Unified Living is a project being created by myself and a few friends to share insights and advice on creating a unified state of being that balances material abundance with spiritual truth; essentially moving towards the complete freedom and therefore happiness that wholeness in life allows. Isnt that what we are all ultimately after?
First brew your tea or coffee. Then mix the above ingredients in a blender. Drink, enjoy, and smile as you think of all the people downing coffee and donuts for breakfast.
The reason why this works is that you are supplying the proper fats for both brain function, hormone regulation, and fat metabolism. They key is to find butter from grassfed cows as there is a significant difference in the fat structures of butter from cows fed grass and cows fed grains. Kerrygold is a great brand
As I was researching this, I came across an American version called “Bulletproof Coffee.” If you google it, you can find out lots of info.
As usual, the Tibetans, with their intuitive understanding of nature and advanced medical system. created something really super cool and now I’m enjoying my own version with breakfast.
At one time, I would have thought so as well. But new research is countering older research and sending us back to our roots. Animals, including humans, have a taste for fat. And it’s not the right kinds of fat that are putting weight on us, it is the sugars, simple carbs, and the refined and processed fats that we eat way too much. Fats are essential and have always been a part of animal diets, grains and sugars have not.
Now here’s the thing – I’m not saying go to the butcher and request all the cow lard you can find and consume it. There are good fats and bad fats. Traditionally research tells us that unsaturated is good and saturated is bad. New research tells us it’s not so simple.
Fats are heavily involved in the production of hormones and proper hormone balance is crucial for everything from longevity to strength to sex drive. Without the right fats, our hormones can’t function optimally.
So what fats to eat? I have 3 suggestions:
Coconut Oil: If you cook only with coconut oil, you will do your body a world of good. Coconut oil is not only comprised primarily of short and medium chain triglycerides but it is also stable for cooking at medium to high heat. The triglycerides in coconut oil have been proven to be thermogenic, meaning they burn fat.
And get this – Coconut is considered one of 3 survival foods; this means you can survive on coconut alone if you had to.
Note that oils like olive oil are important but should not be used for cooking as they oxidize at low temperatures. Also, it doesn’t taste very coconutty when you cook with it.
Grass Fed Butter: When I heard this one, I thought “Eat more butter? That’s contrary to everything we’ve been taught.” Well think again. The key is not just more butter but specifically grass fed butter. Cows fed a diet of grass (as opposed to standard grains) produce a butter that is very high in conjugated lineoleic acid (CLA), another fat that is key for weight loss and hormonal balance
MCT Oil: A supplement. You can take a tablespoon or two a day or mix it with your salads or smoothies. Medium Chain Triglycerides (A component of coconut oil) are proven to reduce fat deposits. Here’s the research
“Where do I get this stuff?”
Great question. Whole foods is a good bet. Look for kerrygold butter. Or you can do what I do and just order it online here:
Ok folks, I know after the last few articles about what no to eat you’re thinking “geez DJ is really falling off his rocker.”
Ok confession time: I’ve always been off my rocker.
Seriously though let’s look quickly at calories…a great topic on Thanksgiving when people typically stuff themselves with a ridiculous amount of food. When I was a paramedic, we always had lots of heart attacks and angina on Thanksgiving.
A calorie is a unit of energy. Specifically it is the amount of energy required to raise the temperature of 1 gram of water by 1 degree celcius at standard pressures. Calories come into play when we are looking at gaining, losing, or maintaining weight.
Conversely, if you take in more than you burn, you will gain weight. This is true regardless of whether the calories are highly nutritious and charged or totally empty. In other words, you can technically lose weight eating mcdonalds. Granted, you may have to eat very little, work out a ton, and your body will fail to thrive but you can lose weight.
Chronic alcoholics are usually way underweight.
So why not just eat mcdonalds and taco bell and work out knowing you will lose weight? Simple – is this about simply losing weight or optimizing your body and spirit to maximize your potential?
However, here’s the simple formula should you wish to use it – You need to burn 3500 more calories than you consume if you want to lose 1 pound. You need to consume 3500 more calories than you burn if you want to gain a pound.
It’s actually pretty simple compared with the last few articles about everything not to put into your body. Also less calorie dense foods, in other words foods that are full of nutrition rather than empty calories go a lot further ie you can eat a lot more of them and will feel much much better.
In the next article I will begin writing about all of the stuff you can do to age in reverse now that we’ve covered most of the “do nots”.
I am going to discuss the one thing you should cut from your diet to really notice a huge difference.
This is part three in an ongoing series on how I found the fountain of youth. Note that even though I’m not selling anything, I’m playing with catchier headlines to get more clicks. In the last post I covered specific ingredients to cut out of your diet, in this installment I am going to share the one group of foods that are wreaking more havoc on your body than anything else.
