Josh Bowen: Nutrition Overhaul without Counting Calories

joshLet’s be real here, we all hate talking about what we eat. We either don’t want to talk about it because our nutrition sucks and we know it sucks OR we don’t want to talk about it because we don’t want to change it. We like our eating habits, regardless if they are benefiting us or hindering us. When I ask a blanket statement of, “How is your nutrition,” you get a ton of different answers, mainly ones that want to deflect the question all together. From there, the general public focuses and obsesses over the amount of calories something has. This week we heard a story of a client not wanting to put brown mustard on a turkey sandwich because they didn’t want to go over their calories for the day. It can get a little absurd.  This is not our faults, we are taught in the media that eating less will make you skinny, this couldn’t be further from the truth.

JB- “Do you believe in counting calories?” The answer is simply no! A calorie is not a calorie. They are not all created equal. 200 calories from McDonald’s and 200 calories from fresh vegetables are two totally different things. I also don’t believe in consuming less and less calories (below 1200 for women and 1800 for men) as this practice destroys our metabolism.  But what I do believe in is using your portion sizes to guide your nutritional choices. This guide could help you tremendously as you look to overhaul your nutritional plan and get healthier and fitter.

For men:
With each meal have the following:
1-2 Palms of Protein
1-2 Fists of Vegetables
1-2 Cupped Handfuls of Carb Dense foods
1-2 Thumbs of Fat Dense Foods

For women:
1 Palm of Protein
1 Fist of Vegetables
1 Cupped Handful of Carb Dense Foods
1 Thumb of Fat Dense Foods

Examples:

Protein
*Preferably Organic
Ground turkey
Eggs
Beef
Fish (cod, orange roughy, salmon the best)
Chicken

Vegetables
*Preferably Organic
Broccoli
Asparagus
Cauliflower
Kale
Green beans
Carrots
Romaine Lettuce
Edamame

Carb Dense Foods
White rice
Quinoa
Sweet potato
White potato
Oats

Fat Dense Foods
Almonds
Nuts and Cashews
Avocados
Olive Oil

For more foods check out The Best Damn Grocery Store List…Ever http://eepurl.com/biIymf

We all know that counting calories long term is futile, annoying and just not sustainable. Being able to manage your portion sizes just by using your hand, can be a great alternative. It could possibly be more effective as well. In closing, remember to just keep it simple.

Julie Rath: Fall Style Tip #1 — Layering Made Easy

Fall is a great time to upgrade your style, and while there is so much you can do, I wanted to break it down and make it super simple for you. So I put together three Fall style tips that are easy and fun to implement. Read on for #1.

Fall is a confusing time — and it’s upon us. You can be walking down the street and see a guy in a parka on one block and another guy in shorts on the next. How does one dress sensibly when the day starts and ends in the 50’s but peaks in the 70’s at midday?

The secret lies in the layering.

Fall is a confusing time -- and it's upon us. You can be walking down the street and see a guy in a parka on one block and another guy in shorts on the next. How does one dress sensibly when the day starts and ends in the 50's but peaks in the 70's at midday?   The secret lies in the layering.

In order to be fully prepared for such irrational weather, it’s key to have a cadre of thin layers.

Some can be basic, and others patterned. The main thing is to have a mix and not too much of one color.

Pull together a collection of thin v-neck and henley sweaters, thin cardigans, solid t-shirts, cotton henley shirts, sportcoats and transitional jackets (these include field-type jackets, leather or suede, and lightweight bombers). The reason the layers should be thin is that it will give you the ability to regulate your temp most easily. And thinner layers combine more easily together.

You can pile the layers on when it’s cold and peel them off when you overheat. And if you’re out from dawn to dusk, carry a small classy duffle to throw extra layers into.

Something like this:

Men's Fashion Tips: Dressing for Fall

 

Josh Bowen: Conquering Depression with Fitness

joshI recently read an article about the rapper Eminem and his personal struggles and how he dealt with his depression. The rapper was addicted to sleeping and pain pills and was in personal turmoil but he found solace in working out. He lifted weights and ran to cope with his personal pain and finally was able to deal with his depression and other personal issues.

