Study Time: Fish Oil Reduces Body Fat

Nutrition, Strategies, Study No Comments »

Ok, the study I’m going to share with you here is pretty cool…

The researchers fed their subjects a control diet for four weeks and measured body fat mass and metabolism.

Then, they took 6 grams of fat out of the diet and replaced it with 6 grams of fish oil.

So, exactly the same calories, exactly the same fat.  Only change was swapping out other fats for fish oil – and only 6 grams of it at that.

What do you think happened?  Even though metabolism remained unchanged, the subjects LOST FAT!

The control group who kept on the original diet lost 0.7 pounds over the next 3 weeks.

The fish oil group lost 2.2 pounds (over 3x as much) in the same amount of time.

Diet was the same.  Calories were the same.  Exercise was the same.  The only difference was the switching in of fish oil, and they lost 3x as much fat.

What does this mean for you?

Start taking some freaking fish oil!!

I take 12-15 grams a day.  I recommend at least 6 grams a day.  Start with 2 grams, one capsule with breakfast, the other with dinner.  If you stomach still feels ok, add another capsule every few days until you reach six.

SPOILER ALERT:  This next paragraph is gross.

You’ll know when you’ve reached your temporary maximum dosage because your poop will turn grey and runny.  Back down a gram or two if this happens.  As your system adjusts over a few weeks, you can start adding again.

To keep fish burps to a minimum, take your capsules with food, get enteric coated capsules, take lemon-flavored fish oil, or keep your capsules in the fridge (good idea anyway).

If you’re interested in the study, here’s the citation:

Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord. 1997 Aug;21(8):637-43.
Effect of dietary fish oil on body fat mass and basal fat oxidation in healthy adults.
Couet C, Delarue J, Ritz P, Antoine JM, Lamisse F.
Laboratoire de Nutrition et Clinique Médicale A, J.E. 313, Université François Rabelais, 37000 Tours, France.

And here’s a link to the abstract: Fish Oil Is Awesome

Tips For Tight Hamstrings

Exercise, Strategies No Comments »

Lots of people come in to my fitness bootcamp classes with super-tight hamstrings.

Even if you’re dedicated about stretching at home (you are stretching in your spare time, right?) you might still be bothered by tight hammies.

It might even seem like flexibility is something some people have, and other people don’t – especially if you’re one of the inflexible ones.

What’s up with that?  Is it true that some people are just born more flexible?  Well, yeah :p

But you can get a LOT more flexible if you really do want to…

A couple of things might be making your hamstrings tight:

– Injuries

– Lack of hip mobility

– Overtraining

– Poor training

– Tight hamstrings!

Now, some strategies that I use in my bootcamp to loosen up those hamstrings.

The first thing you need to look at is if your hamstrings are really the problem.  If you have to sit a lot during the day (in a desk or car).  Your calves cross your knee like your hamstrings and so tight calves can make it hard to keep your knees straight when you stretch.  And sitting a lot can affect your pelvic tilt which affects how you bend when you stretch.

Or you might have scar tissue on your fascia (the “skin” of your muscles) that is pulling tight.

Or maybe you have problems with your lower back.  When this is the case you might notice that stretching exercises really hit your back and hips, but don’t seem to touch your legs at all.

So tight hamstrings may just be the symptom of some other problem, far beyond just a lack of flexibility.

Since so much can be going on, today’s post will be a few tips to get you started in the right direction (If you want a more in-depth assessment, my friend Dr. Brian Russell is phenomenal at treating any joint or muscle problem you might have.  Here’s his website: Carson City Chiropractor)

Hamstring Tip #1: No Forcing

Stretching too forcefully can invoke your muscles’ “stretch reflex”, where the muscle actually tightens during a stretch.  This is a protective mechanism to prevent injury.

Another problem with forcing a stretch is that you may not be aligned correctly due to injuries, poor posture, or improper training.  Forcing a stretch from a bad position is a recipe for making things worse.

Stretch slowly and focus on deep even breathing.  After about 30 seconds, you should feel yourself relax into the stretch – this is where flexibility will improve.

Hamstring Tip #2: Stretch Hamstrings Last

As I mentioned above, other muscles may be holding your hamstrings back.