That group is:
That’s right. Modern food processing strips food of pretty much all of its nutritional value by modifying it to the point where it basically becomes empty calories.
Here are some specific things to look out for
Artificial Sweeteners: Nutrasweet (aspartame) causes the same insulin release from the pancreas as sugar so if you think you’re sparing yourself the side effects of sugar, you are not. It is also an excitotoxin which simply put means it messes with your brain. Sucralose (splenda) is a combination of table sugar and chlorine. I can’t emphasize enough how much you should avoid these sweeteners
MSG: Also an excitotoxin added to many asian foods. Known to give you a headache. Ongoing excitotoxicity can be very dangerous.
Artificial Colors: Clues are words like “FD&C Blue” in the ingredients list. This is more crap that is foreign to the body
Pasteurization: Louis Pasteur did in fact invent a process to kill bacteria. However, pasteurization which happens by raising the temperature of things like milk to near boiling also destroys the beneficial bacteria, necessary enzymes, and energetic qualities of the milk. Opt instead of raw milk. Even better, is raw goat milk. You’ll have to look around your area for it. Your body will love you for giving it raw foods with natural enzymes to help it digest.
Trans fats also called hydrogenated oils: These are used in things like margarine to keep it solid at room temperature. Basically hydrogen is pumped through the fat and in the process changes the chemical structure of the molecules to a form that 1) is solid at room temperature and 2) The body has no idea what to do with. Some states have considered banning foodswith hydrogenated oils. Go for natural alternatives
Preservatives: Things like sodiumbenzoate and sulfites are added to foods to preserve them. Truth is, it’s possible to preserve foods using anti-oxidants like vitamins c and e. More chemicals = more stress on your body
Water: I’ll go into this in the future but avoid tap water as it contains chlorine and fluoride. Think about it – if chlorine is toxic to the cells of bacteria, what would make it wonderful for our cells? Cells are cells. Opt instead for alkaline bottled waters in BPA free containers or get a good water filter. More later.
Fat Free: This was the fad of the 90s…fats are necessary for life, the key is to eat the right fats in the right amounts. To remove the fat from foods with naturally occurring fats requires artificial processing.
GMOs: Genetically modified foods are banned in most countries except the US. We don’t yet know the dangers of genetically modifying things. Be aware and go for “non-gmo.”
Hormones: Girls are hitting puberty way earlier than they should these days and much of this is a result of the steroids given to cows so they produce far more milk and meat than they are supposed to. They are also given to poultry. These chemicals remain in the body and they get passed to us through consumption. Think of how you feel when you see a steroid freak walking around. So why would you eat one? Go for organic and free range varieties.
Antibiotics: Are given in large doses to cattle to prevent disease but they are also giving rise to a huge problem of drug resistant bacteria. Our bodies need healthy bacteria to function and there are times when we have to take an antibiotic to treat an illness. But why would you want to ingest them everyday?
Mercury in Fish: Another huge problem. Mercury is one of the most toxic substances known to man.
As I’ve stated above, processing destroys the food we eat and nearly all the foods we eat processed.
Opt for organic alternatives and stay as close to the way nature intended it as you can. This is also true for your pets. Modern food puts a lot of stress on our bodies.
Remove the stress, allow your body to return to homeostasis, and see (and feel) what happens! Try it for 30 days, I dare you
As promised, I am going to expound on each point in my article on the Fountain of Youth
#1 Cut out all wheat, dairy, sugar, white carbs, artificial anything, and anything processed
It’s probably going to take me two posts to get through all the “Don’t Dos” but here goes.
I discovered that I had a gluten (a protein in wheat) sensitivity a few years ago and while researching it, I learned that most people actually do. Some realize it and some do not. Wheat is the most difficult grain for the body to digest and if you think about it, our ancestors did not consume a diet primarily of grains. Now we add all the processing and refinement that goes into modern breads and we end up with something that is like pushing an overweight kid in a stroller, it slows the body down.
I am not advocating cutting all wheat entirely however if you try wheat free for a week, I’ll bet you will feel and see an extremely tangible difference. Corn is also a very difficult grain to digest. If you look carefully (as gross as it is) whole corn passes through the digestive tracts of animals (like my dog) untouched.
There are many gluten alternatives available now. I’ll cover them in a separate article but here is a fantastic source www.vermontglutenfree.com
American food sources are obsessed with processing everything and we in turn end up with food that is far removed from the way nature intended it and subsequently difficult for the body to utilize.
