Friday, February 10, 2017

This Really Is a Family Story

It’s Friday, everyone! And that means another Primal Blueprint Real Life Story from a Mark’s Daily Apple reader. If you have your own success story and would like to share it with me and the Mark’s Daily Apple community please contact me here. In fact, I have a contest going right now. So if you have a story to share, no matter how big or how small, you’ll be in the running to win a big prize. Read more here.

realifestories in lineMy journey to the primal life began in search of health, not weight loss. I could certainly lose a few pounds, but that is not what brought me here.

My work was very demanding; long hours, worked most holidays, high stress, constantly eating on the run, etc. I couldn’t sleep, had anxiety, had wacky hormones, and did not spend much quality time with my husband and two daughters. I started playing around with the paleo diet, and I devoured information on how to live a more healthy lifestyle. That is when I found you. I saw a functional medical doctor who diagnosed me with Hoshimoto’s and Adrenal Fatigue. That sealed the deal, and I was all in.

Luckily, my family has been completely supportive and is all in with me. It has been a fun adventure, and I love that The Primal Blueprint is not just about eating, but about lifestyle as well. Well meaning friends and family worry about my poor kids because they don’t get to eat the way other kids eat. Trust me, my kids are not suffering one bit. They truly love our meals and are developing quite mature palates. They did tell me I could not serve them liver ever again. I’ll give on that one. 🙂 They are 13 and 14 and are getting very creative with healthy ways to make treats. They made cookie dough ice cream after our beef stew tonight.

I enrolled in the 21-Day Challenge and am really enjoying it. My kids are home schooled, so it is super easy to incorporate recess with my exercise. We are all benefitting! I also am in the Primal Health Coach Program. I am only on Key Concept #3, but I started!

My chiropractor is a Primal Blueprint fan and wants me to do a class with his patients when I graduate. I already see how I can take this and run with it. People are always asking for help and advice on how to implement some of the changes that we have made.

My husband and I started a lighting business, so I ditched the old job. My husband’s Type II Diabetes is under control. My Hoshimoto’s is improving, and I expect more good news on my next check up. My youngest daughter’s ADD is significantly improved. Our quality of life is so much better. My mom is taking notice and starting to ditch grains. Lots of good news around here!

I attached a family picture since this really is a family story. Thanks for what you do Mark, and I look forward to helping you achieve your mission of helping 100 million people!

Feature_Mackenroth Family

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5 Reasons Why Beer (Yes, Beer!) is Good For You

1. Beer is portioned controlled

Unlike mixed drinks and heavy-handed pours of wine, beer comes in a ready to drink container. Knowing that each can or bottle has an average minimum calorie count of 100 per serving can help keep you honest about how much you’re sipping. Savvy beer drinks drinkers also know to keep an eye on the percent alcohol by volume (% APV) the higher it is, the more calories in your brew.

 

2. Beer is filled with antioxidants.

Thanks to staple ingredients like barley and hops, beer boasts a plethora of cell-protecting antioxidants. Since each beer recipe is different, your brew of choice may also be made with various fruits, herbs and spices, all of which can bring more antioxidants to the party.

 

3. Beer can be heart healthy

There’s ample research to support that moderate alcohol consumption (that’s one 12-fluid ounce drink per day for women and two for men) can have a positive impact on heart health. This certainly doesn’t warrant an initiative to drink EVERY day of the week, but it can make you feel a little better about hitting up happy hour or kicking back after a long day with a cold one.

 

4. Beer is rich nutrients filled

Beer contains a long list of nutrients including soluble fiber, calcium, iron, magnesium, zinc and selenium. While the amount of nutrients offered can’t take the place of healthy foods (nice try!), it does set beer apart from other alcoholic beverages.

 

5. Beer is tasty!

Let’s not forget about importance of a healthy relationship with all types of food and drinks. Beer can fit into a healthy lifestyle as long as you’re responsible about drinking it.

 

Dana Angelo White, MS, RD, ATC, is a registered dietitian, certified athletic trainer and owner of Dana White Nutrition, Inc., which specializes in culinary and sports nutrition.

*This article was written and/or reviewed by an independent registered dietitian nutritionist.

 



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Why Large Deficit Deadlifts are Great for Improving Mobility

Written by: Kevin Cann

I chose to work with Boris Shieko as my coach for a couple of reasons. For one, he is the most decorated coach in the sport of powerlifting. Another reason is how different they do things in Russia compared to here in America. I wanted to step outside of my comfort zone and learn some things for myself.

