Simplicity is a peculiar road to wander down in todays fast-paced digitally connected every nano-second of every day world. Akin to the quiet old rural route that meanders slowly through every village, with its little riverbed diner's, the kinds of town where you still find roadside Charles Schultz inspired lemonade stand in the summer, the simple road is rarely traveled today. Our culture seems to have forgotten that along that old route lays hidden treasures, not one of glistening baubles and trinkets but treasures that provide you a deeper knowledge and appreciation of how and where you are precisely going. But that "simple road" seems to have been abandoned for so many generations now and much of the priceless knowledge has been lost to the present and future generations. Of the many paradox's of the all-too-often spineless health and fitness industry is one that as it sits high in the ivory tower looking smugly down on the general public for its lack of "training motivation and knowledge", its ideas of "fitness" are perverse and confined to the warm and cozy pristine gym walls. Few in the health and fitness game, in particular the myriad of self-appointed published "guru's" actually incorporate healthy physical activities outside the training room in their life. In a very broad sense physical training is somewhat simplified once you realize a basic premise is that it is to add value to your life and teach you to overcome adversity. Training, historically, was done to teach the uplifting of human will and in basic the greatest gift of exercise, amongst the many physical gains made more than anything, is learning to overcome adversity. Learn this one thing through your training and it will bleed its way through to every facet of life. Adversity is something we overcome; we never surrender, never succumb and will never be vanquished by fear or others. Moving past physical training quickly there are two areas that need to be dealt with immediately because they are often steeped in enormous and unnecessary complexities; diet & supplementation. Naturally this excludes particular health or disease related issues that need the services of a qualified dietician. For the most part though, successful protocols should be extremely easy to comply with and in-fact one could hypothesize with the destruction of the modern family unit and values, healthy dietary habits were abandoned along with it. Simplicity is the answer to this area that is all too often over complicated. However the reason why the mainstream industry banters around complex dietary notions with slick marketing phrasing in the press with such finite minutia is certainly the all mighty dollar and validating whatever patented smack they are selling as the next great solution. This enormous multi-billion dollar industry jumps at the crumpled Jackson faster than anyone on the pole ever did and the unknowing public is its prey. First one very basic caveat that needs to be mentioned regarding diet is that each and every one of us is slightly different and because of a hodge-podge of reasons, each of us will react to protocols slightly different. Because of this, the one thing scientific researchers hate to hear needs to be adopted--"experiment" with what works for you and try not to be too biased or draw conclusions based upon likes/dislikes, marketing buzz terms but instead make use of what provides you the necessary nutrients to energize and sustains your lifestyle. Secondly (and in-fact maybe first)--if your goal is to look like a model in magazine--please quickly analyze why you wish to look like (a) a surgically enhanced mannequin or (b) a well-starved model trying to satisfy the needs of a public which has distorted classic ideas of beauty and furthermore (c) understand how you have been become a pawn in this horrible game. The evolution of the fitness game with all its foul pus and images brought amongst many other things, body image problems in society that tortures each one of us. Take a step back from the whole thing and begin to realize what you are already is more special then what the fitness market pimps to you as what "desirable" is. They never knew what that is but did know how to sell it to you. Once you break free from those shackles begin to incorporate healthy, fun exercise, dietary and supplements choices that will add value to your life. Equally there are many facts and fallacies within the diet world. Diet has become this Herculean tango between discipline, self-esteem and of course obsessions and guilt. A restrictive diet such as the comical low-carb ideas of today will be remembered like day-glo of the 80's -- best forgotten and never admitted to. It is highly problematic diet that will fail over time, lead to health problems and sets the table so to speak for excessive food cravings that are very difficult to deal with. Additionally goal management becomes a near impossible task not because of the technical difficulty of maintaining the plan but because the methodology and imagery of healthy eating was flawed from the start. In fact "diet control" is a relationship destined for failure because it didn't satisfy a basic business negotiation concept of being a "win-win" situation for both sides. Negotiate the deal with yourself and you are well onto the first step in allowing yourself to enjoy the path. Excluding very specific disease issues, in the mainstream public there is no need for "dietary control" it is merely the selection process of what groups to eat from. Contrary to popular belief, successful weight management is not based upon draconian like discipline but the focus upon the correct targets and enjoying the path to do so. You aren't limiting your diet per se but releasing yourself to eat from the food basket nature provides us. Eat, enjoy and embrace what we have available to us from the most powerful drug there is -- food. But as I say this--I realize most people today have confused "food" with styrofoam boxed gruel from the fast food junk-dealers that isn't really fit for animal consumption. Therefore the failure of diets doesn't start from an all too understandable motivational weakness but the basic need to satisfy hunger and fueling a healthy active life. Successful health and diet management thus begins with re-thinking how we eat, what we eat and this will in turn forever change our food source. With this in mind, I need to stress a few basic diet hints that are utilized in Renegade Training with extraordinary success. So here is another best-seller of information ready to be cut and pasted for the game under a slick new name:
-- Start each day with this centuries old tonic. A simple blend of a few tablespoons of unpasteurized honey from local sources where possible, 1-2 lemons squeezed in a glass of hot water every morning. Glycogen replacement the easy way. -- Eat healthy balanced meals with meat, vegetable and fruit sources with proportions of each roughly the size of your palm and make use of natural marinades that include olive oil as an example. Don't debate the endless idea of the perfect ratios -- simply have balance from the spectrum of natural whole foods and the decision is simple. The best snack food is straight from the earth. Add fruit with every meal as well as real snack food that'll sustain life such as nuts and olives. But again remember to take your time in your meal and relax--life isn't a race. -- Bring a significant amount of ice cold water (i.e. 2 liters) with fresh lemon slices in it to the gym / your office and any other environment. One very common fault in our society now is not drinking enough water. -- Learn to eat to push away from the table and don't indulge in uncontrolled gluttony and sloth-like tendencies our culture seems to embrace with pride. There is no pride in second, third or massive heaping portions and showing off table manners fit for a barnyard animal. Leaving a bit on the plate is a good thing and you'll find that performance in every aspect of life improves when you're not "full". -- Slow down to enjoy your meal with family or friends as a moment of fellowship. This is not a "flowery" statement but based in fact as it will have an enormous impact on reducing stress and production of the hormone cortisol. But returning to the original statement, life is meant to be lived and it's not a race to the end. -- Abandon the "no-carb" diet craze (as well as other restrictive diets). It is ridiculous diet was merely designed as a marketing approach to whore products and as caused many serious health problems. It really should just be a punch line to a game show for "circle getting the square" and other things lame of this era. -- Vegetables are lifeblood for living - insist upon 10-15 a day as a minimum and where possible choose from organic sources! Our culture has abandoned its natural diet that included fruits and vegetables for the most part and tainted there pallet with processed products. Once you re-adjust your taste-buds you will find yourself clamoring for the taste of vegetables and yes--craving broccoli. Recall the notion of perimeter "gathering" -- enter your food store and primarily stay on the perimeter. Never consume man-made items and yes that means no boxed items or soft drinks -- not once, not ever. -- Possibly one of the most important food groups that I need to stress is cruciferous vegetables. They are lifeblood to enhancing protein efficiency and amongst other "little" things are known to radically reduce the incidence of many types of cancer and other health issues. What a "sign of the times" -- we have a natural food source that is known to improve your health but it is hard to get people to eat it--all the while the line for the new Xbox forms around the corner to the right. -- Emphasize the quality of the meat / fish and produce sources. While more expensive that cheaper alternatives, where possible make use of ethical and hormone / pesticide free ranchers / farms. Long term health as no price and when the price is your life, the price is too high. That may sound a bit "old" from a middle aged man considering his own mortality but it is the truth. Live healthy. -- The Drive-thru is a threatening menace to our culture and the biggest smack dealer we need to be concerned of. The drive thru will cause weight problems and the many illnesses that surround it not to mention be apart of complete destroying the notion of fellowship over a nice family meal. The Drive-thru is a foul menace to our society pure and simple, so next time you see a happy smiling clown pimping and rolling into to your kids soccer practice, realize with it comes a lifelong devotion to garbage food habits, restricts levels of concentration in school and ultimately debilitating illnesses that may kill them before their time is do. Somehow the clown doesn't look the same does he now. -- Cook--yes, yourself; oh, this is one of those radical, kooky, Renegade ideas. Its incredible but simple food preparation is both relaxing, enjoyable, allows you to plan out healthier choices with your family and yes--adds value to your life. It doesn't have to be spectacular and I think I'm a prime example of this but take the time, learn to the best of your abilities. And yes--appreciate when someone actually takes the time to do so for you. As you will see noted a number of times--life is not a race to the end. -- Consider your shopping from many ethical stances. While few have the luxury today but when possible make use of such vestiges of the past such as local farmer markets, true butcher shops with finely marbled meats. Support the core and insist on quality and ethically farmed items. -- Control stress in any manner you can. Give yourself personal time, the cell phone does not need to be on 24/7 -- turn it off to enjoy life. Yes, this will significantly impact upon your overall health and assist in fat loss as well. Enjoy your meal with family, take time, enjoy a few courses and try something really radical--talk--hmm--communication -- what an idea? -- Supplementation is to (please excuse the pun) "supplement" your diet. Sadly because of the pollution, toxins, hormonal additives to livestock and soil erosion, the need to supplement your diet is never greater and given the callous treatment of the environment it will get much worse in the future. We can get into many choices and opinions differ but my first choices are used to not only to assist in my exhausting training schedule, build muscle, promote fat loss but to (quite obviously) help me live a healthy life throughout my days. I think I truly need to stress this as with the over burdensome approaches to sell supplements -- we often forget of honestly helping people to live healthy lives. This is my sacred vow to the readership, to not only help you attain your athletic goals but via a route that will give you much more throughout your days. In the second part of this series many supplements choices including my top -- absolutely must-have top six from ProSource:
-- Phosphatidylserine: I can't say enough of this product as it is a powerhouse nutrient as it significantly improves muscular recovery, known to improve cognitive processes and even assist in the reduction of stress. -- Acetyl L-Carnitine: which is known to improve fat metabolism and assist in recovery from strenuous exercise. There has been enormous research on it as a neurotransmitter as well as in treatment with Parkinson's disease and Alzheimer disease. -- Alpha Lipoic Acid: is an incredibly powerful anti-oxidant that helps speed muscular recovery,decrease fat storage as well as treatment for age related issues -- Omega-1250: the best Omega-3 fatty acid I've found on the market. Omega's are essential for fat metabolism, muscular recovery and many immunity building traits. -- Joint Command: a broad blending of nutrients to protect joints and cartilages. -- Mega Max Multi-Vitamin: a powerful blend of vitamins and minerals that is completely necessary give food sources of today and the demands of training
Simplicity--the answer to most complex of problems will continue with the next installment on dietary and supplement choices for a healthy and fit life forever. John Davies, Founder Renegade Training Chat Live with Coach Davies in the Renegade Training forums!