Side note: Being Italian, I love pizza and pasta so this took some effort. However, the results are so profound they provide the ongoing motivation.
Another big no-no. Just like gluten, most people have a difficult time digesting lactose. Dairy products can get stuck in the intestines and slow down peristalsis (the muscular contractions that move food through the intestines). I’m going to cover the Oriental medical perspective later, but dairy also produces moisture and in turn, phlegm, which creates an environment ripe for illness.
Goat milk is a great alternative. Goat milk molecules are smaller and easier to digest but are not a complete protein so it cannot be relied upon as a full protein like cow’s milk can.
Almond milk is another great alternative. Almonds have numerous health benefits. I recommend the unsweetened kind. If you wish to sweeten it, use agave.
Soy milk is not so good as it contains plentiful phytoestrogens which mimic female hormones. In men, this can lower testosterone and in women some studies suggest too much soy can be carcinogenic (cancer causing). Soy milk is good sparingly and be sure to get the non genetically modified kind. (non-GMO)
So there we go, I just nixed my favorite food – pizza!
Sugar is one of the worst substances you can put in your body, period. It gets stored as fat, depletes the immune system, and spikes insulin levels resulting in a subsequent crash. Refined sugars are the absolute worst staple in the American diet. Cut them out 99% and save the other 1% for a treat here or there.
This means to avoid all commercial soda, pastries, cakes, gatorade, candy, bread, commercial juices, frappucinos, – this list is endless as sugar is added to just about everything. So, the best advice is to start reading labels and avoid any commercial foods that contain sucrose, high fructose corn syrup, cane sugar, and fructose. Fruit, is of course, good and is great when eaten with breakfast.
For those of us with a sweet tooth, there are alternatives. And I do not mean aspartame or sucralose (nutrasweet/splenda). I use agave nectar. There’s not enough room in this article to get into the chemistry of sugars but suffice it to say the body cannot survive without sugars. We just eat tons (literally) more than the body wasdesigned to process.
When you eat sugar, the pancreas dumps insulin which transports the sugar into your cells where it is used as energy and that’s why you feel an energy spike. However, it’s quickly over and you begin to crash because the body was designed to process complex carbs and not simple sugars. This insulin dump, energy spike, and crash are draining on the body. Further, excess sugar (which is abundant in just about everything we eat) gets stored as fat.
And fat is also difficult on the body as it’s useless weight that the body must support and nourish not to mention it’s unsightly.
I’ll cover the other items in the next article. In this first series, we’re taking our foot off the break if you will; removing all the toxic substances that slow down metabolism and make the body sluggish so that it can begin to balance and optimize itself. You don’t need to be a fitness freak or have “perfect genetics” to be in shape. I have far from perfect genetics.
Being lean and in shape is the natural state of the human body when it is allowed to be in balance. All we have to do is glance at animals to understand how the body is supposed to look and work.
On the flip side, we’re a culture obsessed with being thin. Thin is also not the natural state of the body nor is juice head Jersey Shore bulging muscles with no ability to do functional work.
What I am advocating is allowing your body to reach its optimum state and return to the balance it is programmed to maintain and then celebrating and enjoying whatever that natural state is for your specific body
Haven’t posted many updates here on my training as I managed to sustain a rather serious shoulder injury in July which set me back quite a bit. Naturally being the stubborn guy that I am, I kept training for the first month of it which of course only made it worse. But I am happy to report that after some healing work, it’s well on its way to full recovery and I’m ramping up my training again. As is usually the case with injuries, there was some underlying energetic and emotional crap which of course allowed the injury to set in deeper.
The injury really became apparent while doing a rather odd form of pushup called “plange pushups” where you start from a pushup position and move down until your forearms are flat on the ground and then push back up. Uldi had suggested that I not do these as they put too much unnatural stress on the shoulder but I did them anyway.
So for most of the summer I got to focus on running and cardio and just in the last couple of weeks I got going again with upper body workouts and hope to be able to move into full gymnastics and acrobatics in November.
Some doctor friends suggested this was a surgical repair but I’m happy to report that I put off getting the MRI and relied on other sources of healing and it’s coming along.
Me: “How many was that?” Uldi: “638” Me: “How many are we doing?” Uldi: “Today just I think 1000.” 1000 continuous Hungarian gymnastics ab reps (makes crunches look like a pina colada) after 1 hour of continuous non stop jumping…I think I counted about 900 reps.. Yep, I need a drink….or 7. Sometimes I wonder what I got myself into. (I secretly love it) Not sure whether I should even attempt laughing for the next 2 days however
I set a goal for 2012 to get in the best shape of my life, reconstitute and master my body, become physically, mentally, and spiritually stronger than is/was possible for me, and reverse aging. My plan for doing this was a combination of physical training, diet modifications, and spiritual work. I am training daily now with an Olympic gymnastics coach and several Cirque du Soleil Acrobats. In 7 weeks I have dropped 20 pounds, my blood chemistry is better than a teenager’s, and I feel amazing.
