Top Ten Other Weight Loss Strategies #3

Believe it or not exercise can contribute to your weight loss struggles!  The wrong kind of exercise or to much of it can make you feel terrible and not allow for the results you want. You see them, (or maybe you are one of them) the people who spend 1-2 hours on the treadmill 5-7 days week and never seem to get any smaller and/or they plateau…sometimes the opposite even happens.  Now that is frustrating.

treadmill

 

Exercise: #3

The prevailing thought here is the more you exercise (which often goes along with eating too little) the more calories you burn and therefore the more weight you lose.  Problem is our bodies are not a simple math problem.  That might work initially but it rarely if ever works long-term, it’s not sustainable at all.  Who wants to be hungry all the time? Who wants to feel weak?  Who wants to just suffer through their workout day after day staring at a mind numbing TV? Not eating enough and exercising too much is a recipe for disaster not to mention you just might tear the head off of anyone who gets in your way.  This behavior can tell the body hey you’re starving me so I’m going to start conserving fat and any other available resources I can and hence the plateau or even weight gain. This is something programmed into us from times of starvation and famine which is hardly the case now.

A few symptoms of over-training:

  • Lower performance (you feel way too tired during and/or after working out)
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Depression
  • Aching joints/inflammation
  • Frequently get sick
  • low libido

For those who don’t have a weight issue yet still exercise like their training for the Olympics all the time, they still need to be careful as well.  Along with the above mentioned side effects constantly stressing out the body this way can put undue stress on the adrenals as they churn out the hormone cortisol which helps us to deal with and manage external and internal stress on the body.

It’s a wonderful hormone and very effective unless we are always calling upon it to help us in the stress response.  If it stays high enough long enough not only will you experience symptoms of over training but other, more serious side effects of adrenal dysfunction and fatigue.  Cortisol is best released in emergency, flight or fight and/or other adrenalin pumping situations after which it then goes back to normal levels. Not only can over training mess with cortisol but any stressors, especially chronic background stress that is always present can have the same effect.

The latest science on weight-loss, fat burning and fitness in general shows that it is best achieved through burst fit or high intensity interval type training.  In fact studies have shown that as little as 5-10 minutes of this type of activity can produce as good or better results than going at a steady pace for 60 minutes for example.  I have began to experiment with this and love it.  I have a favorite hill near where I live and I run up it resting every 90-120 seconds or so until I reach the summit (so 3 times). Then I walk down and do it again!  It feels great and only takes about 30 minutes to complete including warm up and cool down (which actually takes longer than the workout itself) AND I get to feel like I’m in the movie, “The Last of the Mohicans”.

Mohicans

The same type of idea can be applied to just about any discipline including running, swimming, cycling, hiking, rowing, yoga, weight training, etc.  Another favorite of mine is to do a circuit of 4 different strength training routines in quick succession.  For example pull-ups, push-ups, squats and dead-lifts rotating from one to the other and only stopping when necessary even if in the middle of a set.  When I feel I can continue at the same intensity then I pick up where I left off.  Again this does not take very long (about 12-15 minutes) and has the same effect as running up my hill.  It’s all about quick, short bursts of very intense effort.

Too much of anything including exercise tends to be bad for us.  Past a certain point, our bodies simply do not adapt as well and we will create all kinds of chaos if rest and recovery are not made as much of a priority as working out.  This chaotic state can be just as bad as eating poorly and sitting on your ass on the time.  Just listen to your body, as long as  you feel good go for it but be very mindful of what your body is trying to communicate to you.

If you enjoyed this article and want to learn more about how I can help you lose weight and exercise the right way then please follow my blog (left side of any page on my site) and/or subscribe to my monthly newsletter.  I will send you an excellent, free eBook on the 5 critical pillars of health as a thank you for doing so!

Bart Thurman

Break-Free, Own Your Health

Top Ten ‘Other’ Weight Loss Strategies (#2)

Do you eat real food or food like substances?  When I first heard the phrase, “food like substance” it really struck a chord with me.  The majority of the American diet is precisely that. People everyday put things they believe to be food into their mouths without really thinking about what it is doing to them on a physical, mental or even spiritual level.

