Friday, April 14, 2017

Amazing Effects on All Aspects of My Life!

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 line My name is Casie and I’m 26 years old.

My story actually begins with my brother, best friend and my inspiration, Jesse. After brief experiments with vegetarianism and veganism, Jesse started on the primal path and never looked back. I, of course, thought he was insane, and didn’t see the point at all. As an animal lover, Jesse decided the best way to get my attention would be to lend me a book all about how animals are treated in factory farms. I read it and it definitely got my attention. I started thinking more about the food I ate.

This was around the time I was 21. I used to eat horribly. Fast food, pop, processed garbage galore! And candy. Don’t forget candy. Although I knew that pop, fast food and candy weren’t good for me, I genuinely thought the other food I ate was. A healthy meal to me then is something I would never eat now. And never want to eat.

I was one of those people that never really gained weight no matter what I ate, so I honestly thought I could eat whatever I wanted. I didn’t realize all of the other ways your food and lifestyle affects your every day life!

I was dealing with anxiety and depression at this time. I cried, a lot, and for no real reason. I had crazy mood swings and no self esteem. It was affecting my personal life and my work life. I had entered into an unhealthy relationship and I blamed the relationship for my anxiety and depression. Since I was so insecure, just ending the relationship wasn’t easy, even though I thought it was the root cause of my issues.

On the physical side of things, I suffered from the common “afternoon crash” daily, and felt bloated after pretty well every meal. I didn’t have a lot of energy, and this mixed with my anxiety meant I rarely felt like doing anything. I was most definitely not a very happy person. But to be honest, I still didn’t really think there was anything wrong with me. I didn’t think anything about me needed changing.

After reading the first book Jesse lent me, he lent me The Primal Blueprint. I read it very quickly, with interest, and the lightbulb went off. It all made SO MUCH sense. And it inspired me. By this point I had to admit that Jesse had become a very positive person, and a passionate advocate for eating well. This, too, was inspiring.

Casie and CharlieI started making changes, but it was definitely gradual for me. I cut out pop, candy and fast food, and started trying to eat more meat and fish (I ate a lot of cheap pasta at this point). Then I cut out the grains and started buying organic and ethically raised foods. It probably took me almost a year to fully transition, with lots of slips along the way. During all of this I (like most of us!) became obsessed with learning about all aspects of health and lifestyle.

It’s been over three years now that I’ve been eating primal-aligned, and I am a completely different person. The first change I noticed was that my energy levels soared. And I never get that afternoon crash anymore. I never feel bloated. Then, and most importantly for me, my anxiety practically vanished along with my depression. I became an extremely happy, positive, outgoing, confident, independent, Vibram-wearing, Kombucha-loving person, which had amazing effects on all aspects of my life. I ended the toxic relationship years ago, realizing it was just another symptom of my former poor health. I started surrounding myself with only positive influences.

I had so much energy that I needed an outlet, and started (and fell in love with) Crossfit. I was never an athlete or particularly fit person, and Crossfit helped me to become even more confident in myself. This past summer I went on a three week solo road trip to Vancouver Island, B.C., even stopping at a couple of Crossfit boxes along the way. It was an absolutely incredible experience, but I would have never had the nerve or confidence to do it before.

Barefoot in the Ocean!Eating well is second nature now. I don’t desire foods that don’t make me feel well. When I do indulge in something that isn’t very primal-aligned (usually Sushi!), I enjoy it and never feel guilty about it. This guilt pattern was something I used to deal with a lot when I started, but it really doesn’t help anything.

When the Primal Health Coach course was launched, I wanted to take it right away. It took me a while to get through it, but I have now and have launched my Health Coaching business. I am beyond excited to be able to help others improve their lives. The best advice I can give those struggling with the journey is to stay positive and ignore negative influences! I’ve dealt with my fair share and I know there are tons out there…surrounding yourself with a positive support system helps tremendously- like a Primal Health Coach! 😉

To Mark and everyone like him, including my fellow health coaches, thank you for all that you do, and for constantly leading by example!

