All posts by joe

Health Sprint Feb 2017

We’re doing a 4 week health sprint in February.

Following the usual Health Guide.

Week 0: Warm up. Eat healthy. Get back to gym.
Week 1-3: Transformation challenge: fat lost + muscle gained.
Week 4: Fasting week.

At last count, we have 12 people in the group.

Metrics

I’m aiming for a 10kg transformation: fat lost + muscle gained, which I think is a good target for 5 weeks.

8kg fat loss, 2kg muscle gain.

Starting data:

The Goal

The goal of this challenge is to see if a few friends can get into this diet – get keto/fat adapted – make their brains run without glucose as primary fuel – and see if they can lose a healthy dose of body fat in five weeks.

Key things:

  • Is this a simple enough recipe / protocol to follow?
  • Are people crazy enough to do this stuff?
  • Can they stick to it for more than one 3 month cycle?
  • Can they get through the glucose withdrawal phase?
  • How do males and female experiences differ?
  • Can they get really good body transformation results?
  • …and get feedback, to improve the guide / protocol.

Remember to book your Vitality health assessment for early March.

Happy health hacking, crazy kids.

5 Day Stoic Water Fast

Here are my notes after not eating for a week.

The idea is to fast for 5 days every 3 months of the year. Eat nothing and drink only water.

It’s a cellular cull, a sugar withdrawal game, an immune system reboot and a journey in dematerialisation.

A stoic quest! (-:

“How much can you know about yourself if you’ve never been in a fight … / done a 5 day fast?”

Why?

  • Well… it’s a challenge.
  • You want to reboot your immune system – or at least wake it up. Make your body generate some new white blood cells which are sharp enough to identify cancer cells and kill them.
  • You want to give your body a break from running on glucose.
  • You want to starve any (pre) cancer cells in your body. Cancer cells run on glucose.
  • Detox included. No alcohol or any other bad stuff for a week.
  • Reset hormone levels / reset insulin resistance.
  • Lowers bad cholesterol.
  • Fasting stimulates the release of growth hormones.
  • Fat loss.
  • Food tastes amazing afterwards.

How?

Easy. Don’t eat anything and just drink water, for at least 4 full days, ideally 5 days.

Prepare. Do some intermittent fasting (IF) in the weeks before. Keto adaptation usually takes about three weeks. Your body can get 50% more efficient at running on fat after a few weeks of fasting. Do a few 24 and 48 hour fasts while you prepare.

I would NOT suggest you just switch from a high carb diet to fasting in a day. This is a 4 week project not an overnight thing. If you are already used to IF and keto adopted, then jump right in.

Plan your week. You probably don’t want to do this on a very stressful or travelling week.

You want to get into a mild ketosis state before the fast. Do some low carb / keto eating in the day(s) before.

Try and keep to 1-5 millimolar/l ketone levels.

How A Fasting Week Might Go

Saturday: I’d suggest you eat zero carbs from after lunch.

Sunday: Maybe some eggs for breakfast, zero carbs. Eat your last keto meal at lunch time, maybe a salad with some protein. This is when the fast starts.

Monday: You should be in mild ketosis. 1mmol/l ketones. Have a small amount of coconut oil in your green tea if you like. Monday night might be a bit uncomfortable. Just go to bed early.

Tuesday and Wednesday should have a nice productive buzz.

Thursday night might be a bit uncomfortable again. Your ketone levels will probably be high. Keep going.

Friday: Eat again at lunch. Have a healthy smoothie or a salad. Make this a small meal. Eat a nice protein meal for supper on Friday.

Saturday: Healthy breakfast, eggs etc.

Hacks to make it easier

Be sure you are in ketosis before you stop eating. Take some BCAAs and/or MCT oil on the day you transition into ketosis.

Drink enough water.

Have a bit of green tea if you get bored.

Add a tiny bit of coconut oil to your green tea on the first day of the fast.

Add some sea salt to your water.

Take some 5HTP at night to help you sleep well. Also take some Magnesium and Potassium. I find that I sometimes get mild calve cramps when swimming if I don’t take some Magnesium and Potassium and salt.

Notes and Tips

Ketones are anti-catabolic and your body releases growth hormones when you are in ketosis.

It’s a pretty productive time. You will realise how much time food and eating consumes. You might need to go on a few lunchtime walks, not to get too bored.

There can be some negative things for some people: brain fog, back pain, heart racing, bad sleep. A lot of this is probably your brain going through sugar withdrawal. I did not experience this stuff – I’ve been experimenting with fasting for at least 12 months now.

Your underwater breath hold time will increase. Try it. Very cool how you can spend more time underwater.

It’s cheap. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are free.

You might feel a bit of a high on day two/three, this is the ketones.

Some people will react a bit weirdly when you tell them you are not eating for a week. Just don’t tell some people.

Don’t go to gym. You probably want to take it easy with the exercise. I went to gym in my fast – just to see what weights I could lift. Pretty similar, but maybe 80% of the regular weight. If you are not eating protein it does not make sense to go to gym. Your body does not have anything to repair your muscles with after weight training.

A few chilled walks or swims are probably enough exercise. I usually swim 1km on most days I’m fasting.

Re-feeding

Start eating at a slow pace after the fast – maybe start with a smoothie or something easy to digest. Take care eating healthy food after the fast ends. The period of re-feeding after a fast is very important to regenerate cells in your body.

