake also serves to spare muscle catabolism or breakdown.  When carbohydrate stores are low, the body will convert proteins via gluconeogenesis to serve as a fuel source.  This process wreaks havoc on our proteins which are utilized to maintain, repair and grow tissues.  This also puts a significant stress to our kidneys because the proteins when converted to glycogen through gluconeogenesis, lose their nitrogen base.  This nitrogen is then pushed out of our bodies through or kidneys in the form of urea.  It is also commonly found in the form of uric acid crystals in individuals with gouty arthritis, a.k.a. Gout.  Gout is often associated with endocrine and metabolic disorders and is highly linked to our diet as most endocrine and metabolic disorders are.  The substance that is removed from the joint of a person with gout often smells exactly like urine.  In reality, it is urine, just a concentrated form in their joint.
 
 
 
How are Carbohydrates stored?
 
Glycogen is an animal storage form of polysaccharide, carbohydrate.  It is synthesized in the liver.  70-80%, 5 g per kg of body mass, of our body’s glycogen stores are in the muscle.  Muscles however are only about 1% of their mass from glycogen.  The liver stores approximately 1.5 g/kg of body mass.  < 5 g of blood glucose finishes off our reserves of carbohydrate storage in the body.  The maximum amount of storage of carbohydrates for the body is 15g/kg of body mass.  The body is heavily reliant upon utilization of carbohydrates for energy.  Our stores need consistent replenishing throughout the day to allow for optimal function.   The muscles also heavily utilize carbohydrates during exercise for energy.  These carbohydrates also need replenished for optimal function.   Our brains are also glucose dependent machines.  Our brains require a non-stop supply of glucose.  If our blood glucose drops below equilibrium, known as hypoglycemia, we will move towards lesser consciousness, decreased alertness and feelings of fatigue quickly ensue.
 
If our carbohydrate stores are full, the body sends the excess sugar to the liver to bond with a fatty acid and be converted into triglycerides which are then transported by LDL cholesterol through our blood to our fat cells.
 
How are plant carbohydrates stored?  Starches and fiber make up the plant storage form of complex carbohydrates.  Starches are found in breads, cereals, pastas, potatoes, peas, beans, roots, corn and seeds. Starches should make 25% or more of our diets.  The typical American diet is deficient of starches secondary to the high consumption of simple sugars.  Amylopectin and amylase are two of the most abundant starches.  Amylose is the slower digesting of the two starches.  Amylose is soluble in water.  Foods high in amylose, such as new potatoes, basmati rice, couscous, and quinoa are absorbed more slowly.
 
 
What is Fiber?
 
It is a non-starch and consists of cellulose, the most abundant organic molecule on earth.  Humans are unable to completely digest fibers.  Fibers occur exclusively in plants.  They make up the structures of the leaves, stems, roots, seeds and covering.  Low levels of fiber intakes have been shown to be the strongest predictor of chronic diseases plaguing western society.  A person consuming the typical Western diet is eating about 12 g of fiber per day.  Fiber intakes in rural India and China, where chronic diseases are nearly non-existent, are upwards of 40 g per day.  Fibers hold water and add bulk to the stool and allow for easier digestion.  Fibers are also utilized to help remove toxins and clean out the gastrointestinal system by a scraping action on the intestinal walls.  High fiber diets have also been shown to create optimal levels and ratios of gut bacteria which when out of balance can lead to digestive issues as well as many other related issues such as insulin resistance.  Fibers ultimately speed up the digestive process increasing transit time from mouth to anus.  This acceleration may not allow toxins and other harmful substances to sit in the gut for a long enough period of time for the negative sequelae to ensue.  Consuming foods high in fiber also decreases the overall number of calories consumed in a meal.  Daily fiber recommended intakes from the USDA are 20-35 g per day.  Remember the countries and areas of the world with the least amounts of chronic disease consume greater than 40 g per day.
 
 
 
Why do we eat so many Carbohydrates today?
 
Our bodies were designed to consume the right carbohydrates.  Throughout most of history, the wild roots, tubers, fruits, vegetables, and nuts that our ancestors gathered were the only carbohydrate foods available. These foods were loaded with fiber and nutrients, and they were slowly digested and absorbed to provide a slow-release, sustained form of energy. With the advent of agriculture about 10,000 years ago, humans began to cultivate grains such as wheat, rice, corn, oats, and barley. These foods quickly became a foundation in the human diet.   These foods were consumed in their natural unprocessed forms. Whole, cracked, or coarsely ground grains were made into porridges or baked into hearty whole-grain breads.
 
While the introduction of cereal grains substantially changed the human diet, the past 200 years have had an even greater impact on the types of carbohydrates available in the food supply-starting with the invention of high-speed grain mills in the early 1800s. Using this technology, producers remove the fibrous bran and nutritious germ from grains to make finely ground flour from just the starchy endosperm portion of the grain. People eagerly adopted this new flour, which had a very long storage life and made softer and lighter breads, cakes, and pastries. Unfortunately, this new white flour was also virtually devoid of the vitamins, minerals, and fiber found in whole grain products.  Its superfine texture makes it quickly digested and absorbed in the body, causing a rapid release of glucose and insulin into the blood. The past fifty years have brought the most dramatic changes of all to our food supply. Products made from quickly digested white flours, such as breads, bagels, crackers, pretzels, and baking mixes, have become the norm in most people’s diets.
 
 
 
What are Insulin and Glucagon? How do they affect me?
 
Insulin is an anabolic growth hormone secreted by the pancreas.  Insulin is released primarily when blood glucose levels are elevated above resting state, 120g/dl.  Insulin is an anabolic hormone that signals your body to open up the gates and take glucose and other fuels, such as creatine, into the muscle fibers for storage.  Insulin is an anabolic, tissue building hormone, and is one of the most potent growth hormones naturally occurring in the body.  Insulin has become widely utilized by many professional body building because of its potential to increase body mass, specifically muscle mass in a short period of time.  Androgenic Steroids and human growth hormone are also usually taken concomitantly because they both have great effects on increasing the sensitivity or response of our muscles to insulin.  These bodybuilders eat massive amounts of food during these cycles in which most of it, secondary to the elevated muscle insulin sensitivity, protein synthesis, blood flow and elevated testosterone ends up in our muscles creating a lean, massive, ripped human being.
 
Unfortunately many of us dose ourselves throughout the day with insulin from eating toxic refined, unhealthy, processed, hyperinsulinemic, estrogenic (TRUPHE) carbohydrate foods too frequently.  We also do many things such as take certain medications for chronic disease symptom control and/or are sedentary and/or have elevated estrogen levels and/or have low testosterone which all causes stress to our liver kidneys and immune system, less protein synthesis and poor insulin sensitivity to our muscles. This leaves us a puffy, massive, obese, rippled, human being.
 
Insulin has widespread effects on the body but when considering metabolism, the muscles, liver and fat are usually thought to be the three most important tissues. Insulin, especially when the pancreas secrets it during periods of insulin resistance, is directly related to
  • High blood pressure and stress to the kidneys which may lead to elevated uric acid levels in the blood and subsequent gouty arthritis
  • Poor oxygenation of our Red Blood Cells and subsequent nourishment of our tissues(HBA1C)
  • Abnormal levels of triglycerides and cholesterol, increases in LDL and VLDL and decreases in HDL.
  • Excess fat accumulation and subsequent toxin storage as well as increase aromatase enzyme production and subsequent alterations in the balance of sex hormones estrogen and testosterone
  • Poor blood flow to peripheral tissues
  • Low energy levels
 
Glucagon is a catabolic hormone secreted by the pancreas and has the opposite effect of insulin.  Glucagon is released following an episode of hypoglycemia or low blood sugar.  Glucagon stimulates the breakdown of glycogen and the release of glucose into the blood stream to reach homeostasis.  Glucagon will continue to do this even in the face of high insulin levels.  Glucagon is catabolic and will cause gluconeogenesis.
 
 
 
What is Gluconeogensis?
 
This is the process by which other molecules in the body are transformed into glucose.  When blood sugar is low the body will primarily catabolize muscle protein to be converted into glucose.  Gluconeogenesis is the synthesis of glucose in the liver from utilization of amino acids, glycerol, pyruvate and lactate.  When blood sugar drops, gluconeogenesis is less likely to ensue if we are consuming a diet high in protein and healthy fats.  During carbohydrate fasting, it is recommended to consume BCCA’s and/or whey protein, medium chain triglycerides, Omega 3 fatty acid as supplements to keep nitrogen balance and free amino acid levels in our blood near equilibrium.  When these levels are low and blood sugar is low as well, the body will signal catabolic hormones like glucagon to stimulate gluconeogenesis from our muscle protein.  Very Bad!
 
Excessive insulin facilitates glucose oxidation at the expense of fatty acid oxidation as well as stimulates synthesis of VLDL cholesterol (very worst cholesterol) storage in the liver and fat storage in adipose tissue.
 
 
What is Hyperglycemia?
 
Blood sugar elevates following ingestion of carbohydrates and an abnormal sustained period of elevated blood sugar is called hyperglycemia.  Following ingestion of carbohydrates, insulin is released to drive sugar into our cells for storage and to be used for energy.  Some foods cause greater increases in in glucose as well as insulin levels.  It was once thought that insulin levels directly increased based upon eating foods high on the glycemic index.
 
 
 
What is Hypoglycemia?
 
Hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar is a state when levels of blood glucose drop below 70mg/dL. Symptoms begin to occur at 55mg/dL. These symptoms are irritability, fatigue, shakiness and borborygmus (stomach growling) and hunger. A drop below 40mg/dL will cause diminished levels of consciousness and levels below 10mg/dL results in shut down of all nervous system electrical activity and a subsequent coma. Two days of fasting causes blood glucose level decreases to 35% but does not decrease any further because of increased fatty acids and ketone bodies, via gluconeogenesis, which persists for 7 days after starvation initiates. Three days of a decrease in maintaining a diet of 5 % energy of carbohydrates, completely blunts anaerobic (power) exercise capacity.
 
 
 
What is Rebound Hypoglycemia?
 
This phenomenon occurs when a food with a high insulin index or a high glycemic load meal is ingested.  The subsequent spike in insulin causes blood sugar to drop below resting levels.  This in turn causes hunger, fatigue etc.  People will then be highly likely to look for a quick fix to restore energy levels such as caffeine or eating a high energy (sugary or fatty) food. The toxic refined unhealthy processed hyperinsulinemic estrogenic (TRUPHE) foods selected are typically nutrient sparse and high in refined carbohydrates or fats. This poor selection causes blood sugar to spike again and the cycle continues. Following many years of this behavior the body develops resistance to having high levels of insulin circulating in the system.  
 
 
 
What is Glycemic Index?
 
The glycemic index (GI) is a ranking of how the consumption of a food affects our levels of blood sugar relative to consuming 50 grams of table sugar or white bread.  Some sources will tell you that if a food has a high glycemic index it will cause a significant spike in our insulin which has been demonstrated to be detrimental to our health.
 
There are several things which cause certain foods to have higher glycemic indices.  Processing of grains causes a removal of the fiber and makes the carbohydrates that are left more easily digested.  This is why most breakfast cereals and white breads have a high GI.  The naturally occurring acids in fruits, as well as in fermented foods like yogurt, buttermilk, and sourdough bread, slow the rate of digestion and contribute to the low GI of these foods. Cooking also makes starches more easily digested and cooked starches will also increase blood glucose more rapidly.  The type of sugar also plays a significant role.  Fructose has a low GI of 23 despite the fact many people believe fruit to be high glycemic.  Relatively, most fruits are composed of fiber and water with little amounts of sugar. The sugar is connected to the fiber which helps with its digestion and absorption and lowers its GI.  For examples of GI numbers see Table 1.0.
 
 
What is the Insulin Index?
 
The insulin index (II), however, is the amount of insulin response we get from ingesting a food relative to consuming 50 grams of table sugar or white bread.  The insulin index is more important because exposure of our tissues to high levels of insulin will cause insulin resistance and impaired metabolism. Several sequential studies in the AJCN, American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, demonstrated the importance of insulin response in food selection. Holt SHA, Brand-Miller JC, Petocz P.  An insulin index of foods: the insulin demand generated by 1000 kJ portions of common foods.  Am J Clin Nutr 1997;66:1264-76.  Bao J, de Jong V, Atkinson F, Petocz P, and  Brand-Miller JC. Food insulin index: Physiological basis for predicting insulin demand evoked by composite meals.  Am J Clin Nutr 2009;90:986–92.
 
 
 
What is a Glycemic Load?
 
Glycemic load (GL) is a term describing the combination of the GI and the number of carbohydrates consumed.  Proper nutrition is more about total carbohydrates in grams and total calories.  If a food has a GI of 50 and you eat 5 grams, blood sugar will be the same as eating a food with a GI score of 5 and eating 50 grams of it.  We should not be over eating.  Although GI is important to consider, we cannot be gluttons.   We need to have a diet that focuses on the correct number of calories, portions, serving sizes and keeping a well-balanced variety of foods that will meet our nutrition needs.
 
 
 
What is Insulin Resistance?
 
As mentioned previously insulin is one of the most powerful hormones in the body.  When the body is stimulated repeatedly with any intense stimuli, it will become less sensitive to the stimuli over time.  Heroin works in a very similar way.  The drug abuser has to increase their dosage over time to experience the effects because the body develops resistance or tolerance to the drug.  When the drug is removed, the body cannot produce levels of its own opioid hormones that are strong enough to have an effect.  The person experiences horrible withdrawal symptoms such as pain and nausea.  They quickly turn back to using the drug because it relinquishes their symptoms.
 
Though the effects of heroin are similar to the effects of hyperinsulinemia (high blood levels of insulin), they are very different.  Heroin is a drug that is administered.  Insulin is a hormone that we secrete after we eat something.  In both cases however we have the control and the power of decision making to interrupt pattern that causes the negative sequelae to ensue.  A sequela is a pathological condition associated with disease, injury or trauma. Sequelae are the plural form.  If we can recognize that it is our decisions which lead us to the sequelae and subsequent suffering, we can and will desire to make a change.  We can interrupt our poor decision making process and inject a new one that allows us to have maximal results and optimal performance.
 
Our tissues will also become resistant to insulin when their storage is full.  Sugar is primarily stored in the muscles.  See How are carbohydrates stored?   Once the tissues are full they become less sensitive to insulin.  Our muscles when used for activity breakdown glycogen and use glucose or blood sugar for energy.  This causes us to need more carbohydrates and our muscles will be more sensitive to insulin when we eat.  When we avoid eating starchy or sugary carbohydrates, our storage is also depleted.  This also makes our tissues more sensitive to insulin when we eat carbohydrates following a carb fast.  See Why is Refueling after Exercise Important
 
In 1895, Bayer pharmaceuticals were attempting to develop a drug that was less addictive than morphine and just as or more potent.  They advertised that their new drug heroin was not addictive.  They soon found out that it was actually much more addictive than morphine.  I am sure similar problems are occurring today with what “we think we know.”  We are left to trust the pharmaceutical industry and medical community to take care of us.  Take this from a health care professional, the healthcare industry is a business.  The health care system operates in a capitalistic system and cannot avoid the side effects of capitalism.  The health care system is not set up to make us healthier.  It is set up to treat your symptoms and get you back to work or school.  Get back to being a productive member of society, healthy or not.  Get back in there and make more money for our system.  Don’t be fooled.  There are few people that care about your health.  The only path to a healthy life and high levels of performance is through awareness.
 
