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I have been asked over the last little while about creatine.

 

The questions I get asked are: Should I be taking it?  Is it effective?  Does it damage my kidneys if I take it for too long?

 

Ok, great questions.  The simple answer to the first one is – YES.   However, let’s discuss why you should be taking it. The answers to the other questions and some others are shown below.

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WHAT IS CREATINE?

 

Creatine is a substance the body produces naturally in both the liver and pancreas.  It is present in every human cell.  It functions as an energy storehouse. Creatine is required for physical and mental exertion. It is found naturally in our diets and is rich in red meat and some fish.  Creatine is generally stored in the body as phospho-creatine (PCr) – creatine linked to a high energy phosphate molecule. Creatine is an endogenous (made by the body) substance that is present in every human cell.

 

How does it work?

 

In order for a muscle to contract, adenosine triphosphate (ATP) must break off a phosphate group, leaving behind ADP (adenosine diphosphate). The only problem with this is that our body cannot use ADP for energy. The solution? ADP takes a phosphate from your body’s store of creatine phosphate (PCr) to form more ATP. Supplementation with creatine serves to increase creatine stores and PCr availability in the body, resulting in faster ATP formation.

 

Bottom line: The more PCr you have, the more work you can accomplish before fatigue sets it. Taken appropriately and consistently, creatine can be one of the most effective supplements for increasing lean body mass and improving body composition, strength, and high-intensity performance.

 

Q: HOW IS CREATINE MADE?

In the body, creatine is synthesized from the amino acids glycine, arginine and methionine, primarily in the liver, kidneys and pancreas and is transported from there to all the cells in the body via the bloodstream. Since creatine is involved in all processes that require energy, muscle, brain and nerve cells receive correspondingly larger amounts.

 

Q: HOW DOES CREATINE WORK?

The creatine reserves of a person who weighs 155 lb is equal to about 120 grams. The vast majority of creatine (c. 95%) is stored in the skeletal muscles. Approximately 60-70% of the total creatine in muscle is stored in the form of the high energy molecule phosphocreatine. The remaining 30-40% is present in the form of free creatine. Besides adenosine triphosphate, phosphocreatine is the most important source for energy in the body. All of the body’s cells can use only adenosine triphosphate (ATP) as an energy-releasing substance. Since the ATP reserves in the body are limited, ATP has to be continuously resynthesized. ATP is produced from the energy sources fat and carbohydrate over a fairly long time frame.

Phosphocreatine resynthesis is critical for restoring muscle power at the beginning of the next set of intensive exercises. An increased resynthesis rate makes it possible to complete more intensive training sets, which is an advantage for explosive sports disciplines in particular.

 

During very intensive, repetitive forms of exercise there is enough ATP for 1-2 seconds of exercise and phosphocreatine is available for the immediate regeneration of ATP. However, phosphocreatine stores last approximately 10 seconds. Increasing phosphocreatine levels in muscle results in the delayed breakdown of phosphocreatine, which has a beneficial effect on muscle performance. More than 20 clinical trials have shown that creatine supplementation significantly improves muscle strength and/or performance during short bouts of high-intensity exercise.

 

The greatest improvements in performance can be found during a series of repetitive high-intensity types of exertion that are interrupted by a fairly brief period of rest (e.g. 20-60 seconds). The rest breaks are sufficient to achieve greater recovery of phosphocreatine concentrations.

 

Different mechanisms are involved in the ergogenic effects of creatine supplementation:

  • Higher phosphocreatine concentrations serve as immediate reserves for ATP during exertion.
  • Increased phosphocreatine resynthesis rate during and after exertion due to increased levels of creatine.
  • Smaller decrease in muscle pH during exertion.
  • Greater training capacity.
  • Increase in muscle mass (absolute power output).

 

Q: WHO CAN BENEFIT FROM CREATINE SUPPLEMENTATION?

As a supplement, it is widely accepted as offering relatively immediate and very tangible benefits to both gym goers and sports people alike and is one of the most widely used of supplements. Creatine supplementation has a performance enhancing effect for those involved in a wide variety of sports. For sports that require speed, such as sprinting, rugby, football, swimming, and for intensive strength training by bodybuilders and cyclists, short-term creatine supplementation can greatly improve performance in the areas of maximum strength and endurance (5-15%), with interval training in the maximum range (5-20%), power production in short sprints (30%) and in training with repetitive sprints (5-15%).

 

Q: I HAVE HEARD THAT CREATINE SHOULD NOT BE CONSUMED TOGETHER WITH COFFEE, IS THIS TRUE?

Try to avoid taking high amounts of Caffeine when supplementing with Creatine. Simultaneous supplementation of large amounts of Caffeine (e.g. 4 cups of coffee) eliminates the ergogenic effects of Creatine by interfering with the resynthesis of Phosphocreatine. Lower amounts of Caffeine (e.g. 1-2 cups of Coffee) does not seem to influence the efficacy.

 

Q: DOES CARBOYDRATE IMPROVE CREATINE ABSORPTION?

Creatine absorption can be improved by taking creatine together with simple carbohydrates, such as maltodextrin or dextrose, instead of just taking it alone. Ingesting carbohydrates raises blood sugar levels and therefore the secretion of insulin, an endogenous hormone.

 

The improved uptake of creatine into the muscles is attributed to stimulation of creatine transporters mediated by insulin.

 

Exercise also stimulates the uptake of creatine. The increase in creatine uptake can probably mostly be attributed to the increased perfusion of the muscle or to greater movement of the creatine transporters to the muscle cell membrane. Taking carbohydrates at the same time does not increase creatine storage rates when the training sets are done before supplementation.

 

Q: IT IS POSSIBLE THAT SOME INDIVIDUALS ARE NON-RESPONDERS?

If they report no results this may be because their body is able to produce enough creatine to keep its pools of creatine full or because their body finds it hard utilising the supplement. In this instance, it would be recommended that they combine creatine with simple sugars. The sugars cause a peak in insulin and help drive creatine into the muscles. In fact, studies amongst non responders have shown that the addition of sugars can increase creatine uptake by 60%.

 

Q: IS CREATINE SAFE?

Creatine has been thoroughly evaluated in long term clinical safety studies. Creatine is the most comprehensively researched supplement with over 2000 research studies focused upon it.  Clinical assessments included analysing a comprehensive panel of serum and whole blood markers (electrolytes, muscle and liver enzymes, substrates, lipid profiles, red and white blood cells, etc.), renal function tests determined by creatinine clearance, monitoring of injuries treated by the medical/athletic training staff, as well as the collection of medical safety and fatigue/weakness data.

The results of these safety studies on the long-term use of creatine monohydrate have consistently shown that, in comparison to athletes who did not take creatine, those who took creatine did not experience a greater incidence of injuries, heat-related disorders, dehydration, cramping, musculoskeletal injuries, or gastrointestinal disturbances. Additionally, athletes who took creatine over a long period did not have significantly higher muscle and liver enzymes, altered electrolytes, or increased renal stress determined by creatine clearance.

 

Creatine is one of the most popular supplements on the market. Unfortunately, there are a lot of myths and misconceptions about its side effects and uses. Learn the facts about creatine.

 

Creatine is one of the most highly researched supplements available. Simply put, creatine helps to combat fatigue during your workouts, allowing you to work out longer and with more intensity, ultimately improving your strength and muscle size.

 

MYTHS & MORE

Yet myths and misinformation about safety and potential side effects still dog this supplement. Is it safe? Does it cause weight gain? Is it damaging to your kidneys?