One of the different pieces of a Shieko program was his use of deficit deadlifts. If you do a search for deficit deadlifts on the internet you will mostly likely find information saying that no more than an inch or two is necessary.

You will also find some articles vilifying deficit deadlifts. This is most likely due to the difficulty in maintaining a neutral spine with the greater range of motion. Here in America there are not too many things we fear more than rounding our spine.

The problem with this is that our spine is meant to be round. We possess between 40 and 60 degrees of lumbar flexion, depending on the source. Under submaximal weights and creating as much intraabdominal pressure as possible, we can keep our lower backs safe when lifting things.

Many lifters, both experienced and novice, have a hard time getting into the proper deadlift position. To fix this issue many lifters and coaches will work stretching the hamstrings and rolling on a foam roller to loosen up their thoracic spines. They do this only to get under the bar and have the same position as they had before.

Often times the issue is not a mobility issue, but a motor control issue. Even if it was a mobility issue, we may not be strong enough to hold that position under heavier weights. In order to fix our deadlift start position, we need to stress that position enough to overload the nervous system as well as get stronger in that position.

For these reasons, Sheiko prefers using a larger deficit. He recommends a deficit of 10cm which is roughly 4 inches. At this deficit height, the back will round a little. The goal is to make the athlete fight hard for a good position. We are using this to fix the start position for the competition lift.

The one to two inches is not enough to make the athlete have to fight for a better position. We talk about the overload principle for volume and intensity, but it also matters for motor control as well. One to two inches is not enough to overload the system to improve positions.

Under submaximal weights and creating intraabdominal pressure (bracing), a rounded back is not dangerous. We have to round our back to pick up uniquely shaped objects. The deficits are to improve technique, so the intensity should be between 60% and 70%. This is usually done for four to five sets of two to three reps.

Under these conditions risk is still relatively low. The 10cm deficit applies to both conventional deadlifts and sumo deadlifts. It seems many more will argue against the larger deficits, or deficits in general, for the sumo deadlift. This is due to the difficulty in the sumo deadlift breaking the floor. For that reason alone I may argue that there is greater carryover to improving the strength off of the floor in the sumo deadlift from performing deficit deadlifts.

The weak spot for the conventional deadlift is just below the knees. However, if we do not reach that sticking point in a good position, we will limit how much we can lock out. The bigger deficit also puts more stress on the muscles involved in the deadlift off of the floor. Your legs must work harder to get the weight moving, and your back needs to keep pulling through a larger range of motion.

I have heard arguments against the deficit deadlift for the sumo deadlift due to injury risk. I don’t understand this thinking. With the deficit we get increased hip flexion, increased knee flexion, increased ankle dorsiflexion, and maybe 5 degrees of increased torso lean.

This puts more stress on the extensors of all of those joints and a hair more shear force on the spine. However, this is still a high squat. Hips will still be above parallel. This makes the lower body position similar to a wide stance high squat. This does not concern me, as we squat below parallel. This is similar to a multiply lifter performing high box squats with their competition stance.

The increased torso lean does put more shear force on the spine. However, the sumo deadlift has 5 to 10 degrees less torso lean than a conventional deadlift. The 5 degree increase would only make it similar to a relatively upright conventional pull from the floor.

Many people that pull sumo prefer it because it allows them to hide their weak back strength. This is why adding deficits would be important. They can help strengthen weak muscle groups, which will only make their deadlifts better, and their squat for that matter.

If you are having difficulty with the start position of the deadlift, add in some deficits. The height of the deficit should be around 4 inches to force us to have to fight hard for a good position. Don’t worry about rounding your back, just use weights between 60% and 70% for four to five sets of two to three reps and brace appropriately. To get more bang for your buck, lower the bar under control. This will help improve mobility even more than passively stretching your hamstrings.



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Sandals St. Lucia Trip – Part II

[Be sure to read part I first!]

We had four whole days and two travel days on our trip, and they flew by. On our third morning, we had to be at the beach early for our tour (8:45 – vacation early), so we ordered a room service breakfast to fill us up. The best thing about all-inclusive resorts is it’s all included! Fruit, an omelet, baked goods, coffee.

We booked a tour of St. Lucia through Our Toy Boat Tours, who had sold us on the experience the day before. Our journey started with a shuttle to a speed boat which took us 25 minutes up the coastline to the famous Pitons.