 
 
How much Carbohydrate, Protein and Fat should I eat?
 
40- 60% of our dietary intake should come from consuming carbohydrates. This is probably one of the greatest mistakes athletes make. Not all carbohydrates are the same. Some carbs should be avoided buy good sources of carbs should be consumed regularly. Toxic refined unhealthy processed hyperinsulinemic estrogenic sugars derived from non-plant or whole grain sources, cause an undesirable effect on our metabolism and performance as mentioned previously when consumed at improper times. Refined carbs, as mentioned above, should only be ingested after workouts to spike insulin and create an anabolic response. Toxic refined unhealthy process hyperinsulinemic estrogenic (TRUPHE) foods should not be consumed more than once every 24 hours.
 
20-30% of our dietary intake should come from fat – primarily healthy fats, mono and polyunsaturated fats.  Healthy fats are essential for the function of many of our body’s systems, especially the brain and nervous system.  Essential fats also help us to stay lean and keep our hearts healthy.  Not all Fats are bad.
 
20-30% of our dietary intake should come from protein.  Proteins are the building blocks for our muscles, hormones and immune system.  We need to replenish our protein sources secondary to the muscle breakdown and other metabolic actions during training.  Protein is used to build, repair and maintain tissue and despite popular belief is not primarily called upon for energy.  A person can only utilize so much protein within a given time period. The male body can utilize approximately 14-30 grams of protein every 3-4 hours. The female body can utilize approximately 7-21 grams of protein within the same time span. Protein is also the most satiating (creates the feeling of fullness) of the macronutrients and should be eaten at every meal along with vegetables. Veggies will aid in digesting the protein among other things.  Lean proteins, slightly ahead of veggies, have the highest thermic effect.  Thermic effect of food describes how much work, heat and energy the body has to use to break the food down.  Some vegetables, like celery actually have a negative thermic effect because it takes more energy to digest it than the celery actually contains. 
 
 
What are Fats?
 
Fats are desirable to consume in the appropriate types and quantities.  Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats should comprise the majority of our ingested fats.  High consumption of saturated fats has been linked to many disease processes.  Saturated fats are derived primarily from animal products.  Our bodies require some minimal levels of fat consumption and storage for the brain and nervous system to function and to protect our other organs from damage.  Our fat storage often cushions areas of the body and provides thermal insulation from the external environment.  There is a large fat pad posterior to our eyes.  When people are very deficient in fat stores it looks as if the eyes are sunk in secondary to depletion of this fat pad. 
 
 
 
What are essential fats? What are Omega 3's?
 
Mono and polyunsaturated fatty acids are essential nutrients the body cannot create independently.  Our bodies do have some ability to convert alpha linolenic acid (ALA) into docosahexanoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA).  These are the three commonly known Omega 3 fatty acids.  Omega 3 fatty acids are termed because of the positioning of their final carbohydrate bond.  These are polyunsaturated fatty acids.  Omega 3 fatty acids are anti-inflammatory and have been demonstrated to decrease blood triglyceride levels.  ALA occurs primarily in plants, especially green plants such as algae.  Fish contain high levels of DHA and EPA.  Fish eat large amounts of algae.  They then synthesize ALA into DHA and EPA.  We then eat the fish or consume fish oils to get sufficient amounts of these fatty acids.  It’s ironic because we can get the appropriate amounts of the essential fatty acids by eating as our design principles tell us to.  Eat a lot of green leafy plants.  Omega 6 fatty acids are commonly known as gamma linolenic acid(GLA) and arachadonic acid (ARA).  ARA is a counterpart to a saturated fatty acid in peanuts called arachidic acid and is a precursor to prostaglandins.  Prostaglandins are a pro-inflammatory molecule.  Omega 6 fatty acids also play a key role in the formation of omega 6 eicosanoids.  Omega 6 eicosanoids are the targeted molecules by anti-inflammatories such as aspirin and NSAID’s.  Omega 6 fatty acids have also been linked to creation and conversion of pro-inflammatory substances such as thromboxanes, leukotrienes, and prostacyclins.
 
 
 
Why should I eat Omega 3's?
 
Why should I eat Omega 3’s? Similar to the processing of whole grains, many food processes created by the food scientists to allow for longer shelf lives remove the omega 3’s from our foods.  Foods high in Omega 3’s, such as vegetables, spoil very easily and at one time was thought to be counterproductive.  This thought allowed food companies to process foods while removing important nutrients.  Grains and nuts are high in the pro-inflammatory omega 6 fatty acids.  Many of our meats are very high in omega 6’s today because our livestock is heavily fed with grains and not grass.  This is one reason we should consume meats from grass fed animals.  When it comes to health, any short cuts to make money, mass produce food, or have increased shelf lives will, in the long run, cause malnutrition.  Many nutrition experts believe that much of the chronic disease we are witnessing today can be linked to a high consumption of omega 6 pro-inflammatory foods and dismal consumption of omega 3 rich foods.  Human beings did not evolve on saturated fatty acids nor trans – fatty acids.  The omega 6 to omega 3 ratio is 20: 1 in western cultures and should be less, around 6:1 to 3:1.
 
 
 
What is Protein?
 
Protein is derived from the Greek word, proteios, meaning of prime importance.  Protein typically serves as a vital role in tissue maintenance, repair, and growth but has little role in providing energy.  There are more than 50 amino acids that help to form proteins.  There are 20 essential amino acids. These amino acids are the ones the body cannot produce independently and we have to get them from our diet.  These amino acids can easily be consumed by consuming a wide variety of foods.   Infants cannot synthesize histadine and children have limited ability to synthesize arginine. Complete proteins are foods that contain all essential amino acids – complete protein comes primarily from eggs, fish lean beef, cow milk – eggs are 100 on a scale of 100.  Complete proteins are also found in plant forms such as amaranth, quinoa, aphanizomenon flos-aquae, spirulina, buck wheat, and hempseed.  Hempseed also has desirable ratio of omega 6 to omega 3’s.  Fish has an amino acid score of 70, lean beef 69, cow milk 60, soy beans 47.  Today animal sources provide 2/3 of dietary proteins and this is a concern since our bodies were meant to consume our foods from a variety sources but mostly plants.  80 years ago the ratio was 1:1.
 
 
 
Formula for success: Mental Toughness
 
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Goal setting is the master skill of success.  Whether you’re breaking boards or trying to run faster, it is important to understand where you are in relationship to the board, the ground or the finish line.  When attempting to break boards, you have to imagine you are hitting through the board several inches on the other side to break it.  You have set your goal past the actual goal to achieve it.  When running in a race you must run through the finish line or you will be decelerating as you approach the finish line.  This is how many people often lose races because their opponent continues to accelerate through the finish line.  Mental mistakes are entirely preventable!
 
Whether it is a marathon or a sprint, the winner is the participant who can reach top speeds and maintain a high intensity.  The winner is the person who slows down the least after accelerating to maximum velocity.  It is the same in all other endeavors or tasks worthy of competition.  The competitor who is able to reach a high intensity and slow down the least will win.  It doesn’t matter if it is a competition for a promotion, a wrestling match, or two companies competing for business.  The principles are the same.
 
As you move in a certain direction, you gain inertia.  Inertia is a phenomenon of an object in motion.   In order to change the direction of a moving object, the resistance required directly relates to the object’s size and speed.   The larger and faster the moving the object is, the more inertia there is.
The more inertia you have, the harder you are to stop as well.
Setting appropriate goals is the starting point and creates strong inertia for you.  SMART goals create a massive amount of inertia that keeps you moving in the same direction, towards getting what you really want.   This inertia should be strong enough to keep you going even when encountering forces that try to push you in the opposite direction, away from your goals.  As you move forwards, your new positive behaviors will continue to strengthen the inertia you have created. This makes it easier and easier to keep you moving away from your old behaviors.
 
Goal setting is the most common attribute of the most successful companies, athletes and organizations.   Goal setting creates a target in which all of your efforts can be aimed.  Without a goal, you activities and methods lack direction. This causes uncoordinated efforts and chaos, ultimately leading you to frustration and a likelihood of failure.  Clear goals provide direction to your actions.  Without direction there is nothing to focus your energy on. This gives you purpose. You are a purpose driven organism and must have direction to have true enjoyment.
 
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You Vs. You - The Real Competition
 
Self-efficacy is the main goal of any improvement or self-development plan.  It is the “BIG” picture.
 
To achieve success in any endeavor first, you must believe it is possible.  If something seems impossible to achieve, you have to have acquired the belief that it will be impossible to fail. Fortunately, you are in control of your beliefs.
 
Self-efficacy is strengthened every time you set a goal and strive to achieve it. Efficacy is the belief that one is in control of the ability of performing in a certain manner to attain goals.  Efficacy is the power to produce an effect.  A person with high self-efficacy may engage in a more health related activity when an illness occurs, whereas a person with low self-efficacy would harbor feelings of hopelessness. The belief in your capabilities to organize and execute the courses of action required to produce the desired outcomes is constructed on the basis of the four most influential sources.
Success is efficacy, the ability to set a goal and achieve it. 
Actual achievement of your goals. Your self-image and your identity only gains true strength from wholehearted and consistent recognition of real accomplishment that has significant social and cultural meaning.
 
Vicarious achievement.  You can use the secondhand experience of someone else similar to you achieving their goals which are similar to yours. You like to think if they can do it then so can I.  This is often what works very well with leadership in sports.  The followers observe the habits and behaviors of their leaders, their peers and emulate them to increase their chances for success as well.  Be careful here.  Choose who you emulate wisely.
 
Word of Mouth.  You can also use word of mouth from others, most specifically experts whom we have never met.  Sometimes if you are fortunate to receive information from someone that is accurate it may enhance your self-efficacy.  If this information is congruent with your beliefs and supports your behaviors and your goals, it can potentially strengthen your self-efficacy.
 
Gut Feelings.  Sometimes gut feelings can be very valuable.  Many people also use their feelings to determine how they make decisions, which is often the most unreliable way to achieve a goal.  This is also known as going with our gut instincts.  It is effective sometimes, but for you sometimes is not good enough.
 
According to renowned psychologist Albert Bandura, self-efficacy plays the central role in the cognitive regulation of motivation.  This is because you will regulate the level and the amount of effort you will expend in accordance with the outcomes you are expecting.  The greater the desired outcome is the more effort you will put in.  If you believe in yourself and your self-efficacy is high and the goal is challenging yet attainable, you will go all out.
 
Think about what you are willing to do when there is money on the line.  Games get more interesting when you have made a bet and efforts increase when there is a chance for a monetary reward or incentive.  You probably tend to alter your behavior significantly when differing amounts are on the line, as well.  Many choose in the hopes the financial gain will bring them happiness or some other associated benefit. Many people let the outcome determine their effort instead of the opposite.
 
You are the one who creates the value in the first place.  Elite successful individuals such as professional athletes realize this and end up finding the most enjoyment in their performance.  They enjoy the chase.  They enjoy getting better and testing themselves. Very few people should have low self-efficacy because success in any endeavor requires the same steps whether it’s tying your shoe, going to the bathroom or getting your PhD.
 
The time frame for success is what needs to be realized.  Certain goals require a certain baseline knowledge or skill.   There is a different starting point for all of us.  From there it just requires following the steps, remaining diligent and enduring. Success is, rationally and logically, having a high level of self-efficacy because you earned it.    It starts with passion and desire.   If you do not truly have the desire to have the outcome, you must go back a step.  You will know when you are ready because when presented with a difficult task it will be easy to make an attempt. The fear of failure will be outweighed by the potential for gaining the pleasure of achievement.   If you are uncertain then you are not fully committed. You must go back and generate enough desire that will allow you to have the confidence to go all in.  You cannot move forward with lukewarm faith.
 
Be passionate and you will get whatever you want out of life. You are in control.  You are in charge of your destiny.  Your life is like a movie and you are the director.  At any point in time you can choose to make yourself a STAR in a blockbuster movie.  The choice is yours.
 
 
 
Performance enhancing strategy
 
The LAW of Attraction…
 
Proper setting of goals WILL shift your attention.  You will notice new things in the world that are closely related to your goal.  Seeing a car you recently realize you liked and you start to see it everywhere. It was already there but you didn’t notice it, not until you decided to pay attention. Setting goals causes your brain to focus on getting more of what you want.  Great ideas for helping you reach your goals will seem to come out of nowhere.  Setting goals will increase your focus and ambition. Attention shifts and behaviors change.  Whatever questions you ask yourself will be unconsciously accepted as important.
 
Focusing on the negatives of life makes them more apparent and will make you have more suffering.  If you focus on what you don’t want you will get more of what you don’t want.  Complaining about problems and focusing on things you can’t do or don’t have is not advantageous.   Addictions are compulsive negative thought patterns, while failure is also the same.  Your conscious mind does not ask of positive or negative, good or bad, it just follows commands.
 
Goal setting will significantly change your habits as well.  These habits are very important in continuing on a successful path.  Breaking old ones and accepting the new ones is critical.  It takes 21-30 days to form a newhabit.  There is no reason you should quit before this point.  You will never know the results of the endeavor because you did not give yourself enough time to develop the appropriate habits to succeed.
 
The longer you repeat a behavior the more deeply it gets set into your neural connections or circuits.  Repeated behaviors eventually become reflexive, becoming habits.  If you want to learn any new skill you have to learn it through repetition.  As we practice any habit or skill whether consciously or unconsciously, your body will create stronger reflexive neural pathways and increase activity in the areas of the brain associated with efficient execution of the habits.
 
Previous unconscious conditioning and programming are unfortunately opposing your new conscious desires.  Therefore, the brain and body needs new programming.  This programming is strategy.
 
What do you need to do to get to your goals?  This is your strategy!
 
If you do not have a confident strategy, you cannot feel like you will have success.  A great strategy makes us feel much more confident when entering into any competition or endeavor.  Planning and preparation improves performance.  It’s simple.  Take the time to think about how you will be successful and guess what?  You will get more of what you want.  It just takes a small amount of time to plan.  If you have a strategy but it yields poor results, it should decrease your confidence in that strategy and the strategy should be discarded.  If you have a truly confident strategy but do not follow it, you will ultimate lower your self-confidence, self-efficacy, and/or ultimately chances of success.
 
You must practice these strategies consistently and adapt them as necessary to continue to renew yourcompetitive advantage.  When you are exposed to reasons that require you to adapt, you must.  Over time you will get better and better at strategic goal setting and planning.  Remember to remain open to ideas and never get rigid.  Stick to your principles but stay open to new information that may help you get what you want even more effectively and efficiently.
 
