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Wednesday, December 27, 2017

How to Heal Thyself podcast on PaleoJay's Smoothie Cafe

Once you get to a certain age, and for most that seems to be the early 50’s or so, if you have lived a Standard American Diet and lifestyle as most do- you will start to fall apart!  You will have aches and pains; often in the form of migraine headaches, acid reflux, IBD, and increasingly pain in the joints and spine.

To solve this, it is definitely NOT a matter of which heavy duty drugs to take, or even of going to a good chiropractor to get your back cracked or adjusted.  And surgeries and NSAID drugs like ibuprofen, Tylenol, aspirin and the like are also NOT the answer.  All of these commonplace strategies are short term stopgaps at best, and all arrive at the place of steadily worsening health and well-being rather than healing and wellness.

First off- any drug- any drug will wreak havoc on your gut lining, and intensify your future pain and suffering.  Guaranteed!  You need a long term strategy, something you do each and every day that will definitely fine you vastly improved in every way, and with a truly healthy and happy body and mind.

Now, some chiropractors are great- they guide you into a paleo, ancestral lifestyle just as I attempt to do with good advice and counsel.  Clean up your diet, cut out the bread and sugar, exercise regularly, meditate and walk barefoot, eat real, God-made foods rather than processed hyper-palatable crap.  Then, they usually will adjust your back as well, and you will think all is well.  And it may be, for a little while…

The thing is, chiropractic care is a transitory, stop-gap type of treatment that is very temporary, and helps you feel better after having abused your body with the wrong kind of exercise (heavy weights), or no exercise (poor posture, deteriorating muscle tone), bad stress, and a lack of walking outdoors in nature.   Poor sleep is also contributory to all of this.  

Just as surgery and drugs are not a long term answer, neither are chiropractic adjustments on a regular basis.  For one, they are quite expensive, not to mention unnatural!  How many ancient humans had their backs adjusted on a regular basis?  They didn’t need them to be adjusted, because they adjusted them themselves on a daily basis, just as now you will!  You just need to adopt a few simple habits of health, and you will self-adjust yourself on a daily basis, and your gut will gradually heal, rendering your body to be as healthy as it can be.

There are two things I’d like you to add into your daily regimen.  Simple stretching, primarily on a mat on the floor, some simple exercises mixed in with the stretching, and a warm cup of salted bone broth to sip while you work.  Really- this little pleasurable addition to your morning routine can completely revamp your health, your joints, and eliminate your aches and pains permanently.

When you awaken, (making sure that you get a good 8 hours of sleep at least, in a completely dark room), after visiting the bathroom, go into your kitchen and pour a mug of bone broth.  Sprinkle in some good Redmond’s sea salt, and go into your living room, where you keep your television.  Unroll your yoga mat, and start in on some gently stretches.  Do the Asian squat to start, holding a deep squat for as long as it seems comfortable as you watch whatever you have chosen.  Breathe deeply and relax- this time is yours, and over time it will become more and more enjoyable, something to look forward to each morning!

Now, I’m not going to tell you what stretches or exercises to do here, this is not the place.  If you are in pain, anything you do that addresses your own various pains and tightness is the right thing to do, for you.  I will say that I always make sure to lie flat on my back, and stretch out as far as I can, first right leg and right arm, and then right leg and left arm.  I also cross my right knee over my body to the left and hold, and my left knee to the right and hold.  I intersperse other exercises in a way that seems to flow naturally for me, slowly stretching my whole body gently, to and fro, until I have methodically adjusted my spine and other joints to where they feel alive, the synovial fluid flowing like warm oil in a car engine.  

It’s definitely not rocket science, you just stretch intuitively, like an animal stretches when it wakes up, particularly like a cat!  In fact, sometimes one of my cats joins me in my morning stretches, and what we do is quite similar, really, accounting for our different body structures.  

And just sip away as you do, pausing to drink that bone broth as you go- there is definitely no rush!  I like to allow a good hour for my morning exercise/stretches/adjustments, but that is because I also include pushups, and rebounding, along with various resistant exercises like isometrics with a strap, virtual and self resisted exercise, as well as sit-ups and others.  Check out my ebook Perfectly Paleo Exercise for a detailed look at these; also, I plan to put together a course on exercise this new year on where I can demonstrate just what I’m talking about in great detail.  

