Spartan Beast: Hua Hin, Thailand — Signed Up + No Longer “Obese”

A few days ago I was jumping in JOY and ECSTASY.  Never have I ever been so elated because of a machine.  When I saw BMI (Body Mass Index) the other day, I saw the Physique ratings at standard.  Six weeks prior to this, my physique was apparently obese, although I look relatively thin.  My metabolism before was at 35 (and I’m 30) and now it’s at 30. Let’s go over some of the categories that are on this piece of paper.

  • Weight – 76.6KG (2.3kg drop from last week)
  • Fat % – 21.4%
  • Fat Mass – 16.4kg
  • Muscle Mass – 57.1kg
  • Metabolic Age – 30
  • BMI – 23.4

Desirable Range

Fat % – 11.0 – 21.9

Fat Mass 7.4 – 16.9kg

Here’s about what 50% of the paper says, but my fat percentage and fat mass is 0.5 kg off after being about 2.0kg ver.

Now, does this change anything? No.  Does this change the fact that I feel my absolute healthiest that I’ve ever felt? Nope.  I’m super grateful that I’ve kept myself committed to going to a gym.  Everything is starting to unfold as it should and I’m super excited about it.

Also, I just signed up for the monstrous Beast in Hua Hin which will take place at the dawn of November.  Upon completion, I will be able to claim my Spartan Trifecta shirt and medal — what I’ve been chasing after for two years.

There are going to be videos coming to you guys at a grand scale, but in my podcast down below, I talk about what my dieting was during the past 6 weeks..

 

Podcast

Side Effects of Protein Deficiency

I had a student, long ago, who was more frail than ever.  She’s what I would call a “white Thai,” a girl who simply changes her skin tone because she thinks white is beautiful.  Not only that, she said she loves being thin because Thai men like thin, white-Thai girls.

Ridiculous, right?

However, this was coming at a great cost: her health.  Her health was despicable at the time and she was only 20 years old.

Her cousin, who sat right next to her, was on a high-protein diet.  She cooked chicken ALL THE TIME and that’s what her diet primarily consisted of (and of course vegetables).  As a 21-year-old, she had a gorgeous body and was fit.

However, her cousin, who looked like she was dying, was sitting next to her, pathetically.  I asked her, “why are you so skinny?”

“I don’t eat protein!” she replied.

Horrific Mistake.

I remember reading an article on Dr. Axe’s website about protein deficiency, and the horrors of what that girl was going through was evident.

Eating too little protein can result in these symptoms as well:

  • A sluggishmetabolism
  • Trouble losing weight
  • Trouble building muscle mass
  • Low energy levels and fatigue
  • Poor concentration and trouble learning
  • Moodiness and mood swings
  • Muscle, bone and joint pain
  • Blood sugar changes that can lead to diabetes
  • Slow wound healing
  • Low immunity

For those of you who want to read on this website instead of Dr. Axe’s, here are some symptoms in the blocked quote down below.

1. You have high cholesterol

High cholesterol and triglycerides are not just caused by eating fatty foods — they are also a result of increased inflammation, hormonal imbalances and high-processed/high-sugar diets. If you tend to replace protein foods with sugary snacks, refined carbs and packaged convenient goods, your cholesterol can start to rise as your liver and cells process fats less efficiently. Some studies have even found an inverse relationship exists between protein intake and risk of heart disease.

2. You’re feeling more anxious and moody

Amino acids are the building blocks for neurotransmitters which control your mood. Proteins help the brain synthesize hormones like dopamine and serotonin that help bring on positive feelings like calm, excitement and positivity.

3. Your workouts are suffering

You’re probably already aware that protein is needed to build new muscle mass, but it’s also important for sustaining your energy and motivation. A low protein diet can result in muscle wasting (or muscle atrophy), fatigue and even fat gain — it can also be behind female athlete triad. In fact, you can workout more, but see less results if your diet isn’t adequate to support tissue repair or your energy needs.

4. You aren’t sleeping well

Poor sleep and insomnia can sometimes be linked to unstable blood sugar levels, a rise in cortisol and a decrease in serotonin production. Blood sugar swings during the day carry over through the night. Carbohydrates require much more insulin than fat or protein does. Eating foods with protein before bed can help with tryptophan and serotonin production, and they have a minimal effect on blood glucose levels; in fact, protein slows down the absorption of sugar during a meal.

5. You have “brain fog”

Protein is needed to support many aspects of healthy neurological functioning. Brain fog, poor concentration, lack of motivation and trouble learning new information can be signs that you’re low in neurotransmitters you need to focus including dopamine, epinephrine, norepinephrine, and serotonin. Neurotransmitters are synthesized in the brain using amino acids, and studies show that balanced diets with enough protein can boost work performance, learning and motor skills.