The strategies and behaviors associated must be practiced until they are finely ingrained in your mind and in your reflexes. You want to become consciously competent.  You should be consistently conditioning your mind and body to perform your strategies as best as we can.  If you are not, once again you are leaving it to chance.  This can be cool sometimes but if you are serious about making the changes necessary, you will not want to leave things to chance.  When you take control of your behaviors and execute your strategy the chances of getting what you want increases exponentially.
 
The most perfect strategy does not always need to be perfectly acted out.  Many athletic teams start with some type of strategy at the beginning of the game.  If they are facing a worthy opponent who also understands the importance of planning and creating strategy, the first team will have changed their strategy at least once if not many times prior to the end of the game.
 
Many outcomes are achieved when only a percentage of the strategy is carried out effectively.  Elite athletes, academics, doctors and successful business corporations have acquired the ability to perform and carry out these behaviors and actions consistently.  They perform consistently in the belief that their strategy will bring them closest to attaining their outcome.  Following their strategy is how they are able to make the most critical decisions that lead them to success.  This type of thinking is what allows for success and is not optional.  It will not happen overnight, it will take practice.
 
Remember the only failure is quitting.  Wellness is the pursuit of self-actualization.  The opposite is not desirable.  As you pursue improvement, you become more well.  Your pursuit and your strategy will lead you to become a better version of yourself. It’s one of the most beautiful things in the world.  Improve your strategy and improve everything.
 
 
 
Being your Best and Smart Goals
 
A SMART Goal stands is Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Time Sensitive
What does the best version of your self look like? What kind of physique do you have?  Where do you live?  How healthy are you, how fit?  Set long terms goals – 2-5 years, – 10, 20 and even 50 year goals.  Where do you see yourself?  Paint the picture.  Use your imagination.   Where could you be at the end of your life if you meet all of your goals?  Where will you be if nothing changes and you stay on the same path as you are on now?  Would that make you happy?  What would ultimately make you happy?  What kind of person do you need to be to have your dream(s)?
  1. For the best chance at success be sure to create very specific and very measurable goals.   Create a definition of your future, simply by asking the appropriate questions.  Ask the question without limiting yourself, “What do I really want?”  What would I do with unlimited wealth, power, money, time, control? Your mind does not respond to generalities.  You must give goals as much detail as possible.  They must have measurable parameters well.  This will allow you to have a better way to gauge your effectiveness and ultimately how you are performing in relation to your goals.  The more well you define it, the more CLEAR it will become.  Did you hit it?  Did you miss it?  The only way to know is to define it!
The story of the human race is the story of humans selling themselves short. – Abraham Mazlow
 
  1. Your Goals should be exciting and scary at the same time.  You do not want to be in your comfort zone and you can’t be you’re best until you get out of the comfort zone.  A little discomfort brings out the best in you.  But not too much! You must set challenging yet obtainable goals.  Goals such as these are only unrealistic until they are achieved.  The most difficult goals will require a considerable amount of time to achieve.  It is ok to set very challenging goals but you must have realistic time frames to compare your efforts against.  Many people think they should be able to lose 30 pounds in a month and keep it off.  There are few exceptions of people that have been able to do this.  We will cover this in detail later but these large weight loss amounts usually occur through measures that are not sustainable.  If we are trying to lose weight or body fat more importantly, we should strive to lose .5 – 1 % body fat per week.  Weight loss beyond 1-2% per week is usually water or lean muscle tissue.
  2. ($T) Time is the most important yet most often least valued currency. Your self-image, perception, self-efficacy and reputation are directly related to how you spend that currency.  There are many different and necessary ways to spend this currency but if it is not spent well, failure will be much, much more likely.  Investing in this currency well is a key strategy to success.  It has the highest Return on Investment (ROI) of all things.  It will lead to true fulfillment.  Getting control over time and not letting time control you is one of the most important things someone can do.  You can never slow it down or have enough, but if you manage it appropriately you can have nearly anything we want.  Set deadlines and time limits.   C Northcote Parkinson, Parkinson’s Law – achieve more in less time by setting short deadlines.
 
You have to associate rewards and consequences with achieving or not achieving the deadline by the time you set.  How much is this goal worth too you?  Most people do not set deadlines, time limits or serious consequences because they are afraid or do not have enough confidence. They also may have not yet created the self-efficacy they need to take action towards achieving their goals.  This takes practice.  Have no fear, this formula always leave you better than you once were!
 
Proper goal setting will provide you with short term goals that progressively lead you to the achievement of the long term goal. Not reaching the goal in the proposed time is not failure.  It just means you need to reset your goals.  We need to examine why you didn’t make the deadline and set a new strategy and deadline for the goal.  The only failure is quitting.
 
Action steps.  Take the time to do this.  Adherence to the guidelines that follow, is a sure way to improve your chances for success in anything.  First, you must set your goals with deadlines in 5 steps
 
Be realistic about your current reality.  Be unrealistic about your future.  You are allowed to dream.  Dream huge and set a plan to get it!
  1. Multi year goals – start with your vision.
  2. 6 months – 1 year goals.  These are goals that should be achievable in this time period that will start to make progress towards your longer term goals.
  3. 4-12 week goals – It is important to frequently re-assess.  Time frames such as these give you the ability to make adjustments before a whole year goes by.  These types of goals should not be re-assessed in less than 4 weeks.  Speed and strength fall into this time frame.
  4. Weekly goals – body fat measurements, weight gain, accountability.   These goals keep you on track.   Weekly planning and creating goals that allow you to more effectively perform your daily tasks.
  5. Daily goals – outcomes for workouts, weights, intensity, distance, reps, calories burned – eating a fruit or vegetable with every meal.  Daily goals should be reflective of the goals that are more long term.  This also allows us to strengthen your self-efficacy and feelings of enjoyment.  Frequent feedback provides you with joy.  Each and every time you make it to the gym or you do what you say you were going to do, you get stronger. You can take advantage of one of the simplest strategies to improve or increase your self-efficacy by meeting these daily goals.
 
The strategies and behaviors associated must be practiced until they are finely ingrained in your mind and in your reflexes. You want to become consciously competent.  You should be consistently conditioning your mind and body to perform your strategies as best as we can.  If you are not, once again you are leaving it to chance.  This can be cool sometimes but if you are serious about making the changes necessary, you will not want to leave things to chance.  When you take control of your behaviors and execute your strategy the chances of getting what you want increases exponentially.
 
The most perfect strategy does not always need to be perfectly acted out.  Many athletic teams start with some type of strategy at the beginning of the game.  If they are facing a worthy opponent who also understands the importance of planning and creating strategy, the first team will have changed their strategy at least once if not many times prior to the end of the game.
 
Many outcomes are achieved when only a percentage of the strategy is carried out effectively.  Elite athletes, academics, doctors and successful business corporations have acquired the ability to perform and carry out these behaviors and actions consistently.  They perform consistently in the belief that their strategy will bring them closest to attaining their outcome.  Following their strategy is how they are able to make the most critical decisions that lead them to success.  This type of thinking is what allows for success and is not optional.  It will not happen overnight, it will take practice.
 
Remember the only failure is quitting.  Wellness is the pursuit of self-actualization.  The opposite is not desirable.  As you pursue improvement, you become more well.  Your pursuit and your strategy will lead you to become a better version of yourself. It’s one of the most beautiful things in the world.  Improve your strategy and improve everything.
 
 
 
Fast Rewards - Glossary
 
What does the word health mean?
 
The word health actually means homeostasis or equilibrium.  If you say that you are healthy, it would mean you are in balance or equilibrium.  Your body, however, experiences this state rarely.  Your complex physiological systems are constantly trying to achieve this state despite never being actually able to for any significant period of time.   This happens and is very complex because every single thing you do affects your state and ultimately your homeostasis.   However complex, you don’t need to understand mechanical engineering and combustion engines to use a car to your advantage.
 
Most of your body’s systems are controlled by negative feedback loops.  A negative feedback loop monitors changes within the system and alters course based upon this information.  The thermostat in your house would be a good example of a system that uses a negative feedback loop.  Our body also regulates most hormones through negative feedback loops as well.
 
Your body is constantly cycling in and out and up and down.  When something goes up, your regulatory systems are preparing to bring it back down and vice versa.  You are considered to be in good health when there are very little fluctuations between these ups and downs.  It is much more complex than this but this blog is not designed to turn you into a physician or health expert.  It is here to be your guide for modern day human performance.
 
 
What is the principle of initial gains?
 
The principle of initial gains describes an advantage for you if you are a novice to weight loss, fitness training, and nutrition programming.  If you are a novice or a beginner, Initial gains will rapidly occur for you during the initial stages of any program.  In terms of weight loss, most beginners are doing so many things to sabotage their health that even a slight change will make a huge impact and weight will be lost.  As the person sees improvements occur from just doing the minimal, eventually they reach a plateau and progress stops.
 
In other words, what works for someone who is 200 pounds overweight will not “work” for someone who is only ten pounds “overweight”.  The same approach will definitely not work for someone when they are trying to get a six pack. You often hear that the last few pounds are the hardest and this is why.  It simply “takes a little more” when we are trying to enhance.   This is where many of us are left frustrated.  People often give up at this point only to find out they quickly rebound and gain all of their weight back, primarily in fat tissue.  The Fast REWARDS Diet is based upon the principles that work once you are experiencing the principle the diminishing returns.  It ensures that you will be able to achieve your ideal body composition and maintain it as well.
 
Nearly every diet is designed to help you lose weight.  These diets do not care whether the weight is water, muscle or fat.  Just weight.  The FAST REWARDS diet is designed upon principles of what really allows you to have your most ideal attainable body composition and keep it.   A lean and muscular body.  You do not want to end up “skinny fat” after all of your hard work.
 
Most  diets for beginners focus primarily on having you restrict calorie consumption(eating less or eliminating food groups), increasing caloric expenditure(exercise) and probably, foremost, avoiding or abstaining from carbohydrates(Sugar and starchy foods such as potatoes and breads) for long periods of time.  Studies would agree and reveal that all you have to do to lose weight INITIALLY, is exercise and decrease calorie consumption ultimately yielding a calorie deficit.  This will work for you because of the principle of initial gains.  However, these diets are not sustainable and will cause you to lose muscle and water and ultimately put your body in a state in which it can no longer lose anything.  Enter weight gain rebound.  The goal for you is to lose body fat as a first priority and if necessary weight as secondary.
 
 
What is the principle of diminishing returns?
 
This is a concept that is well known by most strength and conditioning coaches, fitness professionals and human performance specialists.  Your body is constantly adapting itself in regards to the stress or lack of stress that it encounters on a daily basis (Wolf’s Law).  However, your body does not necessarily do the right thing in response to stress. Your body responds as your DNA has been encoded for your body to do.
 
Your DNA programming and your brain wants to make your jobs easier for you.  When you experience stressors of any kind, your body tries to adapt to make you ready to handle the same challenge with less effort and energy expenditure.  This is a great adaptive response of your body.  If you stress your body acutely, for short bouts, you can see great improvements in your performance over time.  However, if this acute stress is the consistently same in magnitude and intensity, the adaptation your body makes will cause less and less of an adaptive response to the stimulus over time.  This is the underlying science of the Principle of Diminishing Returns.
 
Your decisions and programming must follow the natural principles that guide your body will lead to failure because of the principle of diminishing returns.  At the end, you can’t be sure what worked and what didn’t until you know how the body works.  This guide and the FAST Rewards Eating System are here to clear this up for everyone.
 
Your body never likes to be under chronic, prolonged stress of any kind. Your body will actually start to respond negatively to all prolonged stressors.  This is true for both psychological and physical stress.
 
The principle of diminishing returns is, similarly, one of the most important principles of weight training but also one of the biggest problems.  You must progressively overload the body during weight training programs to get effective results.  You will get better at the training regimen and see overall improvements in strength as you train.  This can help anyone early in the development process.  However, the same weight, intensity or workout routine will get easier and easier.  As you get stronger and stronger, it takes more and more trickery and weight loads and intensities of training to induce the same gains as you once found so easily.  This begins to negatively stress and damage the connective tissues of the musculoskeletal system which leads to declines in performance and ultimately injuries.  See FAQ for training and exercise.  
 
Elite athletes have two major advantages than their opponents.  Enhanced dynamic biomechanics that leads to superior economy in their movement.  This means that they are so much more coordinated than their opponents, they have to use less effort to the same amount of work as their opponents.  When their efforts and training intensities increase, Elite athletes see faster and better improvements.
 
 
What is a Calorie?
 
A calorie is a chemistry or physics term.  Nutritionists and dieticians have taken this term and applied it to how much energy exists in a food when it is burned by calorimetry.   A calorie is a metric system unit of measurement for energy that it takes to raise 1 gram of water 1 degree Celsius.  This term, calorie, is not necessarily an important term that you need to consider when looking at metabolism and how your food is broken down in your body.  It is much more complex than just calories.  Not all of your calories are created equal.  Food can be thought of more as information that the body is going to try to respond to.  See What do mean when you say food is information?
 
Energy Balance approaches such as Calories in vs Calories out, are a novice/beginner approach to understanding human metabolism.  Diminishing returns will quickly set in because you can’t just keep increasing how much you work out and decreasing the amount of energy consumed.  This is not sustainable and will not be good for performance or body composition.
 
Sometimes people get lucky and the calories in calories out diet approach works. Some people happen to get many of the principles correct without understanding them.  However you can’t rely on luck.  You can rely on science and the FAST REWARDS diet.
 
Energy balance approaches (calories in vs calories out) have significant diminishing returns and will cause you to hit walls and plateaus.  This is the number one contributor to yo-yo dieting. This often takes place after you get frustrated from efforts with little sustainable results.  Energy balance diets do not place your performance and body composition at the forefront of the design.  These diets are a way to get weight off but not necessarily the best type of weight nor is it effective at keeping it off.
 
 
What is Body Composition?
 
Body composition is the ratio of tissues of your body relative to the whole.  Body composition is represented in a percentage form.  For example if you weigh 100 pounds and have 20 pounds of body fat, your body fat percentage would be 20%.  All tissues can be considered this way but body fat is the most common tissue when this term is referenced.    This can be measured in many ways.  The most common is skinfold calipers, but is one of the least reliable.  The gold standards are found in DEXA scans.  The main issue with body composition testing is to pick something and stick with it.
 
Body composition testing can give you a huge advantage.  If you make sure to routinely assess body composition, you can determine whether your body composition is being effected positively or negatively by your lifestyle and modifications.  If you are seriously attempting to improve your body composition, regular checks at least every 4 weeks and nor more frequent than once per week are recommended.  In the meantime, to keep score, weigh yourself daily at the same time of day.
 
 
 
What is Conditioning?
 
Conditioning is the responses your body has to stress or lack of stress.  The human body is able to be conditioned to allow you to adapt and change for survival purposes.  Your body responds to the forces and stressors it is exposed to both internally and externally, most often simultaneously.   See WOLF’s Law. The human body is also subject to deconditioning.  This occurs as a lesser desirable type of conditioning as the body is exposed to less and less intense levels of stressors. When this happens your body becomes less capable to respond to intensely occurring stimuli.
 