Stretch your hips, calves, shins, and quads.  Then GENTLY stretch your back.  After this, go on to stretch your hamstrings.

You will be surprised at how much more flexible your hamstrings become with this method!

Hamstring Tip #3: Self Massage

Self massage is a way of breaking down the scar tissue in your fascia.  When this scar tissue is relaxed, your muscles will be able to move much more smoothly.

Your hamstrings are part of what we movement therapists call the Posterior Chain.  Here’s a pic:

Massaging any of the areas in this posterior chain should help relax your hamstrings and improve flexibility.  Perhaps the most important area to massage for hamstring flexibility is…. your feet!

Seriously, I’ve seen range of motion in the hamstring stretch DOUBLE from two minutes of tennis ball rolling on the bottom of your feet.  Here’s how:

And here’s vids of basic self massage for other areas that may be holding your hamstrings back:

Don’t forget to massage your hamstrings too!  Turn your feet inside and out to hit the whole muscle group:

Hamstring Tip #4: Knee Bend

Some knee bend is actually ok if you’re trying to stretch your hamstrings.

The reason for this is that a bit of flexion will take most of the calf out of the hamstring stretch, allowing you to hit the hammies better.

Use the knee bend tip if you feel hamstring stretches in the backs of your knees instead of the backs of your thighs.

Hamstring Tip #5: Use A Full Range Of Motion

After all this stretching and foam rolling, you want to make sure you keep whatever new flexibility and mobility you build.

The secret to this is to use full range of motion exercises in your workouts.  Short range of motion activities like cycling or running will keep your hamstring shortening back up, since they don’t require a full range of motion.

Basically, you need to teach your body to incorporate this new flexibility into how it moves.  This is the key to maintaining your flexibility progress.

Now, if you have tight hamstrings, these five tips will definitely start you off on the path to flexibility!

Natural Nutrition To Fight Depression And Anxiety

Health, Nutrition, Strategies 4 Comments »


Mental illness has become an extremely profitable business in the United States.  Annual sales of anti-depressants keeps growing and growing.

In fact, major depression is expected to become the secondmost cause of disability worldwide by 2020.

Anxiety, panic, and depression steal from the experience of life and cast a dark cloud over everything.

Eating clean and exercising definitely help to fight both depression and anxiety, but sometimes you need a little bit extra to balance things out.

That’s where natural supplements come in.  Below is a list of nutrients that will help you take control:

1.  A low carbohydrate diet, with no grains or sugars.  (For more info on sugar check out these blog posts: Sugar Cravings Taking Over Your Brain and 99 Ways Sugar Is Poisoning You)

2.  Plenty of water.  A dehydrated brain doesn’t work right.

3.  B-complex supplementation.  The B vitamins all work together, if you’re missing just one, none of them work.

4.  Full-spectrum Sea Salts.  Sea salts are full of the trace minerals you need to keep yourself in balance.  I personally like to get a salt from a different area every time I need some more.  This week it might be Celtic salts, next week Himalayan salts.  Doing this helps me be sure that I’m getting a wide variety of trace minerals.

5.  Magnesium.  Try to get 600-800mg a day.  Magnesium glycinate is very easily absorbed by your body.  Since magnesium can be taken in through your skin, Epsom salt (magnesium sulphate) baths or magnesium oils can be a good magnesium boost when you’re feeling down or overworked.

6.  Zinc.  Zinc can be rough on an empty stomach, so I take my zinc and magnesium right after breakfast.  If I’m feeling beat down from tough workouts or super-stressed, I take a second dose after dinner.

7.  L-tryptophan.  This amino acid is what people talk about in turkey dinners – it doesn’t make  you sleepy, don’t worry :).  Typtophan is useful for fighting off both depression and anxiety and is a direct precursor to serotonin.

A good way to take tryptophan is 500mg on an empty stomach and note how you are feeling.  If you don’t improve your sense of general well-being within a half hour, take 500mg more, and continue.  When you start feeling better, that is your dose.  (Note: Do NOT take is you are also taking anti-depressants.  Talk to your doctor first)

8.  Theanine.  This amino acid is useful for combating anxiety paired with mind racing and physical tension.  Begin with a low amount on an empty stomach and find your personal prescription the same way you did with L-typtophan in #7.