This article got me thinking…a lot. With so many people suffering in this world, can and how can fitness be used as a vehicle to to improve our mental health? The obvious answer is yes but I also have to be honest with myself, as I know this all too well.

Time to get real… For whatever reason, whether it be hereditary or my brain doesn’t work correctly or its just part of my personality, I have dealt with depression since I was 20. I have a tendency to have more lows than highs and I have to put maximal effort into changing some thoughts that come along.

I have mild depression. I am like a lot of people. I write this not so you feel sorry for me (last thing I want) or that you look at me any different. I make the best with what I have, I am not a hero by any means. I just deal with the hand I am dealt. But depression is real and the one thing I have always found comfort in is working out. It helps tremendously on my psyche and my self esteem. Its my medicine and my temple.

By nature, I am a problem solver. I love helping people improve themselves and their situations. Helping people overcome what goes on in their mind/brain is something I find gratifying. Conquering depression, whether mild or severe is a war but it is a war that can be won, especially with fitness. I have worked with many people who have overcome their battles with depression and come out on the other side a better and stronger person. Most, if not all, would attribute their success to fitness. And so would I. Here are the stats: 14.8 million American adults suffer from some type of depression 6.7% of the U.S. population The average onset of depression is 32 years old. Women are more prone that men to have major depression  I would be willing to bet these statistics will continue to climb as years go by.

This is a major problem but with a great solution…working out.

Here is how:

  1. Stress Relief Anxiety and depression often go hand in hand. The tension of the world around us, the amount of social pressure we feel can often send us into a state of depression. We shut off the world. But nothing will help more than a great workout. The increase in serotonin production (feel good hormone) can make our body’s and mind’s feel better, reducing stress and relaxing the body. There is nothing better than pumping some iron when you feel down!
  2. Self Esteem The social pressures of today are unfathomable. The amount of pressure we put on ourselves to look a certain way or be a certain way, have a certain job or be a certain place in life is ridiculous. That pressure is waring out bodies out and causing us to become depressed. The comparing yourself to others is only killing your mind and body, so stop doing that. By increasing your fitness you are altering your body’s composition and being a better version of yourself. Feel better about you!
  3. Coping Life can suck, I wrote about it last blog. Sometimes it feels like the sky has opened up and dumped everything and anything on you. Murphy’s law can happen at any time. Tragedies happen everyday. Fitness can help you cope with your emotional pain and drive you to become better.  I hope you can appreciate the honesty here. There are many people who have these issues and problems, whether mild or major, temporary or permanent.

In closing remember these two things: 1. Tough times pass but tough people are here to stay 2. Your current situation is not your final destination

Josh Bowen: Never Give Up

joshI write a lot. I write more than I read. I write on real life happenings, mostly on fitness, nutrition and motivation. My world inspires my writings. This entry is no different. You may like this entry, you may not but it applies to us all. Each day we are presented with a choice to keep going on some things or to quit and give up. This is a blog inspired by someone going through an unimaginable amount of pain and sorrow, to the degree most will never know. The pain is lots but her spirit will never be broken. #teamawesome

We all are under the understanding that life is not fair, it can be cruel and unjust at times and if you are not careful it can beat you to the ground, if you let it. Some things don’t make sense. Bad things happen to good people. The universe sometimes is not in our corner. This week these known facts became even more apparent to me. Sometimes this world just plain sucks. We all know it and sometimes it gets to us, even when situations have nothing to do with us. When we see people around us hurting, it puts life into perspective. It becomes a learning lesson. How many times can you get knocked down and still get back up. This is the true measure of strength.

Life is 10% what happens to us and 90% how we react to it. That reaction is crucial. The severity of your situation can cause you to become jaded, frustrated, angry and the worse thing…quit. We often dwell more on our failures than our successes. We often feel like the universe is telling us no, when in fact it may be telling us “not yet.” Perception is everything, how you look at your situation through your own eyes is how you ultimately react to it. Its a choice, either quit or keep going.

