Tuesday, November 25, 2014

QOR Men's Performance Apparel - My new client!

     QOR (pronounced 'core') is a new, cutting age men's performance clothing company.  I am honored to get in on the ground floor as one of their 'core' models!  A little back-story, the smart people behind QOR are also the same ones who started the Athleta brand for women.  Athleta, recently acquired by Gap, grew up and so big it kind of lost their interest so they are now channeling their passion into launching a high-performance, sophisticated men's clothing line aimed to inspire men of all ages.  QOR is based up in the San Francisco area.  My last shoot took place in Petaluma in Sonoma County, and I believe they have a corporate office there.
     Besides the amazing clothing which looks great whether you're climbing a mountain, biking to the office, or in an office meeting, (it's discrete, sophisticated, high performing, active wear in a nutshell), this type of client is what inspires me lately because, it matches where I'm at in my life, and, those who know me, know my wardrobe must be functional first, or I'm not wearing it!  Function is my style haha!  But QOR let's you have both while keeping things simple for guys who are too busy to shop.
     The shoots are indeed physically demanding, and outdoors much of the time, which suits me perfectly.  (This coming from a 12 year fitness-model veteran...) You can take the model out of the fitness industry but you can't take the fitness out of the model.  Does that make sense?  What I mean is, sometimes I don't do very well on shoots if there is no physical challenge or outdoor adventure associated with it.  Training nonstop and being uber fit is in my blood and I can't stop/won't stop, but alas now in my forties my fitness goals have shifted to more of a longevity and holistic health frame of mind, and besides, clothing fits better and looks better with less (muscle) bulk!
Learn more about QOR men's performance clothing at their website: QORKit.com!  Follow them on FB, Twitter and Insta too!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Prostate Health and Prostate Cancer Awareness - It's 'Movember'!

Since it is ‘No shave November’, AKA Movember, I thought I would make this month’s nutrition topic about foods that promote a healthy prostate!  But in addition to some healthy food choices, I can’t help but also give you some lifestyle tips as well, to maintain a healthy prostate as you age into your forties, fifties and beyond.  For example, did you know that regular ejaculation is absolutely one of the healthiest things you can do for your prostate?  To be more specific, a recent study (don’t ask me how they studied this), showed that men age 40 and over who ejaculated at least 21 times per month were at 33% lower risk for developing enlarged prostate gland, or prostate cancer than those who ejaculated less frequently.  Obviously the safest but least fun way to accomplish this is through masturbation, because increasing sex partners will increase your risk of exposure to many other STDs which could be more way more life threatening than prostate cancer!
Why should you be so concerned with your prostate anyway?  Well doctors recommend at age 40 that you get your first prostate check, by having your rectum probed with the finger of a medical expert.  This type of check will allow a doctor to manually feel your prostate gland and see if it is enlarged or has any lumps, or hard spots.  At age 50 doctors recommend a prostate check every year, by either manual check through the rectum or a blood lab PSA test (Prostate Specific Antigen test).  The problem with blood PSA tests is they are really only useful when several tests are taken over a period of time detect a trend.  Because your PSA levels can acutely rise into a risk-alert level through many activities such as sexual intercourse, bicycling or any other kind of trauma near that area of your body.  Even a sitting too long during a road trip can spike your PSA levels, possibly alarming you and your doctor for no reason.  So as unpleasant and as violating as it may be, many experts feel that the manual finger-insertion check is more accurate and reliable than a blood PSA test.  What all these tests are trying to check for is early onset of enlarged prostate gland, medically known as ‘Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia’ or BPH.  BPH can then be a precursor to prostate cancer, which at least is considered very curable and isn’t likely to kill you.  But still nobody wants cancer!

Thursday, November 13, 2014

The Value of Hiring a Professional Fitness Model vs. a Pro Athlete.

     I used to make fun of my own kind ('fitness' models), because we have so much emphasis put upon our appearance and aren't perceived as true athletes, however after doing this gig for 14 years I've come to value this title again, because when you need a fit body to exercise literally all day long with no whining or pampering, and make your prototype product or apparel look flawless, and be able to basically reproduce any sport or fake it pretty darn well with zero rehearsal, the pro Fitness Model will kick the pro athlete's ass 9 times out of 10.  Making the client's product look amazing is our sport!
     Not trying to take away anything from the professional athlete.  In fact many of you know I have always tried to draw parallels between myself and what I do as a working fitness model with professional athletes.  I've always advocated and almost preached, "function over aesthetics", "performance over aesthetics", and claimed I was in a sense a 'holistic athlete'.