What we eat becomes an expression of ourselves, its information and instruction for our cells to do this or that and it is something we have control over. The study of epigenetics hypothesizes that we actually have the ability to turn genes on or off. Cancer genes, diabetes genes, heart disease genes, weight loss genes, etc., etc.  Were beginning to understand that just because Grandpa and his family had disease ‘x’ it doesn’t mean you have to as well.  Same goes for weight loss.

cereal-aisle

#2: Refined & Processed Foods

So what does it mean to process a food?  Things like smoking, drying, dehydrating or freezing for example are all ways to process the things we eat.  These forms of processing can be quite healthy and make food last longer if done right.

We all know what junk food is and what it looks like.  You have all seen the super colorful bags, boxes and cans displayed at the local grocery store.  I used to work for 7-up and there was a lot of marketing that went into displaying things in a certain way so as to entice consumers to buy our product.  From gizmos, to gadgets to free giveaways and even a lame pin-up calendar of the 7-up truck drivers!  Trust me that was nasty and you do not want to be subjected to it:)

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Not eating junk food may seem like a no brainer when it comes to weight loss yet too many people still believe that if what they eat is low-calorie and/or low-fat it will prove to be an ally in their weight battle. Nothing could be farther from the truth.  These franken foods are full of garbage our bodies do not recognize and overtime can wreak havoc as our internal systems attempt to adapt (including blood sugar fluctuations leading to insulin resistance which promotes weight gain and eventually a lovely case of type II diabetes). These lab made foods are created to be quickly and easily consumed which makes us eat more than we should.

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All the junk food companies want their product right at eye level so you don’t miss them.  These are the very definition of food like substances (Oreos, Doritos, sodas, pastries, crackers, cookies, cereal the list goes on and on).  Flip them over and check out the ingredients and you will find stuff like: enriched flour, phosphates, sodium bicarbonate, corn syrup, sodium diacetate, (ya I spell checked it) artificial flavor, soybean oil, sugar, vegetable oil, raisin paste, modified cornstarch, etc. Ingredients like these are loosely regulated and vaguely labeled and there is very little knowledge of how they truly affect us.  The only proof is how much better you feel once you stop eating them and opt for real food.  This should be a HUGE indicator that they are doing damage and contributing to the health crisis in all modern economies.

Some of the above ingredients are banned in Europe and other countries as a whole list of health problems are linked to them.  Guess where I found these particular ones? In the elementary school where I teach.  It’s some of what my students eat for breakfast in the form of pizza, corn dogs and something resembling a cookie.  Yes, for breakfast and we wonder why so many kids are overweight, act out all the time, are moody, have ADHD, ADD and a host of other acronyms we like to slap on them in order to make prescribing drugs a lot easier.  I still remember one of my students who was a handful.  They put him on Ritalin and he became a ghost of his former self, almost zombie like.  It was as unnatural as anything I’ve witnessed.

Big Mac Kids

I can eat an entire box of crackers if I want to.  That is a crazy amount of calories and yet I’m still hungry.  Why? Because I have the calories and no nutrition. This is exactly what junk food companies design their products to do. Larger companies even have “food scientists” who engineer foods to appeal to our natural cravings. We love sweet and salty things and as you know most junk food is chock full of one or both. These so-called scientists turn processed foods into drugs which makes it very hard to stop eating them.  A lot of people experience withdrawals when they cut back or quit cold turkey just like with alcohol or street drugs which speaks to how proficient these scientists are at their craft.

Real, whole, nutrient dense foods taste just as good and without question are much more satisfying. When you eat this way you naturally stop when full and your cravings for junk food diminish over time as you crowd them out.  This leads your body to its natural “set point” that Jonathon Bailor talks about in his book, “The Calorie Myth”.   If you’re looking to achieve your natural, healthy set point (weight) look no further than eating real food (including plenty of healthy fats like real butter, coconut oil, olive oil, ghee, avocado, lard, etc.)  It will change your life…and allow you to lose your excess baggage.