Even though I was always an athlete, I was something of a weak child and had GI and other issues that held me back from maximizing my physical potential. Part of this project is completely healing any residual weaknesses. Recent breakthrough research shows us we can actually change our genetic code with the power of focused intent.
When I first met Uldi, a Hungarian who is my primary coach, he said to me (in typical European style) “You are very strong and very fit compared to most but for what you want to do, you are fat and weak.”
That’s when I knew he was the mentor I wanted and needed. I always seem to have had this masochistic leaning when it comes to choosing teachers and while I seem to have this karmic ability to draw amazing teachers, they are always tough on me. I knew this would be no different, but everything truly worthwhile in life comes complete with its challenges. Uldi told me it was going to be hell, he was going to make me suffer for awhile, and then it would be heaven.
And he wasn’t kidding.
The first month was definitely hell as my body, mind, and spirit rebelled. Now, I’d say I’m in purgatory heading closer to the pearly gates.
On the first day, we were at a park and I did 15 chinups on my second set. Hey, I thought that was pretty good. Uldi just shrugged and said “you must be at 30 very soon.” Nothing like being pushed by a man who can hold an iron cross for 30 seconds.
He told me I needed to lose 20 pounds and to eat light…and when I thought I was eating light, to eat half of that. For that first month, I primarily ate soup. My body hated it…my energy level and moods were all over the place as I completely cut out wheat, dairy, anything processed, sugar, anything fried, dessert, etc and replaced it with healthy alternatives like juices, dark chocolate, organic meats, rice, and potatoes, goat’s milk and cheese, raw foods, and the Hungarian food that Uldi’s wife would make for me
People asked me “where is this 20 pounds going to come from? You’re already in shape.” I really didn’t know but I just followed his advice and stayed true to my commitment as I have found that commitment, tenacity, and the desire to stay true at all cost is what has gotten me the best results in life so far. As one of my teachers once told me: “I started teaching you because you’re a pain in the ass and don’t give up.”
Those early workouts consisted of running stairs…lots of stairs…followed by hills…followed by climbing a mountain. Then I did this with a 20 pound weight vest. 1000 reps with resistance bands and weights in one sessions would not be an underestimate. And core, core, and more core. There were days of running, doing 50 pushups, and continuing to run only to repeat. The run apparently was my rest time. And then the freerunning…jumping over picnic tables, fences, walls, from one wall to another, flips, etc…..constant conquest of my fear. The freedom that comes with transcendence of fear has been a big part of my quest since I was a teenager and will be a central theme of my writings.
With my medical background, I have the ability to run my own lab tests. Over the summer, there were some things that were not exactly where I’d like them to be. (like my prolactin was elevated. WTF, I know I’m in touch with my feminine side but I’ll stick to goat milk for now). Recently, I reran comprehensive blood chemistry and then reviewed it with a specialist in metabolic optimization. Everything was perfect.
Side note: Going to the lab is always so funny….you have to sit in the waiting room with a bunch of horribly unhealthy fat people. So when I get in there, the phlebotomists (who aren’t always the happiest people) look at me and are always like “why are you here?” And I’m usually running hormone panels so I try not imagine what they are thinking I’m actually there for and I think to myself “I’ve been waiting out there for an hour with miserable people, and I’m hungry, give me the damn needle, I’ll draw it myself.”
Anyway, my body went through a massive detox and now I finally feel like I am on the other side of it and I feel amazing. Our bodies store all kinds of things in excess weight including physical toxins, old emotional baggage, and negative energies and I had to let go of several old things I was hanging onto during the process.
I look forward to what the next months will bring with my training.
While I realize my project is a bit extreme, I invite everyone to get out there and make changes in your health. We are spiritual beings in physical bodies. And it is our bodies that provide us the vehicle to do everything we do in life.
And I hope to get some guest articles on this blog written by the acrobats I train with who are extreme examples of what’s possible for the human body and mind to achieve.
I have been on a quest in 2012 to completely reconstitute my body, move into perfect health, and become stronger than is possible for most people. And I am reversing the aging process as well. It’s my latest challenge.
During my daily training with circus acrobats and gymnasts, I get told I’m fat and weak quite often. Here’s a funny video of me recently after over an hour of one such butt kicking session with my Hungarian Olympic Coach. The form is very imperfect, but hey I was tired by then…and I’m very new at this!