Friday, October 10, 2014

The Human Microbiome: Like it or not, you are host to trillions of bacteria that are integral to everything about you! You need these flora as much as they need you...

     Your microbiome refers to the assemblage of microbes (bacteria) that live in and on our body.  These living bacteria, considered ‘friendly flora’, or commensal for the most part, outnumber our own human cells 10 to 1.  We are more foreign bacteria than we are ‘human’!  Up to 5 lbs. of our body weight is made up of the living, high-functioning bacteria we carry around with us, mostly residing in our colon or gut.  (Remember most of our bodyweight is actually comprised of water.)
            We’ve come a long way in our understanding of microbes, and what distinguishes a good bacteria from a disease causing pathogen.  By now, from a holistic perspective you should understand that while there is a time and place for sanitation, anti-bacterial soaps & cleaners, and antibiotic drugs, to be optimally healthy we must learn to co-exist with bacteria and even nurture and feed our own friendly flora that we are host to.  Culturally we should not associate the word bacteria with dirty or unsanitary.  When we are truly healthy in a holistic sense, we naturally coexist with most types of bacteria, even the disease causing ones – they simply don’t seem to infect us on a day to day basis.  In fact our own colonies of friendly bacteria help us ‘fight off’ the bad bacteria.  It’s an amazing microbial world of checks and balances taking place within our gut and on every surface of our body, established initially from birth, and building onward.

Improper initial bacterial colonization at birth and as infants due to C-section delivery (because vaginal birth is when and where newborns receive their first implantation of bacteria from mom), or chronic disruption of these native flora colonies due to long term use of antibiotic drugs can skew our health so far of course that many systemic inflammatory, and auto-immune diseases can be set in motion, often blamed on other allergic reactions, or lifestyle factors such as poor diet or lack of exercise.  This is because, our native gut flora, also serve to regulate and balance our immune system and prevent it from over-reacting.  Over time, our immune system gets conditioned to the friendly microbes and bacteria living in our gut and learns not to react to them or attack them.  The immune T-cells become regulated.  But when a course of antibiotics disrupts our good bacteria colonies, it can leave a void for bad pathogenic, disease causing bacteria to take up residence or multiply.

               In fact many systemic inflammatory and autoimmune diseases are now being re-thought to be caused or linked to missing or dysfunctional gut flora, such as type-2 diabetes, Crohn’s disease, Celiac’s disease, colitis, even obesity and autism.  Is it possible that the recent surge in folks who claim to have a ‘gluten-sensitivity or allergy’ may actually have an imbalance or lack or healthy bacteria residing in their gut?  This is all based on a relatively new project of research known as The Human Microbiome Project which was commissioned in 2007 and is still ongoing now.  Not only is the research directed at learning more about how we mutually coexist and rely on bacteria, but researchers are also genetically coding the DNA of these bacteria, and linking them to specific human traits or diseases.  These various colonies of bacteria reside all over our body and they can only live in their designated spot and are high-functioning and symbiotic.  And everywhere they exist they are part of a microbiome area of human real estate where they maintain a system of checks and balances and help regulate our immune system, and even produce a myriad of enzymes that are necessary for final digestion and nutrient absorption.

Monday, October 6, 2014

My Protein Bar & Supplement Sponsor, 'Greens Plus'!, AKA, 'Greens+'