The boat ride was lots of fun, and we got to see a lot of the island, including the homes of Mick Jagger and Oprah (!!) and the cove where they filled Pirates of the Caribbean. That’s Oprah’s house I’m pointing to!

The Pitons were huge, and we got to snorkel underneath them. It wasn’t the greatest snorkeling ever, but I saw some beautiful iridescent fish, which I loved.

Our next stop took us to the town of Soufrière. Here, we hopped out of the boat and took a shuttle up the mountain to the Sulphur Springs Park where we got to dip into the mud baths that are fed by a dormant volcano. The springs were over 100 degrees and the experience was like soaking in a hot tub filled with stinky charcoal paint! (Nicer than it sounds!)

After a dip, we were encouraged to cover ourselves in the mud which is apparently “soooo good for the skin!” The ultimate spa treatment : ) Then we got to rinse it off again in the hot water.

We also went to a small waterfall, but it was way too cold for me to get in! On the way we stopped at an overlook to see the Pitons from up high.

Then, finally, we went on to lunch, which was amazing!! Our buffet was filled with local dishes like jerk chicken, taro root, plantains (my favorite!), beans, rice, and local tuna. This was my favorite meal, as it tasted homemade.

We also got to explore the town a bit, and enjoyed getting to experience a bit of the St. Lucian culture.

Back in the boat, we headed home through the famous Love Tunnel and sipped on rum punch and moonshine – yee haw!

That evening we relaxed by the bluffs pool for a bit, and had our second dinner at Neptune’s under the stars (I had a salad and a mixed seafood dish with shrimp and mussels). Dinner was followed by a Super Bowl party with a huge crowd in the big pavilion.

On our final full day, we had breakfast on our balcony again so we could relax a bit more before getting all sunscreened up for the day. Granola parfait, breakfast sammie, chocolate and strawberry crepes.

There are three Sandals resorts within about 30 minutes of one another, and you can visit, dine at and enjoy all of them no matter which one you’re staying in. So we headed over to the Sandals Grande to check out the beach there. The La Toc beach surf was quite rough, and there were red flags up most of the days so I never got in (T did a few times), but the Grande beach is calm as can be in a big bay, and a lot of the water sports like sailing and water skiing are housed there. There were practically no waves, so we did a lot of swimming around and floating on some big rafts.

Aside from the pretty beach, we were really glad we chose La Toc for our trip because the Grande just wasn’t….as grand! We loved the dramatic beauty at La Toc and the views – the Grande had a much more casual feel.

We had lunch at Barefoot By The Sea, and loved this lunch of blackened mahi, cobb salad and nachos!

We found a gazebo out over the water to read and relax in before heading back to our resort that afternoon.

For our final dinner, we went back to The Pitons restaurant, and I finally got to have the famous Chicken Roti. This reminded me of curried chicken salad cooked into a fried pastry. Delicious!!

The best dessert of the trip was the chocolate lava cake with coffee ice cream from the Pitons. It’s on the plate at the top right, with a sweet potato ganache on the left and a coconut pie bite on the bottom. #tripledessert

There are photographers all around, and guests can book a complimentary photo session, so we scheduled one to catch the sunset off the bluffs. I wanted to buy all of the photos from our shoot, but at $20 a pop, we settled on just a few to remember the trip by. This looks like a fake studio because of the flash, but it’s a 100% real cliff sunset!

Overall, we had a great time at Sandals. The hospitality was great, there was plenty to do, there was a lot of variety in restaurants, and the grounds were gorgeous. If you can swing it, stay on the bluffs! I’m not sure I would have been as happy to be down by the main pool area.

We didn’t make it to either of the reservation required restaurants, but we loved the beach-side al fresco dining, and the menus were extensive enough that we didn’t have to order the same thing twice (except for those lava cakes!!). I thought the food met expectations for a resort of this size, with a few dishes really impressing me and a few that left a bit to be desired. One part we really did think needed improvements was the lack of tropical fruit. I was expecting mango, passionfruit, papaya, and pineapple like I had gotten at previous Caribbean resort vacations, but they didn’t offer any of those – they just had cantaloupe, honeydew, grapefruit and even canned fruit. So that was a big disappointment (maybe we just hit an off week or something?). But you win some and you lose some, and overall we were very happy with our stay.

St. Lucia itself was so pretty, and we loved the friendliness of its people and the cuisine. I’d say I hope to return, but there are so many other islands to see! Let’s just say I wouldn’t mind going back soon : )

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