If you enjoyed this article and want to learn more about all things health and wellness then please follow my blog (left side of any page on my site) and/or subscribe to my monthly newsletter.  I will send you an excellent, free eBook on the 5 critical pillars of health as a thank you for your newsletter subscription!

Bart Thurman

Break-Free, Own Your Health

What price do you put on your health?

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New Year, New You

Learn how to live strong in 2015

This time of year many people think about their priorities and what will help make them happy. Then they start down that path after setting a few New Years resolutions and by February its back to the status quo.   Frustrating for sure and a big reason this happens is because they do not have the support they need. Someone to empower, coach and hold them accountable until they have, “learned to fish” and can feed themselves.

My Facebook page states, “The Groundwork For All Happiness Is Health”, words that I live by and deeply believe in.  Physical health yes, for sure but health is much more than just that. Eating kale all day and working out will only get you so far if you hate your job.  Anybody with me here?  In the past I have been super fit but absolutely loathed my career which greatly affected my happiness.  We spend most of our time working so its critical we enjoy what we do for a living or our health and happiness suffer.  Same with our relationships. If you can’t stand your partner try eating more kale and see if it fixes the problem.  Not going to happen.

People will drop $600 for a new iPhone, $175 for new shoes or the cable bill but freak out if they have to spend an extra 75 cents on an organic apple or pay a few more dollars per pound for grass-fed beef.  What the hell?  Can you enjoy your shoes, your new gadgets and watching TV if you feel like crap all the time?   How much money have you wasted on drugs, surgeries, doctor visits, hospital stays, etc., much of which is preventable?  What are you missing out on in your life by accepting sub-par health on any level?

Most of us just don’t realize how much control we have over our health.  Yes it may cost you more at the grocery store. Yes it may mean giving up or cutting back on some things you think you can’t live without.  Yes you will have to exercise and get some sun. Mostly it means taking your life back, saving thousands on future medical expenses, being a whole lot happier than you are now and just kicking ass when it comes to life.  Are you ready to break free?

If you or anyone you know could use a little hand holding in the above areas then please send them to www.breakfreewellness.net.  Its my job to guide my clients in improving their quality of life…for life.  If you don’t have your health your missing out on a lot of things you should be enjoying. Your missing out on life.  Empower yourself, I’ve got your back.

Om Shanti,

Bart Thurman–Break-Free Wellness
FDN & IIN Nutrition Practitioner
1507 18th Ave
Longmont, CO 80501
720-849-0124 Office
Break-Free, Own Your Health
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30 Day Intro Real Food Challenge!

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Happy New Year!

Are you ready to break free of the current paradigm?

Your journey to health starts small…with just one step.  I remember several years ago deciding okay, I’m going to not eat anything with high fructose corn syrup after researching its many negative effects on the body.  I figured this would be ALL I did because what a pain in the a$$ that was!  Fast forward to today and I can honestly say its much easier.  It took me awhile to get to where I am and my quest continues.  I feel great, I maintain a nice lean weight without obliterating myself working out, my focus, clarity and mood are vastly improved, my tennis elbow is all but a non-factor and I have healed myself from a health condition my doctor could do nothing for among many other things.  We have SO much more control over our health than we realize. This all started with one small step that is allowing me to live a fuller life than I was previously.

Think about everything you put in your mouth as a choice.  Over time making small healthy choices can have a profound impact on your health. With this in mind I decided to create the 30 Day Intro Real Food Challenge and invite my clients, newsletter subscribers, my blog followers, friends and anyone else in the universe to join the JERF (just eat real food) parade. Starting Friday January 9th we will begin with a simple 3 day cleanse and then slowly start to eat more and more real food.  In fact the first few weeks are dedicated to this so its okay if you don’t know how to eat 100% real food yet.  The important part is to just take that first step.