6. You’re gassy and can’t go to the bathroom

Many metabolic and digestive functions depend on amino acid intake. If your body feels fatigued and run down in general due to protein deficiency, enzyme production, muscle contractions in your GI tract and digestion in general will suffer.

7. Your pants are feeling tighter

Although sometimes higher in calories than carbs, high-protein foods cause increased satiety to a greater extent than carbohydrates or fats do, so they can prevent overeating and snacking. They also help stabilize your blood sugar, allow you to retain more muscle which burns more calories all day, and can reduce cravings.

8. Your menstrual cycle is irregular

One of the most common reasons women suffer from irregular periods and infertility is the condition known as polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). Two major risk factors for PCOS are obesity and pre-diabetes or diabetes — in fact, insulin resistance affects 50–70 percent of all women with PCOS. Low-protein, high-sugar/high-carb diets can contribute to insulin resistance, fatigue, inflammation and weight gain that disrupts the delicate balance of female hormones (including that of estrogen, progesterone and DHEA) needed to sustain a regular cycle.

9. You’ve been getting injured more often and are slow to heal

A low protein diet can raise your risk for muscle loss, falling, slow bone healing, bone weakness, fractures and even osteoporosis. Protein is needed for calcium absorption and helping with bone metabolism. Studies show that older adults with the greatest bone losses are those with a low protein intake of about 16–50 grams per day. Research also shows that a diet high in amino acids can help treat muscle loss due to aging (sarcopenia).

Source: https://draxe.com/protein-deficiency/

Darren Hardy: Chapter 5 – Influences

There are three influences: input (what you feed your mind), associations (the people you spend time with),  and your environment.

If you’re one of those Facebook scrollers, you’re feeding your mind with a good amount of head-trash.  This means that you’re going to end up reading, posting, or sharing something which you have no control over.  Look at the President of the United States, for instance.  How many people post and rant their heads off at them? What do you accomplish by doing it? You really have to take a step back and look at it from that perspective.

I had a wonderful student a year or two ago.  She was a marvelous dental student, but she was quieter than ever.  Sure, “that fits the profile and persona of a dentist,” but she asked me “how can I bring out my personality?”

I asked, “are your friends quiet?”

…….”yes.”

Of course they are.  I can bet you right now if she had funny friends around her for a month, her personality would change.

A funny story about this would be Thai women try looking “black.”

That’s right.  They get hair extensions and tan their skin as much as possible to come off as an “African American.”  When you speak to them, they have a good amount of slang.  Guess who their friends are? You guessed it! Wait, no you didn’t.  Their friends are all from Africa.

I thought it was a funny story to tell. HA!

Environment has to be the biggest.  Honestly, biggest slum in Bangkok by the name of Khlong Toei is infested with poor people.

Rose Garden Townhomes, a place that my mother has been living for almost two decades, is full of a bunch of generational welfare pumping hood rats (hey, just calling it how I see you).

Are rich people hanging out with poor people?  Is someone from Beverly Hills going to a gym in Watts? Do the people in Manhattan live in the Bronx?

NOPE!

I. Input: Garbage in, garbage out.

“If you want your body to run at peak performance, you’ve got to be vigilant about consuming the highest-quality nutrients and avoiding tempting junk food. If you want your brain to perform at its peak, you’ve got to be even more vigilant about what you feed it. Are you feeding it news summaries or mind-numbing sitcoms? Are you reading the tabloids, or SUCCESS? Controlling the input has a direct and measurable impact on your productivity and outcomes.”

Excerpt From: Darren Hardy. “The Compound Effect.” iBooks.

This tackles it from two different angles.

On the super-busy days at my job, if I don’t eat protein and a handful of vegetables, I suffer from a mid-afternoon crash.  I can give you straightforward why I do, too – RICE!

Doesn’t make sense to eat rice when your body is not burning anything, right? However, I do!

Now is rice junk food? Absolutely not.  Brown rice is amazing.  But if I eat it at wrong times of the day, my body falls apart.

From an intake of information standpoint, people watch the news, sitcoms, reality TV (A.K.A – sitcoms!) and a handful of other things that serve them no purpose.  Controlling what our brains consume is very difficult. Also, our brain is not designed to make us happy.  It’s got one agenda: survival.

Robberies, fires, terrorist attacks, economy, Trump, internet trolls, nagging co-workers, angry individuals on public transportation – AVOID! If not, your brain is going to dissect the information and spend hours chewing on the fearful information, which will then bring more fear, which could lead to a heart attack.  I mean, pretty excessive, but it most certainly happens when people are driving to work in America every Monday morning.