Good surfing fuel, both pre or post surf!
Sorry for two blog posts in one day, but I'm way behind in my wish-list of blog topics and critical information I owe to you, and this post is way more personable, and not just a spam or sales-pitch attempt I assure you!  I just wanted to give a shout-out to my relatively new sponsor 'Greens+' pronounced "Greens Plus".  I guess technically I'm an ambassador for them, but they're sending me my favorite products every month so either way I'm stoked.  I'm using their protein and chia bars, and their chia-seed powder blend, and their raw, green, powder blend.
This the bar I like! - Max
     Their products are all non-GMO, certified organic, raw, alkaline, gluten-free, cold-pressed, (I could go on with all the bells and whistles and fancy labels but I won't!)  Many are available in vegan options as well.  My current favorite is their new 'PlusBar' whey protein bar in peanut butter-chocolate flavor with 72% cacao content of course!  The whey is 100% whey isolate for high BV, quick absorbtion.  This bar, although recently re-furbished and re-branded into full super-food status, has been my travel companion for years, (way before this sponsorship began), both on the JetBlue jet and on many fitness shoots, and surf trips!  So tasty, it will also satiate and silence your chocolate-peanut butter craving too!  Here is the direct link to learn more about this fantastic bar, (and NO I am not the one selling it or receiving any points or downline or upline haha!...just looking out for you!): Greens Plus, Whey protein PlusBAR, peanut butter-chocolate!
Have PlusBar will travel!  Healthy snack at cruise altitude!

Thanks for listening, your's truly,
"Optimum health is my method of life!"

Human Growth Hormone: Is it the 'Fountain-of-Youth' hormone some anti-aging 'experts' are touting? Should you consider hGH replacement therapy?

     Natural human Growth Hormone, abbreviated as hGH and medically known as Somatotropin, is a truly amazing and essential hormone, but sadly it is not a fountain-of-youth hormone.  In this article I’m only going to discuss hGH’s role in fully mature adults.  hGH is also produced synthetically, since 1985, and is available only by (very expensive) prescription via low-dose injections.  The synthetic form of hGH is known generically as Somatropin but is sold through prescription under many different brand names, usually ending in ‘-trope’ or ‘-tropin’.  There is absolutely no oral tablet or capsule form of hGH that is legitimate because it is destroyed in the stomach during digestion.  There is absolutely no supplement that will boost your own hGH production.  Those are all false claims and marketing ploys, unregulated by the FDA.  The only synthetic form of hGH that is real, is available by prescription injection only.  You are an idiot if you were to ever try to buy black market hGH and administer it to yourself and that is as far as I am going to discuss black market hGH because I refuse to waste your time.
In adults, hGH is secreted by the pituitary gland in sporadic short bursts throughout the day, peaking at night about an hour after we first fall asleep and enter our first deep-sleep phase - which is why if you take nothing else away from reading this article, simply by ensuring you go to be at the same time each night and don’t miss that critical first cycle of sleep, you will be accomplishing one of the best things you can do to maximize your natural hGH production.  Other natural occurring times when hGH is secreted is in direct response to intense exercise, physical trauma, and during periods of fasting/hunger.  More on this later, as we can deduce simple strategies to maximize our hGH based on this information.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Buying (and eating) 'ORGANIC' - is it WORTH it?

The idea of Organic farming is a noble and worthy one, as is choosing to buy Organic food.  It is more than just a liberal, hipster, environmental-activist fad.  Organic means such farmers and the consumers who buy from them, are trying to do a better job of sustaining our planet and its limited resources, minimizing their environmental impact, as well as treating farm animals as humanely as reasonable, all while hopefully producing safer and tastier food.  When you choose to buy Organic you are making an ethical decision just as much as you are a health-conscious decision.  Honestly it is easier to make the case to buy Organic based on ethical and environmental reasons more so than for nutrition or taste reasoning, because the jury is still out on the latter.

Organic’ labeling is thankfully regulated by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), so if you see a food labeled Organic accompanied by this official USDA ‘Organic’ Seal,  then you can trust it is certified organic.  (*If the USDA seal is not clearly visible on the front of the label then it is not certified Organic or held to any such regulated standards or inspections, even if the product claims to be organic!*)  But what does this certification mean exactly and what are the USDA standards if any?  And does the Organic label really mean the food is any safer or healthier?  The USDA defines certified ‘Organic’ to mean: food production using methods that preserve the environment and avoid most synthetic materials, such as pesticides and antibiotics.  Organic principles were first set forth and legislated by Congress contained in the Organic Foods Production Act.
Organic farms and processors are required to, (via USDA.gov):
1.      Preserve natural resources and biodiversity
2.      Support animal health and welfare
3.      Provide access to the outdoors so that animals can exercise their natural behaviours
4.      Only use approved materials
5.      Do not used genetically modified ingredients
6.      Receive annual onsite inspections
7.      Separate organic food from non-organic food

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Psychological Gender Differences in Action Sports: Do Males Have a Risk-Taking Edge?