But for now, if you are in pain, and only want to get better- just set aside a good 1/2 hour each morning.  Get up early enough to make it happen, by going to bed early enough the night before.  Just the wonderful sleep you will be getting is very healing in and of itself!  And get in a good supply of bone broth.  Nowadays, a good quality, organic bone broth made from pastured animals is available in boxes and jars at most groceries for a reasonable price- not to mention, you can always make your own as I do, with good quality bones and a crock pot.  

But the point, just as with the gently stretching regimen, is to do it every day.  Make health a habit!  After a while, if you miss a day, it’s not big deal at all- but at first, while you are making it a lifelong habit- try not to miss!  These two small additions to your life, bone broth and stretching daily, can change your health dramatically overall!  Your joints and gut lining can definitely rebuild, and thrive again.  The time can even be quite short to do so- if you do it daily.

And then, after 30 days or so- why, you’ll feel so good, you’ll be like me- you will go out after 30 minutes to the kitchen, and get yourself a cup of coffee laced with coconut oil.  Back in the living room, you’ll push ‘play’ again on the show that your were watching as you stretched, and you’ll start in on your pushups and other exercises.  This is phase two exercise, where you not only have your health back, you want to vastly improve it via strength training. And, trust me- it is intoxicating!

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Creativity Crucial for Paleo Ancestral LIfestyle on Paleo Quick Tip of the Day podcast

Sometimes I think I get a little ‘out there’ on things, and I’m afraid this is one of those times.  I truly believe that nurturing your creative self, that part of you that does more than just work for a living, and then, when all the work is done, both at home and at your workplace, you just seek entertainment.

Now, I am not averse to entertainment itself, not at all.  I’ve played in, and even organized musical bands and choruses in my time, and love to play guitar and sing.  Where would I be without an audience?  I watch many movies, most on Netflix and Amazon prime- while I exercise, as I often recommend.  I listen to the radio, and love to listen to music as well.  I even love podcasts, which are great to listen to while driving, or heavy hand walking (or now, with the snow, ski pole walking) around the woods here in my yard.  In fact, I’ll go so far as to say I love entertainment, and love to be entertained!  Who doesn’t?

But my point is, if you only live to work and then to be entertained, where does that leave you after you are done working, or even just when you have some downtime?  Well of course, we all need to help out others in our family and neighborhoods, that is a given.  And it usually takes a lot of time as well.  But sometimes, if you are just on free time, you have better have a go-to outlet that you 1. enjoy, and 2. that you have some ability in.  (Otherwise, you won’t really enjoy it much.)

You need a creative outlet!  Not just a hobby, something like ‘paint by numbers’, because it’s not really creative, something that you create that wasn’t there before.  You need to paint (like the cave walls in France), or play music (like Homer and the other ancient bards).  You need to write like I do, (check out some of my books, by my pen names Jess Thornton and Simon Stanton, along with my real name of Jay Bowers).  Or sing, or write poetry, or build things of wood, or clay, or whatever. 

The point is: creativity is essential to our nature as humans- in fact, it is largely what made us human, setting us apart from the beasts- we think, we imagine, and then we create!  Even putting together wonderful recipes of healthy food for our families can be very creative- although for most folks now it’s not.  If you just pick up fast food, or get a ready made meal delivered- even a paleo or ketogenic meal- although it may be wonderful nutritionally, healthy as can be and nutrient dense- it’s not creative, not for you.

I’m sure it was for the person who created it, that recipe, and they are fulfilled by it.  Just as, when you watch a wonderful movie, see a great performance of music or drama or comedy or whatever- you are entertained, you enjoy it.  But you are enjoying another’s creativity, and their fulfillment.  They probably get paid, sure, if it’s that kind of a venue- but the fulfillment comes from creating whatever it is.  The paycheck comes later, and that’s great- but even if it doesn’t, that person has created something, something he fulfilled.  And that is the best reward we can get on this earth, really.  It is our own uniqueness on display!

I guarantee the cave painters in the Lascaux caves in southern France didn’t do it for the money- there was no money then.  Nor did they do it for widespread fame, because the only people who could have known about those marvelous paintings would have been the few people in their own tribe, perhaps 50 or so.  It may have been, probably was religious in nature.  But the loving attention to detail and the perfect crafting of those beasts within that cave, well, that was all about creating. 