 

Here’s a look at some common myths about creatine and the truth behind them.

 

MYTH 1: CREATINE CAUSES KIDNEY AND LIVER DAMAGE

 

Fact: There have been numerous studies conducted on creatine supplementation, all of which have concluded long-term creatine use does not appear to have any negative side effects on the liver or kidneys.

 

There is no truth to the occasional rogue media stories claiming that creatine causes kidney stones or liver failure. Most of the concerns about the safety of creatine supplementation revolve around how well the kidneys are filtering blood.

Perhaps the confusion comes from elevated levels of creatinine (a marker used to diagnose kidney problems), which occurs following supplementation with creatine. However, this “false positive” is in no way harmful to your body. Moreover, there is no scientific evidence to suggest that chronic supplementation with the recommended creatine dose is detrimental to kidney function. Several studies have found no adverse effects of creatine supplementation on how well the kidneys filter blood.

 

MYTH 2: CREATINE CAUSES GASTROINTESTINAL DISTRESS

 

Fact: All available evidence suggests creatine is safe to use, although it may cause some minor GI distress.

 

There is some truth to gastrointestinal (GI) issues with creatine supplementation, but it’s rare. In fact, it’s reported than only 5-7 percent of people who take creatine experience stomach aches. Stomach distress typically occurs when you take too much creatine at once (e.g., a loading phase) or on an empty stomach.

 

MYTH 3: CREATINE CAUSES CRAMPING AND DEHYDRATION

 

Fact: There is no data that shows creatine causes muscle cramps or dehydration.

One of the most common concerns about creatine supplementation is that it can cause dehydration or cramping, particularly in hot and humid environments. This is simply not the case. On the contrary, creatine supplementation has been proposed to increase total body water, helping to maintain hydration status.

 

MYTH 4: CREATINE SUPPLEMENTATION CAN CAUSE COMPARTMENT SYNDROME

 

Fact: While there may be a transient increase in pressure following high doses of creatine, supplementation at recommended doses does not induce compartment syndrome.

 

Compartment syndrome is a condition referring to excessive pressure in the muscle compartment. So theoretically, the risk of compartment syndrome may be increased while supplementing with creatine because of fluid retention in the muscle cell and increased overall size of the muscle tissue. But let’s be real for a second. Compartment syndrome is more likely the direct result of injury or trauma—or potentially later on as a result of treatment to an injury—that leads to inadequate blood flow to tissue.

 

MYTH 5: CREATINE SUPPLEMENTATION CAUSES RHABDOMYOLYSIS

 

Fact: There is no direct evidence that creatine supplementation promotes rhabdomyolysis.

 

This myth became a media favorite shortly after an article published in the New York Times claimed creatine supplementation was possibly linked to rhabdomyolysis in high school football players. Rhabdomyolysis refers to a severe breakdown of skeletal muscle due to injury that typically presents with elevated creatine kinase levels and anterior compartment syndrome.  This condition can result from excessive exercise in hot humid climates, especially when the exercise is continued for several days.

 

The suggestion that creatine supplementation induces rhabdomyolysis has no backing in scientific literature. Indeed, creatine kinase levels are elevated following supplementation, but these levels are nowhere close to the levels associated with rhabdomyolysis.

 

MYTH 6: CREATINE LEADS TO WEIGHT GAIN

 

Fact: Creatine loading may lead to an initial weight gain of 0.8 to 2.9 percent of body weight in the first few days due to water being pulled into the muscle; however, this is less likely to occur following a low-dose protocol.

 

There is a common claim that all the weight gained with creatine supplementation is due to water weight. Indeed, several researchers have found acute increases in total body water as a result of creatine supplementation. However, while an initial weight gain may be a result of an increase in water, research consistently shows that creatine supplementation, in addition to resistance training, results in an increase in lean body mass and a decrease in fat mass, leading to improvement in body composition.

 

MYTH 7: CREATINE WILL STUNT THE GROWTH OF TEENAGERS

 

Fact: This is another rather ludicrous supposition, almost on par with the idea that creatine is a steroid (which is also dispelled herein).  I’m not even sure where the connection comes from between the premature closure of epiphyseal plates and creatine. Creatine is a biomolecule present in all humans and found in a variety of foods, it’s just as safe for teenagers as it is for anybody else.

 

MYTH 8: CREATINE HAS TO BE FRONT LOADED/MEGA DOSED WHEN STARTING USE

 

Fact: Not a necessity, rather just a way to expedite the process of saturating your creatine stores. Most companies purport that the front-loading protocol is necessary to reach peak creatine levels but even a nominal dose of creatine taken over a few weeks will suffice just fine. Furthermore, consider the fact that many companies post such outlandish claims on their labels to get you to use up the product quicker and thus re-purchase it.

 

MYTH 9: CREATINE NEEDS TO BE CYCLED

 

Fact: There are few supplements, especially over-the-counter, I can really think of that stand to benefit from cycling usage (on and off); creatine, however, is not one of them. In fact, I would suggest that creatine be taken rather consistently since it exerts most of its benefits once a saturation point has been established.

 

MYTH 10: CREATINE IS A STEROID

 

Fact: All I can really do in response to this somewhat moronic claim is shake my head. If I must elaborate, creatine isn’t even close to being chemically related to steroid molecules. Creatine is an amino acid, so this theory would be analogous to me saying that protein molecules are full of steroids…Hmmmm.

 

MYTH 11: CREATINE DOESNT NEED TO BE SUPPLEMENTED WITH, SINCE IT’S IN CERTAIN FOODS

 

Fact: Despite the fact that creatine is indeed found in some foods (especially beef), the amounts of these foods you would have to consume on a daily basis to achieve the benefits of a nominal dose of supplemental creatine would be exorbitantly large.

 

MYTH 12: CREATINE IS NOT SAFE FOR WOMEN

 

Fact: Read the myth above myth about “creatine stunting growth of teenagers” and you should be caught up on why creatine is not a “sexist” supplement.

 

FOODS THAT ARE HIGH IN CREATINE:

 
So to benefit from creatine in your diet, you need to eat a crapload of meat and fish.

 

 

REFERENCES

Earnest CP, Snell PG, Rodriguez R, Almada AL, Mitchell TL. The effect of creatine monohydrate ingestion on anaerobic power indices, muscular strength and body composition. Acta Physiol Scand. 1995;153(2):207-209.

Kutz MR, Gunter MJ. Creatine monohydrate supplementation on body weight and percent body fat. J Strength Cond Res. 2003;17 (4):817-821.

Buford, T. W., Kreider, R. B., Stout, J. R., Greenwood, M., Campbell, B., Spano, M., … & Antonio, J. (2007). International Society of Sports Nutrition position stand: Creatine Supplementation and Exercise. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, 4 (6), 6.

Lugaresi R, Leme M, de Salles Painelli VT, et al. Does long-term creatine supplementation impair kidney function in resistance-trained individuals consuming a high-protein diet? Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition. 2013;10 (1):1-1.

Kim HJ, Kim CK, Carpentier A, Poortmans JR. Studies on the safety of creatine supplementation. Amino Acids. 2011;40(5):1409-1418.

Volek JS, Duncan ND, Mazzetti SA, Putukian M, Gómez AL, Kraemer WJ. No effect of heavy resistance training and creatine supplementation on blood lipids. Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab. 2000;10 (2):144-156.