Amazingly, the human body prepares itself for future stresses after experiencing stressors that push the thresholds of your limitations.  Pushing yourself to your limits typically induces your fight or flight responses.  Once that occurs, your body will adapt positively to make it easier and easier to handle these stressors.  Your body does not want to have to experience extreme physiological states and therefore your body adapts quickly to limit or even totally ablate these physiological responses in the face of stress.
 
All conditioned responses, however, are subject to change.  A desirable response can be decreased by not exposing yourself to the levels of stress that are needed to maintain the response.  Your body will also respond positively to appropriate levels of stress even after being poorly conditioned for many years and having a limited tolerance to extreme stressors.  Your body is highly malleable, and whether you like it or not can and will adapt continuously. In other words, your body is always conditioning itself no matter whether you are in control of it or you are letting it control you.
 
The only way for you to recondition a previously conditioned response is to present a large enough stimulus or incentive to change.  You must focus on acquiring the benefits of the new high valued behavior or skill set or you can associate tremendous pain and attempt to avoid the consequences of not changing. You must have the awareness of a new benefit and use this as incentive.   You need exposure to a possibly more beneficial or less consequential outcome before you will be willing to experience the discomfort that will be required to make the necessary changes.  You are the owner of your awareness and this book is designed to give you the knowledge and beliefs that will allow you to take control of the conditioning of your life.
 
 
What is Eustress and why do I need it?
 
Stress can be categorized into two primary types.  Eustress and distress.  Eustress is good for you and distress is bad for you.  Exercise is good for you but too much exercise can be bad for you.
You need to have a new way to look at stress.
Stress is often thought in a negative connotation, only. However, acute stress (short more intense bouts) can be very beneficial to you.  Chronic prolonged states of stress will cause detriments to your systems.  Your body does not like to be in any state for too long of a time period.  As you enter into a state for longer than 24-48 hours your body will start to experience negative effects on your performance and body composition such as muscle wasting, elevated levels of cortisol, decreased antioxidant production, abnormal cardiovascular changes etc.
 
Why do I need Eustress?  Your body will respond to a lack of stress in a performance decreasing manner.  If your muscles aren’t stressed, they get weak.  If your bones aren’t loaded, they lose calcium and weaken as well.  If your mind isn’t stimulated, neurological connections diminish.  If the normal movements your body can perform are not performed, your body loses the ability to perform them.  If your balance and postural systems aren’t challenged, you lose the ability to use them as well.  You can see this occur over time, especially in very unfit individuals.  This is one of the reasons why some people age well and others seem to be decades ahead in their physical aging.
If you don’t use it, you lose it!
You naturally do everything in cycles.  Go to the bathroom, eat and drink, sleep and awaken.  Your body is constantly cycling, non-stop, things going in and things going out, things going up and things going down.  Most of your past experiences with dysfunction and sickness are caused by disruptions in these cycles which if left unchecked can also potentially lead to death.
 
Your fitness can be viewed on a spectrum.  You are either more towards one end or the other.  Deconditioned and out of shape on one end and freakishly fit like a small child with an abundance of energy and physical capacity on the other.   You are probably somewhere in the middle floating towards improvement or decline.  You are moving towards one end or the other at all times.  You are never static.  Your body is constantly adapting.  What direction are you headed?
 
 
 
What do the terms Anabolic and Catabolic mean?
 
The word anabolic means to add something to, build up, store, materialize, or add energy to a system.  The word catabolic means the opposite, to break down, remove energy, deplete, or dematerialize.  The term anabolic is often associated with steroids, which are anabolic, making your body tissues grow larger.  Steroids are also androgenic meaning they cause increased male characteristics such as elevated testosterone and facial hair.  Steroids aren’t the only anabolic hormones your body can response to.  Insulin, believe it or not, is the most powerful of all anabolic or growth hormones.  If you type “Insulin and B” into the google search terms the next work that comes up is not blood sugar, it is bodybuilding.  This used to happen when you searched for “insulin and”.  Kind of glad this isn’t true any longer because it means people are searching for more health related terms such as “insulin and weight gain”.
 
Your body can be in either an anabolic or a catabolic state.  When you are in one state, your body tries to shift us back towards the other state.  Certain hormones are either anabolic like insulin or catabolic like cortisol.
 
 
 
Fast Rewards Inner Circle
 
If you have started our program I would like to say thank you and best of luck on your journey to optimal health and performance.  I hope you have found the information and recommendations we have given you thus far helpful and valuable.  The level you were placed in was based upon your initial assessment.  Please continue to follow the recommendations that were given to you until your next re-assessment. No matter what level you are starting at in the system, you will be able to use the information that follows to help you along the way.  The information in the following posts will fill in the blanks for many of the questions you have.  These posts are in sequential order, so I would not recommend skipping around as required information maybe missed.
 
If you have any further questions please send your questions to fastrewardsdiet@gmail.com
 
Fast Rewards Diet Background
 
Where did the Fast Rewards Diet come from?
 
As a healthcare professional I have learned in more ways than one, on the basics of levels, people are all the same.  People also have many of the same problems.  One problem being that no one has been able to definitively determine what to eat and how to live on a year round basis to stay healthy, get leaner, more muscular and have enhanced physical capacity performance.  I wanted to create a Diet that anyone could follow and achieve these things.  I have a passion to answer the questions of
  1. What should a person eat? You know what to feed your dog and maybe even your cattle but what are you supposed to feed a human? Animals don’t seem to have a problem with this, so why do you?  How do you feed a human?
  2. If you do know what to feed a human then what should someone eat to get the best performance possible?
  3. Everyone is different when it comes to physical capacity, what is the best way to train and live to become your most athletic version of yourself as possible?
I have been developing this diet for the past 15 years.  The concepts for this diet began when I started to notice how my nutrition was affecting my performance in high school sports.  Prior to my senior year of high school, I never paid much attention to which foods were better for me to eat relative to my performances.  As my attention was being brought towards this, I quickly realized I had been following a “calories in calories out”.  I used to count every single thing that went in to my body.  I did this many years with some success but this philosophy left me depleted and weak during wrestling season and overweight and slower during football and baseball season.
 
I started college in the 197 pound weight class although I weighed about 225 entering my freshman year.  By my junior year of college I no longer needed to cut weight because I could not make the 197 pound weight class. At this time, the only answer was to start competing at heavy weight (285 pounds).  This was a total game changer.  I now struggled to keep my weight as high as possible as I often weighed in nearly 60 pounds under the heavyweight limit.   I would drop from 250+ at the beginning of the season to about 225 pounds each season, my junior and senior years.   As you can imagine, I was trying to keep on as much weight as possible.  However with the amount of working out and trying to eat a “healthy” diet, the weight kept falling off.
 
When I started competing at heavyweight, my results were very different. I would lose weight during the season but I would get even stronger, faster, more muscular and leaner throughout.  This happened because I wanted it to.  I was now paying attention to the details that would help to get me healthier and also improve my performance.  This was the first time I ever had only, my performance, to worry about and not a weight goal to meet.  When this happened, guess what, my performance improved!  Law of Attraction!
How do you lose 25- 30 pounds of fat, increase your lean muscle mass, get ripped, increase your strength and power, feel great and improve your performance?
Pretty crazy but this was my experience.  It was an amazing feeling.  It’s like trying to tell someone what a rose smells like that has never smelled on before.  During my undergraduate studies and athletic competition, attempting to answer this question became an obsession. You have to remember; when I was in college, we still couldn’t rely on using the internet for information gathering.  Exercise science and human performance were nearly brand new emerging fields of study.  Fortunately for me, I was pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree in sports and exercise science.  I was learning the ropes but I soon realized these ropes being taught in undergrad programs had significant diminishing returns.
 
The training required for a PT license and Doctor of Physical Therapy degree is arduous and creates quite the journey and transformation.  This process transformed me not only professionally but personally as well.  Revelation after revelation occurred to me during grad school.  I soon realized many people out there were operating with information that wasn’t even close to accurate.  I also learned that PT research was much overlooked nevertheless it was going to become the most important information for the future as society ages and becomes simultaneously more proactive in improving health on all levels and ages.
 
I really think that the problem of answering these questions could not be solved with the same level of thinking that created the problems in the first place.  This is something my brother Nate always says and in this case it is very true.  Athletes and those who train them do not employ the information for what works for improving the health status or prolonging the sickness of people who have diabetes and heart disease.
 
How would that even begin to make any sense?
 
Athletes focus on improving physical capacity and enhancing performance.  Most of the medical literature on nutrition and physical activity however, is not based upon improving performance.  The medical field is not in the business of performance.  Medical practitioners are in the business of taking care of sick people and doing the minimal for prevention.
 
Continue to read further to discover how to get the same detailed level of information used to enhance the performance of elite athletes.  Everyone, not just elite athletes, will benefit from exploring the information much further about the FAST REWARDS eating system.
 
 
 
Birth of the Fast Rewards Concept
 
Life is Performance
 
Athletes, especially those at the professional level, must focus on execution and adherence with daily routines to improve their performance.  Many people drop out of competitive sports because this type of lifestyle is too demanding.  Many people envy professional athletes for their fame and fortune.  This is the fantasy. Most however would not be willing to live the athlete’s real lifestyle of regimen and self-discipline, even while knowing what rewards or benefits may come from doing so.  Most people have a high expectation for athletes to arrive motivated every single time with the right positive attitude, sportsmanship, respect for the game and their country, as well as being optimally healthy and freakishly physically fit.  This is the standard athletes live up to. You know if you are or ever were an athlete, you want to be your best.  You know athletes have higher expectations of themselves way before the fans and the media does.  Athletes simply want it a little more than the average person.  Athletes are willing to do what it takes to get to their goals.  If everyone can keep a little of this in their lives the world will be a better place.
 
Unless you are an athlete in this country, no one has that expectation for you.  If you have ever been a competitive athlete, you know what I mean.  You enter back into the “Real World” where anything goes and the standards are unimaginably low and no one holds their peers to any type of expectations.  This would never happen in sports! At first it is super frustrating and for some, maddening.  Eventually and again unfortunately, most people get used it.  Most often this causes you to lower the standard of living below a level that returns optimal health.  If you live your life with this lower standard for even more than a few months or years, you can expect to sooner or later be delivered some type of chronic, preventable disease state.  If you live like or somewhat like or even a smidgen like an athlete that cares about their performance and health you will significantly reduce your risk for these types of diseases and consequences.
 
Unfortunately most of the current literature on health and performance is skewed and is often designed for dysfunctioning, sick people.  When studies are done in the U.S. on what we consider “normal people”, the results are skewed and have poor validity.  People in the U.S. have on average the least amounts of physical activity and poorest health compared to those in the top 25 industrialized nations. Why would you want to follow the advice given to someone who already has diabetes and heart disease?  Maybe for prevention by not performance.  A good PT regimen for an athlete or fit individual with high levels of physical activity and minimal orthopedic concerns would not be the same when prescribed for someone that has a history of chronic disease, injury or disability.  Which one would you pick?
 
The latter just wouldn’t make sense
 
If you are a fit person, weekend warrior or even anyone just trying to get in better shape, you need something more specific.  You need something designed to improve your performance and carve your path towards optimum health.
 
During my Doctoral studies for Physical Therapy, I learned that most of what was wrong with people today is preventable.  When someone says “chronic disease”, it means that there is a huge behavioral component behind it.  Chronic diseases account for up to 70% of our healthcare dollars in the U.S..  After thorough analysis of the literature and deep thought on this subject, I came to realize that chronic diseases were manifested by basically doing the opposite of what a serious athlete does.
 
What is this you may ask? The serious athlete, focuses their efforts, solely, on improving or enhancing performance.
 
Birth of the Fast Rewards concept
 
With improving the state of performance of all people in mind, in 2007, I finalized my original diet principles for performance.  I gave people the diet system and quickly found they had not developed the level of discipline required to do the diet year round.  THe FAULT was mine.  Today as I reflect, my wrestling background was significantly skewing my beliefs on what the diet of a modern day human should follow to stay optimally healthy.  This meant that the diet was designed to be too difficult and would not be sustainable year round and could not be followed by every single person.  This was the same high standard I set out with in creating the Fast Rewards Eating System.
 
Fundamental Problem #1.
 
Lack of sustainability is the number one saboteur for all plans, especially diets.  Lack of sustainability.  This means most diets are destined for failure for people.  Most diets therefore are setting people up for failure from the beginning.  These diets start giving you a false belief system.  This to me is the worst part of it all.  It makes you lose faith in yourself and leaves you feeling vulnerable, ready to try any and every worthless gimmick.  Sometimes it may even leave you headed down dangerous avenues that may lead to declines in performance and potentially threats to their health.
 
Today, companies will sell anyone anything to make money.  They do not have a true passion for helping people… changing culture… leaving the world a better place than they found it!  They just want to improve the bottom line.
 
I believe this diet is able to help any person and every person.  It has the potential to have some impact on our culture and potentially leave the world a better place.  I believe this because everything I do has this as a premise. Anything I design is designed to help anyone and everyone improve their performance.
 
Anyone and Everyone however, do not start out ready to do what it takes to truly be their best.  It takes time to build up to actualizing your potential.  No one I know or ever heard of was born successful and I know you weren’t either. It just takes a good plan and a little execution to become successful at anything.  All it takes is a little practice.
 
You first must do something at some level that gives you the confidence to raise the bar even further.  You like many others will be able to get better and better and keep pushing the bar higher and higher over time.  This Diet System is designed to be used by anyone to get better results and improved quality of life for the rest of their life.
 
What is the diet that allows EVERYONE to be eating in a way that is centered on enhancing performance and also grants you with optimum health?  For that reason, the FAST REWARDS Eating System has to be more specific.  It also has to be designed, leaving no room for contradiction or conflicts to your health as well as not interfering with your with social life and quality of life.  Tall order but one I challenged myself with creating and am very pleased to be able to now provide you with.
 
The Fast Rewards Eating System is designed based upon the principles of a successful diet.  The principles of a successful diet are as follows:
 
  1. Starts with an assessment
  2. Places people in levels to help ensure success and appropriate progression
  3. Provides essential nutrition = Does not eliminate food groups or macronutrients
  4. The principles and goals are well understood and defined.
  5. The diet is easy to follow on a daily basis/year round
  6. You have access to the foods recommended
  7. Obeys the basic concepts of Human Physiology, Metabolism and Reproduction
  8. It is designed  to achieve optimal body composition
  9. It puts us in an appropriate catabolic/anabolic balance
  10. It is designed to improve physical performance
 
Any diet or lifestyle regimen that you follow should be designed to increase your performance.  There are many reasons why a proper program will allow you to excel.  A proper program allows you to meet these goals:Improves your feelings of self-efficacy, self-control and confidence
  1. Improves your overall energy levels and vitality
  2. Improves your feelings of self-efficacy, self-control and confidence
  3. You have increased fuel and energy for workouts and activities of daily living
  4. You will have maximum healing, regeneration, recovery and repair
  5. You will have less inflammation, tissue damage and soreness after exercising
  6. Helps you avoid injuries and over training
  7. Gives you optimal body composition; this means Max lean tissue and minimal fat
  8. Allows you to have Optimal States of Health
  9. Improves your digestive organs, food digestion and assimilation of nutrients
  10. Improves your hormone profile especially estrogen and insulin
  11. Improves your blood profile
  12. Decreases your toxicity
  13. Improves your immune system function
 
 
What is the Fast Rewards Eating System?
 