Regarding psychological gender differences In Action/'Extreme'-Sports performance:  The age-old argument of 'Nature Vs. Nurture' should be thrown out.  It is BOTH Nature and Nurture that make us so different as male vs. female athletes...as risk-takers, when we strip it down to the central psychological core.

You can train away most of the 'nurture' part by starting girls off at a very young age and by exposing them to and encouraging high-risk sports and challenges rather than Disney princess movies and tea-parties.  But you can never train away anatomical brain-gender differences.

As the level of risk goes up and the consequence of failure nears major injury or even potential death, the psychological pendulum swings toward the male brain, giving males a biological-based, advantage.  Males consider consequences less.  At that critical moment of high-risk, the male brain shouts "Go for it.  You got this.  Your buddies are watching and they already went..." without hesitation, more often than a female's brain, which more intelligently, may take another moment or two for additional risk-analysis before leaping.

You can't simply train away brain-anatomical differences.  There's not an exercise for it.  Male brains are bathed in testosterone beginning in the womb while a females' are bathed in estrogen, physically altering brain structure from the womb onward.  Men's brains have more testosterone receptors while female brains have more estrogen receptors.  Those receptors can't be switched off.  Neuro-mapping and pathways, and how we use right and left hemispheres of our brain may be altered to a degree.

Males are more 'fight or flight' while females are biologically (nature) more 'tend and mend'.  Male brains are wired to have a higher threshold of risk and be combative, while females can be more patient and nurturing. This isn't about one gender being better than the other.  There are pros and cons on both sides.  Why do you think women give birth and live longer on average, and have more social and emotional connections?  Where would I be without my wife of 19 years?  Probably dead or a surf bum on an island somewhere.

Women will always have larger Prefrontal Cortexes and smaller Amygdalas, than men -  Lower risk taking behavior and more emotionally involved, respectively.  Men will always have more testosterone than women.  This is not a negative, this is just biology.  Testosterone receptors in the male brain, may give a risk-taking edge.  We should be different and be allowed to be different, and embrace our respective gender if we choose.

There is this idealistic notion out there that females should be able to perform equally, on the same level as males in action-sports.  I don't agree, and if we are waiting for that day to happen, it may never come.  Progress in action sports has always been lead by males by a huge margin.  This does not mean that watching women extreme athletes is any less compelling or exciting.  The relative level of competition is just as intense, as is their relative rate of progression.  We must also take into account there are many more males than females participating in and competing in Action-Sports which will also widen the progression gap just by the gap in (lack of) involvement.
2013 X-Games bronze medalist, and 2013 Ladies Pro Bowl World Champion Julz Lynn (Kindstrand), above, seems to have honed her psychological fitness over many years of skating and found that critical mental edge  - that sweet spot of dopamine, Flow, clarity and adrenaline combining into present-moment magic.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Stretching and Flexibility Training: Mobility Vs. Stability

The principles of stretching and flexibility, both for pre-workout warm-up and as a sole means to improve mobility have completely changed since when you and I were growing up in P.E. class.  In a nutshell, stretching can do more harm than good if not done correctly or if performed with the intent of hyper-mobility (exceeding bio-mechanical ranges).  We also now know that joint stability and strength, are more important to athletic performance and lower injury rates, than flexibility is.   Optimal range of motion is the goal, with flexibility as one tool to get there.  Hyper-mobility or maximizing joint flexibility is never the goal for an athlete!    In fact some pro-athletes do not stretch at all in a traditional since, but rather warm-up and cool-down, and loosen up occasional tight spots and trigger points with targeted stretches, foam-rolling and massage.  Strengthening exercises, massage and compression-wear have taken over many areas for today’s relevant athlete, where stretching fell short in the past.  Pre-workout stretching should be used only as a means to acclimate your body to its normal range of optimal motion, as well as loosening up any ‘tight’ spots or fascia adhesions.  Pre-workout stretching is not the time to try to improve overall flexibility or push joints or muscles past their bio-mechanical maximum range of motion.  Pre-workout stretching should only be done after you have first warmed up your core temperature and increased your heart rate with some form of mild cardio exercise, like spinning, jogging, jumping rope, or mild calisthenics.  A warm muscle is a pliable muscle.  A cold muscle is prone to high-risk of injury.  Never stretch cold muscles!  Ideally the time to work on your flexibility – if that is important to you, is after your workout when all your soft tissue are very warm and pliable.  This may also assist in removing lactic-acid and in muscle recovery.  However, while post-exercise stretching and massage may lower next day (DOMS) soreness, it may also inhibit muscle-gains by reducing inflammation and prostaglandins, which both trigger follow on muscle growth, and Growth Hormone secretion.
My primary 'stretching' goals are to simply 'loosen up', prevent fascia-adhesions, manage scar tissue and to maintain optimal mobility - not to join some sideshow circus act with hyper-mobile joints!!