Theanine can be found in black and green tea and is the precursor to the calming neurotransmitter gamma-aminobutyric acid.

Theanine shows positive effects on both serotoning and dopamine.  Small doses can raise your energy, while larger amounts are very relaxing.

More benefits include lowering high blood pressure (maybe through the calming effect) as well as being neuroprotective against alzheimer’s and dementia.

9.  Gamma-aminobutyric acid.  This is the neurotransmitter supported with theanine.  It can also be taken as a supplement itself.  It is used by naturopaths for issues with anxiety, physical tension, and racing thoughts.

10.  L-tyrosine.  This amino acid becomes norepinephrine and dopamine – both neurotransmitters linked to depression.

Figure out the dose the way you would with theanine or tryptophan.

Tyrosine is stimulating and so you shouldn’t take it if you have a problem responding to stress, it might set you off.  Also, since tyrosine is a precursor to melanin (skin pigment), so you shouldn’t take it if you have melanoma.

Don’t use tyrosine if anxiety is your problem, only for depression.

11.  Taurine.  Famous for being an ingredient in the energy drink Red Bull, tyrosine is good for fighting anxiety related problems.  It helps take care of nervousness without being sedating.

Taurine is an antioxidant, helps support bile functions, and helps take care of the electrical system in your brain and heart.

Work out your dosage the way you would with other amino acids (small amounts on an empty stomach).  Very high doses might have a diuretic effect (you’ll pee more), but aren’t toxic.

12.  DL-phenylalanine.  Another amino acid precursor to tyrosine, norepinephrine, dopamine, and endorphins.  Read about tyrosine above, DL-phenylalanine has the same warnings.

DL-phenylalanine is very helpful people with strong addictions towards pleasure seeking.  (Ever seek pleasure or comfort from foods?  Check out these posts: End Emotional Eating and Do You Use Food As A Reward?)

13.  Sunshine or Light Boxes.  I prefer sunshine :)

Using a light box for 15-30 minutes in the morning can shut down melatoning production during the day, which lessens fatigue and depression as well as raising serotonin levels.

Spend as much time outdoors as you can without burning to get the most you can out of “light nutrients.”

Oh, and don’t wear sunglasses when you walk on your lunch break.

14.  Vitamin D.  Vitamin D is another supplement I take daily.  Deficiencies in vitamin D can lead to not only depression and anxiety, but a whole host of other health problems.  (A lack of vitamin D has been shown to be a big cancer risk)

15.  Fish Oil/Omega 3s.  Fish oil helps you with EVERYTHING.  Depression, anxiety, weight loss, you name it, fish oil can help.

There you have it, 15 natural supplements to help fight depression and anxiety.

Long term, your best defense against both depression and anxiety are a healthy low-carb diet, exercise, and a strong social support network – your family and friends.


Nutrition, Strategies 1 Comment »

It’s no secret to my friends that THE MIGHTY THOR is my hero :)

Chris Hemsworth, the actor who played Thor in the recent movie, had to build some serious muscle to fill out his armor:

Now, I don’t normally write about GAINING weight, but I’ve received a few questions from guys who want to put on a little muscle and the Chris Hemsworth nutrition example is a good starting guideline.


4 eggs
Bowl of porridge
Piece of fruit

Morning Snack:

Handful of nuts and a piece of fruit


2 Chicken Breasts
Big Salad
1 serving of potato or rice

Afternoon Snack:

Handful of nuts, piece of fruit, can of tuna or 6 deli meat slices


Huge serving of steak or fish
Big Salad

Evening Snack:

Protein shake

If you look at the food choices, you can see that Chris ate following a nutrient timing plan: starchy carbs only early in the day.

This diet bulked Chris up so quickly he actually had to try and LOSE some muscle when they started filming because… he was too big for his costume!  Cool!

About the only thing I’d change about this eating plan would be to choose different sources of starchy carbs.

Oats, for instance, have a negative effect on blood sugar, digestion, and nutrient absorption.  Chris could have made an oatmeal replacement out of banana chips (recipe:, or added some healthy fats and made an “oatmeal” out of nuts, eggs, and almond milk (recipe:

And instead of rice or a regular potato, you could switch to sweet potatoes or Okinawan Blue potatoes to increase the nutrients in your food and to put on muscle without putting on fat.