Schilling, B., Stone, M., Utter, A., Kearney, J., Johnson, M., Coglianese, R., … & Stone, M. (2001). Creatine supplementation and health variables: a retrospective study. Medicine and science in sports and exercise, 33(2), 183-188.

Persky, A. M., & Rawson, E. S. (2007). Safety of creatine supplementation. In Creatine and Creatine Kinase in Health and Disease (pp. 275-289). Springer Netherlands

Kreider, R. B., Melton, C., Rasmussen, C. J., Greenwood, M., Lancaster, S., Cantler, E. C., … & Almada, A. L. (2003). Long-term creatine supplementation does not significantly affect clinical markers of health in athletes. In Guanidino Compounds in Biology and Medicine (pp. 95-104). Springer US.

Hezave AZ, Aftab S, Esmaeilzadeh F. Micronization of creatine monohydrate via Rapid Expansion of Supercritical Solution (RESS). The Journal of Supercritical Fluids. 2010;55(1):316-324.

Sobolewski EJ, Thompson BJ, Smith AE, Ryan ED. The Physiological Effects of Creatine Supplementation on Hydration: A Review. American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine. 2011;5(4):320-327.

Lopez RM, Casa DJ, McDermott BP, Ganio MS, Armstrong LE, Maresh CM. Does creatine supplementation hinder exercise heat tolerance or hydration status? A systematic review with meta-analyses. J Athl Train. 2009;44(2):215-223.

Wright GA, Grandjean PW, Pascoe DD. The effects of creatine loading on thermoregulation and intermittent sprint exercise performance in a hot humid environment. J Strength Cond Res. 2007;21(3):655-660.

Mendel RW, Blegen M, Cheatham C, Antonio J, Ziegenfuss T. Effects of creatine on thermoregulatory responses while exercising in the heat. Nutrition. 2005;21(3):301-307.

Bemben MG, Bemben DA, Loftiss DD, Knehans AW. Creatine supplementation during resistance training in college football athletes. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2001;33(10):1667-1673.

Kern, M., Podewils, L., Vukovich, M., & Buono, M. (2001). Physiological response to exercise in the heat following creatine supplementation. JEP online.

Volek, J. S., Mazzetti, S. A., Farquhar, W. B., Barnes, B. R., Gomez, A. L., & Kraemer, W. J. (2001). Physiological responses to short-term exercise in the heat after creatine loading. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 33(7), 1101-1108.

Greenwood M, Kreider RB, Melton C, et al. Creatine supplementation during college football training does not increase the incidence of cramping or injury. Mol Cell Biochem. 2003;244(1-2):83-88.

Robinson, S. J. (2000). Acute quadriceps compartment syndrome and rhabdomyolysis in a weight lifter using high-dose creatine supplementation. The Journal of the American Board of Family Practice, 13(2), 134-137.

Schroeder, C., Potteiger, J., Randall, J., Jacobsen, D., Magee, L., Benedict, S., & Hulver, M. (2001). The effects of creatine dietary supplementation on anterior compartment pressure in the lower leg during rest and following exercise. Clinical Journal of Sport Medicine, 11(2), 87-95.

Hile, A. M., Anderson, J. M., Fiala, K. A., Stevenson, J. H., Casa, D. J., & Maresh, C. M. (2006). Creatine supplementation and anterior compartment pressure during exercise in the heat in dehydrated men. Journal of Athletic Training, 4(1), 30.

Sauret, J. M., Marinides, G., & Wang, G. K. (2002). Rhabdomyolysis. American Family Physician, 65(5), 907-912.

Hamer, R. (1997). When exercise goes awry: exertional rhabdomyolysis. Southern Medical Journal, 90(5), 548-551.

Clarkson, P. M. (2007). Exertional rhabdomyolysis and acute renal failure in marathon runners. Sports Medicine, 37(4-5), 361-363.

Dalbo, V. J., Roberts, M., Kerksick, C., & Stout, J. (2008). Putting the myth of creatine supplementation leading to muscle cramps and dehydration to rest. British Journal of Sports Medicine, 42(7), 567-73.

Antonio J, Ciccone V. The effects of pre versus post workout supplementation of creatine monohydrate on body composition and strength. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition. 2013;10(1):36.

Becque MD, Lochmann JD, Melrose DR. Effects of oral creatine supplementation on muscular strength and body composition. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2000;32(3):654-658.

Dangott B, Schultz E, Mozdziak PE. Dietary creatine monohydrate supplementation increases satellite cell mitotic activity during compensatory hypertrophy. Int J Sports Med. 2000;21(1):13-16.

Stockler, S., Hanefeld, F., & Frahm, J. (1996). Creatine replacement therapy in guanidineoacetate methyltransferase deficiency, a novel inborn error of metabolism. The Lancet, 348(9030), 789-790.

Cooper, R., Naclerio, F., Allgrove, J., & Jimenez, A. (2012). Creatine supplementation with specific view to exercise/sports performance: an update. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, 9(1), 33.

Grindstaff, P. D., Kreider, R., Bishop, R., Wilson, M., Wood, L., Alexander, C., & Almada, A. (1997). Effects of creatine supplementation on repetitive sprint performance and body composition in competitive swimmers. International Journal of Sport Nutrition, 7(4), 330-346.

Pline, K. A., & Smith, C. L. (2005). The effect of creatine intake on renal function. The Annals of pharmacotherapy, 39(6), 1093-1096.

Poortmans, J. R., Auquier, H., Renaut, V., Durussel, A., Saugy, M., & Brisson, G. R. (1997). Effect of short-term creatine supplementation on renal responses in men. European journal of applied physiology and occupational physiology,76(6), 566-567.

Buford TW, et al. International Society of Sports Nutrition position stand: creatine supplementation and exercise. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. (2007)

Steenge, G. R., Lambourne, J., Casey, A., Macdonald, I. A., & Greenhaff, P. L. (1998). Stimulatory effect of insulin on creatine accumulation in human skeletal muscle. American Journal of Physiology-Endocrinology And Metabolism,275(6), E974-E979.

Giese, M. W., & Lecher, C. S. (2009). Non-enzymatic cyclization of creatine ethyl ester to creatinine. Biochemical and biophysical research communications, 388(2), 252-255.

Jagim, A. R., Oliver, J. M., Sanchez, A., Galvan, E., Fluckey, J., Reichman, S., … & Kreider, R. B. (2012). Kre-Alkalyn® supplementation does not promote greater changes in muscle creatine content, body composition, or training adaptations in comparison to creatine monohydrate. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, 9(Suppl 1), P11.

International Journal of Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics; Creatine and Caffeine in Anaerobic and Aerobic Exercise: Effects on Physical Performance and Pharmacokinetic Considerations; Vanakoski J., et al.; May 1998

 

 

 

 

 

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So, you guys know how amazing the action was during the games.  If you missed any of it, check the archived videos.  Pretty amazing stuff.

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What I will be doing in this post is a description of the cool stuff I saw and the annoying and not so cool stuff I saw / experienced.

 

Parking.

Ok, this was insane this year.  They decided to move the vendor village to the NW end of the soccer stadium.  It now covered up a huge part of the main parking lot.  Many of the days, we showed up around 8am and we were able to get a parking spot in the main lot.  These crossfat fans are insane.  Over ¾ of the lot was filled!!  One morning, we slept in a bit because the individuals weren’t starting until 9am.  We get to the event close to 9… I dropped Shannon off at the gate and I went off to find a spot because the whole lot was filled up.  10 mins of slow ass trundling around and I found a lot.  I think it took 15 mins to walk to StubHub.  I was sweating and ready to relax.  Jesus.