Friday, April 4, 2014

The Juice-Cleanse Myth...and How You Could Be Harming your Liver!

Juice-cleanses, juicing-fasts, juice-detoxes...It is time I interject some common sense into this over-hyped, fructose-laden, crash-diet-in-disguise fad!  As usual I have done my best to sift through all the bro-science, and anecdotal, placebo-effect claims out there in internet land, and also have managed to sniff out all the false-marketing, testimonial-type, social media posts attempting to sell us cleansing kits, polluting our newsfeeds (pun intended).  ‘Cleanses’ and fasts are certainly not new as they have been around forever, and I don’t think they will ever go away.  Folks are drawn to them and always have been – beginning a cleanse is almost like a spiritual journey for many – like a baptism, and many also like the discipline and sense of accomplishment completing a cleanse can bring.  Cleanses and fasts permit us to immediately and radically start fresh, or break a downward spiral of poor diet and lifestyle choices.  They empower us and cause us to feel as if we are taking back control of our bodies and health with a tangible, simple plan.  However, they are also a means to rapid and sometimes unhealthy weight-loss, so many folks often use cleanses as way to kick start their diets, though often this sets in motion a pattern of yo-yo dieting, or fasting as a way to make-up for binging episodes.  It’s a slippery slope into diet abuse.  I’m sure you know of some folks who are cleansing every month whether they need to or not.

We can see that there are many mental and motivational positives to undertaking a cleanse or even a strategic fast.  In fact Intermittent-Fasting is even linked to improving longevity and boosting metabolism.  And of course there will be immediate accompanying weight-loss, usually temporary water and glycogen weight – but seriously, are our insides any ‘cleaner’ or less toxic as a result?  Doubtful.  And certainly the only claims of the latter I uncovered were anecdotal at best, or worse, evangelistic testimonials from folks trying to sell us cleansing-kits and products.  The bottom line is, are bodies do a fantastic and thorough job of maintaining and detoxing ourselves on a daily basis.  We have organs and systems designed just for this purpose and they never stop working for our greater good.  Liver, kidneys, sweat glands, mucus membranes, colon, lungs, lymph nodes, skin – they are all working in harmony to eliminate toxins and protect us.  All you have to do is not deliberately sabotage yourself, by leading a relatively healthy lifestyle, and you will be good to go!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Reaction-Time Training and Hand-Eye Coordination Improvement Drills

              Hand-eye coordination and reaction-time training usually go hand in hand when it comes to athletic performance and sports.  So I am going to touch on some of the most popular drills to help you improve both of them simultaneously.  The two don’t always go together of course:  Reaction-time training is all about reducing reaction time and improving quickness, while there are many relatively slow and deliberately methodical activities that still require tremendous precision and incredible hand-eye coordination, such as painting, playing a musical instrument, or brain surgery!  In sports however, hand-eye coordination usually involves speed and timing, like with ball and racket sports.  Catching, throwing, hitting, passing, shooting and driving all require tremendous amounts of hand-eye coordination, usually in a reactive, time-critical situation.  Depending on the sport, balls can be traveling at 90 miles per hour or faster, bouncing and spinning along the way.  Perhaps a better way to look at this is body-eye tracking coordination, or neuromuscular mapping and reaction.  Because in most sports, it’s not just our hands having to react, but usually our entire body.  Our feet must first transport our bodies into position to make the play with our hands or rackets!  The good news is, all this can be trained and improved with practice and very simple drills, though apparently much of the foundation is laid when we our kids.  So if you played multiple sports growing up as a kid – good for you!  Your neuromuscular connections, reactive-timing, hand-eye coordination and muscle-memory will always be there for you, albeit a little rusty if you haven’t been on the court in a while!
               Before I get to these basic drills, you should know that the most fun way to develop your hand-eye coordination and improve your reaction-time is to just go out and play the sports you love!  You’ll be much more motivated if you’re having fun and are going all out to make the play or win the game.  The adrenalin, endorphins and dopamine boost we get only through the passion of being immersed in the game will greatly improve your performance and fitness too.  Some of the best sports to improve hand-eye coordination and reaction time are certainly not the most physically demanding: Ping Pong or Table-tennis, and most racket sports require equal parts hand-eye coordination, reaction, and timing.  If you like the beach, I recommend checking out SmashBall beach tennis – another great option!  Peppering or bumping the volleyball is great too.
Above - a reaction training 'ball'

