Archives for posts with tag: kevin a bowen

KetoFood*This blog is NOT intended to endorse or recommend this type of diet. It is intended to give information on the how and why, my decision to proceed down this path and my personal experience during the process. I undertook this endeavor with my doctor’s supervision and the direction of a licensed clinical nutritionist.

I have been in the health and fitness industry for almost 28 years. During that time I have watched as many fitness and health fads and changes have taken place. The industry itself is wrought with an overabundance of popular trends not only for exercise but diet. These fads most of the time are simply temporary fashions promising the next best way to lose those extra 5 – 10 lbs., or to sculpt your body into the best shape, in the shortest amount of time.

Through the years, we as health and fitness professionals have become the initial demographic that these movements target, so that we in turn can share them with our clients. However, promoting these many and varied trends with little or no information on the evidence based research is not appropriate or professional. As a tenured health and wellness professional I make it a point to gather as much information as possible about a new fad or craze whether it be fitness or diet. Since I am not a licensed clinical nutritionist or dietician it is not within my scope of practice to recommend any diet, I simply share and report what has worked for me in the past and offer suggestions on reliable resources as well as give referrals to qualified diet and nutrition professionals.

So, I decided to have my own first hand experience with a low carb diet. To do so I enlisted the aid of a skilled licensed clinical nutritionist whom I know well and has touted the many virtues of a low carb high fat/ketogenic diet, and also involved my MD in this adventure.

My nutritionist asked for a copy of my most recent blood work from my medical files. After a thorough review of my history and a request for additional lab tests I was placed on a supplement regime in order to optimize my metabolism and ease my transition into this new lifestyle.

About two weeks after starting my new supplement program I then began to lower my carbohydrates. I mentally geared myself up for this process by outfitting my kitchen and refrigerator. I began eating grass fed red meat, free range lamb, wild or sustainably farmed salmon, as well as organic/free range chicken. I began to lower my daily carbohydrate intake to 100g or less. I used Google and my kitchen food scale to calculate my carbohydrate intake. I have also included medium chain triglyceride oil (MCT) in order to source the necessary building block for ketones that will gradually and eventually allow me to transition deriving my energy needs from carbohydrate/glucose to fat.

I stopped using nut and seed oils for cooking and moved to using ghee (clarified butter), and coconut oil instead. I started using olive oil for flavoring after cooking or on salad only. As a point of clarification my intention is not use olive oil at high heat. The following were the foods that I have begun to use for my daily carbohydrates: small amount of sweet potato, white basmati rice, onion, spinach, kale, blueberries, cherries and pineapple for a smoothie with pea protein. I removed all all nightshade vegetables from my diet in order to better manage inflammation: tomatoes, potatoes, eggplant, all peppers but black pepper, paprika. Most days I have successfully kept my carbs below 100 grams, many days I have gone lower than 50. This is a personal exploration in meeting my daily energy requirements from a low carb high fat diet (LCHF) in order to have a first hand experience how this shift in my macro nutrients affects my body composition, exercise stamina, mood and cognitive function, digestion and overall sense of well being.

And so the journey begins…

Stay tuned for the next installment.

 

 

imagesSummer is in full swing and the 4th of July is almost upon us. Being cool and staying cool this summer is probably on your mind. With the plethora of ways to stay cool this summer and be cool – make sure that you keep hydration on top of your to-do list. Outdoor activities and exercises are a great way to take advantage of the warm and sunny days of summer. Did you know that the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research has determined that for every 1% body mass you lose through ‘sweat’ that your heart rate ticks up 3 beats per minute which of course means that your heart has to work harder?

Staying hydrated is your best defense – hydration helps your body hold in more water and thereby allows your heart not to work so hard. That means if you really like the outdoor strenuous activities, hydration is VERY helpful and will actually allow you to exercise with a higher intensity. Remember that it’s important to hydrate before your workout – not just during your workout. Something interesting to do would be to weigh yourself before you begin your workout and then again after your sweat inducing workout and make a note of how much ‘sweat weight’ you actually lose. Then the first thing you should do before your next workout is to take in that amount of water first. While water is your best go to choice for hydration the following liquids work as well!

Iced Coffee – that’s right I said ‘Iced Coffee’ – some recent research has noted that regular coffee drinkers (3 – 6 cups per day) get just as hydrated from coffee as water – and you also get an endurance boost from the caffeine.
Coconut Water – offers the same amount of hydration as a carbohydrate-electrolyte drink and water.
Watermelon Juice (my personal favorite) – Just 17 ounces before exercise can lead to less soreness after your workout. You can make this with seedless watermelon and a blender!

Oh and one other thing – when your outside – please don’t forget the sunscreen! Remember a proper warm-up and stretching is key to maintaining your flexibility and long term positive effects of your workout – especially in your Prime!

Drop your pants, lay down on your side on the examination table. The snap of rubber gloves and a then a cold moist finger being put….