Nearly every other diet and training regimen follows a “calories in calories out” format which leads most people to failure.  Fortunately for you, your body is not as simple as personal finance and banking systems.  After years of education in Physical Therapy and Exercise Science, I had to ask why the calories in calories out approach does not work for everyone.  I discovered there are few key reasons why this approach fails most people.  First and foremost is that weight/fat gain and all body composition changes are based upon how your body is producing and responding to hormones.  Any changes a human may experience for the better or worse in performance actually lies in the neuroendocrine and neuromuscular systems.  These systems regulate your physiology of your metabolic and reproductive hormones. The Fast REWARDS eating system is based upon this realization.
 
The Fast Rewards eating system is so simple.  It eliminates counting and tracking numbers.  It gives you the empowerment to take control of your diet, your weight and your performance while continuing to eat all, I said ALL, of the foods you love.  Sounds too good to be true.  The science of the future always does.  In 10-15 years the science will catch up with modern day or common knowledge and people everywhere will be utilizing a diet regimen similar to the Fast REWARDS.
 
The Fast Rewards System is designed to allow you to achieve optimal states of health and performance, just like I had, in one of the most demanding sports in the world, college wrestling.  The kicker without starving yourself, performing hours of intense workouts and many of the other extreme attributes a competitive wrestler has to take on.  The more specific and focused you are, the easier life becomes.  You can get high levels of performance without wrecking yourself.   If you are the type of person who enjoys pushing your limits to the max this plan will help you too!
 
The FAST REWARDS diet is based upon daily cycles of selective fasting from specific foods at specific times and REWARDing yourself with your favorite foods at specific times that YOU choose.  The foods that increase insulin levels, decrease insulin sensitivity, increase estrogen levels, increase toxicity, stress your immune system and cause decrease performance and energy levels are not eaten during the Selective Fasting times of the day.  This diet is not a total fast but an approach that employs selective and intermittent fasting.
 
If you are a fit person, weekend warrior or even anyone just trying to get in better shape, you need something more specific.  You need something designed to improve your performance and carve your path towards optimum health.
 
This means that foods are chosen or consumed at certain times for certain reasons to have a positive effect on the body.
 
The REWARDS part is the best part.  By following the principles, when you are on the Fast Rewards diet, you are able to eat foods that are otherwise banned from most traditional diets.
 
On the Fast Rewards Diet if you follow the rules for short periods of time, less than ONE WHOLE DAY!!!, less than 24 HOURS!!!, you are able to reward yourself with the foods that are typically totally removed and forbidden from most diets.  This diet also teaches you how to ensure proper nourishment and how to properly use recovery meals following bouts of exercise or demanding physical activity.   Once again, you get to reward yourself for your hard work!  There is nothing better than having hard work pay off with hefty REWARDS.  Imagine you get to feel this way every single day.  Be careful you might actually start to like the FAST REWARDS DIET!
 
Sounds Great doesn’t it?  Well trust me, my clients and I totally agree with you and guess what? It works like a charm!  It might be the EASIEST diet you have ever been on once you get the hang of it.
 
Wait a minute… So you are saying I can eat chocolate every day and still achieve optimal body weight and body fat?  Yes, and it is possible on the Fast REWARDS Diet.   Get your results without depriving yourself! Finally you can!!!
 
The FAST REWARDS Diet is also designed to be able to be followed year round.  Once you understand the principles, it very easy to do this.  I wish you the best of Luck, even though I know you won’t need it!  It is hands down the best thing out there for getting leaner, healthier and improving your performance.
 
 
 
Performance Enhancing Hormones?
 
How does my diet and lifestyle affect my hormone balance?
 
Hormonal imbalance is the number one saboteur for chronic diseases such as Diabetes and Heart Disease to manifest.  Hormones are also the easiest target for pharmaceutical companies and physicians to have influences on in the short term.  This can be very beneficial for some situations and makes absolutely no sense in many other situations.  For example,
 
Hormones are protein based molecules that act as signals for your body to increase or decrease certain types of activities.  This is all very complex.  The one thing you need to understand is that when a hormone level goes outside of a “normal range”, your body initiates a process in the system to get it back as close to normal as possible. Your endocrine system is primarily run by feedback loops.  As your body is exposed to hormones for a prolonged period of time and is unable to restore the excessive hormone levels to normal, you start to become desensitized or resistant to the effects of the hormone.  A.K.A. tolerance.
 
Many addicts can tell you a lot about tolerance.  Dopamine is the feel good hormone in your brain that is released when you do something like score a touchdown or get a good grade on a test.  It is your REWARD hormone.  It is also the same hormone mimicked or affected by many drugs such as cocaine.  Dopamine is also released in massive amounts following a great meal.  For many this is the path to the addiction to food.  The marketing and food companies know this as well and pump the foods full of unnatural levels of chemicals designed to make you become addicted.  Certain flavors in foods, do not exist in nature in the magnitude the processed food companies can synthesize.  This is One reason I often say “processed” is no longer a great word to use to describe these foods.  Synthetic would be much more accurate and opposes the word organic much better.
 
If there is one thing I want to get across to you, it would be that your hormones are in control of what happens to your body. Your metabolic and reproductive systems and your hormones are heavily influenced and affected by your lifestyle.  Many of these controllable behaviors affect your hormone levels and ultimately how your body responds to them.
 
There are several critical hormones that are significantly affected by your behaviors.  These hormones are very powerful and very sensitive to certain behaviors.  These hormones are
  • Cortisol
  • Insulin
  • Testosterone
  • Estrogen
 
Almost everything you do or experience in life revolves around these hormones.  The last two maybe the most important because these hormones make you what you are, a man or a woman.  Being a man or a woman has significant impact on everything about how your body works.  There are some major differences between men and women, that is for certain.  At the basics of levels, whether you are a man or a woman, you are still a human and fortunately very similar.  Neither a man nor a woman can be exposed to toxic doses of any of these hormones for extended periods of times without finding yourself ill.  The FAST REWARDS diet is designed to help regulate all of your hormones and restore your body to homeostasis.
 
Excessive amounts of these hormones have been linked to nearly every chronic disease from cardiovascular disease to reproductive cancers.
 
These hormones not only have a huge impact on the inside of the body, they also impact the outside as well.  People gain and lose weight all the time, despite little change in their dietary habits.  Kids grow when they hit puberty because of their hormones. During puberty, women also gain a higher proportion of body fat than males.  It is normal but tough, considering most women are conscious these days about their weight and appearance.  If you are a woman, you are well aware of the fact that you will gain weight when you are pregnant.  Most of you don’t know that is as much about what you eat.  You will definitively gain weight but necessarily based upon how much you eat.  Certain medications may cause you to gain or lose weight.  Certain foods, chemicals, medicines, behaviors and psychological states can also cause increases or decreases in appetite.  (If this happens to you, consult a Physician or Dietician to find out.  This is not normal and could be the result of underlying pathology.)
 
 
 
Performance Enhancing Hormones and Chronic Diseases? Part 1
 
*SUPER IMPORTANT INFO* 
 
Wives and mothers pay attention! Husbands and fathers listen up!  You have a job to do that is very important.  You can help your family and loved ones avoid experiencing almost every cancer and the most top causes of diseases plaguing the U.S. by understanding the following information.
 
Your body is always being damaged by your behaviors, some worse than others. This occurs because of environmental factors and through the natural processes your body must undergo to support the functions of your life.  This causes damage to your cells and tissues but your body, when healthy, is able to repair fixable cells and remove damaged cells as well as toxins and allergens via the immune system.
 
When you were a baby, your immune system was very weak and needed exposure to the world to develop strength.  You most likely developed immunity to many common causes of disease which once led many of your ancestors to an early grave.  This was not too long ago, as I hope to remind you.  Today, most of these diseases have been wiped out of existence.  Yet there is more illness than ever.  There is more money spent on Health Care. So why?  If these bugs have been wiped out, where is the disease seen today coming from?
 
Whatever your beliefs on what should be done about it, there is currently a healthcare issue because of one thing and one thing only.
 
People, especially in the United States, are chronically sicker than ever.
 
If people were optimally healthy and chronic disease was even cut by 20 or 30%, health care would be a non-issue. However, the babyboomers, the largest and soon becoming oldest part of the population are soon going to reap the consequences from a life of missing details.  For decades these people have been being prescribed medicines to “fix” problems which are not truly designed to fix the the causes. This in turn allowed the causes of the problems to continue.  Because of this, you and I are going to have to live through a time period with a pandemic of chronic disease.  Soon, even without any changes in the current system, healthcare expenditures are expected to double which is already more than the military spends each year.
 
What are these things that are causing all of this sickness?  Especially when people should have developed the immunity to avoid acquiring diseases from yesteryear in a civilization that was uncleanly and unsanitary?  The streets today are clean but the human body is not.
 
The worst part, to me, is yet to come.
 
The illnesses we get today are of two categories
  • chronic behavioral
  • chronic reproductive
When I say chronic, I mean these diseases most likely do not manifest until after the 5th but possibly the fourth decade of life. Why is that?  Do all older people suffer from these illnesses?  No! It is still only a small percentage of the population who continue to become ill and stress the system.  I agree, the population has grown but the illnesses are different today than they used to be even less than 50 years ago when many of these baby boomers were born.  They are also similar among people in the U.S. and other countries like the U.S. around the world.
 
When I say behavioral, I mean there is a great behavioral component to these illnesses.  For these illnesses to manifest, they require improper behaviors that create enough damage in the body to create dysfunction at least on the cellular level.   Unfortunately some of the behaviors are known and people are very aware of the risk they are taking when engaging in the behaviors.  Other detrimental behaviors are occurring in the most dangerous environment ever.  The one which isn’t acutely or immediately dangerous.  The one that is currently being promoted in which it is common and acceptable for you to be ingesting certain food products that are actually borderline toxic or poisonous to your body when done in excess over time.  The environment that seems safe but is full of harm.
 
TERRIFYING!
 
The problem is that you don’t know what these things are and what excess is.  These behaviors primarily stress your detoxification organs such as the liver and kidneys, as well as your filtering organs such as the skin and lungs.  Digestive organs, such as the colon and pancreas also take tons of stress from trying to handle ingesting so many foods and substances that are harmful.  When have you ever heard of heart cancer?   Blood cancers are usually found when people are young.  They are genetic.  Cancers of the digestive system and reproductive organs are out of control and growing to unfathomable numbers.  Coincidence?
 
When I say reproductive, I mean sex organs.  Many of the diseases of these organs, especially cancers, experienced today are secondary to dysfunctional reproductive organs.  Breast cancer is rampant in society and women do not get it until middle age.  Women also suffer from cervical and ovarian cancers at an alarming rate.  Men are also seeing low testosterone on the rise and prostate cancer like never before.  Many of the foods commonly eaten today are loaded with chemicals and toxic levels of natural food products.  Many of these substances are xenoestrogens.  These substances mimic estrogen in your body causing, as you can imagine, a ton of havoc on your system.
 
There are excessive amounts of wheat, corn and soy consumed in this country without you even knowing it.  Many of these chemicals and foods cause elevated levels of sex hormones, primarily estrogen manifesting different issues in each gender.  You really don’t know how much of certain things you are eating. You also don’t know what it does to your body.  Nor are you taught to.  No one wants you to know!  Very few of the wealthy people today can benefit from you having this knowledge and people in the food, medical, and pharmaceutical industry will experience losses if you and your fellow Americans are informed and begin to change your decisions.
 
How did fruits and veggies come to be paired in the same category when you were a kid? They are not even close to the same thing nor does your body process them in a similar way?  I now know, because of this and many other reasons, the food guide pyramid was not set up based up on health or these would have easily been considered separate categories.  I had a friend tell me once that he did not have to eat veggies because he ate enough fruit everyday.  This was one time that I truly realized something was wrong in society.  My friend is highly intelligent and a pretty informed person.  Unfortunately you have to be careful of which information you consume!
 
 
 
Performance Enhancing Hormones and Chronic Diseases? Part 2
 
Is this normal?  I don’t think so.  Especially when you can study the past.
 
Diet patterns have changed more in the past 50-60 years than they ever had in human history.  People are less active and eat more than ever.  Have you ever eaten pancakes or french toast for breakfast to feel the sudden crash or potential need to vomit during about of increased physical activity such as exercise?
 
This doesn’t happen after you eat veggies, meats, fruits, nuts, seeds, and small amounts of dairy.   You were designed to work and be active. Especially during the daylight hours.  Eating food that decreases your ability to be vigorously physically active after eating it, is counterproductive to everything a human is designed for.
 
Today, you like most humans eat all day long and eat an abundance of the foods that are contributing to increased prevalence of chronic disease.  Most people sit around barely able to have enough energy to get through the day.  Why is this?   Today the average person eats at least three square meals during any given day and grazes snacking on foods in between which more often than not are loaded with carbohydrates.  Eating meals heavy in sugary or starchy carbohydrates preceding physical activity is tremendously detrimental to your health and your energy levels, ultimately causing you to gain body fat and get sicker over time.   There is nothing wrong with naturally large people who are not expanding.  However, expanding waist lines are abundant today and cannot be removed when talking about the health and performance of society.
 
See Why we eat so many carbohydrates today?
 
Problem #1 Too much insulin
 
Eating large meals causes your pancreas to raise insulin production way above normal levels.  Chronic exposure to high levels of insulin may be the most detrimental but common aspect of life for typical modern day humans.  Certain foods do cause this to happen more than others.  Overeating or eating too many servings of anything will cause your body to divert attention from allowing you to feel energized and alert; to being sluggish and fatigued.
 
When you ingest carbohydrates, especially of the simple and processed variety, your pancreas increases insulin secretion.  The types of carbohydrates consumed today causes your insulin to spike way above normal levels, hyperinsulinemia.  Not the normal spike.  Insulin levels always increase following a meal but certain foods cause it to spike abnormally high.  When insulin spikes abnormally high several things occur.
  1. You get rebound hypoglycemia, low blood sugar, which causes fatigue, decreased mental alertness, and lower levels of energy.
  2. Your liver increases production of triglycerides which is carried on your LDL(bad) cholesterol.
 
During periods of inactivity, your muscles are more resistant to responding to insulin.  This is why exercise is important.  Particularly resistance training or higher intensity types of exercise.  Low intensity exercise is good for the heart, i.e. cardio as I have mentioned previously.  The former causes the muscles to crave nutrition and they in turn become more sensitive insulin causing a lowered sensitivity to your fat.  Careful you can still not overeat all of the time.  You can eat a little more when you are active however because the negative sequelae, that I am going to speak of next, are less likely to ensue.
 
The triglycerides are transported to your fat tissue for storage.  It is harder to release energy from your fat tissue once it is stored there.  Blood tests will then show high triglycerides and high LDL cholesterol.  The current answer, pills?  Now that you have stored energy in the fat and you are starving and fatigued because your blood sugar is low, you will crave food, and be likely to overeat.  This is also one of the main reasons why nearly every diet often fails.
 