If you want to add some muscle, use Chris’s Thor diet to give you some ideas and then get cooking!

Why would you want to add more lean muscle?  Check out this post on Wold Fitness: Get Some Firmness On Your Frame

The 10 Eating Commandments Of Neanderthin

Nutrition, Strategies, Weight Loss No Comments »

One of my favorite paleo/primal eating books is: NeanderThin: Eat Like a Caveman to Achieve a Lean, Strong, Healthy Body by Ray Audette.

In Neanderthin you can find the Ten Commandments of Eating Like A Caveman.  They are…

Thou Shalt Eat:

  • Meats and Fish
  • Fruits
  • Vegetables
  • Nuts and Seeds
  • Berries

Thou Shalt Not Eat:

  • Grains
  • Beans
  • Potatoes
  • Dairy
  • Sugar

If you want a few ideas of what to eat and what to avoid, I’m going to list a few options from each of the “commandments.”

Meat and Fish:

Beef, veal, lamb, pork, venison, chicken, turkey, ostrich, duck, pheasant, quail, rabbit, buffalo, moose, elk, seal, bear, squid, octopus, goose, oysters, clams, mussels, lobster, crayfish, hlibut, cod, salmon, eel, trout, bass, carp, sardines, tuna, whitefish, orange roughie, all other wild fish


Apples, cherries, pears, peaches, melons, cucumbers, tomatoes, bananas, avocados, plums, olives, figs, dates, mangoes, kiwi, star fruit, pineapple, plums, pomegranates, passion fruit, peppers, watermelon, cantaloupe, honeydew, oranges, lemons, limes, tangerines, tangelos, citrons, nectarines, papaya.

(Note: If you’re eating paleo-style to lose weight, minimize your fruit intake)


Lettuce, cabbage, kohlrabi, kale, rhubarb, cauliflower, flowers, broccoli, asparagus, parsley, spinach, celery, carrots, onions, mushrooms, greens, tea leaves, radish, arugula, leek,endive, dandelion, brussels sprouts, artichoke, mint, basil, marjoram, oregano, rosemary, sage, thyme, fennel, onions, garlic, shallots, bay leaves, cloves, saffron, and any other part of a plant that is edible raw.

(Here are some of my favorites:

Nuts and Seeds:

Almonds, walnuts, pecans, Brazil nuts, acorns, hickory, filberts, macadamia, flax, sesame, poppy, coriander, celery, anise, caraway, chervil, cumin, dill, fennel, mustard, and any others that are edible raw.

(Note: Peanuts and cashews aren’t on the list!)


Grapes, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, acai, boysenberries, strawberries, currants, and any others that are edible raw.

And now the FORBIDDEN FOODS, bwahahahaha!


Corn, wheat, barley, rye, rice, oats, millet, and all products made from them.

(For more about the problems with wheat, check out:

Grains SUCK!

How To Make Paper Mache In Your Gut)


All varieties of hard beans, lima beans, green beans, wax beans, peas, peanuts, chocolate, soy, fava beans, and all products made from them.

(More on soy: Soy, My Nipples, And Your Health)


All varieties of potatoes and yams, beets, taro, cassava (tapioca), turnips, and all products made from them.


Milk, cheese, yogurt, whey, butter, and all products made from them.


Fructose, sucrose, maltose, dextrose, lactose, corn syrup, molasses, and all products made from them.

(For further reading: 99 Ways Sugar Is Poisoning You)

I hope these lists get you started thinking in some new directions next time you hit the grocery store or farmer’s market!

Neanderthin is out of print, but you might be able to find a copy on Amazon:

10 Tips For Parents To Get The Most Out Of Gymnastics Class

Exercise, Rant, Strategies 1 Comment »

If you want your child to get the most benefit possible from their gymnastics class, you need to optimize your day to support them.

What does this mean? A tired, cranky, hungry, distracted, or dehydrated gymnast is a gymnast who isn’t going to improve during that day’s practice.

As parents, it is our duty to prepare our children as much as possible for the day’s challenges.