All the best to everyone 😀

Casie (KeepItPrimal)

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Why Your Technique Should Be the Priority

Written by: Kevin Cann

Ever since day 1 of working with Boris Sheiko, technique in the squat, bench press, and deadlift have been drilled into me. According to Boris, technique is the most important aspect to consider when lifting. We saw this in person when he trained a group of 5 of us.

Out of the group of 5 there were a couple elite powerlifters. We were taking a couple doubles at 80% and a couple singles at 85%. Boris did not let them go over 95lbs for the entire squat session because their technique was flawed. 95lbs was far less than even 50% of their 1RM, not to mention 80%.

There was also a block of training in which we dropped my squat max because my technique needed work. We dropped it around 30lbs. In this cycle, on the heaviest days I barely cracked 70% of my 1RM. However, I got stronger. Improving your technique can yield many immediate benefits.

The human body was not designed to be a mechanical masterpiece when it comes to lifting things. In fact, the human body is setup at a disadvantage. We are designed to have muscles pull bones around an axis to create movement. Our bones are levers.

In physics there are three kinds of levers. There are first-class, second-class, and third-class levers. A first-class lever is when the axis (also known as a fulcrum) is located between the resistance (weight we are lifting) and the force (our muscles). An example of a first-class lever is a seesaw. The axis or fulcrum is located between each end of the seesaw.

There are very few examples of first-class levers in the human body. One example is how we hold our head up. The weight is the head, the axis is the atlantoccipital joint, and the force comes from the muscles that hold up our head that are located on the back of our necks.

A second-class lever has the resistance located between the fulcrum and the muscle force. A commonly used example of a second-class lever is a wheelbarrow. In the human body one of the only second-class levers can be found when performing a calf raise. The fulcrum in this instance is our metatarsophalangeal joints (toes), the weight is our bodyweight, and the force is coming from our gastrocnemius and soleus muscle through the Achilles tendon which inserts at our heel.

The most common type of lever found in the human body is a third-class lever. This is when the muscle force is applied between the resistance and the fulcrum. A common example of a third-class lever is the bicep curl. The muscle force is applied by our biceps muscle through the distal tendon attachment. This attachment is located closer to our hand than our elbow, which is the fulcrum. The weight would be the dumbbell in our hands. There are not too many examples of third-class levers outside of the body because they just are not that effective at moving weight.

One more definition that we need to look at when discussing technique while lifting is that of a moment arm. A moment arm is the length between the joint axis and the line of force. In the example above of the bicep curl, the length of the moment arm is the length of the forearm (technically the length from the distal tendon attachment to the dumbbell). The longer our forearm is, the harder that weight will be to lift.

Basically what this all means is that if we are curling a 25lb dumbbell, it requires more than 25lbs of muscular force to bend our elbow and perform the exercise. Compound lifts have multiple moment arms. For the sake of this example we will look at the moment arm of the hips.

The moment arm for the hips is the distance from the hip joint to the midfoot (as long as the bar is over our midfoot like it should be). A common technique flaw we see in the squat is the good morning squat. This is when the hips shoot back and the chest falls forward out of the bottom position.

In this position the bar is pushed out over the toes and the hips are pushed further away. This is about as big of a moment arm for the hips as you can get. The moment arm goes now from the hip joint, past the midfoot, to where the bar is positioned.

Remember that we are designed at a mechanical disadvantage. In a good position, we already need to use more force than there is weight on the bar to actually lift it. If our technique fails, we are placed at an even greater disadvantage. This means that we need to produce even more force than before to lift the weight.

This not only puts more pressure on our muscles to attempt to lift the weight, but it also puts more pressure on them to stabilize our joints. Once we lose that stability, we are greater risk of injury. So not only will we lift less weight, but we run the risk of getting hurt and lifting no weights.

When selecting your programs repetitions, sets, and intensity, this all needs to be taken into account. We want to train good positions and not poor ones. Leave the ego at the door and only lift what you are capable lifting in good positions. Come meet day, it also requires far less energy to lift in good positions than it does in poor ones. This can be the difference between winning and losing, or setting new personal bests.