Thursday, March 13, 2014

20 Super Foods! (A practical, affordable list!) - March is National Nutrition Month!

March is National Nutrition Month, according to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics!  No I’m serious, it really is!  Time to celebrate by eating super, nutrient-dense foods!  I have compiled a beginner’s list here for you –we all have to start somewhere.  There are many amazing foods out there that are nutrient dense and very functional.  A list like this is inherently subjective and a practical list couldn't and shouldn't contain them all.  I mean if you're aware of a particular, rare mushroom with miraculous healing powers, but it can only be located after trekking the Amazon jungle for a month, then well, that's not really going to help the rest of us 9-to-fivers is it?!   All the foods I have listed here can be found at almost any super market or whole-foods-type market.  This is a practical list for you and I.  So what makes me consider a food “Super”?  As far as this list is concerned a food will not be considered super unless it possesses healing properties above and beyond providing nutrition and energy.  “Healing properties?” you ask – why yes, along with providing energy and nutrition, food can also be Mother Nature’s most raw and powerful ‘medicine’.  Let me give you few examples of some healing and medicinal properties I’m referring to and how they are defined:

  1. Anti-oxidant:  Neutralizes free-radical molecules in the body, due to oxidative metabolism, by binding to them.  Free-radicals left unchecked can wreak havoc in the body by pulling electrons from other molecules and speed up the aging process of cells.
  2.  Alkalinizing:  If you’ll remember from my earlier article on pH-balancing, your body’s natural pH is slightly alkaline, and many of the refined foods, sodas, coffees, and dairy we eat are very acidic causing the body to leach calcium and other minerals from our bones and muscles to neutralize the acids.  An acidic body has a weakened immune system and does not function at its ideal.
  3. Anti-inflammatory:  Some foods lower inflammation and it is now thought that chronic, systemic inflammation is directly linked to elevated CRP, atherosclerosis, insulin resistance, arthritis, Lupus, and many other problems.
  4. Lower LDL-cholesterol and/or raise HDL-cholesterol: This one really needs no explaining.  Good for the heart and blood vessels.
  5. Anti-biotic/anti-fungal:  Some foods naturally accomplish this role in helping the immune system eliminate harmful pathogens from the body and preventing Candida, (yeast), overrun.
  6. Anti-cancer/carcinogenic: Some foods directly battle cancer cells, and bust up tumors.
  7. Anti-allergenic:  Can help our immune systems grow accustom to allergens and prevent reactions.
  8. Phyto-chemicals:  Micronutrients found in plant-foods including phyto-estrogens to block bad/synthetic estrogens, isoflavones, flavonols, and plant sterols.  These amazing chemicals do things like lower LDL-cholesterol, function as anti-oxidants, support hormone balance, and combat cancer.
  9. Improve Insulin sensitivity/glucose tolerance:  Helps cells uptake glucose from the blood for energy using less insulin.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Valentine's Day means Healthy Indulgence! Wine & Chocolate!

I tend to be a beer drinker but hey, Valentine’s Day is this month and your gal might appreciate sharing good bottle of wine.  So go ahead and indulge, once I arm you with some nutrition facts of course, as I have done my best to cut through all the anecdotal, bro-science out there!
               Make no mistake - I am in no way a wine connoisseur, so brand selection is on you.  And if you currently don’t drink alcohol the medical experts all still say the health benefits associated with moderate wine consumption are not enough reason to start drinking.  Now that I got those two disclaimers out of the way, let’s get on with it!