Here are 10 simple changes that will help your child get the most possible out of each and every gymnastics class:

1. Drink plenty of water during the day and in the evening after practice.

This might mean supervised drinking time until it becomes an automatic habit for your child.


Being dehydrated leads to poor ability to focus, weakened muscles, and reduced endurance – a recipe for injury.

And here in Carson City we are both high and dry, increasing our athlete’s need for water.

Don’t count juices, sports drinks, milk, or – god forbid – pop as hydration. Just water. Add ice if you want to get fancy :)

2. Eat something during the day!

I used to coach school sports, and I’d have my athletes keep food journals the first week of practice. Girls were coming to a 3 o’clock practice having had nothing more than a diet soda! Guys were coming in that had had a bag of Doritos and a Mountain Dew. How the heck are athletes supposed to improve if this is the fuel they are using at practice?!? (Short answer: they don’t improve)

eat it and like it

Breakfast. Lunch. And maybe a quick small snack on the way to gymnastics class. That will ensure that our Carson City Gymnastics athletes are fueled at practice.

And afterwards RECOVERY is extremely important. During practice muscles are broken down and they need nutrients to repair themselves. A healthy dinner right after an evening class is essential, even if your athlete isn’t hungry, they need to eat something to bring them out of the breakdown state brought on by exercise.

3. Get plenty of sleep.

All of our gymnastics athletes could use more sleep. Not only does missing sleep lead to wandering attention during practice, it also limits energy and recovery.

8 hours should be the minimum for a hard-working gymnast, and 9 is even better. But.. this is important: they must be quality hours.

sleep and complain

That means a quiet dark room. No music or TV playing.

Setting a sleep schedule will help even more, routine bed and wake-up times will train the body to go ahead and get deeper sleep, without the stress of unpredictability.

Limit “screen time” before bed as well. The blue light from computer monitors, smart phones, and TVs tricks the brain into thinking that it is daytime, and slowing the release of sleep chemicals that bring forth restful sleep.

4. Stay active outside of the gym.

This doesn’t mean high-risk activities like trampolining and ice-skating. Walks, swimming, and bike rides will all raise something called work capacity that will support greater efforts during gymnastics class.

These are also a great way to do something as a family, unless you feel like strapping on a leotard and sprinting at a vault platform with your athlete.

cat crash helmet

The keys here are that the extra activities should be easy and safe. You don’t want to hike up a mountain 2 hours before gymnastics class, that isn’t easy.

And you don’t want your gymnast to get hurt either, so keep it safe.

5. Keep away from poisonous things.

Fake foods are chemical storms that degrade health and erode energy, sapping the gymnast from the inside.

As convenient as it is to pick up fast food, realize that the ingredients in that food will hurt your gymnast’s performance and can even lead to health problems.

fast food kills

Without recommending a specific eating plan, follow the simple 3 step rule: Food shouldn’t need more than 3 steps to get to your table. If it takes more than 3 steps, it probably doesn’t belong in your mouth.

Baked Chicken:

Farm -> Butcher -> Grocery Store (3 steps)

Fast Food Chicken:

Farm -> Butcher -> Processing Plant -> Fast Food Joint (4 steps, avoid!)

Healthy, natural foods will build a healthy, natural gymnast.

6. Stretch at home (to get more practice at the gym)

Most stretching improvement comes from time spent stretching. And stretching is one of the few vital areas that can be trained at home.

If Coach Dave wants the girls stretching for 30 minutes a day, the gymnasts can either do that at home, or spend 30 minutes of supervised practice time stretching instead of improving routines.

grandma splits on road sign

Flexibility is an area that the gymnast can have complete control over. You can’t control what other gymnasts will do, but when it comes to flexibility, you can improve as much as you are willing to.

7. Don’t ride the Drama Llama.

It’s natural that parents form a social group, we spend a lot of time together at practices, meets, and fundraisers. But (and this is a lesson from coaching lots of sports teams) don’t ever say anything negative about other parents (or coaches!) in front of the gymnasts.


This is incredibly distracting to young athletes who are trying to make sense of their world, and any drama involving other girls, parents, or coaches will keep them from doing their best.

