Curious what the process of tracking your macronutrients entails. We would like to give you an idea of the process along with the benefits and pitfalls.
Counting macros: What is is all about? 0:07
How to you calculate your macro and calorie needs? 1:13
Who is counting macros good for? 5:17
Who isn't it good for? 7:00
Two camps to losing weight... 9:14
Incorporating treats 13:38
Hope that helped you understand tracking macros a little better. There is so much with tracking macros that you just learn through doing. If you feel like you want to start tracking your macros. Head over to our Calorie Calculator, input some personal information then submit the form at the bottom of the page and I will respond with a personalized macro plan for you.
I know we haven't done many book reviews on our blog in the past. Recently we were approached by a "book tour" company and they asked if we would read and review Darin Olien's book Superlife. I first read this book back when it came out back in 2015! I was even fortunate to get to meet Darin and hear some stories behind the book. Turns out he grew up about an hour from where I did. Apparently kids from small farm towns in rural Minnesota can have a career in nutrition!
When I was approached to share Darin's message I was all for it. The principles he teaches in the book are also some of the fundamentals of living a healthy life and always good to revisit myself. Darin breaks out these fundamentals into what he refers to the 5 Life Forces.
Life Force 1: Nutrition
This is at the core of being healthy. His basic approach revolves around eating whole foods in abundance and variety. Eating this way will ensure that you are satiated with micronutrients that all too often we lack. Being a vegan himself he isn't a huge proponent of eating animal products but is ok if people chose to eat animal products as long as they are high quality and occasionally eaten.
With nutrition he also stresses the importance of keeping your gut healthy! This is something I strongly advocate for as well and think can be a real game changer for a lot of people. For most people that looks like... cutting out processed foods, adding foods/supplements rich in probiotics and prebiotics, and probably supplementing with some digestive enzymes.
Life Force 2: Hydration
Water... something so basic but something that so many people fail to consume. As humans, we are water! Roughly 2/3 of our bodyweight is water. It does everything from provide pathways to carry raw materials around our body to insulate us and keep us warm or cool. Let's just say it's super important! Darin provides some great tips to upgrade the quality of your water also in the book.
Life Force 3: Oxygenation
Oxygen - it's critical to life and something that gets overlooked in regards to health. Darin quotes a couple of studies that talk about how cancer thrives in low oxygen situations and dies off in oxygen rich environments. Pretty amazing stuff! Increasing oxygen ties back into life forces 1 and 2. Whole food plants contain more oxygen than processed, packaged foods. Getting adequate water also increases the amount oxygen that enters our bodies. Combine that with some intentional deep belly breathing and you are really improving your oxygenation.
Life Force 4: Alkalization
This life force is one that is definitely overlooked and understudied. Darin and I maybe differ slightly on this point. Some of the research that I've done and read suggests that it is highly unlikely your body will become more acidic based on what we eat. The pro-alkaline movement tends to look at the acid levels of a person's urine which looks at what is excreted versus the pH of a person's blood and cellular fluid.
My opinion here is the jury is still out, but I would agree with Darin in that a diet high in plant based foods will improve your overall health.
Life Force 5: Detoxification
Darin is a big believer in the process of detoxing the body. He points out the constant stress that our bodies are under from everything in our environment to what we consume. Our bodies have normal detox pathways but they get backlogged when we consume low quality foods and are exposed to chemicals in our environment.
His advice to handle all of this, focus on the first 4 life forces and your detox system will be able to handle the workload.
Darin, finishes the book with some recipes and final thoughts on how you can implement the 5 Life Forces into your current life.
I'm a big fan of Darin's approach to health and this book does an excellent job in getting people to think a little differently about their health. It's not all about being reactionary and trying to take care of yourself after you get sick. It's about doing things that produce vitality in your life and keep disease at bay. If you are looking to up your health game I highly recommend this book to give you a solid baseline of information.
Breakfast has typically been thought of as the most important meal. I'm pretty sure the cereal industry started that saying anyways. If you are looking to read more on why breakfast may not be as important as once thought, here is a great article. With articles like this one and more science out there that says breakfast isn't a must for everyone, we would like to propose another option, WATER!!! It's hard to argue that water isn't important and we will share just how important it is to stay hydrated.
Water is what gives us life. Without it we would LITERALLY shrivel up and die. Did you know that about 80% of the population doesn't drink an adequate amount of water. So why aren't more people dying of dehydration???
I would argue they are...just not directly! When you don't drink enough water your body will pull it out of other cells and tissue in your body in order to hydrate your brain, that's first priority. Since your brain is the thing that controls your entire body, it gets to dictate who gets what and when within your body. And just like the bully on the playground at school, your brain is going to make sure it gets taken care of first. Your brain is like, sorry liver we need it more than you, thanks; sorry skin we need it more than you, sorry intestines you figure out a way to get that waste out I need more water. If those other organs and body systems aren't functioning at their highest level that leaves us prone to disease and sickness.
Another key area where dehydration comes into play is in your blood and cardiovascular system. When you are dehydrated your blood volume decreases, which limits the amount of oxygen that reaches the various parts of your body. Without oxygen your body struggles to produce energy at the cellular level. If your cells don't have energy, they can't do all the things that they need to do to function at a high level. That is where fatigue and disease become an issue. Not to mention dehydration raises your BP which increases your chance of a heart attack.
Sooo....what is the appropriate amount of water to drink? A general rule of thumb is a 1/2 ounce per lb of body weight. If you weigh 200 lbs that would mean you should drink 100 ounces per day. That equation is on the low end if you are doing any type of physical activity. We would recommend you up your water consumption to 3/4 - 1 ounce/pound if you are exercising hard or sweating a lot due to physical activity. There is also the quality of your water that comes into play. We are just learning more and more about structured or vorated water, which is super interesting to us. Something else to consider...is it packaged water, and if so is the material that it comes in BPA free? The deal with BPA is that it is an endocrine disruptor, which essentially means it is going to mess up your hormones. Most plastic containers out there contain BPA unless they are stamped otherwise. So that means bottled water is off limits. There is also some emerging evidence to suggest that straight tap water isn't the best option either due to all the toxins (PCBs, pharmaceutical drugs, heavy metals) that have leaked into our water system plus the flouride that is added. Yeah the thing that helps our teeth may not help our bodies. Sounds kind of doom and gloom doesn't it??? To some degree it is, the most important thing we put into our body is being tainted from all different directions. Now are we saying you shouldn't ever drink bottled water or tap water? Heck no...if it's your only option, go for it. We definitely do if it's our only option!
According to some experts, the best option is distilled water with a pinch of pure Himilayan pink salt. The other option would be to look into a more thorough filtration system that will eliminate some of those toxins plus flouride. We are just starting to do some research into some systems or a home distiller. If anyone has recommendations on what they use we would love to hear from you. For others, we will definitely keep you posted on what we choose!
Anyone else just run to the water cooler? I know I just refilled my water glass after typing this!
The Cook & The Coach
Healthy is a LIFESTYLE.