Update on my Health and Some Interesting Podcast Points that I’ve listened to over the past week

Update on my Health and Some Interesting Podcast Points that I’ve listened to over the past week and a Killer Pumpkin Drink Recipe


According to my new FitBit band I have walked over 75,000 steps in the past week or over 35 miles and this doesn’t include a single run (I’m detoxing from running for a little change in my exercise).  These steps come mostly from walking from to and from my car about half a mile to the hospital, up 4 flights of stairs, and being constantly on my feet during my 8 to 12 hour shifts as a nurse (and to the Dan Abraham Healthy Living Center after work).  I have been trying gain weight (as I have dropped below 150 pounds) and although I don’t record the exact nutrients in my diet, I know on days when I work that I have been unable to get the estimated 3150 calories a day (FitBit) that I burn between work and working out after work.  In an effort to gain a little muscle I have only been intermittent fasting 3-4 days a week, instead of every day.  I still find it amazing how I’m not hungry in the mornings after intermittent fasting almost every day for about 6-months.  In an effort to gain weight I have been doing the 5×5 lifting program twice a week (roughly 45min per workout) along with 2 upper-body TRX/Body-Weight/Resistance Band workouts.  For Cardio I have been doing indoor biking (spinning) 3 times  a week (2-30min rides and a 1-hour ride) as well as 3 swims per week (500yards, 750yards, and 1000yards).  I just bought a spin bike that I will be getting next week for at home!  I have also done 3 (20-30minute) Sadie Nardini Youtube Yoga Videos this past week.  I love how she has a continuous flow to her Yoga.  Like Dynamic Stretching to Static stretching as a comparison.  I get a nice core workout, stretch, and feel overall detoxed physically and spiritually after her Yoga sessions.  I like how she incorporates Squat variations into her sessions.  I have been doing a lot of squatting lately as it is one of the best movements for our whole body as well as gives a nice hormonal response, according to Ben Greenfield and Don John. I have now done 4 of Sadie Nardini’s Yoga videos total along with lots of swimming and spinning (indoor cycling) as I “detox” from running for a little while.  I try to utilize the sauna and hot tub a couple days a week with my daily foam rolling and stretching to enhance recovery.  

Eat Healthy

The fact that I have been unable to gain weight shows how eating high amounts of healthy fats, moderate protein, and “clean” carbs/minimal grains along with intermittent fasting is an excellent way to lose or maintain weight.  My diet doesn’t include many grains at all besides a couple bowls per week of my famous almond butter-chia seed oatmeal and an occasional meal when I go out to eat (not more than once a week).  Ben Greenfield’s Podcast 261 goes into nice detail about why grains and gluten in particular aren’t good for your gut and your nervous system. 

Other fun facts from Ben’s Recent Podcasts:

  • Interview with Dan John goes into how to gain strength and power.  A lot of Dan John’s workout program is similar to the program that I used in college to build-up to a 200 pound Division 1AA football player.  He believes in order to build strength you need to only focus on building strength.  His program is built around heavy lifting sessions with a lot of rest and eating in between lifting days over his 6-week program.  I totally agree that in order to just build strength this is the way to go.  However, I want to be strong, fast, ripped, feel good, and overall healthy in every aspect which is difficult to do.  I have either been in great “football” shape (big and fast in short bursts) or aerobically fit and toned, like I am now, as I have focused on eating healthier and doing distance events involving marathon and triathlon training.  I have always known the importance of cross-training but due to the amount of time I spend on my feet at work have recently cut back on some running and added the 5×5 program a couple times a week in hopes of putting some mass back on.


  • Ben Greenfield’s Episode 263 Highlights (PLEASE LISTEN IF THESE BULLETS INTEREST YOU) 
    • 10 Tips for staying /getting into great shape (Huffington Post)
      • Ben agrees (and disagrees) with a lot of the tips and says how he wants to be one of the fittest people in the world, which is ultimately my goal as well (as I just talked about wanting to be good at multiple disciplines of physical health: strength, speed, endurance, etc.)
  • Cycle your coffee
    • Ben cycles drinking caffeinated coffee 6 weeks on 2 weeks off and talks about the benefits of cycling caffeine and ways to stay alert (Green Tea, Cold Showers, etc.)
    • Fun fact: only need 30-45mcg of caffeine (cup of green tea) to increase mental alertness versus 300-400mcg of caffeine 3 to 4 cups of coffee to increase physical performance
  • Increase your speed!
    • Do speed workouts when fresh
    • Monitor your Heart Rate; when stressed don’t do speed workouts  
    • High Cadence Cycling and doing stadium stairs are great ways to increase speed
    • I loved this segment of the show because I used to have good speed and in order to be an athlete YOU NEED SPEED
  • 23 and Me
    • Ben talks about the DNA testing of 23 and Me
    • 23 and Me shows results of things like increased genetic risk for Diabetes or various Cancers as well as ability to utilize and excrete things like caffeine!
    • Ben reminds listeners that just because you have increased risks for certain things doesn’t mean you’ll get them because there is an environmental aspect as well (diet, exercise, etc.)
  • Gaining weight the healthy way
    • Ben references to the Perfect Health Diet
    • High Fats (65%) of caloric intake (Not Trans Fat, Healthy Fats!!!!)  
    • Don’t go above 500-1000 calories in excess of energy expenditure otherwise accelerated chance of “bad” weight gain 
  • I’ve been using TrainingPeaks to record my workouts with my FitBit Application as well after Ben recommending Training Peaks

My Goals for the Week:

  • Manage stress appropriately with four 8-hour shifts and two12-hour overnight shifts this week
  • Running Detox-Continue trying to build strength utilizing the 5×5 program, and Yoga/Cycling/Swimming for cardio
  • Detox from coffee- for the reasons Ben Greenfield mentions (listen to his podcast!)
  • No alcohol this week- I feel I’ve been drinking a little too much lately (at least 1 drink everyday and up to 4)-I’m not getting drunk but I still don’t want it to become a bad habit or inhibit my mental and physical performance
  • Detox from creatinine- good to cycle as well
  • Eat Clean!!!!
  • Eat small frequent meals with protein
    • In a recent Men’s Fitness article I read it talks about how eating frequent and moderate amounts of protein (15-20g) throughout the day is better than eating huge amounts of protein (We can only properly utilize a little protein at a time, also mentioned in the Perfect Health Diet that extreme protein amounts can be dangerous) 


Pumpkin Shake or Pumpkin Latte (Depending whether you are feeling hot or cold!)-Great either way

  • Pumpkin recipes to get your Pumpkin Pie fix without the added sugars, grains, and who knows what else
  • Combine the following ingredients together and either add a couple ice cubes and use a blender (if you want a shake) or microwave it for a minute and a half (if you want it warm)
    • ½ cup of canned pumpkin
    • ½ cup of almond milk or coconut milk
    • 1-scoop of a clean vanilla protein source (I use the Vitacost brand)
    • 1 packet of stevia
    • 1tsp-1tbsp of pumpkin pie spice (cinnamon, ginger, nut meg etc.)- to your taste
    • 1 tbsp of chia seeds
    • Add almonds or your favorite nut after blending or microwaving to add a crunch
      • BIG TIP: try to find a clean protein powder-If you are reading your protein label or any label and don’t know what is in it (either find out or find a better source).  Vitacost’s protein is sweetened with Stevia and has limited ingredients. A good rule of thumb is the less ingredients the better.  Know what you eat.  Eat Whole Foods most of the time

Links to Ben Greenfield Podcasts and Youtube Yoga Videos:





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