You don’t have to be Miss Merry Sunshine all of the time, but realize that your attitude towards the other adults in this club will rub off on your athlete and it WILL affect their performance. When in doubt, just remember that during the next carpool the driver will hear everything you said when it was your turn :)

8. Fork over the dues on time.

Let the coaches be coaches, not bill collectors. If you’re distracting the coach with issues unrelated to coaching, they won’t be as effective during class.

So fork over the cash, moneygrip.


I’ve never heard about any rich gymnastics coaches, your dues are going to silly things like insurance, rent, heat, and lights – all things needed to train your gymnast.

Just because the coaches are cool, you shouldn’t treat the relationship casually. If you have a legitimate issue, talk to the front desk, but stay in communication. Please.

9. Be consistent.

Some gymnasts take the summer off because there are no competitions. Others miss practice all of the time. And then they and their parents are pissed that they aren’t improving as quickly as some other athlete.

Continuity is defined as an uninterrupted connection. It can also be described as persistence towards a goal over time.


When a gymnast is consistent over time, small gains will eventually equal large ones. When there are interruptions, progress will halt and your gymnast might even move backward.

By staying consistent with training, your gymnast will continually improve and be less susceptible to injury.

Consistent training also leads to lower stress as competition season approaches, as there will be less doubt.

Many gymnastics injuries occur from trying to do too much too soon for the body to adapt (especially if there is poor nutrition and lack of sleep as well). As an example, think of all the runner you know who develop shin splints because they had to rush to catch up their training.

10. Use the language of a winner.

Not the language of a loser.

a winner is you

1. A winner says, “let’s find out”; a loser says, “nobody knows”

2. When a winner makes a mistake, she says, “I was wrong”; when a loser makes a mistake, she says, “it wasn’t my fault”

3. A winner goes through a problem, a loser goes around it and never gets past it

4. A winner makes commitments and a loser makes promises

5. A winner says, “I’m good, but not as good as I ought to be”; a loser says, “I’m not as bad as a lot of other people”

6. A winner tries to learn from those that are superior to her, a loser tries to tear down those who are superior to her.

7. A winner says, “There ought to be a better way to do it”; a loser says, “That is the way I have always done it”

If a parent or gymnast speaks like a loser, progress will be slow at gymnastics class. Make corrections to language and actions, then character growth and skill improvement are sure to occur.

4th Of July Eating Tips

Nutrition, Strategies, Weight Loss No Comments »

I hope you’re having a great holiday weekend!

The 4th of July is a time to celebrate this GREAT Country we live in with your family and friends.

Most everyone will be celebrating at picnics and parties where you’ll be surrounded by high fat foods, sugary drinks, and killer desserts.

Essentially… Foods laced in a ton of FAT and SUGAR! Not the best environment for losing weight and sticking to a healthy eating plan.

Here are a few eating tips that will help you cut down on junk, yet give you the satisfaction of not totally depriving yourself:

1. Skip the hot dog and have a grass-fed hamburger instead.

2. Grill a chicken breast with a NEW seasoning or marinade.

3. Skip the bread with your burger.

4. Skip potato chips and choose veggies with a guacamole dip.

5. Skip high sugar desserts and make a dish of Greek yogurt with fresh strawberries and blueberries, it will have a red, white, and blue theme!

6. Skip the deep-fried fries or mashed potatoes and make a blue Okinawan sweet potato dish.

7. Make your potato salad with mustard instead of mayo.

8. Make a fresh salad with a ton of veggies and put the dressing in there lightly – oil and vinegar or balsamic vinaigrette. NO cream dressings.

11. Use smaller plates! Have big portions of healthy items and smaller of not-so-healthy.

12. Don’t hang out near the food table!  Play with the kids instead :p

13. Drink light beer, red wine, and skip anything with soda! Make a pact with yourself to have a glass of water in between each drink.  (For holiday drinking tips, check out this post: Ways To Beat A Hangover)

14. Bring a healthy dish YOU like and don’t go hungry.

15. Eat some healthy snacks before the party so you don’t go crazy once everything is out.

16. Send leftovers home with everyone else!

Use these tips to help you stay on the weight loss track :)

I wish you and your family a Happy & Safe 4th of July!