 

Coffee.

We love our coffee.  We love Starbucks.  So, every morning we got a Starbucks to head to watch.  Sadly, and really, without any explanation, we were not allowed to bring coffees in.  We get to the gate, the security guys told us to throw them out.  We see people walking in with waters, pop and gatorades and we were like – what the fuck?!?  Some guys even tried to walk in with a box of donuts were told to garbage them or eat them on the spot.  One coffee or some donuts?  This will really kill your profits StubHub.  Fuck off!  By the way, coffees inside were $4.50.  More on costs a little later.  We had our bags checked and even though they were full of food – fruits, nuts, chocolate, popcorn, whatever – was fine.  Coffee and donuts.  ::rollseyes::  Fucking dumb.

 

Vendor Village.

It was so awesome.  It was so hot.  It was so busy.  It was a great place to spend some cash.  Pretty much any vendor you can think of was there.  Food too.  From hamburgers and hotdogs, to paleo meals like bacon, eggs and sweet potatoes.  Any icy beverage too.  The only real issue was that funnel they created to get from vendor village to the soccer stadium.  When an event let out, you had to go through the Reebok tent in order to get into vendor village.  This finnel made the going very slow.  So many people had to go through there.  Was it strategic to put Reebok righ in the middle?  Did it make you buy more?  Maybe.  Reebok did have some cool shit.

 

Ticketing.

MUCH better this years than years gone by.  This year, we bought tickets and those seats were our throughout the entire weekend.  This was so great.  Due to the motherfucking heat, we had no need to rush down to our seats until the even began.  Being in the sun, my delicate flower-like skin was not accustomed to it and even though I had my shirt on most of the weekend (yes, you read that right, ON), I still burned my chest.

 

The Fittest Fan and Scavenger Hunt Contests.

Are you kidding me?  It was almost too hot to walk around.  You think I am going to do thrusters or a max effort air assault bike?  GTFO!

 

The People.

I am constantly surprised by the friendliness of people in California in general.  CrossFit promotes betterment of your life and Crossfitters are all friendly and super nice.  But, I mean in Cali – so super friendly.  They let you in line in traffic.  No rush at the grocery store.  Willing to help with directions.  Friendlier than Canadians.

 

Expedia.

I will never rent a car through Expedia again.  They can pound sand.

 

Food.

Now this is where you can blow through a lot quickly.  Meals are between $15 and $25.  Quite delicious and filling.  Like I said earlier, coffee starts at $4.50 for regular coffee.  Iced coffee and bulletproof coffee is $5.50.  Nothing like collagen and butter to start your day!!  Booze was pricey – $12 a beer.  Ices were tasty and cooled us off.  The great thing about this year is StubHub was giving free ice out, which was handy and nice.

Is everything perfect?  Nope.  It was pretty damn good though!  It’s California!  It’s vacation!!  Spending it with the love of my life could not be better.

IMG_0894

The Man Behind Apple

417rGDYvtzLI’ve finished reading the bio about Jony Ive – the lead designer and uber design genius at Apple.  Never heard of Jony Ive?  You been under a rock?  Have you heard of Steve Jobs?  Of course you have.  Ive was the #2 at Apple behind Jobs for the longest time.  And head of design for all of Apple’s products for the past 15 ish years.  You think it was Jobs’ sole responsibilty for the miracuous iPod, iPhone and iPad?  Nope.

I really love Apple products.  I was not a big believer of them just based on how expensive they seemed to be compared to other products.  The amount of detail, design work, brainstorming, models built, iterations, decisions, rework put towards developing Apple products is so under-appreciated it’s a joke.

Just look at your iPhone – you don’t have one?  Grab your friends.  Now touch it.  Really touch it.  Feel it.  Study it.  Look at the lines.  Look at the edges.  Look at the attention to detail of the sound buttons…. such amazing precision.  Look at how awesome it is.  And that’s just the outside.  For a few hundred bucks, look at what you actually get!  Your whole life in the palm of your hand.  The whole world actually.  Are you fucking kidding me?  It’s all jammed into a tiny box.

apple-iphone-5 Apple-Music-Event-9-1-10-iPod-touch-nano-shuffle-13-slashgear

Get this.  The iPhone was almost an iPod with a cellphone inside it.  Imagine that wheel on the front dialing numbers.  Fuck that!  That design was actually considered.  Thank you Jony.

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The history of Ive – his design philosophies – meshed beautifully with Jobs’ philosophies too.  With Jony around for a while, Apple will continue to produce genius shit.

This is a great read for any Apple fan.

Read the Jobs’ bio by Isaacson as well.  Both are 10/10.

81VStYnDGrL

It is natural for us Crossfitters to go on into the wee hours speculating over the Open wods.  I will put together the Open wods from the last three years and do my own speculating for you to think about.

 

11.1 10 min amrap – 30 DU + 15 power snatch (75/55)

11.2 15 min amrap – 9 DL (155/100) + 12 Push ups + 15 box jumps (24/20)

11.3 5 min amrap – max squat clean and jerk (165/110)

11.4 10 min amrap – 60 bar facing burpees + 30 OHS (120/90) + 10 MU

11.5 20 min amrap – 5 power clean (145/100) + 10 T2B + 15 WB (20/14)

11.6 7 min amrap – 3 thruster (100/65) + 3 C2B + 6 thruster + 6 C2B + 9 thruster and so on

 

12.1 7 min amrap – max burpees

12.2 10 min amrap – 30 snatch (75/55) + 30 snatch (135/75) + 30 snatch (165/100) + 30 max snatch (210/120)

12.3 18 min amrap – 15 BJ (24/20) + 12 push press (115/75) + 9 T2B

12.4 12 min amrap – 150 WB (20/14) + 90 DU + 30 MU

12.5 7 min amrap – 3 thruster (100/65) + 3 C2B + 6 thruster + 6 C2B + 9 thruster and so on

 

13.1 17 min amrap – 40 burpees + 30 snatch (75/45) + 30 burpees + 30 snatch (135/75) + 20 burpees+ 30 snatch (165/100) + 10 burpees + max snatch (210/100)

13.2 10 min amrap – 5 S2O (115/75) + 10 DL (115/75) + 15 BJ (24/20)

13.3 12 min amrap – 150 WB (20/14) + 90 DU + 30 MU

13.4 7 min amrap – 3 C+J (135/95) + 3 T2B + 6 C+J (135/95) + 6 T2B + 9 C+J and so on

13.5 4 min amrap – 15 thruster (100/65) + 15 C2B + 15 thruster (100/65) + 15 C2B + 15 thruster (100/65) + 15 C2B ….. if 90 reps are achieved prior to 4 mins, time extends to 8 min amrap …. 15 thruster (100/65) + 15 C2B + 15 thruster (100/65) + 15 C2B + 15 thruster (100/65) + 15 C2B ….. if 180 reps are achieved prior to 8 mins, time extends to 12 min amrap …. and so on

wod notes

You can see my scribbles and brainstorming.  So, my speculation is the following:

 

–      I do not see the wod 12.5/11.6 coming up this year.  That combo needs a year off.

–      I do not see the WB, DU, MU wod being repeated for the 3rd year in a row.

–      Movements that are hard to judge are the following: pushups, pullups, knee2elbow, kb swings, HSPU, pistols, dips.