Don’t let the world shake you to your knees. Get back up and come back for more. As the old adage says, “get knock down seven times, get up eight.” Here are some great reasons to never, never, never give up:

You are Alive and You Can

As long as their air in your lungs and gumption in your heart, anything and every is possible. No matter how many times you have failed, you are alive and can do it again.

Believe in Your Dreams

Your dreams are you dreams, if you give up on them you give up on yourself. Keep going forward.

No Regrets

People usually only regret things they didn’t do rather than things they did do. Go do stuff and have no regrets.

It Will Change for the Better

“For every dark night, there is a bright day after that. So keep your head up, chest out an handle it”
-Tupac Shakur

You Deserve Happiness and Success

Our birth rites are freedom, liberty and pursuit of happiness. We deserve that. YOU deserve that. Keep plugging away until you find that.

Tipping Point

Everyone who has ever achieved massive success will tell you that they were on the brink of quitting when they finally broke through. When you feel like it can’t get any worse, keep going forward. On the other side of hell is success.

As the great Jim Valvano said at the ESPYs years ago when he was fighting cancer, “Never give up, never give up.” Never, ever give up on your dreams. Keep inspiring.

David Host: Kentucky’s Unnecessary Trauma

David HostKentucky county clerk Kim Davis sits in jail today because Governor Steve Beshear and his staff appear to have overlooked a 76-word statute.

I do not condone Ms. Davis’ apparently willful violation of a federal court order. Nor do I agree with her stated position that she has a constitutional right to ignore any of her duties as a public official. Nevertheless, a cursory review of KRS §402.080 – the Kentucky law which authorizes county clerks to issue marriage licenses – shows that Ms. Davis possesses no power to issue marriage licenses to anyone. Indeed, it appears reasonably clear that none of

Kentucky’s 120 county clerks have that authority until the Kentucky legislature amends the statute to contain gender-neutral language.

The text of KRS §402.080 states as follows:

“Marriage license required — Who may issue.

“No marriage shall be solemnized without a license therefor. The license shall be issued by the clerk of the county in which the

female resides at the time, unless the female is eighteen (18) years of age or over or a widow, and the license is issued on her

application in person or by writing signed by her, in which case it may be issued by any county clerk.”

Under the express terms of KRS §402.080, “the female” must apply for a marriage license before a county clerk “shall” issue a marriage license; and the statute further declares that “[n]o marriage shall be solemnized without a license therefor.” Although the U.S. Supreme Court did not strike down this statute directly two months ago, KRS §402.080 is certainly unconstitutional within the meaning of its decision. Thus, it appears that Kentucky has operated without a valid marriage statute since the date of the Court’s decision.

Although I remain a dedicated member of the “loyal opposition,” I believe that Steve Beshear is an able and honorable man who has served as one of my native state’s better governors during my lifetime. In general, he has thoughtfully put the interests of Kentuckians ahead of any other agenda – which is why I have been surprised and disappointed by his decisions following the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling.

The fundamental impact of the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling was to strike down as unconstitutional any state marriage law which expressly restricts marriage to opposite-sex couples. Yet, the Court does not have the authority to reach into any state and write a replacement statute. Thus, each state had an obligation to immediately review its marriage statutes to determine if action by that state’s legislature might be necessary to implement the Court’s ruling.

Some states might have already had gender-neutral marriage laws on their books prior to efforts in recent years (through additional statutes or state constitutional amendments) to expressly define marriage as between persons of the opposite sex. In those states, no legislation was necessary for the Court’s ruling to go into effect immediately. In states like Kentucky, however – where the Court’s decision invalidated the core statute which authorizes marriage – legislative action seems essential in order to preserve anyone’s right to marry. As Governor Beshear has rejected bipartisan requests to call the Kentucky legislature into special session, a serious question exists whether any person has received a legally valid marriage license in Kentucky during the last two months.