Yes, that’s how it goes gentlemen when we have to succumb to the dreaded of all test at the doctor’s office – the Prostate Exam! We all know that this is the test/exam that we don’t like to talk about, however remember it is actually one of the most important that we need to have on a regular basis.

November is Prostate Cancer Awareness month, that is why I am growing a moustache in honor of Prostate and Testicular Cancer Awareness. For more information go to:  http://www.pcf.org/site/c.leJRIROrEpH/b.5699537/k.BEF4/Home.htm

Here are some important facts to know:

Did you know that Prostate cancer is the most common non-skin cancer in America affecting 1 in 6 men? There are several factors that influence risk:

Age – the older you are the more likely you are to be diagnosed with Prostate cancer – for example the rate for men under 40 is 1 in 10,000 men, but that rate shoots up to 1 in 15 men for ages 60 – 69.

Race – African-American men are more likely t develop Prostate cancer compared with Caucasian men, and are nearly 2.5 times as likely to die from the disease. Asian men who live in Asia actually have the lowest risk.

Family history/genetics – A man with a father or brother who developed prostate cancer is twice as likely to develop the disease.

Where you live – For men in the U.S., the risk of developing prostate cancer is 17%. For men who live in rural China, it’s 2%. However, when Chinese men move to the western culture, their risk increases substantially.

Men who live in cities north of 40 degrees latitude (north of Philadelphia, PA, Columbus, OH, and Provo, UT, for instance) have the highest risk for dying from prostate cancer of any men in the United States. This effect appears to be mediated by inadequate sunlight during three months of the year, which reduces vitamin D levels.

Also, keep in mind that not everyone experiences symptoms of prostate cancer. Many times, signs of prostate cancer are first detected by a doctor during a routine check-up.

Some men, however, will experience changes in urinary or sexual function that might indicate the presence of prostate cancer. These symptoms include:

  • A need to urinate frequently, especially at night
  • Difficulty starting urination or holding back urine
  • Weak or interrupted flow of urine
  • Painful or burning urination
  • Difficulty in having an erection
  • Painful ejaculation
  • Blood in urine or semen
  • Frequent pain or stiffness in the lower back, hips, or upper thighs

You should consult with your doctor if you experience any of the symptoms above.

The above information was provided by the Prostate Cancer Foundation.

Stay tuned for my next installment about Prostate cancer and why I believe Men and those who love Men need to know the facts and understand all of aspects of this disease! I truly believe that the attention and funding that we have given to Breast cancer in Women, should be the same that we give to Prostate cancer in men.

 

 

 

 

 

 

You know the old saying – ‘you are what you eat’ may be true. Well it certainly  may be that we are (at least in size that is) based upon how much we eat. There was a recent article by Herman Pontzer published in the NY Times. Pontzer is an Assistant Professor of Anthropology at Hunter College in NYC. Pontzer and colleagues did a study of energy expenditure of a native tribe in Africa. They compared their energy expenditure vs other humans energy expenditure and came up with some interesting information:

Our findings add to a growing body of evidence suggesting that energy expenditure is consistent across a broad range of lifestyles and cultures. Of course, if we push our bodies hard enough, we can increase our energy expenditure, at least in the short term. But our bodies are complex, dynamic machines, shaped over millions of years of evolution in environments where resources were usually limited; our bodies adapt to our daily routines and find ways to keep overall energy expenditure in check.

All of this means that if we want to end obesity, we need to focus on our diet and reduce the number of calories we eat, particularly the sugars our primate brains have evolved to love. We’re getting fat because we eat too much, not because we’re sedentary. Physical activity is very important for maintaining physical and mental health, but we aren’t going to Jazzercise our way out of the obesity epidemic.’

You can read the full article here: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/26/opinion/sunday/debunking-the-hunter-gatherer-workout.html?_r=0

I found this article quite interesting and thought provoking. I also came across an interesting eating strategy or program based upon less is more called ’80 Bites’. This program basically works by teaching the participant to be aware of ‘How Much They Eat’ and 80 bites per day should be our maximum according to Meredith Luce, MS, RD, LD/N. This Ms. Luce determined based upon FDA approved portion size – and therefore 80 bites is the limit. The thought here is that our stomachs are overstretched and if we decided to follow a diet that recommends lower calorie foods so that you can ‘eat as much as you would like’ continue to play into the fact that we keep our stomachs stretched and our stomachs continue to want to be fed. Therefore when your stomach is no longer stretched you will no longer be hungry…interesting. If you need more information you can check it out for yourself. http://www.80bites.com

A recent article in Men’s Fitness Magazine by Janna Leyde provided some interesting information about what is actually in the food that we eat. Some of these items are actually added to our food and others make their way in there during the production process. Either way it is quite surprising as well as – unappetizing and/or disgusting. Further according to the FDA all of these items are perfectly harmless to ingest at certain levels.

