Focused on Protein and Muscle Building

As we all know proteins are responsible for building muscles. Sleep and rest allows the body to repair and rebuild muscles to make them stronger.

The misinformation people have is they believe that the only way to build muscle is with whey protein, eggs and foods like meat.  Plants have plenty of protein, and with enough calories one can consume adequate protein to build muscle. Many muscle building athletes are unaware of this.

In addition, the protein you eat is never directly assimilated as the protein structure it came in. The body breaks the proteins down into amino acids and makes new proteins. The body also uses discarded protein that may be come from the body itself and breaks it down to other amino acids that it uses. So as long as your body has all the amino acids it needs to create the proteins then the muscles will continue to rebuild correctly. Protein deficiency usually comes from a low caloric intake or not eating enough whole foods but packaged or refined foods.

Protein is a package deal. I was sucked into all the big tubs of protein marketing out there. I thought that if I ate more protein my muscles would get bigger. All I got was a bigger gut and terrible stomach acidosis (heart burn). I was lifting once to twice a day consistently. Did I get more muscle yes but it came with a few unwanted side effects.

In the world of bodybuilding people become so macronutrient focused that they neglect some of the most important nutrients that the body needs. These are micronutrients. These are your cancer fighters, damage control mitigators such as phytochemicals, phytonutrients, antioxidants, minerals and so on.

So when one eats these protein shakes many of the micro nutrients that are in those are small in number and isolated forms which do not reflect the same compounds in a whole food form which is easier for the body to control its absorption rate. As with steaks, chicken and eggs they are quite low in these micronutrients compared to foods from the plant kingdom.

So the question then is how do veg bodybuilders get enough protein from plant foods? The simple answer is eating enough calories from whole plant foods. The most obvious protein driven plant foods are nuts, seeds,  grains and beans but greens like spinach or broccoli hold a powerful protein punch per calorie. The issue most people have though is how much broccoli would one have to eat to meet those protein requirements. So adding in a variety of different sources allows one to get enough calories and eat enough protein.

How does the bodybuilding general community get such quick turn around? Well first off when we see a mucle mag many of those famed or average bodybuilders are on steroids or growth hormones and want you to believe the product their selling is what made them that big (refer to the documentary “Bigger, Faster, Stronger). Others who eat Dairy based protein will get, and IGF-1 response which promotes growth but in addition to muscle growth it increase malignant cell growth or as we know it cancer growth.
(http://www.news.harvard.edu/gazette/1999/04.22/igf1.story.html)
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15562834

Often people confuse a six pack with good health. Your muscles being stressed and growing does not equate to good artery health or cancer prevention. Many bodybuilders build muscle through what is known as “Dirty Bulking” where they eat all the junk food they want to build muscle. There is a reason it is called junk food, but yet they hold a lean physique and have large muscles.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11583730
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2824150/

I will admit that if you don’t eat whey, creatine, hgh, steroids and try to build muscle via whole plant foods it will take much longer to get results but it does not mean it won’t happen. We as a global society are so obsessed with urgency with quick results that we often neglect our health in the process. I think part of exercising enjoying the journey and the sense of well being not just how large your muscles are.

For further understanding on how plant based eaters build muscle please visit http://www.veganbodybuilding.com

Note: This is not an expert opinion on the subject Just my opinion  and research on the matter. My own research covers intensive nutritional research over seven years.

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My View and Review of CrossFit

Listen to Podcast

This Podcast has been quite insightful. I found it to have some fair critisism but I think a lot has changed since CrossFit first began. I will explain…

I have been doing CrossFit for several months now. I am a breakdancer for 14 years and use to break for the Washington Wizards. I have been doing extreme calisthenics for about two years now off and on and Parkour for about 3 years off and on as well. I had seen the movie 300 years back and saw them training with a box gym called Gym Jones and saw the amazing results that they got from cross training.

After had discovered CrossFit years back, I realized that it did have seem an intriguing methodology of working out and because of this I went to the CrossFit main site and downloaded some of the workout videos. These workouts to me seemed quite amazing and fun. Specially when you would see people pulling crazy amounts of pushups, sit-up’s and burpees.  As months passed I gave up the idea all together. I just got carried away by other activities. It was not into I started seeing clips on Youtube about the CrossFit games did my interest return. I was again quickly impressed with these athletes unbelievable ability to do amazing endurance feats of strength with very little rest. I knew it would require lots of training and understanding of fundamental exercise movement. Unlike many who saw CrossFit as a dangerous sport I saw it as training multiple disciplines with proper form. I assumed that all people thought like this. But ran across a few sport websites trying to discredit it.

As I soon learned there were lots of CrossFit haters, many who were jealous with the fitness capability, some of it was ignorance of what it was like to train in a good CrossFit gym, some who had heard the dangers of the sport by articles and sites they read, and others might have been by the myriad of CrossFit clips of people doing just dumb movements that had nothing to do with the actual workouts and what most CrossFit gyms did during the class times.

There are vast good form videos now appearing all over the internet about how to train the movement properly. What was once just a the Wild Wild West of CrossFit is now become more tame and more certified trainers, not just in CrossFit certs but other respected sports certifications like NASM and ACE trainers are joining the mix. Many of the instructors and boxes because of the large amount of criticism of improper form have brought in experts in other Professional disciplines to teach the proper and corrected form; some of which have been Olympic athletes. I have not been in a CrossFit class yet in my area where form was not introduced even during workout sessions. I constantly have instructors trying to correct my form even during the WOD sections (Workout of the Day).