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The point of the challenge is to help you begin to crowd out the less healthy foods with better choices as the month progresses.  As you eat more real food you will naturally eat less garbage. The last week of the challenge, week 4, the goal will be to eat 100% real food the entire 7 days using the recipes, ideas, experimentation and knowledge you’ve gained from everyone in the group up to that point.  To help us get started I will be including a 1 week meal plan to give you an idea of how to rally up and do this. If there is one takeaway from everything I have learned in my nutrition studies and hours of research is that it always comes back to eating real food…always.

We will work, communicate, support and share within the Facebook group, 30 Day Real Food Challenge.  Lastly don’t forget to join my newsletter for monthly articles, tips and advice on the latest in health and wellness. Upon doing so you will be entered into a drawing to receive a free bottle of doTERRA essential oils and you will get a fantastic free e-book on the 5 critical pillars of health.

Om shanti,

Bart Thurman–Break-Free Wellness
FDN & IIN Nutrition Practitioner
1507 18th Ave
Longmont, CO 80501
720-849-0124 Office

Break-Free, Own Your Health

Guys have skinny pants too (and how to fit into them without killing yourself)

Skinny or fat pants

No the answer is not to steal the above, lame pair of pants from your partner (that she can wear on her fat AND skinny days).

Seriously.  When I hear the phrase, “skinny pants” it is always associated with women but I am here to say that us guys strive for (suffer with) the same thing.  For example I have a pair of sweat pants in my bedroom from High School that I have donned from time to time over the years just to see if I can still fit into them comfortably.  Is that not the point after all?  Well for most of us anyway, see fail picture below…

Skinny guys in fat pants

It makes anybody feel good to rock their skinny pantalones. This past year I was for the first time able to fit nicely into my “summer skinny pants”…in the fall and winter.  You see other than my nasty mothball sweat pants I have typically owned a couple of pairs that only fit me just right during the late spring and summer months.  This was due to the fact I was training hard on my bikes and eating more carefully (and usually a little hungry to boot which isn’t any fun).  The bottom line is that it took a lot of work.

Not anymore.  I have my studies at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition and my training at FDN (Functional Diagnostic Nutrition) as well as countless hours researching and learning about all things health and wellness to thank for this.  The biggest factors for me were diet, detoxification and learning how to exercise intelligently.  I can honestly say that it takes MUCH less work these days to slide into my guy flaco pants (I have two pair) and actually they fit better than ever.  How cool is that?

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To be completely honest I am still in shock that I can keep my racing weight year round now without all the sacrifice and suffering.  It’s incredibly liberating and every week I chuckle as I get dressed and reach for the fifth hole (the last one) in my belt loop.  Dont get me wrong, it isn’t effortless but compared to what was required before its nothing.

The best part of this journey into my skinny pants is that I learned it isn’t necessary to be hungry all the time and I eat more fat (healthy fats like real butter, coconut oil, olive oil and clean animal fats) than I ever did before!  It does not require hunger to make this happen.  That’s a huge reason why fad diets NEVER work long term.

If you want me to help you dust off your skinny pants contact me and I’ll teach you how:)

Bart Thurman

Break-Free, Own Your Health

“FED UP” Movie Screening in Boulder

I will be going tonight, hope to see some of you there as well. Are you ready to break free?

Red Wagon Farm

Fed UpJoin us for a screening of FED UP

Sat, Nov 15 at 7pm
(doors open 6:30)

At Unitarian Universalist Church
5001 Pennsylvania Ave, Boulder

No Charge (donations accepted), Refreshments
For information call 303-494-0195 ext 3

About the Film
“Narrated by Katie Couric, FED UP blows the lid off everything we thought we knew about food and exercise, revealing a 30-year campaign by the food industry aided by the U.S. government to mislead and confuse the American public. Exposing the hidden
truths contributing to one of the largest health epidemics in history, the film follows a group of families battling to lead healthier lives and reveals why the conventional wisdom of exercise and eat right is not ringing true for millions of people struggling with diabetes, childhood obesity and other serious conditions. Including captivating interviews with the country’s leading experts, this vital information could change the way we eat forever.”