Cancer
Does fasting really kill cancer cells? Nope it’s not that simple, but it gives them a hard time. It radically slows their growth. The real kicker is that you reboot your immune system, and your new white blood cells identify and kill the weakened cancer cells. That’s the theory.

“Fasting for four days causes stem cells to awake from their normal dormant state, and start regenerating. Researchers discovered this practice destroyed damaged and older cells, and caused new cells to be born, effectively renewing the immune system. This is the first time any natural intervention has ever been shown to trigger this self-renewal.” — from this article

FAQ

  • Is this safe?
    Yeah, you can probably go 30 days without food. Don’t stress… but, I’m not a doctor – make sure you are in good health before trying this. A 27-year-old male patient fasted for 382 days. “Prolonged fasting in this patient had no ill-effects”.
  • Can I take MCT oil while fasting?
    Yeah, if you must. Not needed.
  • Can I take BCAAs while fasting?
    No, BCAAs will help prevent muscle loss, but the glutamine in most BCCA mixes is a bad idea. Cancer cells like glutamine.
  • How often should I do this?
    Four times a year. Every 12th week. Add it to your calendar.
  • How much fat will I lose?
    Depending on your base metabolic rate, probably about 2-3kg. Not as much as you might think. A kilogram of fat contains 7700 calories. If your base metabolic rate is 2000 calories, you can lose about 260g of fat per day – a bit more if you are more active. Take a few long walks.
  • What do I do when I get hungry?
    Drinks some green tea or go for a walk.

My Results

Nov 2015: I went from 84kg to 80kg over the days I fasted. Probably some water loss there.

Nov 2016: I went from 90kg to 85kg.

Learn More

Happy health hacking, crazy kids. LLAP.

TRE in Cape Town

I recently attended a TRE – Tension and Trauma Releasing Exercises session with Cath and Tom in Claremont.

“TRE is a series of exercises that assist the body in releasing deep muscular patterns of stress, tension and trauma.”

I first read about TRE here and did some research on the topic last year. I managed to figure out the exercises you need to do for TRE, but I never got around to trying it, because I figured it’s a bit weird to do on your own.

The workshop / group format was a nice way to finally experience TRE.

The exercises were pretty easy. I found the tremors to be a bit of a strange feeling, but natural and very relaxing in the end.

The session took about an hour in total.

Check it out.

Thanks Lynne.

Mobility

Text neck? Stiff shoulders? Too much time sitting in front of a computer?

Try these:

  • Go swimming
  • Go for long walks
  • Do morning stretches
  • Hang – like hang from a pull-up bar
  • Steam baths, saunas and cold showers
  • Do air squats
  • Get a good office chair
  • Work on hip mobility
  • Get up from your desk and stretch every now and again and take a walk over lunchtime
  • Get a foam roller
  • Get an electric back massager, remember to massage the base of your skull
  • Have a deep tissue Thai massage – ask for firm/deep pressure, it might hurt a bit
  • Do good old lower back extensions at the gym
  • Do dislocates and j-curls
  • Go for dry needling
  • Watch this: How you move defines how you live

Connective tissue takes 6 months to regenerate, so keep going with the above and form good habits.

Dry needling really worked well for a stiff neck.

Happy health hacking, crazy kids.

Health Sprint Nov 2016

I’m going on a 5 week health sprint from 31 October to 2 December. I’m also doing my Vitality Health test on that last Friday.

I’ve written a fairly short Health Guide that explains the protocol I’m following.

We have 8 people in the current testing group. Feel free to join in and help test, or suggest improvements.

Metrics

I’m aiming for a 12kg transformation: fat lost + muscle gained, which I think is a good target for 5 weeks.

9kg fat loss, 3kg muscle gain.

Starting off at 90kg, 20.7% body fat, 18.8kg fat mass, 41.7kg muscle mass.

Aiming for 82kg, 9% body fat, 9.8kg fat mass, 44.7kg muscle mass.

Single digit body fat, in 5 weeks? Let’s see.

Testing the protocol

The goal of this experiment is to see if a few friends can get into this diet – get keto/fat adapted – make their brains run without glucose as primary fuel – and see if they can lose a healthy dose of body fat in five weeks.

Key things to test:

  • Is this a simple enough recipe / protocol to follow?
  • Are people crazy enough to do this stuff?
  • Can they stick to it for more than one 3 month cycle?
  • Can they get through the glucose withdrawal phase?
  • How do males and female experiences differ.
  • Can they get really good body transformation results?

Happy health hacking, crazy kids.

Shrek Tea

A morning tea for gym days…

Shrek Tea
Shrek Tea

You will need…

  • Green tea and/or Ginger tea – sugar free and/or Ginseng tea
  • Black tea: English Breakfast or Earl Grey
  • 1 Table Spoon of Butter, unsalted, grass fed – must be grass fed
  • 1 Table Spoon of Coconut oil, extra virgin, organic, I like the non-unscented one, the one that still tastes like coconut
  • 1 Table Spoon of MCT oil
  • 1 Tea Spoon of Matcha (green tea powder), this makes it nice and green
  • 1 Tea Spoon of Cinnamon, Turmeric and Cayenne Pepper, this makes it nice and yellow
  • A pinch of Sea salt

Make the tea. Put it all in a blender. Blend. You can add more, or less of each ingredient, as you like.

I find that it’s easier to take in the fats if the tea is a bit spicy – which is why I add the turmeric and cayenne pepper.

Read more here, I don’t bother with finding the exotic teas mentioned.

Happy health hacking, crazy kids.