               Wine consumed in moderation, (1 glass a day for a woman and 2 glasses a day for a man), is widely accepted as good for us and linked to longevity in many cultures.  Alcohol in general, has LDL-cholesterol (‘bad’-cholesterol), lowering properties, and is a vasodilator – dilates your blood vessels, thereby lowering blood pressure – and is relaxing.  This means that alcohol in moderation is heart-healthy for a person currently in good health with no liver problems!  Wine adds in another tier of health because it is so rich in plant-polyphenols from grapes, the most noteworthy being resveratrol.  The high polyphenol content comes from the grape-skins, and since the grapes are fermented longest for red wine, not only does red wine contain more resveratrol content, but it is also lower in sugar.  (Remember, alcohol is NOT sugar.)  All polyphenols are also antioxidants as well, which mean they bind to free-radicals and repair oxidation damage.  Oxidation is a normal metabolic process of all oxygen breathing mammals, and it’s free-radical byproducts are also normal.  In fact, our bodies are very much equipped to handle all oxidative damage and repair, if we just get out of own way, and actually, consuming too many anti-oxidant supplements will actually prohibit proper post-workout repair and adaptation.  Also, the jury is still out in the efficacy of consuming resveratrol in supplement form, so for now you’re better off obtaining it through whole-foods, grapes and wine.  You can also drink grape juice, but your Valentine might not be as stoked if you show up with a bottle of grape juice instead of a nice Merlot.  Plus, grape juice has way more sugar content than wine does, per serving – just sayin!
This article was originally written by me for Four EL magazine, FEB 14 issue


Monday, February 10, 2014

How to Train for a Sprint-Distance Triathlon: A Beginner's Guide to Complete a Triathlon!

Welcome to the sprint-distance triathlon, which is more appropriate for first-timers, and I actually have completed about 6 sprint-distance triathlons, mostly trail events, so I know a thing or two about preparing for them.  A sprint-distance is an introduction to triathlons, yet very much so the full experience.  It is shortest in distance, less than both Olympic distance and The Ironman.

New Year Resolutions Love Races

What better way to kick off your New Year’s fitness plan than by signing up for a race?  Signing up for a race accomplishes something that most other weight-loss programs don’t:  It provides a looming deadline and the accountability that comes along with it, especially if you post that you registered on social media – now you have to do it or you will look like a scared, flake!  Completing a race also provides a huge feeling of accomplishment and pride, because you passed a mental & physical challenge the moment you step across that finish line.  You just can’t get that feeling from your ‘Weigh-Watcher’ or ‘biggest-loser’ group.  What’s important is not necessarily what type of race or event you choose, but sticking to the specific training plan and completing it.  It can become addicting – in a good way!  Almost all diet-plans focus on calorie reduction and food elimination, which just plan sucks.  When you are preparing for a race, you are focusing on the training, and food becomes fuel instead of your enemy.
Photo by Patrick Giardino

Saturday, January 25, 2014

A quick update for the New Year so far! Guest on Wellness Warrior Radio & Interviewed by Project Mayhem Bodies

     I was a guest on Wellness Warrior Radio with host Diane Kazer and her producer Darren McDuffie.  It is long interview actually, but they had some very good questions and had done their research, so it was an easy and fun interview for me.  Diane Kazer is a certified nutritionist with a holistic-approach, an athlete (soccer), and a former figure competitor who is based out of Orange County, CA.  Diane definitely places health above aesthetics, but believes you can achieve both!  We actually have a lot in common:)  They mostly asked holistic-health related questions, travel-fitness questions, (since I'm also an airline pilot), and a few modeling questions.  You can listen to the podcast here by clicking on this link:


     I also was interviewed by Project Mayhem Bodies and as their newest contributor.  You can check out the interview here at this link:


     In other news, I'm glad we all survived another crazy month of holiday madness and are on the other side of it all.  I've been flying the jet, writing for Four EL magazine, training, but no modeling yet during 2014.  I've also been training with my oldest daughter Bryce quite a bit, who just took 3rd place Amateur in the Vans Girls Combi Classic 2014 bowl skating contest, and needless to say our whole family is super proud of her as not only does she work hard for it, but our whole family does.  Also the surf has finally been up!
Max catching a few...