The fact that those paintings have endured all this time, over 30,000 years is amazing, and wonderful!  For us, mainly.  For those paleolithic painters, though- they got their reward as they were doing the work.  The creating- 30,000 years ago!

Check out this episode!

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Becoming a Ketogenic Diesel podcast on PJSC

OK, I mentioned last podcast that I had gotten a new tractor!  For anyone with an  acreage, anyone that has a small woods, a big lawn, and lots and lots of tasks that need to be performed on a regular basis- why then, you know just how important a tractor is to you.  

My old tractor was pretty darn good, since I had finally upgraded from a gas powered lawn tractor to a compact utility tractor.  This is a huge distinction, since a gas powered tractor such as that, that the vast majority of large property owners have, is much, much less useful, strong, and overall powerful than a real, CUT- that is, a Compact Utility Tractor!  A CUT has a far bigger, heavier frame, much larger tires, a 3 point hitch for all sorts of useful implements, and most importantly of all- it has a diesel engine.  

A diesel engine has much more torque, or useful pulling and other sorts of power, than a gas engine.  My little John Deere 650, still outside with the back blade and chains on for snow, is still running strong.  But, it only has 15 hp, which is pretty powerful when in the form of a diesel!  My new Kubota (both these machines are built in Japan, despite the green paint on the John Deere), has more than twice that much hp, is quite a bit larger, frame size wise, and the tires are huge in comparison.  It’s also much newer, orange (that’ll take some getting used to!), and- it has a big loader bucket on the front!

I’ve already experimented with the bucket, knocking over dead trees with it, pulling down big tree-sized branches that my old tractor couldn’t budge, and carrying firewood.  I spend time each day, walking my land and thinking about jobs I’ll do with it come spring in my woods.  Moving brush piles with the pallet loader, hauling firewood into orderly piles, and perhaps digging a small pond.  It is a huge boon to have that much useful power at my disposal, and doing various tasks will be a pure joy!

Now, wouldn’t you like to trade in your old body, that old gas or carbohydrate burning lawn tractor body that burns oil in the form aches and pains, and just doesn’t have that much useful power anymore?  Well, you can- just trade yourself in, by remaking yourself into a diesel compact utility tractor- a CUT!  

First, you need to start fueling yourself like a diesel human.  You need to switch from running on glucose from carbs and sugars, and move into a ketogenic sort of diet.  This means low carbs, very little sugars, and plenty of protein and fats!  It will be a change, but within a few weeks your body can transform itself into a diesel machine, running on ketones rather than glucose.  You will rarely be hungry, and you will begin running on your stored body fat preferentially over the last bagel or piece of bread you just ate.  Your energy will quickly become unlimited, just like my tractor!

While you do this, I also want you to hang up your stupid running shoes, and start walking around barefoot instead.  On the grass in spring and summer and fall, or just rebounding barefoot in your living room as I did this morning.  Soon, you will be the equivalent of human 4 wheel drive, with healthy feet that are never plagued with plantar fasciitis or the many other painful foot ailments those who constantly wear shoes are plagued with.  

Lastly, I want you to begin strengthening your very frame, by getting a long fabric loading or moving strap with which you can perform isometrics.  You can literally give your entire body a complete muscle, tendon, and ligament strengthening workout in 10 minutes using isometrics with such a simple strap!  Unlike weights, which only strengthen the musculature, leaving the tendons and ligaments largely unaffected and prone to pulls, tears, and strains, isometrics strengthen all of you.  Muscles, ligaments, tendons, and bones!  

I like to take the strap, (which ironically is orange, just like my Kubota!), and stand on it, grasping with one hand at shoulder height.  I press upwards in a military press for about 5 seconds for 90% of max effort or so, and then relax.  Repeat, for a little longer, maybe 6 seconds, and then a third time for 7 seconds.  Then, sliding my hands up to about half way over my head, I repeat the three steps.  Next, I almost max out my “lift”, and press again almost at arm’s length for three times.

Now you get the idea!  Do the same thing on the other arm for military presses.  Then, do curls the same way, from the bottom most position holding the strap, halfway up, and almost to the top.  Both arms, 3 hard efforts at each of three positions of the lift.

Next, do a pushup isometric- trap the strap around your back, and holding the straps right in front of your chest, push!  The same drill, bottom of pushup, halfway up, and almost all the way up.  Then, do bent rows the same drill.  