One Exercise To End “Lower Belly Pooch”

Exercise, Strategies 11 Comments »

Even very lean women can have a little “pooch” on their lower bellies.

Check out these bikini models that have what my daughter calls a “pooch”:

These models are lean, heck – you can see their ribs!

So what causes that little bulge in the lower belly?

Is it something they ate hanging around in their digestive system?  Maybe.  Grains, even whole grains, can bind up in your intestines and cause bloating.  (More on that here:  Beat The Belly Bulge)

But if your diet is on point, you’re lean, you’re working hard… What can cause the pooch?

Simple: tight hip flexors.

The muscles that cross the front of your hips can get really tight and pull you into what we exercise science types call an “anterior pelvic tilt.”

This forward tilt pulls your low back out of alignment.  Look at the diagram below on the left, it shows what happens when your low back is pulled forward:

Whoa!  In the lordosis (“swayback”) picture the lower belly is pooched out!

Even on someone very lean having a swayback can give you a lower belly pooch.  Here is a skinny kid that manages to look like he has a belly:

In the title of this blog post I promised one exercise that would end lower belly pooch.  And here it is: The humble hip flexor stretch

This stretch will bring your hips back to where they should be, ease forward pressure on your lower back, and dial back the lower belly bulge.

Here is an example of someone with forward tilted hips (from tight hip flexors).  Notice the slight bulge:

And here is the same girl without the forward hip lean.  Notice that she isn’t sucking in her stomach or flexing her abs, just fixing her hips and low back:

Pretty cool, huh!

So if your diet is straight-on and you’re looking for that last little edge on getting rid of lower belly bulge, try the 3 way hip flexor stretch twice a day, for 30 seconds in each position.

And say bye-bye to the lower belly bulge!

(If you want a few exercises to tighten things up even more, check out this program:Turbulence Training For A Flat Belly)

10 Ways For Men To Lower Estrogen

Health, Strategies, Weight Loss 1 Comment »

Estrogen levels in men are a hot topic in the news right now.

Men with high estrogen levels are more likely to store their fat in their chest and lower abs.  Plus it leads to some nasty health issues and chronic diseases.

Testosterone levels in men are 15 to 50% lower compared to 50 years ago.  (This probably leads to the saying “You’re half the man your grandfather was!”)

I’ve put together a short list of estrogen-lowering tips for men, check ‘em out:

1.  Eat organic, local, pesticide-free produce.

Preferably grown yourself or from a farmer’s market.

Pesticides and herbicides have been shown to increase estrogen levels.

2.  Eat organic, local, hormone-free meats.

Most commercially raised livestock is pumped full of hormones and antibiotics.

These hormones and antibiotics will raise your estrogen levels, damage your body, and lead to heart disease and cancer.

To really maximize the health benefits of the meat you eat, get grass-fed beef.

3. Avoid commercial protein powders for the reasons in #2

If the animal has been pumped full of hormones and antibiotics, it stands to reason that the milk from the animal will be full of hormones and antibiotics.

If you drink whey protein from an animal full of chemicals, your estrogen levels will rise.

4.  Avoid eating and drinking out of plastic

Plastic has been linked to increased estrogen levels.  Keep your food in glass containers and drink out of stainless steel bottles.

The worst plastic for you is type #7 (it has a little 7 on the bottom).  Avoid this plastic at all costs, don’t even use shampoo from type 7 bottles.

5.  Don’t eat “modern foods”

Almost everything that comes from a box, bag, or bottle is bad for you.

Follow the paleo nutrition rule: only eat what a caveman would eat.

All the chemicals and preservatives in modern manufactured foods will raise estrogen levels, make you fat, and lead to health problems.

6.  Eat tons of cruciferous vegetables

Cruciferous vegetables like broccoli and cauliflower have been shown to reduce estrogen levels.  A side bonus is that they are effective cancer fighters.