Your red blood cells also carry blood glucose after digesting a carbohydrate rich meal.  This is very counterproductive because your red blood cells are your main transport of oxygen.  Look up HBA1C for more concern on this topic.  Any person with Diabetes will know this number.  The doctors test it to make sure it doesn’t get out of control.  Why?  Elevated HBA1C indicates that red blood cells are carrying too much blood sugar and too little oxygen.  In turn, you do not get enough oxygen to your tissues.  Over time this really begins to be counter productive to healing and repair as well as living, especially with any energy.  I know you want to get as much oxygen to your tissues as possible, RIGHT?
 
Yes, this is a double whammy if you are smoker!
 
If elevated blood sugar and insulin levels, increases your cholesterol, triglycerides and causes damage to your tissues, why would anyone expect to be able treat these problems with pills?
 
Problem # 2 Food Addiction and Emotional Eating
 
People are addicted.  Eating releases dopamine, the feel good neurotransmitter in the brain.  You are designed to need to eat and your body rewards you with a dopamine spike when you do. You guessed it.  When you over eat, you increase secretion of dopamine creating a greater connection to overeating.  Humans love pleasure and avoid pain.
 
Unfortunately, this creates quite the conundrum. Too much of any pleasure often leads you to pain, or ultimately to a state of pathology or sickness.
 
That isn’t it!  Elevated insulin levels also increases pressure on the kidneys secondary to the reabsorption of sodium and subsequently fluids.  This causes increased blood pressure and production of uric acid.  This uric acid spills into the blood leading to gout.  Gout has not been common for very long.  It’s prevalence increased during the time when England began to trade for sugar increasing the imports nearly 100 times near the beginning of the 1800′s.  Doctor’s knew back then gout was associated with too much sugar and diabetes.  Gout is primarily urine that spills into the blood stream, yes, I said it urine, Nasty!  It smells just like urine when your physician drains it from a joint.  Nasty!
 
High blood pressure puts stress on your heart.  Insulin also causes an increased stiffness to your arterial walls. This in turn leads to heart disease.  How does the medical establishment fix this?  Current answer: pills.  Doesn’t sound like pills get to the cause of this problem?  It only perpetuates it further.  Which is why I am writing this.  My Dad and MOM need to know this stuff.  You need to know it too.  This is all preventable.
 
We are facing the worst healthcare, or simply, health crisis in history and you are still not being empowered to make better decisions.
 
Unbelievable!
 
Problem # 3 Environment of Disease
 
Finally, this all causes cancer as well.  In this state, your cells, tissues, and reproductive organs are unable to repair themselves.  Insulin causes tissues to grow, it is an anabolic hormone.  Excessive insulin production also causes damage to your pancreas.  The nerves do not receive an adequate oxygen supply and cannot transmit the appropriate messages to and from your organs.  This is marked in individuals with poorly controlled Diabetes.  Many people with diabetes often experience skin related nervous system issues such as loss of sensation to the fingers and the toes because they are the farthest away from our hearts.  The deep blood supply to all the tissues and organs of the body are affected if you have Diabetes.  The nerves and the blood supply to the pancreas is also effected causing even further dysfunction and regulation of sugar and insulin.  The immune system is also stressed because the widespread damage is relentless and taxing.  The immunity to disease therefore is impaired.  IF this happens to you, this truly puts you in a pathological state of being.
 
The nerves in the brain can no longer repair themselves and plaques begin to buildup.  Cells which are damaged and mutated begin to proliferate.  These cells were once easily cleaned up by an appropriately functioning and healthy brain and immune system.  These cells grow and grow until they become tumors.  If caught early enough, many cancers can be treated.  However, many cancers, especially those of the organs mentioned previously are not treated at the cause of the problem.
 
BEHAVIORS and LIFESTYLES!
 
Therefore, the cause of the problem continues and the person experiences one illness after another.  One pill after another, until they are barely human and being supported entirely by the medical system.
 
SOLUTION!!!
 
It doesn’t have to be this way. You are facing times like no other when it comes to health.    The system is set up to keep you less unhealthy not optimally healthy.  You have to take it into your own hands if you want to be healthy.  It takes a wellness based mind set in order to be healthy.  You have to care.  You have to make an effort.  Wellness is from the neck up and health is from the neck down.  Deciding to change your beliefs and your behaviors is often difficult.  It starts with having the proper information.  This information should give you the proper motivation to do the right thing and become a role model for those around you.  It’s one of the best gifts to give!
 
You can no longer live in the dark ages of the decades past as SCAVENGERS with little or no concern for how you eat, what you put into your bodies and where IT came from.  Scavengers do this.  Humans are not scavengers.  We are hunters, predators, gatherers and farmers.
 
Your ancestors never let someone else do their thinking for them when it came to nourishment.   People always made their own choices.  Every time you make a bad choice today, you are voting to keep the system the way it is.  The Revolution will happen.
 
This Revolution doesn’t require guns, bombs, death and destruction.  It just requires that you change what you believe and how you view your actions regarding nourishment and physical activity.   This will be a cultural Revolution that is set to to create new roots in a fundamental belief system for feeding yourself.  With awareness we shall prevail!  All we need to do is have a better sense of human!  Stay human!
 
 
 
What is selective Fasting? Part 1
 
Imagine, you are driving on a trip to see a good friend out of town.  You open up the road map or navigation on your electronic device of choice and program in your destination.  You expect to see the most direct route to your destination but how do you really know it is the best?  Unfortunately the navigation system has serious errors.  It wasn’t programmed correctly and it doesn’t have the most updated maps.  It also only uses highways and main roads but there is no detail on the back roads.  At every turn the system resets the route to the destination.  It doesn’t have the ability to select the most efficient and effective route and picks random routes instead.  That would be so frustrating, right???!!!
 
Sound familiar at all? I hope not but for many this is how they select their path to their goals in life.  I hope this type of navigation sounds ridiculous, but for many the path to wellness and self-actualization is just as tortuous and painful.  It doesn’t have to be.
 
Selective Fasting is a term designed to remind you that you are in control of being more selective about your choices.  Unfortunately many people, maybe even you, did not grow up in an environment that fostered learning and promoted doing all of the right things.  Most people never even begin to learn the principles of being successful until they are far into adulthood.  That’s ok because better late than never.  You can always get better!
 
So, you had to have started somewhere before picking up this information. You have also had some varied amounts of success in the past.  I want you to remember one critical thing, in all of these successes, you made THE SWITCH.
 
When you decided you really wanted it, you had to start wanting to really “be” better.  Be a better version of yourself. Being your best is not easy…  Doing the right thing is not always easy… Consistently following the formula for the transformation into the better version of yourself is never easy…  However, it’s much easier once you know and understand the formula!
 
One of the most important aspects of improvement is the desire to improve.  Staying Motivated!!!
 
When you make this switch, it shifts your attention towards things that are going to help or hurt your chances of success.  You can either speed things up or you can slow them down.  Your rate of speed primarily stems from how SELECTIVE you are.  The switch causes you to begin to focus on beliefs and behaviors important to help to get you to your goals.  This must come from within.  To have true success, you must program your beliefs about success.  For everyone and every goal, these beliefs can be a little different.  This is the first step is in creating a definition of what success will be for you.
 
The first step in your path towards self-actualization and success starts with selecting the appropriate behaviors which you will need to take action on.  Once these are defined, your compliance will almost single handedly determine the rate in which you reach your pinnacle.  The information the Fast Rewards eating system was designed from is here to be that foundation.
 
You probably have had a person or book of influence that changed your life forever.  The information in these writings is the most up to date regarding the pursuit of self-actualization, good health and enhanced physical capacity.  This was written to be the best and most useful information that you will eventually come to learn as you head down that path towards success.  Instead of wasting 10-20 years reading other books, surfing the net and consulting the BRO’s at the gym, the information here will get you set straight from the beginning.
 
You have to take responsibility and accountability for your success and failures.  Taking the time to be more selective will improve your chances at getting to your goals.  You know the pursuit of your goals is an outward cry that you desire to change your situation.  And yes, improvement inherently denotes you will undergo some type of change.  Hopefully, a metamorphosis.  Sometimes it requires different positive socially deviant behaviors such as spending more time in a more productive and success conducive environment. Every time, it requires selecting new behaviors, changing your beliefs and the creation of an improved self-image.
 
 
 
What is selective Fasting? Part 2
 
Selective Fasting is a type of intermittent fasting that allows you to choose when to eat certain foods at certain times and get the results you are looking for without ever having to give up the foods you love.
 
Fasting is a hot topic right now in the nutrition, weight loss and fitness world.
 
Unfortunately for fasting enthusiasts, when it comes to performance, simply fasting or utilizing intermittent fasting, a few key factors are missed. Intermittent fasting is a type of fasting which centers on cycling of varying lengths of periods of eating and fasting(not eating).  Intermittent fasting has little to do with performance and focuses mostly on merely weight loss or gain.  Losing weight although commonly desired should not be the only thing in which you focus on.  There are three primary things a diet should concentrate on giving you,
 
  • Optimal body composition
  • Optimal health
  • Optimal performance
 
With Selective Fasting you have much more freedom and much less restriction in what you can and can’t do.   Selective Fasting allows you to not have to ever skip a meal, let alone ever starve or deprive yourself from the foods you love.  Sounds too good to be true?  The science of the Future always does! Join The Revolution!
 
Selective Fasting was designed to decrease body fat and increase lean muscle tissue all the while giving you optimal health and performance.  While on the Fast Rewards Diet you choose what to eat based upon your recent physical activity levels and how the foods you choose are going to affect your body after you eat them.  Your body consistently fluctuates between different states.  This is highly based upon your physical activity levels.
 
Physical activity and several other critical factors will alter the way your body responds to the foods you eat.
 
This simple fact may be the most important thing for you to understand and can make or break the results of your diet and/or exercise program.
 
Selective Fasting is employed to allow your body to go through a catabolic, detoxifying, clean-up phase and move us towards homeostasis.  The selective fast is not a total fast but a temporary abstinence of foods that slow down the clean-up process.  These foods are the usual suspects but there are a few surprises to many people See Food Choices.  This increases the sensitivity of your tissues and prepares them for maximal absorption and utilization of the nutrients in all of your meals.  This is the best part! Because it is a selective fast, you are choosing which foods to eat and how often you eat them.
 
Once your tissues are stocked up on the nutrition they need to operate at optimal levels, you need to deplete them before the tissues need replenished again.  As you enter into the clean-up phase, you will utilize the stored nutrition in your tissues.  If you try to replenish or nourish your body when the tissues for storage are full, your body will not respond poorly. This is considered an insulin resistant time period.  This means more of your metabolized macronutrients, especially starchy carbohydrates and sugars, will be rapidly converted/metabolized and quickly transported to your fat cells.
 
Insulin causes the cleaning up process to be decelerated and may totally blunt it.  Insulin does not allow your body to appropriately initiate the actions needed to enter the cleanup phase.  When you are in a toxic state, the clean-up process is compromised.  Fat accumulates when you are in excess or toxic.  Likewise, it is not possible for the body to remain in a clean-up phase for too long, 24-48 hours, without experiencing negative effects.  This is why low carbohydrate diets and intense multiple session per day workout routines are not sustainable.  When clean-up hormones remain high for too long, the body goes into survival mode.  Survival is not where You want to be.  You want to thrive.  You want better performance not just weight loss.
 
Most biological processes are regulated through negative feedback loops.  Negative feedback loops are commonly used in the most stable, self-regulating systems.  These systems require alterations in the process based upon what has recently been happening during the process as to further adjust and regulate the outcomes.  A thermostat, not a thermometer, is an example of negative feedback technology often utilized in complex systems.  This is the same “how” your body uses to achieve homeostasis.
 
The Build-Up phase is stimulated by Clean up activity and Clean up activity is stimulated by Build up activity.  The Build-up phase is stimulated by insulin which is caused by eating, thinking about eating, and when under the influence of certain medications or hormones such as estrogen or xenoestrogens.  The Clean-up phase is stimulated by certain stressors.  Typically these stressors are emotional stress, fasting, under eating, selective fasting, and/or substantially increasing your physical activity level.  You should desire to be cycling through both of these phases consistently/daily to achieve homeostasis giving you the ability to have optimal health, body composition and performance.
 
The goal of the Fast Rewards System is to progressively allow you to change your behaviors and lifestyle.  As you progress up to level 5, Starchy or sugary carbohydrate as well as other junk food consumption should only occur during the Rewards Zone meal.  Once you reach level 5 you will no longer consume these foods other than the 2-3 hours following exercise or during the one other previously designated Rewards Zone meal.
 
You want to progressively improve the time you spend in the Clean–up phase as you progress up to level 5.  Spending this large amount of time in the clean-up phase is what keeps your body lean, healthy and optimally performing.
 
Once you progress beyond level 4, to reap all of the benefits, you can play with the time intervals to see how it affects your results. Proteins, meats, eggs, nuts, leafy green veggies, low glycemic fruits and water, almond or hemp milk, tea and/or coffee should be eaten during the clean-up part of the day.  No dairy, breads, pasta, rice, candy, snacks, potatoes, chips, French fries, etc,  It will be beneficial to begin to view these foods as junk food.  As mentioned previously, no junk food during the clean-up phase. 
 
 
 
Rules for Performance Enhancement: Nutrition
 
Rules are made to allow us to have efficiency in executing any plan.  This plan happens to be designed to enhance performance.
 
The first rule that should be mentioned is based upon the fact that rules for performance are different in one very significant way.  This difference is that they all centrally focus on performance before and above all other things.  This gives these rules a special distinction among the rules of most types of planning strategies. training regimens should be designed to enhance performance as well as improve fitness and give you the leanest most muscular body.  This eating system is designed understanding that you want to be your best.  It’s design also understands that you are human and perfection is not one of your strong points.
 
Fortunately, the Fast Rewards Eating System has factored this in!  This is probably one of the best ways to feed a human and expect enhanced performance, sanity and optimal health.  It truly can’t be beat.  If you want to be your best, the rules you follow must be designed to enhance performance and not hurt it.  You should also not do what everyone else does!  Believe me it will make you feel even better once you are getting the results you desire!
 
I can tell you this can be quite the journey to take.  Set-backs and let downs are inevitable but will be overcome if you stick it out and stick to the rules.  Even if you get tripped up it doesn’t mean you can’t get back on track.  Simply start the process over.
 
The second rule of performance enhancement is to decide which level you want to compete at.  How committed are you?  How much are you really ready to change?  Do you want to be your best? Really?  That’s ok too.
 
Rule number two is really that you have to want to improve.  You have to want to get better and that means you have to be willing to change.  If you are truly willing to change the way you operate, then you can get anything that you desire in life.  You get to choose! Enhancing is a choice not sought by many.  It is not easy and can seem rather complex.  Once you understand this concept, it is not that complex.  The complexity is that the system needed for continual improvement requires continual refinement and re-assessment.  This means that you have to keep trying to improve.  The only true failure is quitting.  This plan is designed to give you the best starting point possible and also give you a place to return when hitting the wall.
 