As Kentucky’s chief executive, Governor Beshear’s critical responsibility following the Court’s ruling was to assess its specific impact upon Kentucky’s marriage laws, and determine what steps were necessary to bring those laws into compliance. Instead, he immediately instructed Kentucky’s county clerks – 120 independently elected constitutional officers – that they must begin issuing marriage licenses on a gender neutral basis, even though it seems that Kentucky law no longer authorizes them to issue any marriage licenses.

I respect the fact that having engaged in a good-faith effort to defend Kentucky’s existing marriage laws (to the extent that he hired outside counsel when Kentucky’s attorney generalrefused to proceed with an appeal), Governor Beshear wants to move beyond this issue. I further understand his concerns about the cost to Kentucky taxpayers of calling a special legislative session – particularly when that special session is almost certain to feature lengthy and acrimonious debate regarding how to implement a U.S. Supreme Court decision with which a significant majority of Kentuckians appear to disagree.

Yet, I cannot perceive how Governor Beshear has any choice under the existing state of Kentucky law. Moreover, a special session would allow the legislature to formulate “conscientious objector” provisions which excuse county clerks whose religious beliefs prevent them from issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Perhaps most important, this measure would end the trauma associated with Kim Davis and the stance she has felt compelled to take.

At some point, the absence of immediate corrective legislation could cost Kentuckians far more than the expenses associated with a special legislative session.

 

Josh Bowen: Sleep – the Ultimate Fat Killer

joshOn the paradigm of “fat less” principles we often focus on nutrition and exercise as the most important. However, we often forget about the recovering aspect, more specifically sleep and its important on muscle growth, fat loss and overall health. In fact, 30% of Americans sleep less than the recommended amount (7-9 hours). Pair that statistic with the obesity rate of 35.7% and you have something worth looking at.

A study done by Brigham Young University found a trend between amount of hours slept and body fat percentages with females. The study found that having too little sleep, 6.5 hours on average per night and having inconsistent sleep/wake times contributed to higher body fat percentages than those you slept 8 hours per night on average and had consistent wake/sleep times. Conclusion of the study, which you can read here http://www.ajhpcontents.com/doi/abs/10.4278/ajhp.121012-QUAN-500 found that quality sleep and consistency of sleep contributed to lower body fat percentages in women. I imagine the same would be for men.

So why does sleep matter when it comes to our body fat percentages? Here is how:

Growth Hormone

Sleep is important because of the recovery aspect of it. When you work all day and workout 2-6 days per week you must have sound nutrition and sleep to repair the damage done. If not, your body fights you by breaking down and becoming injured. While you sleep your body releases growth hormone from the pituitary gland to help repair you muscles so they grow and it also helps in breaking down fat stores and releasing them into your system to be metabolized. Essentially growth hormone reduces your body fat percentage by growing your muscles and breaking down your body fat. If you didn’t sleep adequately, this process would be interrupted and could actually back fire on you.

Cortisol

I have talked about cortisol many times, as it does the exact opposite of what testosterone and growth hormone do. It stores body fat because the body becomes overstressed (increased training, life stress, lack of rest) and increases your body fat percentage. If you don’t sleep this guy kicks in, instead of growth hormone and your body fat percentage goes up and you wake up tired and groggy.

Cumulative Effect

Our lives are busy and it is not feasible to get the required amount of sleep EVERY night. However, as with most things, it is a cumulative effect over several weeks, months, years that has the most effect on our bodies. By trying to be consistent every night and getting adequate rest and sleep we can see a dramatic difference in our bodies. This is a must!

What can I do if I didn’t get enough sleep?


Naps are great for getting in extra sleep you may have missed. Even if it is a short 20 minute nap on the couch at your lunch break, anything to increase the amount of rest you get is important to your physical goals.

This topic deserves multiple entries as I believe it is that important. Even thought I do not have statistical data to prove my claim, I would say the best results I get with clients are due to them being able to control stressors of life and getting adequate rest. I would also like to add reducing the amount of alcohol in the diet does impact sleep patterns and helps reduce body fat. Moral of the story is sleep lots and drink alcohol sparingly if at all.

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