Tired of broccoli?  Here’s a list of other cruciferous vegetables:

  • horseradish
  • land cress
  • ethiopian mustard
  • kale
  • collard greens
  • Chinese broccoli
  • cabbage
  • brussels sprout
  • kohlrabi
  • broccoli
  • broccoflower
  • broccoli romanesco
  • cauliflower
  • wild broccoli
  • bok choy
  • komatsuna
  • mizuna Brassica
  • Rapini (broccoli rabe)
  • flowering cabbage
  • chinese cabbage
  • napa cabbage
  • turnip root
  • turnip greens
  • rutabaga
  • siberian kale
  • canola/rapeseed
  • wrapped heart mustard cabbage
  • mustard greens
  • tatsoi
  • arugula
  • garden cress
  • watercress
  • radish
  • daikon
  • wasabi

7.  Avoid alcohol

Alcohol is highly estrogenic.  A drink a night or a few drinks on the weekend will boost your estrogen levels and keep fat on your body.  Which leads to…

8.  Lose excess body fat

Most people forget that fat has an impact on hormone levels.

It is essential for men to get their bodyfat below 15% for health and to combat estrogen levels.

No booze, no junk food, cut the carbs, and do metabolism boosting workouts at least 3 times a week.

9.  Drink purified water

Water quality is getting worse and worse as it is recycled and chemicals are added.

Get a high quality water filter and use it for all of your drinking water, coffee, tea, and ice cubes.

For bonus estrogen fighting points, get a filter for your shower head as well.

10.  Get more sleep

Lack of sleep will cause your estrogen levels to rise.  Make a deal with yourself that you’ll be in bed early enough to get a full night’s sleep.

Darken your bedroom, avoid TV or computer an hour before bed, and don’t drink caffeine late in the day.

That’s it, 10 simple ways for you to lower your estrogen levels.

With low estrogen levels, not only will you be healthier and leaner, it will be easier for you to add muscle, recover from injuries, and have a great body.




Tony Horton’s 7 Ways To A Perfect Day

Exercise, Health, Strategies No Comments »

I just finished reading Bring It! by Tony Horton (the creator of P90X – you might have seen the commercials).

In the book, he lists “Tony’s Motivators: 7 Ways To A Perfect Day”

They’re pretty cool, so I thought I’d share them with you:

7 Ways To A Perfect Day

  1. Sleep
  2. Workout
  3. Whole Foods
  4. Supplements
  5. Attitude
  6. Charity
  7. Downtime

Let’s expand on these…


Make 7 hours your minimum night’s sleep.  This will recharge and refresh you for the day.

Having trouble sleeping?  Check out this post: Sleep, Weight Loss, And Health


Working out not only burns calories, it is how you reshape your body.  The most effective workout you can do for weight loss, health, and a faster metabolism is to focus on training your lean muscle.

Find out more here: Get Some Firmness On Your Frame

And here: Want To Lose Fat? Don’t Ignore Your Muscles

Whole Foods

There’s no such thing as “junk food.”  There is “junk” and there is “food.”

Probably the simplest nutrition advice is to not eat (or drink!) anything your great-grandma wouldn’t have recognized as food.

Need a list of whole foods to get you started?  Got one for you! Reno Personal Training: Fitness Foods For Your Diet


Supplements are just that: supplements.  They support a healthy diet, they can’t replace it.

Everyone’s nutritional and health needs are different, so a blanket supplement plan probably won’t be the best for you.

But the basics of almost every supplement plan would be omega-3s, a multivitamin, and probiotics.


A positive attitude won’t do anything by itself.  But pair a positive attitude with positive action and you can accomplish anything.

One of the best ways to rock a positive attitude is to remember that while you can’t choose what happens to you, you can choose how you react to it.  You can look at things in a positive light or a negative light, but the choice is yours :)


Do something nice for someone.  It really makes your day better.  I don’t know if Mr. Horton meant volunteer or donate to charity, but there are lots of ways to be nice.

Say “please.”  Say “Thank You.”  Keep in touch with the people you care about.


You need more recovery time than just sleeping.  Go for a walk out in nature.  Take a yoga class.  Read a book.  Even *gasp!* watch a funny TV show.  Do something for you, that relaxes you.

That’s the list!  7 Ways To A Perfect Day.

If you want Tony’s nutrition and exercise plan (plus how to customize it for you), check out his book Bring It!: The Revolutionary Fitness Plan for All Levels That Burns Fat, Builds Muscle, and Shreds Inches