Here are a few examples of what’s in our food:
Wood – powdered wood pulp or cellulose is a product used to keep prepackaged cheese from balling up in globs and to make low fat ice creams and pre-made milkshakes extra creamy.
L-Cysteine – a common ingredient in most commercial breads, pastries and pizza dough is made from boiling human hair in acid. This hair is gathered from the floors of salons and barber shops in China.

According to both the USDA and the FDA the above ingredients pose no threat to our health. Better yet there is actually a safe level of the following items that may find their way into our phone supply. These items include: Maggots, insect fragments,mold, insect eggs, Mammalian excrets (poop). So goes the saying – ‘You are what you eat’. NOT

Here’s a few suggestions to help you along the way if you want to avoid being exposed to some of these acceptable additives or ‘defects’.

Read the ingredients – if you do not understand the words, then you more than likely do not know what you are eating.

Buy local – at least you’ll have a better handle on exactly where your food is coming from.

Eat less processed food – or none at all. No artificial flavorings or color please!

Here’s an interesting tidbit: I recently read that the average Olympic Games viewer gained 4 pounds over the 2 week period – Really?

We are almost half way through the Summer (depending of course on how you look at it) and almost to the commencement of the summer Olympics. The Olympics have always provided me with a sense of inspiration of what truly can be achieved by the human body and being. Not doubt much time will be spent during the Olympic coverage on how these amazing athletes train for their particular Olympic sport both on and off-season.

Some of these Olympians utilize various forms of traditional and non-traditional fitness training and some have utilized  the Pilates method for their training – athletes such as Andre Ward (Boxing), Sanya Richards (Running), Julia Mancuso (Swimming), Thomas Finchum (Diving)  just to name a few. The point is that their sport specific training also includes a comprehensive approach to functional fitness, flexibility and health as should yours as a ‘Prime Male’.

So pull up a chair and watch the Olympics and don’t forget to take care of the athlete in you – no matter what your fitness level. Here are a couple of  tips to make the most of your Olympic enjoyment:

*If watching TV ignites your urge to snack – then snack healthy. Watching the Olympics while gorging on chips and dip (unless the chips are baked and the dip something low fat and healthy such as fresh salsa) doesn’t make for a good health and nutrition, allow the Olympics and MacDonald’s to set the poor nutrition example (don’t even get me started on this subject, that will be the topic on another blog). Try some fruit, vegetables, whole grain baked crackers, a little peanut butter, guacamole  – you get the idea.

* Better yet,  why not multi-task while watching the Games. Clear some space,  get down on the floor and do some simple exercises or stretches – such as a side lying bridge to work the abdominals or perhaps holding a plank position, or doing some regular bridges or sit-ups during the commercials.

Enjoy the rest of the summer, the Olympics and your commitment to health and fitness!

It’s been awhile sine The Prime Male has made a post – but that is all about to change, more on that later. Since we are currently in the midst of the summer, I couldn’t think of a better time to talk about ‘Sweat’. 

Sweating is vital to our health, if you could not sweat you would actually die! So think of it this way – men who are actually in the best shape will actually sweat the quickest and the most. Sweating is our bodies way of cooling itself. So when you exercise regularly your body is better able to deal with the ‘heat’ generated with exercise and jump into action to cool and cope. Therefore the more efficient you become at sweating, the better you are able to hold onto sodium which prevents muscle cramping. I can remember as a kid when my Dad was working out in the yard in the middle of the sweltering Florida summer sun and perspiring profusely, he would take a break, run in the house and pour about a teaspoon of salt into his glass of water. He explained to me that this was to counteract all of the loss of sodium from sweating. Hmmm – I guess what he didn’t realize was that he was already a ‘good sweater’ and he already got enough sodium from his diet.

Here are a few good rules of thumb for healthy sweating:

1) Be sure to drink plenty of liquids – water is the best. Keep in mind that after an hour or so of heavy sweating you would need to replace electrolytes and some sodium, so a sports drink would be appropriate – I personally like to dilute the sports drink with water. The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) recommends that 2 – 3 hours before exercising drink 2 – 3 glasses  of water and then try to drink 8 – 10 ounces every 15 minutes during exercise.

2) Be sure to get plenty of sleep/rest. There are some studies that suggest that lack of sleep negatively effects sweat production.

3) Be sure to adapt to conditions. Sweating in a humid environment doesn’t allow for the evaporation of the perspiration which actually cools the body. Acclimating to heat and environment is very similar to acclimating to altitude. So if you workout in a gym or ‘air conditioned’ environment then suddenly step outside into a hot humid summer environment the effects on the body will be considerable.

4) Be sure to wear the ‘right’ workout clothes – think breathable clothing. So even if you don’t want to go out and buy a whole new wardrobe of ‘breathable’ fitness workout wear – your cotton clothing should be just fine, it gets wet – but it does breathe.

5) Do not try to force sweat by wearing something that is completely breathable – like a plastic bag. Let it happen naturally. Do not wear antiperspirants during exercises – deodorants are just fine. Let your sweat glands breathe!

Happy Healthy Sexy Sweating.