Podcast

https://www.spreaker.com/user/thearseniobuckshow/darren-hardy-chapter-5-influences

Chia Seeds + Flak Seeds = Constipation Freedom!

Some of the best kept secrets in terms of food being the most powerful drug are kept so deep within a barracks it seems!  After having a good number of conversations the last 24 hours with nurses and doctors, I came across a brilliant video about superfoods (after teaching about brain foods) and realized the healthy benefits of Chia and Flak seeds.

Chia Seed Benefits

  • Skin ageing
  • Digestive Health
  • Heart health
  • Help treat diabetes
  • Boosts energy and metabolism.

 

Flak Seed Benefits

  • Lower cholesterol
  • Weight loss
  • Menopausal symptoms (especially for women here in Thailand)
  • Omega-3 Fatty
  • Gluten-free
  • Combats cancer

The beauty about Chia seeds are that they’re tasteless; therefore, if you throw a cup of it into a smoothie in the morning, or even blend it into a dressing, you’re good!  Flak can also reduce sugar cravings, which is probably one of the biggest things I have.  It has soluble and insoluble fiber which can help support colon detoxification.

After all the blogs I’ve written about Herbalife shake recipes, it’s time for all of you to get on both a remarkable way to combat constipation and try the smoothies once and for all.

 

 

 

Herbalife Probiotics!

Finally!

It took YEARS for probiotics to make way to Herbalife, and I’m literally welcoming it with  open arms (Mariah Carey style).  Let me give anyone and everyone a rundown of what probiotics are.

First and foremost, both Dr. Axe and Dr. Mark Hyman have gone over the fact that between 50-80% of our entire immune system is located in the gut.  So, if you’ve ever seen yourself getting sick often, look at what you’re eating.  Just recently, my sister’s stomach became inflamed, but instead of looking at what caused it, the doctors looked at it from a financial standpoint.  Sure, let’s give her pills and she’ll be fine.

However, it’s what she’s putting into her stomach which is ultimately agitating her gut.

Just to emphasize what they have said, “many people with health issues, such as thyroid imbalances, chronic fatigue, joint pain, psoriasis, autism and many other conditions don’t realize that these illnesses originate in the gut.”

On top of that, 60-70 million people in America alone are affected by digestive diseases.

That’s terrifying!

What Are Probiotics?

Probiotics are bacteria that line your digestive tract and support your body’s ability to absorb nutrients and fight infection. There are actually 10 times more probiotics in your gut than cells in your body.

Your skin and digestive system by themselves host about 2,000 different types of bacteria. Probiotics benefits have been proven effective in supporting immune function and healthy digestion, as well as beautiful skin.

Your good gut bacteria is also responsible for:

  • Producing vitamin B12, butyrate and vitamin K2
  • Crowding out bad bacteria, yeast and fungi

And I can go on to name so many other things, but I think you get the drift.

If you don’t have enough probiotics, the side effects can include digestive disorders, skin issues, frequent colds and flus.  Are you one of these sufferers?

Historically, we had plenty of probiotics in our diets from eating fresh foods from good soil and by fermenting our foods to keep them from spoiling.

Because of refrigeration and dangerous agricultural practices like soaking our foods with chlorine, our food contains little to no probiotics today, and most foods actually contain dangerous antibiotics that kill off the good bacteria in our bodies. – Dr. Axe

By adding more probiotic foods into your diet, you could see all of the following probiotics benefits:

  • Stronger immune system
  • Improved digestion
  • Increased energy from production of vitamin B12
  • Better breath because probiotics destroy candida
  • Healthier skin
  • Reduced cold and flu
  • Healing leaky gut syndrome and inflammatory bowel disease
  • Weight loss

Inflammatory bowel disease.  That rings a bell in terms of what my sister is going through right now.

AND ALAS! Herbalife has their very own probiotics recipe! Here are the contents listed on the label.

Overview
Simply Probiotic is a daily, science-backed probiotic that provides 1 billion active probiotic organisms, which promote digestive health. It is formulated with a powerful CFU GanedenBC30®* probiotic, which is a bacillus coagulans GBI-30 6086, that aids in carbohydrate and protein digestion. This probiotic is tough enough to survive the gastric journey to get to where it counts, helping you feel your best every day.
Key Benefits
  • Delivers 1 billion active probiotic organisms per serving
  • Up to 70% of BC30 cells survive to colonize the gut
  • Helps provide balance to good and bad bacteria (improving the gut bacteria profile)
  • Aids in carbohydrate and protein digestion
  • Made with non-GM ingredients
  • Zero calories
  • No added flavours, colors, sugars or sweeteners
  • Portable, perfect for on-the-go use

So, for those who are constantly having stomach issues, such as myself (because apparently I don’t eat enough vegetables), probiotics are absolutely vital in maintaining a healthy gut.