Finish up with deadlifts, standing on the strap and lifting upwards quite hard with both hands grasping the strap- first low, then mid-point- then almost to the top!  Congratulations: you have done one session of strengthening your body into a CUT, a diesel tractor with a really strong, powerful, resilient and injury resistant frame.  

Stick with your new ketogenic type of diet, which is quite similar to a paleo diet if (hopefully) you’ve been following that.  But, when just starting out, thinking of it as a KETO diet makes it somewhat simpler to understand, and it will also act quite quickly.  Weight to lose will leave quickly, and muscle and frame strengthening will also occur quickly as well, with the change of diet and addition of isometrics!  

Other exercises, including work on the gymnastic rings, sit-ups and pushups, along with rebounding and barefoot sprinting, will literally transform you, from the weak little lawn mower you used to be, rusting and bent, with tiny wheels that mostly just spin on the grass when trying to pull, to a strong, tough, almost unbreakable diesel Tractor/Human that will go through life effortlessly, free of aches and pains, and as someone who will enjoy physical tasks rather than dreading them!  

Become a Diesel!

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Isometrics are Wonderful

Here is the thing about isometrics: almost everyone dismisses them!

There is no rhyme or reason about it.  My feeling is that no one has actually looked at the research, or ever experimented with this form of exercise- I mean, how can it be that pushing hard against an immovable resistance for a matter of seconds can:

Lower blood pressure, dramatically!
Strengthen that muscle in a huge way, even throughout the muscle, not just in that particular angle!
Be done so fast, and so relatively painlessly!

Well, isometrics CAN do that, and it is just a shame that the benefits have been shoved aside. 

I believe that this is because conventional isotonic weight training- in paleo parlance ‘lifting heavy things’- has the “advantage” of building bulky types of muscle.  Big, chubby muscles that everyone can see, and say “Hey- have you been lifting weights??” 

If you have a fragile ego, like I did when I was 14 or so, to hear this is very gratifying.  And so, people tend to double down on the weight lifting! 

Many take it to extremes.  I did, and I know so many others.  Bigger is better, right? 

I’m here to tell you that no, it’s really not!

Bruce Lee figured this out, the hard way.  He was early in his career when he saw a photo of  Arnold Schwarzenegger in a muscle magazine of the time in the late 60’s or early 70’s.  It inspired him to take up heavy weight training, ala Arnold.

The result?  He injured his back, leading him to a drug dependency to alleviate the pain that eventually took his life!  Heavy weights, particularly squats will do that…

After he was injured, he returned to isometrics, resulting in a physique that was so amazing, that today it is still not only awesome, but timeless.

Trust me, lean, fit and ripped is WAY better than big, bulky, and- eventually- sagging and fat as you age.  And it’s even better at the moment, when you are young- far better!

Isometrics not only made him ripped to the bone, they also made him much more efficient as a fighter, much ‘lighter’ yet stronger, functionally.   They even partially cured his pain from weight training, but only partially.  Heavy weights are ultimately debilitating… and so are heavy things!

So, don’t lift heavy things, at least not for exercise- only because you need to move something heavy!  (What a concept)!  When you exercise, use either-

Light weights, like your own body weight for high reps, as in pushups.

Self resisted movements, where you resist with one limb against another.

Virtual resistance- this is really the king of them all, the one exercise everyone should use daily!

And Isometrics, which are the fastest, simplest, easiest way to build lasting strength, joint health and fitness that there is!  And that almost no one uses.

And it is so simple: one way is to simply flex; do a “most muscular” pose, holding for several seconds.  Pretend you are Arnold, in front of a huge crowd at a bodybuilding competition- FLEX for all you are worth!  Relax briefly, then repeat- hold for 5 seconds, next for 6, and the last for 7.    Watch the second hand of a clock, because those seconds will go by really slowly, since you are really exerting yourself!!

I have a nylon strap, meant for moving things.  Unbreakable, can hold hundreds of pounds.  I use it when I do isometrics, and you should too!  Very inexpensive, and incredibly effective.