I will leave you with what I tell my lifters all of the time, you can only beat physics for so long.



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Friday Favorites!

^^Double fisting wine and water while working late into the evening 😎

Thomas and I finished Game of Thrones and Stranger Things (can’t wait for the next season of either!). When we were debating what to watch next, he kept bringing up Westworld. I thought it was a political show (I think I was confusing it with The West Wing!) and wasn’t at all excited. But then I agreed to give the first episode a try, and wow, is it good! It’s kind of like a blend of The Truman Show, The Matrix, and a wild western. You have to give it a try!

//Sponsored//

eVitamins asked me if I’d like to showcase some of their products on KERF, so I said yes knowing they have such a huge assortment of natural health, beauty, and grocery products. They sent me some of my favorites – Vega, Health Warrior Bars (my favorite pre-packaged bars!), and that Deep Steep Bubble Bath that I can only get online now after falling in love with it in Whole Foods. It’s my favorite way to send Mazen to bed – smelling like passion fruit! I’ve also been using Derma-E’s exfoliator on my face a few times a week and really like it. They threw in a few new-to-me products as well – I’m really excited to try the Rose-scented face scrub and the Avalon Thickening Shampoo!

I bought a Hydroflask water bottle after trying Thomas’s (he is full of good recommendations!). I really needed something that would keep water cold during hot soccer games. These bottles are not cheap, but they really keep water cold. I love the straw lid. Disclaimer: the bottle I got (here) came with a lid and straw that SUCKED (haha!). But for real, it was full of bubbles, and I couldn’t figure out how to fix it. It came from the Hydroflask store, but the lid was off brand. I ended up ordering the proper branded lid, and it’s so much better.

Loving my Wildling shirt from Indy Rose Co!! So comfy. Mazen saw a copy of Where The Wild Things Are recently and said, “There’s that book about wildlings!” Ha!

I am the best/worst at getting sucked into the sponsored ads on Instagram and Facebook. They are good at their jobs because they always target me with things that I really do need/want. Like these flats, which promised no blisters and were so cute!

I got the size 8, which is my true size and initially, they felt a little big. But after wearing them around my house for an hour they felt fine. They really are SO comfortable. The fabric feels like a stretchy mesh. They are machine washable too! I love them so much! And, the pink soles!!!

Have you heard this song yet? One of the Tim + Faith great ones!!

KERF reader Jessi (@unstoppablelips) emailed me about trying Lipsense. I had seen a few people mention it on social and am always willing to try something new! She sent me the color Bombshell and the gloss to go with it. Bombshell is very neutral (great if you want your lips to look alive but not like you’re wearing lipstick) and to test it further, I bought a second color from her – Praline Rose – which was a bit darker. To apply, you do three very light coats, allowing it to dry in between, and end with the gloss.

Here’s my awkward selfie attempting to showcase the color without smiling too much. Lol. And here are my thoughts:

Pros: It works!! That is by far the biggest pro. As promised, it stays on for hours and hours. And there are SO many colors.

Cons: It’s a bit time consuming to apply (2 minutes versus 2 seconds for classic lip stuff), has somewhat of a stingy feel and chemical taste, and is not cheap (~$26 per color).

Jessi is offering to send one lucky person a free color + gloss set. Enter by leaving a comment on this post with the color of lipstick you usually wear! Red, coral, pink? I am a raspberry-hued girl!

Love this seahorse that Mazen brought home from school! I am still taking photos for his art project memory book : )

And finally, I’ve been loving the new kale salads from Whole Foods. Anything to move beyond mixed greens! The Sweet Kale Chopped Salad is my favorite (including the poppyseed dressing it comes with!).

I found this one too, which doesn’t come with toppings or dressing, but was excellent with some Caesar dressing and gorgonzola cheese!

Siggi’s sent me some of their new Triple Cream yogurts – delish. Still only 9 grams of sugar, but so creamy from 3x the cream.

HAPPY WEEKEND!

Like almost any post you might read on KERF, this one has some affiliate links. I get a cut if and only if you buy something via a link. Mwah. 

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