 

 

Herbalife Healthy Meal Shake #4 – Neapolitan

We’re back! Another wonderful recipe, which I had the idea come about this morning, is in the books.

When I was a child, every time my mother would by neapolitan ice cream, I would literally just eat the strawberry and vanilla portions of it.  I was never a big fan of chocolate ice cream or chocolate milk until I grew older.

I was hesitant to buy the Herbalife Formula Healthy Meal 4 years ago here in Bangkok because again…I’ve never been a fan of chocolate outside of candy and cake.

However, this trio of flavors tastes exactly like the ice cream, but BETTER!

One scoop of each into a blender with some cubes of ice + milk is probably making you want to try it yourself.

Of course, for those of you who has never tried herbalife before, I would recommend only vanilla (since it’s the basis).  On the other hand, you can start adding in other flavors and bananas or whatnot (I would recommend almonds) to give it that added punch.

  • One scoop of each Formula 1
  • Milk (2%)
  • Ice cubes

This is excellent for a morning shake.

Herbalife Banana Muffins Recipe

My absolute favorite! The thing that makes this so delicious is not only that I have an unspoken infatuation for banana bread, but the fact that the Herbalife 24 Strength “Chocolate” flavor is added in this, making it unbelievably delicious!  Here’s a simple and quick recipe for you guys so you can have these read in case you’re doing heavy cycling or cardio in general.  By the way, I’ll have to make a separate blog about the Herbalife 24 Strength.  By far the best protein on Herbalife’s market.

Banana Chocolate Muffins 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a food processor, add the following….

2 cups oats

2 cups Herbalife24 RebuildStrength

1/2 tsp salt (optional and totally not essential)

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp baking soda

Pulse until finely grounded and pour into a large bowl

Add the following to the food processor

1 cup peanut butter

3 bananas

1 1/2 cups milk

Process it until it’s smooth

In a large bowl, whip 12 egg whites until stiff peaks form.

In turns, slowly mix one cup of the dry mixture and one cup of the wet mixture into the beaten egg whites until fully mixed.

Pour into greased muffin tins and bake for 20-25 minutes..

This might take some practice in the beginning, and you might think it’s a lot of ingredients.  Again, some of them are optional, and 12 egg whites might even be excessive.  Again, these are for my cardio junkies or even just a healthy snack during the day.  I still love my banana pancakes, so stay tuned for more of that!

 

Tim Ferris: Slow Carb Diet

“Many people lose hope when trying to lose weight. – Tim Ferris

Fortunately, it doesn’t need to be complicated.  There are a lot of people out there, gym junkies and all, who question themselves about how many carbs to eat.

The basic rules are simple, all followed 6 days per week:

Rule #1: Avoid “white” starchy carbohydrates (or those that can be white). This means all bread, pasta, rice, potatoes, and grains (yes, including quinoa). If you have to ask, don’t eat it.  This kills for me because sometimes I would throw rice into my diet – the Thai diet.  This is very pivotal for the majority of Thai people, even including one of my students who doesn’t like her shape.  Well, she eats rice three times a day with her meals.  Boom.

Rule #2: Eat the same few meals over and over again, especially for breakfast and lunch. Good news: You already do this.  Example, with a busy teaching schedule such as mine, I always prepare my trips on Friday (the day before the madness) so I know not only what I’m going to eat, but how I’m going to get there.  I buy my almonds and avocados the night before, get my salad after I workout in the morning, and get my main meal for the day that lasts me all the way until 6:40pm.  Time to stay away from the rice!

Rule #3: Don’t drink calories. Exception: 1 to 2 glasses of dry red wine per night is allowed.

Rule #4: Don’t eat fruit. (Fructose → glycerol phosphate → more body fat, more or less.) Avocado and tomatoes are allowed.  Yeah, we were told our lives to eat 2-4 servings (plus or minus) of fruit along with a ton of grains.  Oops.

Rule #5: Whenever possible, measure your progress in body fat percentage, NOT total pounds. The scale can deceive and derail you.

Rule #6: Take one day off per week and go nuts. I choose and recommend Saturday. This is “cheat day,” which a lot of readers also call “Faturday.” For biochemical and psychological reasons, it’s important not to hold back. Some readers keep a “to-eat” list during the week, which reminds them that they’re only giving up vices for 6 days at a time.”

See, now that isn’t so bad, right?  Speaking of cheat days, one of my students declared Sunday his cheat day.  He literally goes into a shopping center for a few hours and loses it.  I never really had a cheat day throughout my week (although cheat meals are more common), however, I will closely consider this.

Hope this works for everyone!