Do any standard weightlifting move- try a curl!  Stand on the strap, and grasp it so your arm is below parallel- curl upwards as hard as you can.  Do one rep of 5 seconds, another of 6, and then a third of 7.  Then, step off of the strap, and let it extend to just parellel- do the same thing.  Next, do the same thing, but with your arm up above shoulder height.  Do this same thing with both arms- your biceps should be totally stimulated to build muscle, along with your tendons and ligaments, which conventional weight training ignores!

Do the same thing, using your strap: military presses, bent over rows, squats and deadlifts; even pushups (holding the strap behind your back).  It really doesn’t take all that long, and addresses all the major muscle groups of your body!  You can also add in tricep extensions and side extensions for the shoulders… 

Congratulations- you have strengthened and improved all of the muscle groups of your body, along with your joint connections of tendons and ligaments, in a short, relatively painless workout that would make Bruce Lee proud! 

And you are building, and maintaining, a body that anyone would appreciate- not only when they are young, but as they age- a taut, muscular body that is not only resistant to joint problems, and problems of muscular weakness (sarcopenia)- you are creating a body that will be vital, strong, and free from pain…

For the rest of your life!

Check out this episode!

Friday, December 1, 2017

How to Work Out Each and Every Day- Happily!

One thing that I guarantee will change your life for the better is this: build movement, or exercise, into your day.  Each and every day!

The thing is that you if you get out of the habit, if you start saying to yourself: “Oh, I don’t want to just spend time ‘exercising’, just spinning my wheels- I want to accomplish things!”; why then, you are setting yourself up for an increasingly unhealthy life.  For the truth is, movement is life! 

It really is.  Nothing living ever thrives, or even enjoys life, by just lying dormant.  When we move, when the blood rushes through our bodies, we feel alive and well- because we are!  Sitting is not only the new smoking- it is a kind of death, in a way, if done to excess.  Sleeping is wonderful for us, and sitting is also great, when done in moderation.  Sitting is a good posture for active reflection: for reading, contemplation, meditation, eating at the table with our ‘tribe’- all very good postures and activities.

Sitting in front of a screen, however- whether tv, computer, smart phone or ipad- this can become a type of bad hynosis, wasting our very lives.  Here is how to use a screen productively:  Exercise in front of the television!

I know, I’ve brought this up before, because it really works.  When I awake in the morning, I don’t think ‘what should I do first this morning’, and wander downstairs, make breakfast, and run off to work with maybe a little perfunctory stretching.  No, I awaken, after a good 8-9 hour night’s sleep, because that’s what I always plan for.  I go into the bathroom, and do some mobility exercises, getting the synovial fluid going in my elbow, knees, ankles, shoulder and spine to ready my body for its daily movement.  This mobility and stretching routine takes about 2-3 minutes, tops.

Then, downstairs I go, feeling wide awake and looking forward to: my program!Whether movie, tv show, Netflix or Amazon Prime- NOW is the only time I allow myself to watch!  I am literally champing at the bit to watch a great program that I have queued up and have ready.  Lately, I’ve been watching the last season of Longmire, just so you know.

This system works beautifully!  I almost never miss my morning workout, and my stretching, pushups, situps, and virtual resistance exercises done on my rebounder actually make my television viewing more intense than if I was just sitting like a lump.  I’m barefoot, alone, and it’s just me and the show- it’s wonderful really.

And this is every day.  Think of the shape you will be in, how much your bodily health would benefit if you exercised religiously and thoroughly- every single day!  Trust me: your health and wellness will go off the charts, straight upwards- mine did, even though before adopting this regimen I used to work out 3-4 times per week.  Daily workouts are so much more beneficial, they revamp your whole body and mindset!  AND, they actually become in many ways the high point of your entire day.  Hard to believe, but very true for all that- exercise, the thing most people dread more than anything- becomes your favorite thing!

Just make sure it is Perfectly Paleo Exercise, which is outlined in my ebook, and at  Virtual resistance and self resisted exercise, along with high rep calisthenics and rebounding, with stretching built into your routine as well.  Natural Exercise, if you will…

You will be healthy and happy, trust me.  In fact, I enjoy exercise so much now, that I also go out in the afternoons most days to ‘heavyhand’ walk, and at least twice per week I do my heavy basement workouts on my gymnastic rings and utilizing my power rack for isometrics- but, on those basement workouts and on my power walks: I listen to podcasts.  

In a way, I ‘bribe’ myself into exercise, because it works!  Go thou and do likewise.