Any diet that you follow should be designed to increase your performance.  Is your diet designed to enhance your performance?  Is it designed to do anything?  Most people I know and the diet plans they follow do not have improved performance as the number one goal.  There are many reasons why a proper nutrition program will allow you to excel.  A proper nutrition program allows you to meet these goals:
  1. Have fuel for activities of daily living(ADL’s)social life, work outs and competitions
  2. Have the fastest recovery and healing therefore least tissue damage and soreness minimizing the  risk for non-contact injuries and over training
  3. Have optimal body composition; for most athletes Maximum lean tissue and minimal fat
  4. Is easy to follow to minimize any unnecessary stress added to your already stressful life
  5. Doesn’t cause you to be miserable for long periods of time
 
Any diet regimen will be successful for you if
  1. The goals are well understood and defined.
  2. The principles of the diet are well understood
  3. The diet is easy to follow on a daily basis
  4. You have access to the foods recommended
  5. Do not have to eliminate food groups
 
The Rules of the FAST REWARDS eating system are simple and in syntax or hierarchical order:
  1. Stay Hydrated Drinking at least the minimum required amount of water per day
  2. Get at least 8 hours of sleep per night
  3. Stay with the recommendations for your prescribed “level” to allow adequate behavior modification
  4. Progressively eliminate junk food from the Selective Fasting Period
  5. Eat as high % of Real Whole Foods/Total Foods consumed as possible
  6. Use Recovery Nutrition after bouts of anything greater than moderately intense physical activity
  7. Take the recommended Supplements
  8. Effectively Perform Selective Fasting and progress towards level 7
  9. Eat plenty of the foods allowed during the Rewards Period but never over eat
  10. If wanting optimal results follow the Fastest Rewards format – Progress to Level 7
 
 
 
What is a Rewards Period meal?
 
The Rewards Periods is the sweetest part of the Fast Rewards diet.  And to be very clear, the Rewards period is not a cheat meal.  It is a REWARD for your hard work!
 
While you are progressively becoming more and more consistent with the rules, you will begin to find a significant enjoyment with receiving the Rewards period meal.  This meal begins to become positive Reinforcement for a job well done during the Selective Fasting period.  You will find that in a couple weeks, you will be having minimal cravings during the selective fasting period.  You will also find considerable elationduring these Rewards meals not only because of the foods you can eat but, because you were able to do so well during the Selective Fasting Period.  This creates an immense sense of satisfaction.  Satisfaction is one of the things most other diets cannot sustain on a year round basis.  The Fast Rewards Diet is here to solve that problem. This will also leave you with serious feelings of anticipation.  You will patiently be waiting to Reward yourself not only physically but also psychologically as well.
 
I am sure you would agree that Hard workers deserve to have Rewards.
 
During the Rewards period Starchy and sugary carbohydrates as well as dairy products are introduced back in the diet.
 
There are two Rewards Periods.  During the Selective Fasting Period you will limit starchy and sugary carbohydrates as well as several other select foods.  However during the Rewards Period these can be consumed. The two Rewards Periods are the post workout period and one main meal per day.  Vegetable and fruit (blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, strawberries) based carbohydrates can be consumed at any time based upon the list of foods in the table.  Dairy should also be limited to the Rewards Period unless it is a whey protein supplement.  Dairy is usually processed and high on the insulin index.  It spikes your insulin despite not seeing a directly proportionate spike in your blood sugar.
 
If you are craving Rewards foods during the Selective Fasting phase, first try drinking water or coffee, eating some berries or nuts.  This tends to really help curb your cravings.  Many people, like you, will find coffee and nuts like pistachios or almonds to work best.  Chia seeds are also a great option and can be mixed with liquids like water or almond milk and berries to make a nice little desert type dish. Consume raw nuts and seeds as snacks throughout the day.  Avoid trail mix types of snack or junk foods.
 
Enjoy the Rewards period.  Remember this is the best part of this eating system.  No cheating, just REWARDS.
 
 
 
What is Hydration Rule #1?
 
Your body is 60- 70% water. Water has a high specific heat and is why you can create a lot of heat and not over heat.  This means that it takes a lot of energy to raise the temperature of water and therefore your body temperature. Water is needed for many molecular reactions to properly take place including fat oxidation and metabolism, muscle regeneration, and heat dissipation.  Water is a great electric conductor.  Your nervous system and all of your functions utilize electrical energy.  Without water, these systems cannot function appropriately.   You cannot be in homeostasis or be healthy without proper hydration.  For these reasons, Hydration is the most important part of any human performance program.
 
Your body uses water as a lubricant in the joints, tendons, and cartilage.  When you are dehydrated, your joints are less lubricated and you are more susceptible to injuries.  Research shows most Americans, including athletes, are chronically dehydrated.  Nearly 70% of athletes and exercise enthusiasts walk on to the field of play or into the gym dehydrated. With simple awareness and behavior changes, almost any athlete can improve performance by 10% by ensuring proper hydration. Here is the quick and easy assessment for hydration status.  If your urine has any color to it, you are dehydrated.  Your urine should be crystal clear.  If you are thirsty, you are already dehydrated and probably have been for hours, maybe even days.
 
Detoxification on a daily basis is a must for optimal body composition.  Drinking plenty of fluids helps to remove toxins from your body.  Once your body can no longer get rid of the excess toxins via the normal excretion routes, toxins are accumulated in your fat tissues.  Therefore the more toxins you have in your system, the more body fat you will ultimately create.  Drinking water is not an option.  It is a necessity.  It is Rule # 1 for optimal health, performance and body composition.
 
What happens to my physical capacity when you are dehydrated?
 
Performance can be significantly improved, simply by ensuring proper hydration.   Each 1% drop of hydration below normal will cause an increase in your resting heart rate by 8 beats per minute, a decrease in cardiac oxygen output (the total amount of blood our heart pumps) by 1 liter per min, and a .3 degrees F increase in body temperature.  These are obviously not good for your overall health and performance.
 
Research shows that a decrease in hydration levels by 2%, that is 3 pounds of water loss for someone weighing 150 pounds, leads to mental fatigue, decreased acuity, physical fatigue, increased perceived exertion, central nervous system fatigue, a decrease in sweat rate and ability to cool the body, a decrease in endurance and diminished work capacity, and ultimately a decrease in speed and strength of nearly 10%.
 
HOW MUCH WATER SHOULD I DRINK?
 
You should attempt to drink water and only water. The National Research Council recommends 1.0 – 1.5 ml per calories expended. On average women should consume 1.9 – 2.9 liters or 66 – 100 ounces of water.  Men should consume 2.7 – 4.1 liters or 93 – 130 ounces. Athletes, especially wrestlers, should be on the high end of this. This figure represents the total water from all sources. If you are not getting these amounts then you are dehydrated.
 
You can’t trust your thirst mechanism.  Your rate of digestion of water is limited to .5 L to 1L per hour and sports drinks may be 1-2L per hour.  Sodium and potassium are also excreted during the dehydration process and must be replenished.  The nervous system functions properly with a signaling system that utilizes sodium and potassium to regulate the speed and efficiency of the nerve conductions.  You should also be drinking a few ounces of water or preferably a carbohydrate solution infused with electrolytes, like coconut water, every 15-20 minutes during exercise.
 
 
 
What should you refuel with after workouts?
 
Your body normally stores 9-10 g of carbohydrates, primarily as glycogen, per kg of bodyweight.  This is typically enough to fuel a 20 mile run at high intensity.  The upper limit of storage for carbohydrates, following a carbohydrate loading for several days, is 15 g per kg of body weight.
 
Your muscles are the primary storage reserve for glucose, or in its polysaccharide storage form, Glycogen. 70-80% of our body’s glycogen stores are in the muscle. The muscles use this glycogen for fuel and it needs to be replaced following exercise.  A muscle cell is a muscle fiber.  Insulin is the hormone that signals your body to open up the gates and take glucose and other fuels, such as creatine, into the muscle fibers.  Insulin is an anabolic hormone and is one of the most potent hormones naturally occurring in your body.
 
During exercise your body burns carbohydrates(sugars) for fuel, especially during strenuous physical activity.  If your sugar stores start to become depleted, your body will turn to break down your protein stores, muscle protein.  There is also a cascade of hormonal changes that occur during exercise which may be detrimental to your ultimate strength gains and lean muscle mass.  During exercise your body release hormones in response to the stress of exercise which signals the body to catabolize your muscles for protein and break down glycogen into sugar for fuel.
 
Epinephrine and cortisol are the two most well-known of these hormones.  When cortisol is released it causes your body to catabolize protein for fuel and also suppresses your immune system.  The harder you workout the more cortisol is released and the greater the amount of protein breakdown and immunosuppression.  Exercise causes immunosuppression, oxidation and inflammation.  Finally, exercise also causes a significant amount of fluid loss and subsequent dehydration.  This seems like it might be detrimental, but as you will see it is not and your body actually supercompensates as a result.
 
Exercise, as mentioned previously, is a catabolic (breaking down) stress.  This primes your anabolic (build up) capacity.  In other words, your body is ready to grow and regenerate following exercise.  The more intense and acute, the more your body will be primed to recover.
 
Immediately prior to exercise, you should consume a small amount of low glycemic (low sugar) and low insulin index carbohydrate and protein foods.  A carbohydrate and protein drink should be used to increase your level of blood glucose and amino acids, along with an antioxidant source and/or multivitamin, primarily containing Vitamins A, C and E.  An Omega3 supplement could also be included in this dosage to limit oxidation and inflammation following exercise.  (Nutrients for recovery and healing) The carbohydrates will increase your insulin production, the most anabolic hormone.  Anabolic hormones increase the storage of nutrients in your body. This is a crucial concept to understand.  Catabolic hormones such as glucagon or cortisol, which occur during fasting and exercise, cause your body to use your energy stores.
 
Eating following exercise and the subsequent spike in insulin levels will nullify the negative effects of cortisol and other catabolic hormones that occur during exercise.  It also gives your body nutrients to utilize to replenish your glycogen stores and will in turn stop your body from initiating gluconeogenesis (converting other nutrients such as protein into glucose), and ultimately the catabolizing or break down of muscle protein.  We will also have ample amounts of amino acids(BCAA’s) in our blood which will be utilized instead of our muscle proteins if gluconeogenesis (converting muscle protein into glucose) should be initiated.
 
 
 
What supplements should you take?
 
Take these, first thing in the morning and after working out.  If no workout take prior to bed for second dosage
  • L-Carnitine 500-1000 mg 2 x per day
  • L- Glutamine 500 – 1000 mg 1 x per day/postworkout
  • Magnesium Citrate 350 mg 2 x per day
  • Calcium Citrate 500 mg 2 x per day
  • Potassium Citrate 500 mg 2 x per day
  • 1000 mg BCAA’s or 20-30 g of whey protein isolate or hydrosylate. Post workout and 2 x per day
  • Vitamin D3 at least 600 IU 1 x per day
  • A Daily MultiVitamin – Preferably one with GMP – Good Manufacturing Practices 1 x per day
 
Why should I be supplementing magnesium and potassium?  What do they do for me?  Magnesium and potassium are often very deficient in the average Americans diet.  They contribute to soft tissue healing, blood vessel health, transmission of nerve impulses, body temperature regulation, calcium absorption and most importantly insulin sensitivity.
 
Why should I take Calcium?  What does it do for me?
 
Calcium plays a major role in muscle contractions and remodeling of the musculoskeletal tissues primarily and most well-known, your bones.  Calcium deficiency may lead to leaching of your stores of calcium in the muscles and bones.  You want a strong body which performs well and low calcium intakes will cause just the opposite.  The modern human encounters a constant necessity to regulate the highly internal acidic environment your behaviors are creating.  If we do not consume the appropriate foods at a high enough rate, you will not be able to neutralize the acid and your pH maybe altered.  YOur body will pull from reserves in your bones and muscles to help neutralize this acidic environment.
 
Why take Vitamin D?
 
Vitamin D decificiency is more common than once thought.  If you want to be precise, you can get your levels checked by your physician.  If you live in areas more north of the equator than Florida, you are likely to be deficient.  This has been linked with many disorders and diseases states.  Autoimmune disorders seem to be exacerbated by a vitamin D deficiency.
 
Vitamin D helps with intestinal absorption of calcium and phosphate.  This is probably most important for bone health but is also very important for many other processes of the body.
 
 
 
Protein? Creatine? BCAA'S?
 
Yes of course I recommend supplementing with protein.  This is one processed food that is not recommended to avoid.
 
Not all protein supplements are created equal.  When shopping for protein supplements you should search for several very important qualities.
  1. Protein Isolate and Hydrosylate preferred over concentrate
  2. Whey Protein – assimilates the best and is high in BCAA’s
  3. No soy used in production – See Estrogen and Testosterone
  4. Low in carbohydrates preferably less than 4 grams
  5. Number of servings per container and price
 
Whey protein is fast acting and is a great protein supplement to provide us with all of our amino acid requirements.  It is also very high in the BCAA’s you should be looking for.  It can be mixed with fruit juice easily for the post-exercise meal and preferably with water or no sugar added almond milk during the feeding times outside of 2-3 hours following exercise, to feed our muscles.
 
One of the best Whey Protein products you can get is called Whey Natural. It is a bit expensive but I believe totally worth it.  It is used by many professional athletes because of its high quality.  It can be found at click here, with a low carbohydrate content and is all natural.  You should also utilize any immune system and antioxidant producing nutrients when supplementing with protein, especially after exercise.  When you have not exercised or have eaten starchy sugary carbohydrate foods, your body is very unresponsive to insulin.  This is true unless you have been following the selective fasting period for more than 12 hours. Outside of your post-workout recovery meal, we want to take a total of an additional 30-40 grams of protein spread over the day.  This intake would be most ideal without any additional carbohydrates.  You must be careful to not spike your insulin levels during these times.  It is highly beneficial to continue with protein and amino acid supplementation during the Selective Fasting Period to help maintain protein synthesis.
 
Another great option is a product called Greens and Whey which provides a green veggie powder mixed with whey protein isolate.  Vanilla tastes great and this is also very inexpensive relative to the Hydrowhey.
 
Next I would choose Promasil.  This protein has a variety of protein sources from egg albumin to whey hydrosylate. The company that makes this protein also claims to have a very pure manufacturing process.  It is designed for athletes and there is no soy used for production.
Giant Eagle also has a very inexpensive protein supplement that is a great option.  This product is primarily a whey protein isolate supplement but will definitely do the trick.  It does however use soy in its processing.
 
If you are trying to gain lean muscles mass, a great time to take your creatine supplement is after you workout.  Your reserves will be significantly depleted and need replenished.  Beta K is my favorite choice.  Beta K combines Kre-Alkalyn with beta-alanine which helps with creatine facilitation and limits water retention.  If you are trying to maintain a certain weight or lose weight, I do not recommend creatine during that time period.  Creatine should always be taken as a pre or post workout supplement.  You probably should limit your creatine intakes to 2-3 grams per day because to limit water retention.  More is not always better.
If you can limit the amount of muscle breakdown during exercise and increase your amounts of protein synthesis and uptake of nutrition into your muscles you will see significant increases in strength and muscle density.
 