–      The bar muscle up has never been used in an Open – yet I have seen this come up in a ton of competitions lately.

 

HQ has repeated wods from prior years and I believe they will do it again this year.  OHS has not been in the Open for 2 years.  Therefore, I see the 11.4 wod being repeated……or modified, possibly with less weight though.

 

60 bar facing burpees (easy to judge and video)

30 OHS (100/65) (easy to judge and video)

10 MU (easy to judge and video)

 

HOWEVER………  I am also a fan of the burpee-muscle up as the separator wod.  Easy to judge.  You hit your chest, you get to the top……….

 

I have also seen the infamous burpee box jump being quite popular lately.  Will the BJ give athletes issues with proper standards like last year?  Could BJs be skipped this year?  Doubt it.  Look for a 7 min amrap of burpee box jumps for 14.1.

 

Let the speculation begin!

I came across this inspiring video a while back and keep watching it.  It stirs up something pretty cool inside me and makes me want to keep pushing.  I transcribed it.  Now you all can watch and read and absorb the words and message.  I believe it is aprospo coming into the 2014 Open.  Welcome to the grind!

If you love hitting your snooze button

Rise and shine.  It’s 6am and your hand can’t make it to the alarm clock before the voices in your head start telling you that it’s too early, too dark and too cold to get out of bed.

Aching muscles lie still in rebellion, pretending not to hear your brain commanding them to move.  A legion of voices are shouting their unanimous permission for you to hit the snooze button.

“Go back to dreamland.”

But you didn’t ask their opinion.  The voice you’ve chosen to listen to is one of defiance.  A voice that says there was a reason you set that alarm in the first place.  So, sit up!  Put your feet on the floor and don’t look back, because we’ve got work to do.

Welcome to the GRIND.

For what is each day but a series of conflicts between the right way and the easy way.  Ten thousand streams fan out like a river delta before you – each one promising the path of least resistance.  The thing is you’re headed upstream.  And when you make that choice, when you decide to turn your back on what’s comfortable, what’s safe and what some would call…….common sense……..well, that’s day one.

From there, it only gets tougher.

So, just make sure this is something you want, because the easy way out will always be there; ready to wash you away.  All you have to do is pick up your feet.

But you aren’t going to, are you?

With each step comes the decision to take another.  You’re on your way now.  But this is no time to dwell on how far you’ve come.  You’re in a fight against an opponent you can’t see, but oh, you can feel him on your heels can’t ya?  …. Feel him breathing down your neck.

You know what that is?

THAT’S YOU!  Your fears, your doubts and insecurities, all lined up like a firing squad – ready to shoot you out of the sky.  But, don’t lose heart – while they’re not easily defeated, they are far from invincible.  Remember, THIS IS THE GRIND.  The Battle Royale between you and your mind, your body and the devil on your shoulder who’s telling you this is just a game – this is just a waste of time…..your opponents are stronger than you!

Drown out that voice of uncertainty with the sound of your own heartbeat.  Burn away your self doubt with a fire lit beneath you.

Remember what we’re fighting for and never forget that momentum is a cruel mistress.  She can turn on a dime with the smallest mistake.  She is ever searching for the weak place in your armour; that one tiny thing you forgot to prepare for.  So as long as the devil is hiding the details, the question remains – IS THAT ALL YOU’VE GOT?  ARE YOU SURE?

And when the answer is yes – when you’ve done all you can to prepare yourself for battle, then it’s time to go forth and boldly face your enemy – the enemy within.  Only now, you must take that fight into the OPEN; into hostile territory.  You’re a lion in a field of lions, all hunting the same elusive prey with a desperate starvation that says VICTORY IS THE ONLY THING THAT CAN KEEP YOU ALIVE.

So believe that voice that says you can run a little faster and you can throw a little harder and that for you, the laws of physics are merely a suggestion.  Luck is the last dying wish of those who want to believe that winning can happen by accident.

Sweat, on the other hand, is for those that know it’s a choice.  So decide now, because destiny waits for no man.  And when your time comes and a thousand different voices are trying to tell you – YOU’RE NOT READY FOR IT – listen instead to that lone voice of descent.  The one that says YOU ARE READY!  YOU ARE PREPARED!!  IT’S ALL UP TO YOU NOW!!!  So rise and shine!

 

Was I crossfitting in 2009?

Back in May 2009 I wrote this post about overhead squats.  Thinking back, I cannot remember writing it.  I do remember the overhead squat at the time though.  And it was hard as fucking hell.    I laugh at this post because I was doing crossfit-esque workouts at my mini downtown gym at the time.  Look at me now.

 

Examining the post though – it is quite good and interesting.  This was posted in 2009 and I did not officially start crossfitting at a box until 2012.

 

Some things I noticed:

  • “I have seen this exercise floating around” ???  Dude, it is an all time Olympic lift that has been done for ages.
  • Preparation and Execution section – I don’t think those are my own words.  Maybe wiki or bodybuilding.com?  Correction is needed however à position toes outward with a wide stance.  Not true.  Slightly position toes outward and have feet at shoulder width.
  • “…snatching the bar is really unnecessary.”  This makes me laugh.  Curl it up?  Haahaa.  Who was that guy?

https://glennstake.wordpress.com/2009/05/14/are-you-tired-with-your-regular-workout-try-overhead-squats/

 

I have seen this exercise floating around some workout sites and forums and some crossfit sites and I didn’t anything of it.  An overhead squat?  Big deal.  I’ll just do a normal squat.

 

Well, let me tell you, it is unlike a normal squat.

 

Preparation

Snatch the barbell overhead with a very wide overhand grip.  Position toes outward with wide stance.  Maintain bar behind head with arms extended.

Execution

Descend until knees and hips are fully bent or until thighs are just past parallel to floor. Knees travel in direction of toes. Extend knees and hips until legs are straight. Return and repeat.

 

I tried it for the first time this afternoon.  I started with a bar and 10lb plates on it.  This is a total of 65lb – which is not very much at all, especially for a squat.

 

With the weight light, snatching the bar is really unnecessary.  Just curl it up and press it over your head and lock your elbows.  Going down though is a different story. Having the bar above your head forces your back to remain super straight.  You are also using all of your core to support that weight.  This is an excellent exercise for a full body lift, to promote testosterone production and calory burn.

 

I managed 3 sets of 6 reps.  Wow – try it with low weight at the start.

Liebster Award nomination

Earlier this year, a fellow blogger named Steff Turner honoured me by nominated me for a Liebster Award.  Please visit her blog here: http://steffturner.wordpress.com/.

 liebster-award

It is nice to know someone actually reads my posts (and thinks that is might be worth reading) besides my close friends….and I don’t even know if they read them.

Thanks to Steff Turner for nominating this blog and me.  I am not super eloquent and do not put out a large quantity of posts – but I feel I put out quality.  Thank you very much.