Sponsored…

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Health Benefits Of Bone Broth

Bone broth!  Are you excited yet?:)

Bone broth is something you will find simmering away in most high quality restaurants.  Not only does it taste great and has many culinary uses but it is an extremely healthy addition to ones diet. You can purchase it at the store but the homemade version is much, much better with respect to the taste and nutrition profile.

Broth

What is broth?

Bone broth is full of minerals which are accessed by simmering the bones of healthy animals. Many countries around the globe still consume broth on a regular basis as they recognize it is a cheap, and more importantly a nutrient dense food. Chances are your grandma made it and if she didn’t your great-grandma definitely did.  In the generations before us people knew how to eat for optimal health and if they managed to avoid the diseases of the day  (all but eradicated now) and poor medical care they typically enjoyed vibrant health for the most part. You can make broth out of the bones of fish, poultry, lamb, beef and bison.

Why include it in your diet?

If you want to boost your immune system and improve your digestion give it a try.  Personally when I eat my homemade beef bone broth I feel a very positive, visceral reaction to it.  It’s just one of those things that makes me feel good like dark leafy greens and veggies for example.  Its high in calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus which make it great for bone and tooth health.  It is also very high in collagen as well making it excellent for joints, hair, nails and skin (which I wrote about in my blog post Nutrition For Skin Health).

According to the book Gut and Psychology Syndrome bone broth can help improve digestion, allergies, immune health, brain health and more.  Proline and glycine, two amino acids vital for strong and healthy connective tissue (joints, ligaments, around organs, etc) are found in bone broth as well. Its one of those foods that has been used for hundreds if not thousands of years for its many health benefits.

Preparing bone broth

Cooking up a batch of homemade, nutrient dense broth is easy.  Again the homemade version is much better because you know exactly what’s in it. The store-bought version can contain MSG and other additives/chemicals you’d probably be better off not consuming.  Look for high quality bones, preferably from grass-fed, pastured animals that have been raised in their natural environment. The nutrient profile is very different in these animals compared to conventionally raised stock.

Some options for finding bones:

  • Your local butcher, especially if they butcher the whole animal
  • Ask around at your local farmers market for farmers who raise grass-fed animals
  • Save the leftovers when roasting any birds
  • You can purchase online from US Wellness Meats ( they also sell pre-made high quality broth and are an excellent source for healthy eating in general)

My favorite recipe

  • 2 pounds of bones (minimum) from a health source
  • 1 onion
  • 2 carrots
  • 1 small garlic bulb
  • 2 tablespoons Apple Cider Vinegar
  • Herbs: parsley, cilantro, oregano, basil, bay leaves, cayenne pepper, sea salt and black pepper (all to taste).  I mix this up from time to time so feel free to experiment!

Place bones and veggies in a slow cooker.  Add the vinegar on top of bones and fill cooker with filtered water until all bones are just covered.  Add spices, turn on low or simmer 48 hours for beef stock (24 hours for poultry, 8 hours for fish).

When finished strain broth into storable container, you just want to eat the broth nothing else. Serve immediately and/or place in fridge to cool.  After several hours you will see a kind of hard film form on the top which I scrape off.  Any broth not eaten after seven days or so should be frozen for later.

Uses of broth

I enjoy a plain, warm cup on occasion especially when its cold out.  Typically however I use it to make homemade soups & stews.  I like to add fresh red onion, carrot, squash or sweet potato, spices etc. Others use it for things like gravies and sauces.  I’ve also read whisking an egg with a cup of broth and adding some salt tastes great. I love to pour some on top of a veggie stir fry with quinoa and grass-fed beef or liver.  Tasty people, just tasty!

During flu and cold season broth can be very helpful as it goes down easy no matter how your feeling but especially when sick.  It’s very soothing and easy to digest and may very well shorten the duration of illness.

Ready to try some broth? Do you already make it? Please share your suggestions and any questions, I would love to hear from you!

Bart Thurman

Break-Free, Own Your Health