Should I take Creatine?  If you are trying to gain lean muscle, you should be supplementing with at least 2 g of creatine monohydrate or phosphocreatine as well as no less than 5 g’s of branch chain amino acids(BCAA’s).  No studies have shown negative associations with creatine if taken appropriately and staying hydrated.
 
Creatine significantly enhances sports performance.  Creatine is a supplement that has been shown to decrease injury rates, improve power, recovery from injuries, and decreases heat stress.  Your body produces creatine daily.  Creatine is synthesized in the liver from arginine, methionine and glycine.  Your muscles use energy in the form of ATP, adensosine triphosphate, for contractions.  During power movements and intense anaerobic activity of approximately less than 1 minute, creatine phosphate is a primary fuel source.  Energy is released in the muscle by breaking the bond of one of the phosphate group of the triphsophate component of the ATP.  This turns the ATP into ADP, adenosine diphosphate. The adenosine diphosphate waits to be replenished and turned into ATP.  When your creatine phosphate muscle stores are saturated, your muscles can more easily regenerate ATP from ADP by using the phosphate of the creatine to replenish the ADP.
 
Creatine may make it difficult to lose weight because it causes water retention.  Creatine is not advised if maximal size and lean muscle mass are not the main objectives or goals of your nutrition plan.
 
What are Branch Chain Amino Acids (BCAA’s)?  BCAA’s are the amino acids, leucine, isoleucine and valine.  BCAA’s allow your body to have a constant supply of amino acids for fuel which will increase your metabolism.  When your body uses up all of its glycogen, it will start to turn to muscle and break it down for fuel. This is called protein catabolism.  If you have a high amount of BCAA’s in your system, they will be used sparing your muscle protein.  Take BCAA’s between meals and especially following exercise.  1500 -5000 mg of BCAA’s should be consumed spread out over 3 times daily.   Take BCAA’s especially during during low carbohydrate times.
 
What is L-carnitine and why should I take it? L-Carnitine assists with fat metabolism and facilitates uptake of BCAA’s.  Take approximately 1-2000mg of L-carnitine per day preferably with BCAA”s or whey protein supplement.
 
L-glutamine is the essential amino acid that you should be taking, especially if you are under a lot of stress or participating in a training program.  Glutamine helps synthesize antioxidants in your body that help protect it from damage.  This allows you to recover more quickly and have higher energy levels.  Glutamine also helps to spare protein catabolism and gluconeogenesis.  2-5 g of L-glutamine should be taken on training days prior to workouts.  L-glutamine is the most abundant amino acid in the body but is the first amino acid catabolized when your body is under stress.  L-glutamine also assists your immune system and brain function.   It is recommended to take these supplements during the hours in which carbohydrate intakes are low. This will help to spare your muscle proteins from catabolism.  When glucose is used up the body will convert amino acids, via gluconeogenesis, to glucose.
 
Remember supplements are just that.  Focus on a healthy balanced diet with adequate hydration as your primary effort to improve performance and health.  Once you have a handle on consistently following a good eating system, supplelements may have a benefit on your performance in life and in sports.
 
 
 
 
Optimal Body Composition Part 2
 
What do you mean to be mindful when we eat?
 
You must be mindful to be successful.  You need to be conscious and present.  You must think about what you are going to eat before you put it in your mouth.  Every single time!  You need to try to make this a conditioned behavior.  Think before you eat! This will help you get to your goals faster.  Mindless eating is one of the key behaviors that lead to excess weight gain.  Before you eat something it is very valuable and effective to remind yourself about the purpose of eating and nutrition.  Giving thanks to your food, regardless of religious beliefs, prior to eating has also been proven to be very effective for controlling your intakes during meals.
 
People also tend to eat more after exercising.  You eat more either secondary to perceived hunger or possibly dehydration.  Many people often reward themselves with food because they exercised hard.  They then find exercise doesn’t work because they overeat afterward.
Self-sabotage.
Many people also perceive hunger as starvation and panic to get something in their stomachs.  Your body sends a message to your consciousness of the need to eat long before it ever taps into your reserves.  What an inefficient system!  Especially because most of us have plenty of fat tissue in reserve for the body to burn.  It doesn’t begin to burn fat until you have put your body into the right state.  The Fast Rewards Diet will place you into this state.
 
You have simply evolved over time for a period of great scarcity and your body still responds to tell you to have adequate intakes so you do not starve.  You have to learn how your system works to use it effectively.  You can’t play a game well that you do not understand the rules of.  How could you ever expect to be successful in that scenario?  Awareness will set us free.
 
 
 
How does any weight control die actually work?
 
All weight loss diets and strategies end up pushing you into a catabolic state.  All weight gain strategies end up putting you into an anabolic state.  Doing either consistently for long time periods is detrimental because your body will experience negative side effects.  Prolonged periods of anabolism for example, such as most off-season programs for athletes, often yield an undesirable accumulation of excess body fat which the athlete has to fight to lose when getting closer to the season.  As the athlete tries to lose the body fat, they also start to lose their muscle because they are staying in prolonged catabolic states to lose the weight.  They ultimately lose most of the muscle they gained in the offseason.  This doesn’t make much sense.
 
As you lose weight, your body begins to react by resetting its set point for your weight, ultimately attempting to decrease your metabolism.  If your metabolism decreases, you will be burning fewer calories throughout the day.  This can be counteracted by exercise and/or in combination with selective fasting and carb cycling.  See what is Selective Fasting?  If you continue to eat the same types of foods and do not increase your activity, your body will reset its set point and metabolism at your current weight.  Body composition improvements and weight loss will plateau.
 
Poor understanding of catabolism and anabolism, is the number one reason people experience weight loss plateaus.   You must be aware of the calories in versus calories out equation and be aware that it does not determine your body composition.  With that approach, increases or decreases of portion sizes and food groups based upon your weekly results are required to coincide with future alterations in caloric intakes.  Yuck! You can eliminate this problem by understanding your body and being sure to re-assess and reset your management program once every 1-2 months.
 
The formula for weight gain is simple.  Increase your production and stimulation of anabolic hormones such as insulin. The formula for fat gain is even simpler.  Constantly spike insulin levels when the body is already full of carbohydrates and when a person has not exercised or fasted from sugary and starchy carbohydrates.  One or two bottles of Pepsi or other soft drinks per day can easily place us in this anabolic state for most of the day.  Stay in this state and chronic disease associated with obesity, insulin resistance and metabolic syndrome will eventually manifest.
 
 
 
Why do most dieters get fatter and fatter over time?
 
To be your BEST, you need to think differently.  The calories in and calories out mentality is no longer effective once you are eating a clean and well balanced diet.  It will only get you so far. If you are like me, the problem is that eating clean forever is impossible.  Eating clean is also only ONE part of the puzzle.  Simply eating clean and well balanced is unlikely to get your best results/performance but is the best starting point at understanding how to improve health.  There is more too it!!!
 
People today are obsessed with maintaining their best body weight. Many people lose hundreds and hundreds of pounds throughout their lifetimes unfortunately most of them gain it all back and then some.  Unfortunately, most people chase this obsession with almost sure-fail techniques. Almost every “diet” out there is not sustainable and has no consideration of body composition and performance.  You have to understand that there is more to it than just losing weight.  It “takes more” to achieve and maintain an ideal body composition.  Body composition is considered a direct relationship to the state of your health.  Body fat accumulates for a reason.  A body that is accumulating fat is a HUGE Red Flag for poor health and metabolism.  When you accumulate more and more body fat, it means your body is dysfunctioning.   Some people are naturally lager than others.  Progressively gaining body or body weight over time is not the same as being a larger than average person.
 
It is inevitable, as you get older you will become more and more resistant to insulin.  Insulin resistance is the main culprit related to aging and increased body fat.  It is a natural part of the aging processes and every one will experience the effects.   It is also the main principle any successful diet will capitalize on.
 
However, most often, diets cause you to end up a smaller fatter version of yourself, with less energy for daily function.  You then rebound, putting on the same body weight that you lost.  During most weight loss diets, a person originally loses mostly muscle and water weight rather than fat.  If dieting and exercising incorrectly, your body composition can actually end up worse in terms of a percentage than it was previously.  This is time when you begin to have more and more difficulty dropping the pounds with a typical “calorie in calories out or energy balance” approach.  Even worse, as you gain weight back during the rebound phase, you don’t put all muscle back on.  The weight is gained rapidly and your largest percentages of the body mass gains are fat.
 
Many diets propose that certain macronutrients, such as carbs, proteins and fats are the key to losing weight.  The research demonstrates otherwise.  Unsustainable weight loss diets require that you do several things:
  • Lose weight too fast
  • Eliminate key macronutrients
  • Alter the necessary ratio of macronutrients
 
Unsustainable also means the weight lost is very highly likely to be regained, primarily in more undesirable body fat.  Over time this pushes us further and further away from our goal to have a better or ideal body composition.  Less fat and more muscle.
 
A study in the New England Journal of Medicine demonstrated any diet which focuses on maintaining a caloric deficit will be effective while losing weight.  Groups of people were given four different diets with differing percentages of carbohydrates, fats and proteins.  There were no significant differences after 2 years between groups and all groups had lost and maintained a significant amount of weight, 4kg or 8.8 pounds.  Similar to how Michael Pollan puts it, “In The Defense of Food”, the human diet should consist of whole foods, the majority of which should come from plants, and we shouldn’t eat too much of anything.  Follow this and we will be most likely to be progressing towards good health, desirable body composition, and optimal performance!  If you want your best seek out a program like Fast Rewards!!!
 
 
 
Why are most weight loss programs destined for failure?
 
For people who have used the the Caolires in calories out approach I have some revealing news for you.  The calories in calories out approach is missing some of the simple principles of what actually is working and what is not.  Anyone who follows this approach will be sure to experience frustrating plateaus and setbacks because of the principle of diminish returns.   Focusing on weight is the key to calories in calories out.  However, for the best performance and optimal body composition, you must focus primarily on two key factors or metrics to understand the best approach.
  • Performance
  • Body composition
 
If a training regimen isn’t designed to focus on the primary improvement of these two variables it is destined for failure.  You also have to think about it a little more.  If these variables aren’t first they might as well be last.  There is no reason you would want these two key variables to be the opposite, poor performance and increased body fat!!! Which is exactly what you will get if you don’t put them first.  Remember, you always want to start with the end in mind.  A lot of programs and plans will create changes.  The question is, Are these the changes you were looking for in the first place?
 
Here’s some more information to help you understand the Energy Balance or “calories in calories out” proposal.
 
There are 3500 calories in a pound of fat.  A 6 pound weight loss for the week would equal 21,000 calories for the week in deficit.  This deficit considers all calories consumed versus all calories expended.  The deficit needed to lose 6 pounds would be 3000 calories per day.  We would have to either exercise like crazy, almost 18 miles (at 6 mph = 3 hours straight) of running per day or you would barely be able to eat barely anything.   Most people barely have a resting metabolic rate below 2000.   You would have to burn another 1000 calories per day (6 mile run) and only eat 2000 calories.  For a male who weighs 150 pounds the lowest calorie intake possible would be 1950 calories to prevent starvation.   This type of lifestyle will also cause a decrease in fast twitch muscle fibers because of all of the long duration steady state exercising needed to burn the calories.
 
Unsustainable also means the weight lost is very highly likely to be regained, primarily in more undesirable body fat.  Over time this pushes us further and further away from our goal to have a better or ideal body composition.  Less fat and more muscle.
 
A study in the New England Journal of Medicine demonstrated any diet which focuses on maintaining a caloric deficit will be effective while losing weight.  Groups of people were given four different diets with differing percentages of carbohydrates, fats and proteins.  There were no significant differences after 2 years between groups and all groups had lost and maintained a significant amount of weight, 4kg or 8.8 pounds.  Similar to how Michael Pollan puts it, “In The Defense of Food”, the human diet should consist of whole foods, the majority of which should come from plants, and we shouldn’t eat too much of anything.  Follow this and we will be most likely to be progressing towards good health, desirable body composition, and optimal performance!  If you want your best seek out a program like Fast Rewards!!!
 
A diet that is focused on calories in versus calories out is destined for failure.  You will eventually reach a point where you can’t exercise anymore and you can’t restrict any more food without injuring yourself or becoming ill.
 
 
What behaviors allow for success on a weight control program?
 
The National Weight Control Registry (click here for website) is the largest database of individuals who have experienced successful long term weight loss ranging from 30 to 300 pounds. It was established in 1994 and is the largest prospective investigation of successful long term weight loss.   They have compiled a list of the most common dietary behaviors of those who are successful at controlling their weight and maintaining their weights for >5 years.  98% have modified their food intake in some way.  78% of these people eat breakfast every day and 75 % weigh themselves at least once a week.  62% watch less than 10 hours of TV per week.  94% of the people exercise at least 1 hour per day which is mainly in the form of walking.  The average weight loss in the registry is 66 pounds and has been kept off for greater than 5 years.  If you are serious about losing weight these are several easy behaviors that can be implemented to increase your chance your chances for long term success.
 
REMEMBER this does not account for body fat or composition, just weight loss.
 
 
 
Why shouldn't I Yo-Yo diet? Why sholuldn't I binge and purge?
 
Studies have shown that people who consistently allow their weight to fluctuate will have a decrease in metabolism.  This is very counterproductive.  You should be doing everything you can to rev up your engine as much as possible.  You want try to keep your fluctuations to a minimal.  Your body has a set point in which it believes your weight should stay.  This is the reason losing weight at the beginning of a program is so difficult.  Your body likes where its weight is and if weight loss occurs too quickly it responds as if you are dying.  If you properly condition your body and do not fluctuate, a new set point is created.  Continuously fluctuating in weight will not allow this to happen and will ultimately make you struggle even more to lose weight especially stubborn body fat.  Large weight fluctuations have also been associated with low serum levels of testosterone in men.
 
 
 
How fast should I lose weight?
 
In order to have successful weight loss, you must have a plan and a strategy that will keep the weight off.  The number one reason why people are unable to maintain their weight loss is because they set unrealistic goals.  You must set long term goals and be realistic about the time it will take you to lose the weight.  Weight loss should not occur at more than 1-2% of body weight per week.  If your diet plan says that you will lose weight faster than this beware, the strategy will not be sustainable and you will likely rebound.  This has most to do with behavior.  Success is about principles and executing your habits and behaviors based upon those principles.  Self-discipline is like a language.  Anyone can use it or learn how to use it but not everyone does.
 
 
 
Why do I need a baseline measurement?
 
If you want to be effective at anything, you need to have a good baseline.  It is very difficult to be successful and to determine a solid plan if you do not know what your current state is as a baseline. If you do not have a good baseline you will not have anything to determine your progress as you begin to take action on your goals.  The baselines for a weight control program are weight in pounds or kilograms, body fat percentage and your resting metabolic rate.  If you do not know what is realistic in terms of losing body fat percentage, how can you set your goals?  See self assessment and health fitness placement questionnaire
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
     
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