As mentioned in this Podcast (link above) that there are good and bad of any sport. You can see and incredible injury rate in runners, soccer players, basketball players and so on. Does this mean we should discount its value of these sports? No of course not but when a sport is new it will quickly take heat by those who find it too different. Take CrossFit for what it is and not more. Try a class and see if their community is for you. Many fitness businesses can benefit from CrossFit by adding their value into it by showing CrossFittters better ways of correcting form, and giving seminars to CrossFit affiliates to be part of this fast growing movement. I will say I do not follow or agree with their diet plans for one but that does not mean I can’t still walk away with some value from great community and workouts.

All I can say as for the many Cross Fit gyms that I have visited I can only say my experience has been a good one. I will still sign up for classes for now and will continue to grow as an all-around athlete. Let your own experience dictate your view on the matter, just sharing mine.

Note:None of my views reflects CrossFit or CrossFit affiliates opinion.

Since I have been doing CrossFit I have completed an up hill  and down hill non flat single mile run in 6min. 22 sec. and a 2 mile run in 7min. which I was unable to reach before doing CrossFit.

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High Consumption of Polyphenols Are Associated With Longevity

Oct. 9, 2013 — It is the first time that a scientific study associates high polyphenols intake with a 30% reduction in mortality in older adults. The research, published on Journal of Nutrition, is the first to evaluate the total dietary polyphenol intake by using a nutritional biomarker and not only a food frequency questionnaire. Research is signed by Cristina Andrés Lacueva, Montserrat Rabassa and Mireia Urpí Sardà, from the Department of Nutrition and Bromatology of the UB; Raúl Zamora Ros (ICO-IDIBELL), and experts Antonio Cherubini (Italian National Research Centre on Aging), Stefania Bandinelli (Azienda Sanitaria di Firenze, Italy) and Luigi Ferrucci (National Institute on Ageing, United States).

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High Fat Diets and Low Fat Diets and Testosterone

There have been some serious back and forth of low fat vs low carb diets causing lower testosterone. One must observe their blood profiles to truly see their risks for heart disease.  

So cutting out fat from the diet is hard to do and not recommended by many health care practitioners. With that said, eating high saturated fat  does not resolve low testosterone issues as many would think. Plus higher intake of animal products increases IGF-1 (Insulin like growth factor 1) which often comes with an increase of  animal protein which can add to cancer growth factors as seen in this study. As see in this study one will observe that plant eating subjects had higher roaming testosterone that lowered risk for cancer .

So what a second study found was that those consuming high amounts of fatty foods endedup with lower testosterone post meal as seen in this study

Arguements against these studies. seem to be that high fat has show to increase testosterone which leaves people confused vs low fat. This leaves people confused. Well usually people on low fat diets tend to consume less calories and sometimes to quite low levels.  Which calorie deficit decreases testosterone as seen in this Army Ranger study.

The key in the body as always is having a good balance. Not too much or too little of any kind of hormone or nutrient. This is where supplementation leads to problems as seen in these studies below. So when we add supplements to our diet and think that more is better it may not be the case.

Associations between testosterone levels and incident prostate, lung, and colorectal cancer. A population-based study.

Serum testosterone and the risk of prostate cancer: potential implications for testosterone therapy.

So as to truly understanding the hormone system in the body many blogs, health gurus, articles and marketers would like you to believe it is as simple as knowing increasing fat intake or popping in testosterone pills to resolve your health issues. This is an oversimplification of hormone function and the endocrine system. As you might observe many men on low fat diets such as those following Engine 2 dietOrnish diet, and many other low fat diets you will see men with not only good energy, total overall health and muscle growth, but having no issues with their sex hormones. Many will even brag about how things work better all together when it comes to circulation to be blunt. 

When it comes to health things are multifactorial and not something as simple as just increasing fat intake because with more saturated fat and cholesterol comes more clogged arteries.

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Avocado’s as part of a good diet for Cancer prevention

I want to discuss quickly here the importance of multiple sources of whole foods for antiangiogenic (tumor blood vessel killer) diet. It is believed that the main feeding source for tumors is angiogenesis (blood vessel development) in which the tumor acquires nutrients to grow and spread. Eating high power foods like kale are good but should not be the only source for health. The more variety of fruits and vegetables it is like having not just one type of fighting army but one of multiple ones with many skills and disciplines. Variety is the key optimal health it seems. Avocados being a fruit warrior in itself. One more to add to the team of powerful foods that help reduce the risk of some types of cancer. 

“These studies suggest that individual and combinations of phytochemicals from the avocado fruit may offer an advantageous dietary strategy in cancer prevention.”  –Ding HChin YWKinghorn ADD’Ambrosio SM.

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Are you curious what are all those great colors in an avocado from skin to fruit?

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1 whole avocado, 304 grams has about 17 grams of fiber in it which meets 68% of the RDA’s fiber requirement and holds 7 grams of plant protein and 88% percent of your daily requirement of vitamin C.  Nutrition Facts

Note: According to Dr. Essylsten M.D. from the Cleveland Clinic if you have had heart disease or at a high risk for heart disease reducing total fat is advised ; even if it is from healthier forms of fat. 

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Apigenin and Luteolin, flavonoids that kill human pancreatic cancer

Aug. 15, 2013 — Celery, artichokes, and herbs, especially Mexican oregano, all contain apigenin and luteolin, flavonoids that kill human pancreatic cancer cells in the lab by inhibiting an important enzyme, according to two new University of Illinois studies.

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Exercise May Be the Best Option for Alzheimer’s Disease

July 30, 2013 — New research out of the University of Maryland School of Public Health shows that exercise may improve cognitive function in those at risk for Alzheimer’s by improving the efficiency of brain activity associated with memory. Memory loss leading to Alzheimer’s disease is one of the greatest fears among older Americans. While some memory loss is normal and to be expected as we age, a diagnosis of mild cognitive impairment, or MCI, signals more substantial memory loss and a greater risk for Alzheimer’s, for which there currently is no cure.

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