 

The “rules” of the award are as follows:

liebster2

 

 

11 Facts about Myself

  1. I am 38 years old and am in the best shape of my life.  I want to live to be 103.
  2. My favorite tv shows all time are: Star Trek:TNG, The Wire, The Shield, Friends.
  3. I am married and do not have children.  I have found my soulmate.  Visit her blog below – Redefine Impossible.  Shannon is so beautiful, wonderful, inspirational, intelligent and amazing.
  4. I love bulldogs.  However, I will not own one again.  Too heartbreaking.
  5. I am educated as a mechanical engineer, but have not done any real engineering in years.  I have thought about further education – yet I am not sure I have the concentration or attention span to stick with the homework needed.  I have a recurring dreams of failing.
  6. I am a Crossfit snob.  And whoever that is not in Crossfit is a ….. well…..  See my post: https://glennstake.wordpress.com/2012/10/10/i-am-a-crossfit-snob/
  7. I have a goal to make it as a Masters competitor in the Crossfit Games.
  8. Movies shot in the first person make me sick.  Couple that to the D-box seats and you will have me barfing.
  9. My last meal would be either sweet potato meatloaf (see recipe below) or a tomato and onion sandwich, with vinegar and mayo (toasted).  I don’t eat bread, so I have a dilemma.
  10. I love mountain biking.
  11. I have kicked a legit 45 yard field goal with a regulation sized football.

 

11 Questions that Steff asked me and my answers:

 

On a scale of 1-10 how important is eating in your life? (1: a nuisance – 10: makes life worth living).

10.  The old phrase is used a lot – garbage in; garbage out.  I hate pain.  Therefore, why intentionally hurt myself?  With a few exceptions here and there, quality food is what I make an effort to eat.

 

Do you like to cook or bake?

Yes.  Although I am not very creative.  I am working on it.

 

Do you have a signature recipe to share?

Nothing original – but stolen.  Love this recipe.  http://paleomg.com/paleo-savory-sweet-potato-meatloaf/

 

On a scale of 1-10 how important is music in your life? (1: noise – 10: makes life worth living)

8.  I like some obscure bands and some hard core stuff.  Chevelle, Finger Eleven, Live, Disturbed, System of a Down, Tragically Hip, Nickelback, Metric.

 

As a parent would you rather have a child that is book smart or street smart?

Luckily, I don’t have to answer this.  However, I do have a nephew…..Very tough question.  Book smart.  …..

 

If you could change one part of your body, what would it be?

My nose.  It is a tad big.  Shrink them nostrils please.

 

What is your dream job?

Test driver for an F1 team.  Preferably Ferrari.

 

Does getting older bother you?

No.  I keep training and staying in shape and I will be kicking those young punk’s asses for years to come.

 

Would you like to live to be 100 years old?

Yes I do.  I am interested to see the future.  I also want to see the world.  For that I need time.

 

What topic to you read about most on-line?

Crossfit and Olympic lifting.

 

Are you happy?

Very.  I just got married 3 months ago to an amazing woman.  We compliment each other very well.  Life is excellent right now.

 

11 blogs that I follow (with fewer than 200 followers)

 

Redefineimpossible.wordpress.com

 

http://Povwiener.wordpress.com

 

http://Adrianakaible.wordpress.com

 

http://Meteekalanee.wordpress.com

 

http://Chapteroneandwine.wordpress.com

 

http://Paleoblondie.blogspot.ca

 

http://Ourparischapter.blogspot.ca

 

http://Markitread.wordpress.com

 

http://Saltdogsducttape.wordpress.com

 

http://Robladouceur.wordpress.com

 

http://Theperimeterr.wordpress.com

 

 

11 Questions that I have asked my nominees:

 

Do you have ambitions for your blog? If so, what are they?

What are your top 3 movies of all time?

Do you read novels?   What genre?

If you could go back in time, would you change anything?

Have you ever smoked?  If so, why did you start?  If you’ve quit, why?

iPhone or Samsung?

Dogs or cats?

What’s your Fran time?

What motivates you at work?

What do you do when not at your day job?

If you saw a dog in a hot parked car – what would you do?

Just over one year ago I began my journey to becoming healthier and stronger.  CrossFit opened up a new world to me and I am glad I jumped on this train.

 

I started CrossFit coming from a globo gym attending, competitive sports background.  I was decently strong and (what I thought) fit.  For the first few months, I would go daily and do the wod.  I started learning Oly lifts and really started liking them.  I also loved throwing a large amount of weight overhead and letting it come back down with a loud bang.  Imagine a class of 12 or 15 crashing and banging those weights.  WHAT A RUSH!

 

Fast forward to March.  The Open.  Ok.  What is the big deal?  On a weekly basis, wods are released and done, recorded and you see compare yourself to others in your region and the world.  That anxiety filled 5 weeks was insane.  And we all loved it.  This next year will be different.

 

The experience of Regionals was amazing.  TV cameras, high quality athletes, the Richmond Oval, a crowd of like 1,500 people yelling and cheering you on.  The atmosphere was crazy.

 

Going through a cycle of the open and Regionals has converted me.  Was I adequately prepared for the wods?  I would put this as 50/50.  Do I want to do the same as I did last year?  Fuck no!  It was a new experience for me and I luckily did well in those wods.  Some of the movements were strengths of mine.  Others, are you kidding me?!?  My number one goal is to get stronger.  Will I blame a lot of my weakness to me coming off a separated shoulder?  Maybe to a degree.  Some instances…..

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(a)   I am satisfied with my performance in the overhead squats at Regionals – but I must get stronger.  The elite woman athletes are starting OHS 3 rep maxes at 175 pounds!  At the time of this publishing, my 3 rep OHS max is 165 pounds (and I just achieved that a few weeks ago.  Actually, I did it on October 13 – the day I separated my shoulder on the same movement).  So, to total how much time I lost on that injury —- 7 months!

(b)   I am extremely extremely extremely pissed at my butterfly chest to bar performance at Regionals.  I do not need to say more.  I will be working on them daily.

(c)    I am satisfied with how event 7 went.  Rope climbs and 225 pound squats cleans.  I pushed hard and it went as per the plan.  However, did those cleans have to be so damn heavy?  Wow.  Therefore, the plan is for that weight to feel light.  DONE!

(d)   Those damn ‘NO-REPS’ during event 6.  Stupid tape!

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MY EVOLUTION………

 

My fluffy, non-specific, non-timed based goals last year were to:

1)      not cramp during wods (still a goal today)

2)      not stop during wods

3)      start going unbroken during wods

4)      get better at the Oly techniques

5)      keep adding weights to those lifts

6)      BUTTERFLY!!

 

I do not just go daily to do the wods.  I am looking to get better … NO!  Not looking.  I will get better, get faster, get stronger.   But having that taste of Regionals and experiencing the atmosphere of competing with the very best in our region, lingers.

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Getting back to Regionals in 2014 is definitely doable and is a goal of a lot of athletes that I train with.  With proper, customized programming, a lot of teams can definitely make it.  However, without proper programming, teams will not make it.  A trend I see is a move to having modified classes – a diverging wod because there are different skill levels in a membership or even a separate set of exercises and movements.  This includes periodization and different focuses.  As an example, I visited Rocky Point Crossfit this past week.  The coach there said that they were going to make some changes because of their less than ideal performance.  And just today on their facebook feed, this came out:

 

http://rockypointcrossfit.ca/performance-program-road-to-crossfit-games-2014/

 

What is it? The Rocky Point CrossFit Performance Program aim is to prepare athletes for the 2014 CrossFit Games Open/Regionals (and beyond?)

 

One of the Questions asked: What kind of programming can I expect?
A. July8th to Nov 3rd
– Testing
– Strength Phase

Nov 4th to Dec 22nd
– Power Conversion Phase
– Incorporation of metabolic conditioning

Dec 30th to March 2nd
– CrossFit Open prep phase.
– Mastery of Games movements.

 

Performance program.  Love it.  Mastery……yes.  Open prep…..yes.  Regionals prep…..yes.  Games……???

