Archives for posts with tag: men’s health and wellness

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.

 

 

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!


The third month of the year brings the start of the Spring season and a new energy to your fitness and health plan. Why not now give a little thought to freshening up your grooming routine?
Skin care – yes Prime Males need to think about that too. From shaving, to cleansing and protecting your skin, it’s all an important part of looking and feeling good.
A great shave is easy if you choose the best blade for your skin:
Normal skin with a heavy beard calls for the new 5 blade razors.
Sensitive Skin or prone to razor burn can use the 3 blade razors.
Ingrown hair prone skin can try the retro favorite one blade safety razor.
*Be sure to thoroughly wet your face and beard with warm water first. You can wash with a gentle soap and rinse thoroughly by splashing with warm water at least 15 times.
*Next apply the shave cream of your choice – less is more. One of my favorites is Kiehls’s Close Shave Squadron Brushless Shave Cream or for something a bit more budget conscious Neutrogena’s Men’s Shave Cream.
*Start on one side of your face and be sure to stretch your skin upward as you shave.
*Rinse your blade in hot water often to keep in clean and drag free.
*To keep your sideburns even, look straight in the mirror and put the tips of your index fingers at the bottom of both sideburns and adjust to level to create a trimming guide.
*When you’re done wash your blade in hot water and splash a bit of alcohol or witch hazel on it to keep bacteria away.

For washing your face use a mild soap that will not strip your skin away. Next you can try an exfoliating face scrub, but limit this to only 2 – 3 times per week, Kiehls Facial FGuel Energizing Scrub works really well. Then lastly always finish with some form of a moisturizer. If you don’t feel the need to moisturize you should at the very least be using an SPF daily, especially if you are out side on a regular basis or live at a higher altitude or warmer climate. Give a try to Neutrogena Men’s Age Fighter Face Moisturizer.

For your hair first things is first – start with a good cut. If your hair is short, say less than 1/2″ you should get back for a trim about every 3 weeks, if your hair is longer you can easily go up to 6 weeks between haircuts. As everyone’s hair grows differently just be sure that you don’t end up looking unkempt, especially if you are working in a profession where looking neat and pulled together is key.

You should us use some form of a conditioner on your hair at least every 3 – 4 days. If you are looking for a slick and polished groomed look try a good pomade or wax, remember to only use a small amount though (no more than a dime) or you’ll look like my sicilian Uncle Tony. If you want a more casual, effortlessly tossed look try a molding clay, I really like using Paul Mitchell Mitch Reformer hair texturizer. Be sure to rub a nickel size amount first between your hands to warm it up before raking it through your hair so that you don’t end up with little clumps.

Here’s to good grooming!

Hello Prime Males – how is the New Year so far and your new improved realistic focus? If you just started a new fitness regimen please be sure to check out some of the prior blogs that offer some great information on Gym equipment to avoid.
Next up some tips on healthy eating – stay tuned!

It’s that time of year when everyone feels compelled to examine their lives, goal set, plan, and re-prioritize in the hopes of making a change for the better. We Prime Males are not exempt from this behavior and as such we can really use this time to make a positive change for the better. Hey, you don’t have to hit the ground running on January 1, you just need to hit the ground and begin to move ahead. Take some time to assess and reassess your life and determine things that work and things that don’t work.Take stock of your thoughts and actions and remember those are basically the only things that we really have any control over.

If you want to start the New Year off with an updated and re-energized plan to improve your fitness level and wellness outlook begin first by being realistic and coming up with a realistic game plan on just how to do that. Starting a new fitness regime takes time to not only first establish the healthy habit but also time to achieve your goal – no matter what that is. What’s important here is that what you are really trying to do is to establish a healthy lifestyle plan for the rest of your life, not a short-term fix which ends up letting you down. Focus and be realistic.

My Fitness and wellness advice is to first focus on improving your physical function in your daily life. Functioning well as a human being – whether you walking, sitting,standing, driving a car can add years to your life and take years off your outlook. I digress here to a quote by Joseph Pilates on his interpretation of physical fitness. ‘…the attainment and maintenance of a uniformly developed body with a sound mind fully capable of naturally, easily and satisfactorily performing our many and varied daily tasks with spontaneous zest and pleasure’.

Be patient and be persistent in your goals – as they say Rome was not built in a day. Realize that you may take a step back here or there but as long as you are persistent you will always be moving forward. And remember to take the time to not only exercise your body, but also your mind. Go on, move ahead – after all what have you got to lose!