The Paleo Answer

Are you sick of me bombarding you with amazing knowledge about food choices?  How grains kill you!  How conventional, ‘comfort’ food, make you feel good as it passes over your taste buds, while making you feel brutal as it destroys your digestive system?  Tough shit.  Here is more.

I have just read The Paleo Answer by Loren Cordain, Ph.D.  True, I covered most everything about Paleo in my previous posts about The Paleo Diet, Wheat Belly and The Primal Blueprint.  BUT, I found some more golden nuggets that you may not know about that will improve your life.

Here is a quick summary with more details below.

  1. Milk is not good for you.
  2. Beans are not good for you.
  3. Potatoes are not good for you.
  4. Grains (YES, EVEN SO-CALLED HEALTHY WHOLE GRAINS) are not good for you (I will not go further on this subject).

MILK:

Why do you drink milk?  Because your mom says so?  Because you always have?  Because the milk people say you have to?  Because cool, hot people like Kobe Bryant or Marisa Miller have milk moustaches?  Do not get sucked into this marketing scam or the conventional idea that it is good for you.




mmmm

Firstly, milk is not paleo.  Hunter-gatherers did not run around finding cows to milk.  There weren’t any.  Therefore, no milk was ingested.  Secondly, milk is a mix of protein, fat and a sugar called lactose.  Lactose must be broken down by an enzyme called lactase.  Over 65% of the world’s population has not adapted to consuming milk therefore cannot produce lastase.  After you consume any dairy, if you feel bloated, farty or have gut pain – stop consuming dairy.  Are you lactose intolerant?  YES.  Why continue to punish yourself?  Because someone who knows nothing about science says so?  Because milk looks so good because of its pure white colour?  No.  It is gross.  Admit it.

BEANS:

On our latest trip to Mexico, I started reading the section about beans and legumes (this includes peanuts).  You know what is in abundance at the buffet?  Refried bean spread, beans, lentils, beans and more beans.  It is Mexico and you can’t have food in Mexico without beans.  It is a staple of Mexican cuisine.  Well, I am here to educate you.  Oh, by the way, I did not have any beans.  I did have fries though.  Shhhhh.  Potato education later on…..

The main reason beans (and its family) are unhealthy, is because beans are full of antinutrients.  These antinutrients impair the human body’s ability to absorb and assimilate good nutrients from high quality food.  The list of antinutrients are large – lectins, saponins, phytate, polyphenols, protease inhibitors, raffinose oligosaccharides and cyanogenetic glycosides.  This is a mouthful.  Essentially, lectins are toxins to ward of predators (especially undercooked beans); saponins are antinutrients that temporarily impair your blood’s oxygen carrying capacity; phytate prevents full absorption of iron, zinc, calcium and magnesium; polyphenols also prevent normal absorption of nutrients, damage your intestines, causing a leaky gut which allows bacteria into your circulatory system which is tied to heart disease, cancer and other autoimmune diseases; protease inhibitors prevents our digestive system enzymes from degrading protein into amino acids; raffinose oligosaccharides causes farting (simple really.  You cannot breakdown the complex sugars in beans, thus the bacteria in your gut metabolizes them into hydrogen, carbon and methane); cyanogenetic glycosides is an antinutrient in lima beans and when undercooked, this turns into hydrogen cyanide.

I really apologize for the run on sentence there.  It had to be to give you a short science lesson.

PEANUTS:

They have proof that eating large quantities of peanuts and peanut oil causes atherosclerosis.  It may be tasty, but switch to almond butter.  Your heart and your family will thank you.

 gas2

POTATOES:

Potatoes maintain one of the highest glycemic index values of any food.  They cause our blood sugar levels to rise rapidly.  This is something that not many people know.  Consistent consumption of foods with high glycemic indices (such as potatoes, chocolate bars, bread) causes you to become insulin resistant.  This leads to metabolic syndrome diseases such as obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, and a multitude of cancers.

potato2

Potatoes have similar antinutrients similar to legumes – lectins, saponins and protease inhibitors.  To simplify this information to the diseases that consumption of potatoes can cause; here is a list.  Ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s and IBS.  Do you know someone who experiences any of these?  Ask them to stop eating this for a few weeks to a month – WHAT HAPPENS?

If you’re wondering about sweet potatoes – you’re okay.  Occasional consumption of yams are okay if you are exercising regularly.  These can replenish your glycogen stores and not destroy your intestines like potatoes do.

GRAINS:

Just don’t eat them….Even if it has a heart symbol on the package.  😉

As I have said countless times in the past – all you need to do is change for two or three weeks and see how you feel.  What is the big deal?  Bottom line – listen to your own body.  You eat something, you feel like shit.  Stop eating it.  You eat something, you stink up the room, maybe it doesn’t agree with you.

paleo

I just read The Primal Blueprint by Mark Sisson. This is a continuation of my journey to better my self, to better my health, to feel better, to live longer and to educate people about the evils (harsh? Yes, but true) of current eating lifestyles and types of foods that are causing many ailments and diseases.
Primal Blueprint
“The doctor of the future will give no medicine, but instead will interest his patients in the care of human frame, in diet, and in the cause and prevention of disease.”
– Thomas Edison

I love this quote. This post will be a smattering a excerpts from the book, as I find them to be glossed over at times and are key points that I would like you all to absorb.

Popular notion, conventional wisdom, the status quo…..is the default answer to why people do what they do. “Because it is what my parents do”…..”it is something we always eat because it is good for you” ….”it’ll put hair on your chest!” Seriously?

How about these? “It will give you cancer”….”It will make you hurt”…..”it will give you stomach pains, bloating and heart burn”.

Is this an extreme change to your thinking? It sure is. Do you think it is possible that Conventional Wisdom could be wrong? Do you think you could try it and see what happens?

Do you think you could give up that piece of shit, nutritionally vacant donut as a morning snack? Do you think you could give up that overly processed, overly chemically enhanced bag of cheetos as a late-night meal? Is it important to you to head into your 40s, 50, …… , 90s with full use of your joints, muscles and bowels? Is it important to you to feel alive and energetic when you wake up?

If you answered yes to any of these, keep absorbing this info. If you answered no, well, good luck to you and your family. You will feel like shit, look like shit, perform like shit and die of a preventable disease.
eatnoevil
The Primal Blueprint is a great book. It is about the Primal way of eating (and living) and is based around these primal blueprint laws:
1. Eat Plants and Animals
2. Avoid Poisonous Things
3. Move Frequently at a Slow Pace
4. Lift Heavy Things
5. Sprint Once in a While
6. Get Adequate Sleep
7. Play
8. Get Adequate Sunlight
9. Avoid Stupid Mistakes
10. Use Your Brain

Living a Paleo lifestyle, I will be focusing on the food aspect of the Primal Blueprint (specifically, laws #1 and #2). Being a CrossFit snob, I will not talk about the physical and activity based aspects in the book (laws #3, #4, #5 and rest and recovery / maintenance (#6 and #7) – as Mr. Sisson is on the mark when it comes to sprinting, lifting heavy and training. See my link from my blog about CrossFit here: https://glennstake.wordpress.com/2012/10/10/i-am-a-crossfit-snob/.

Many, many people think (incorrectly) that we have evolved past our ancestors of 10,000 years ago. Science and anthropological proof has shown that our genetic make-up has not changed and that we are quite similar to people who roamed the Earth 10 or 12,000 years ago. The development of agriculture, civilization, inferior and unhealthy diets, inadequate and wrong exercise and lifestyle behaviors have caused humans to become sicker, smaller, weaker and unhealthier.

Conventional wisdom recommends many things that are not good for us. Just take a quick look at the Canada Food Guide. It recommends 6 to 8 servings of grains per day. Skipping to Law #2 – Avoiding Poisons. How can we trust this when it is wrong?
food guide 1
Excerpted from page 24, “…..A dietary “poison” [in the typical North American diet] is cultivated grain foods (wheat, rice, corn, pasta cereal and derivative products such as bread, chips, crackers, muffins, pancakes, tortillas, waffles, etc.); cooking grains such as barley, millet, rye and amaranth; and – to a slightly lesser extent – legumes (beans, lentils, peanuts, peas and soy products). These global dietary staples are generally inappropriate for human consumption because our digestive systems (and our genes) have not had ample time to adapt to both the unfamiliar protein structure of [modern] grains and the excessive carbohydrate load of all forms of cultivated grains and legumes. The advent of grains and civilization has eliminated the main thing that’s made humans healthy: selection pressure to reach reproductive age – and to care for ourselves, and others, beyond!”

As a quick aside here, there is another excerpt that I found interesting regarding civilization and the advent of the agricultural revolution. From page 165, “Culturally, the cultivation of grains is the key variable that allowed modern civilization to develop and thrive. Large populations could now live permanently in proximity, and labor could specialize, leading to continued exponential advancements in knowledge and modernization. However, as Dr. Loren Cordain (author of The Paleo Diet) elaborates, ‘[Grains] have allowed man’s culture to grow and evolve so that man has become earth’s dominant animal species, but this preeminence has not occurred without cost…. Agriculture is generally agreed to be responsible for many of humanity’s societal ills, including whole-scale warfare, starvation, tyranny, epidemic diseases and class divisions.’

Dr. Jared Diamond, evolutionary biologist, physiologist, and Pulitzer Prize-winning professor of geography at UCLA, and author of Guns, Germs and Steel, goes so far as to say that agriculture was ‘the worst mistake in the history of the human race’ and that ‘we’re still struggling with the mess into which agriculture has tumbled us and it’s unclear whether we can solve it.’

Very interesting. So, what is the solution? The solution is right in front of you.

Continuing the excerpt from page 24: “Ingesting grains (yep, even whole grains – [SEE MY PREVIOUS BLOG POST ABOUT WHEAT BELLY AND THE PALEO SOLUTION: https://glennstake.wordpress.com/2012/11/03/just-try-it-for-30-days/%5D, legumes and other processed carbohydrates causes blood glucose levels to spike (both simple and complex carbs get converted into glucose – at different rates – once they enter the body; we’ll use the accurate term blood glucose to convey what many call blood sugar). This spike is a shock to your primal genes, which are accustomed to natural, slower-burning foods. Your pancreas compensates for this excess of glucose in the bloodstream (a condition that is toxic and can quickly become life-threatening, as experienced by diabetics) by secreting excessive levels of insulin. While insulin is an important hormone that delivers nutrients to muscle, liver and fat cells for storage, excessive insulin released in the bloodstream causes glucose to be removed so rapidly and effectively that it can result in a ‘sugar crash’: mental and physical lethargy and (because the brain relies heavily on glucose to fuel it) a strong craving for quick replacement energy in the form of more high-carbohydrate food. This leads to a vicious cycle of another ill-advised meal, another excessive insulin response and another corresponding blood glucose decline.“

Law #1 – eat more plants and animals

Most nutrients you need you can get from plants and animals. Proteins, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, fiber, water and other nutrients used to sustain life, increase brain size and function, improve physical fitness and support immune function you can get from veg and meat. You think you need that bowl of insulin producing, blood glucose increasing fibre1 or bran cereal in order to have a good shit? Nope. Proof is that I have not had a bowl of cereal in over 2 months or a slice of bread in over … I cannot remember … and my shits are fine.

Actually, to go even deeper into my personal life, ever since starting this paleo journey, my farting is all but gone.

What about the thoughts about eating fatty meat will give you high cholesterol and heart disease or colon cancer? Want a hint? Try oxidation and inflammation caused my crappy food choices. This is where some heavy medical science is used and I will not bore you with it. However, there is no correlation between dietary cholesterol and blood cholesterol.

The key to eating is to make up the major amount of your diet from the following: animals –> meat, fish, fowl, eggs and plants –> vegetables, nuts, seeds, herbs, spices and fruits.

No Beans in Your Chili

Notice that legumes are not listed here? Alfalfa, beans, lentils, peanuts (!), peas and soy products are classified as legumes. Excerpted from page 174, “While legumes can serve as a decent source of protein, fiber, potassium and antioxidants, they also provide significant levels of carbohydrates and those pesky antinutrient lectins [lectins are natural plant toxins that inhibit healthy gastrointestinal function by damaging the delicate small intestine microvilli]…..As Paleo Diet author Dr. Loren Cordain explains, ‘Most legumes in their mature state and non-digestible and/or toxic to most mammals, when eaten in even moderate quantities.’ The fact that legumes need to be altered need to be altered for human consumption through cooking, soaking or fermenting should be our best clue to avoid or strictly minimize their consumption (all truly safe fruits and vegetables can be eaten either raw or cooked). To tiptoe into a sensitive subject, the beans that are consumed liberally by many world cultures (kidney, pinto, black beans, lentils) come with the annoying by-product of flatulence, caused by the fermentation of indigestible carbohydrates.”

Fructose Intolerance? – put that orange down!!

Have you heard about this? Primal’s approach, as is Paleo’s, is to limit your fruit intake because of the fructose content. Fructose is the carbohydrate form in fruit. Excerpt from page 135, “When fructose is consumed, it’s converted in the liver into not only usable carbohydrates in the form of glucose, but also into triglycerides (fat). For heavy exercisers who regularly deplete muscle glycogen, fruit is a great choice to efficiently reload their liver glycogen. On the other hand, if your glycogen stores are already full, as happens when you don’t engage in regular short bouts of intense exercise, that Sunday brunch strawberry could just as easily convert into fat in the liver and then get dumped into the bloodstream.
High blood triglycerides interfere with the function of the hormone leptin, causing you to want to overeat rather than rely on your stored body fat for energy. Possibly one-third of the population is fructose intolerant to some degree, evidenced by digestive symptoms such as flatulence, cramps, bloating, irritable bowel syndrome and diarrhea. Excessive fructose consumption is also linked to fatigue, insulin resistance, diabetes and high blood pressure.

Lactose intolerance? – Skim, 2%? How about none!

Under Primal, certain dairy is allowed and, in fact, tolerated by your body (ghee, butter, full cream, aged cheese). Paleo purists nix dairy altogether. The fact is, after the age of three or four, humans stop producing lactase (the enzyme that helps digest lactose (which is a carbohydrate in milk)) and thus have difficulty digesting milk. Do not be pressured into drinking a glass, because that’s what you grew up on. Well, that conventional wisdom is crap. Listen to (or smell) your body. If you examine your dietary habits, you may discover incidences of bloating, farting, cramping or diarrhea when having consumed a milk product. You are lactose intolerant – to some degree. It is ok. Let it go.

Listen, I do follow this way of eating for the most part. I still have popcorn and M&Ms. I am partial to salted snacks. I do my best and feel good about my choices. I hope this helps you.
walkingbread