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      SAF Nutrition Has Your Back

      Supplement Deals

      Making Ends Meet

      Where can you find the best supplement deals and why does it matter?  Many of us are faced with making sacrifices in today's tough economy.  Finding ways to cut costs can feel like a chore and we often make painful sacrifices just to make it through the end of the month.  When it comes to paying the bills and keeping a roof over your head, supplements may feel like a luxury, but why should you have to sacrifice self care in order to make ends meet?  The state of your body not only affects how you feel physically, but emotionally as well.  When you’re not at the top of your game your ability to solve problems and complete simple tasks can suffer.  In other words, your health is your most valuable asset.

      At Swole AF, Quantity AND Quality Go Hand in Hand

      With so many placebos and fad supplements on the market, it can be hard to keep track of what’s real.  At the end of the day, wouldn’t it be wonderful if you didn’t have to worry about what’s in that pre-workout you paid an arm and a leg for?  That’s why Swole AF was created; so you could live your best life.  We produce high quality, lab tested supplements guaranteed to help you make the most of your workouts.  Our products are not only affordable, potent, and flavorful, they’re designed by athletes for athletes.

      You Can Eat Your Cake and Keep it Too

      There’s no question, staying fit is essential to living happy and healthy and there’s good news!  You don’t have to sacrifice your supplements just to save money!    The fact that we’re consistently putting up amazing supplement deals is the icing on the cake.  No matter the time of year, Swole AF has discounts and sales that are sure to fuel your body and please your bank account.  We have an amazing supplements deal running nearly every day of the year, ensuring you get the biggest bang for your buck while maintaining that killer bod.  Not only does the quality of our products stand above the competition, we make your dollar count for more when you shop with Swole AF!

      Start Your Day Caffeine Free

       Caffeine Alternatives

      No more coffee?  You must be joking

      What if there was a caffeine alternative?  What if you could feel energetic and alert while avoiding that afternoon caffeine crash?  We’ve all heard of morning people; those blessed few with the ability to start their day bright, fresh, and full of energy. Not everyone is so lucky.  Some of us have to work a little bit harder to get the engine going and it’s easy to be a little cranky if you haven’t had your caffeine.  Have you ever awoken in the morning feeling absolutely terrible?  You think perhaps a cup of coffee will improve your day, but instead of feeling alert, you feel shaky and weak.  Coffee may seem like a godsend but it often falls short of giving us the energy we need to get through the day.  Here at SAF Nutrition, we know a simple but powerful secret.

      Exchanging caffeine jitters for explosive energy

      You can start your day with a caffeine alternative guaranteed to boost your energy by replacing your cup of joe with a tall glass of pre workout.  That’s right, our Hulk AF pre workout powder makes the perfect coffee substitute and it’s delicious to boot.  You may ask “But, how is a caffeine free supplement powder going to help?”  With a healthy dose of Taurine, Creatine, Agmatine, and Arginine.

        • Taurien:  Glucose is a simple sugar and a compound all living things burn as an energy source.  Hulk AF helps deliver glucose to your muscles with 500 mg of taurine. Taurine, an organic compound, not only boosts energy but assists in protein synthesis which promotes healthy muscle growth.
        • Creatine:   Creatine is a nitrogenous organic acid produced by the body that helps supply your body’s cells with fuel.  95% of this acid is stored in your muscles, which makes it a vital compound to maintaining energy and drive.
        • Agmatine:  Agmatine Sulfate is made up of an amino acid called arginine and manages different chemicals and pathways in the brain.  Not only does it help improve your focus and energy but it has been shown to deaden pain so you can push yourself harder, faster, and longer.
        • Arginine:  Arginine is another amino acid that assists the body in the production of proteins.  Not only will arginine give you a boost of energy, it can improve your heart health, virility, and help you build muscle as well as speed up your recovery time after workouts.

      SAF Nutrition has your back

      Now you know you don’t have to be a slave to coffee and sugary energy drinks.  What’s next?  It’s time to seize the day.  There’s a caffeine alternative out there guaranteed to help you tackle any challenge you choose to face.  The outside world awaits and you can take it on full throttle!  So why not give Hulk AF a try?  We know you’re going to love the results.

      Fighting Diseases & Genetics!

      I hope you’re as excited about today's discussion as I am! Today we will be discussing our genetics and how factors such as food, sleep, hydration, relationships with family/friends/work/self, and environment play a large role in that. Better yet these markers in our life form the big picture in how healthy and capable our bodies stay.

      Firstly, one of the biggest things we should look at is our organ reserve. This is basically a “savings account” of extra functional capability for us to draw from in times of injury or illness. As we age, we lose our organ reserve due to the amount of chronic stress that we go through everyday. Let’s say our organs require a certain average amount of energy to efficiently keep our bodies healthy and running. But as the stressors in life begin to stack up, our organs have to work increasingly harder to keep up with the heightened amount of cortisol being produced. Over time as our bodies keep taking advantage of our organ reserve the “savings account” loses its ability to bounce back after a traumatic event. If the heart and lungs respond to stress 3x,5x,10x more than what is required of them, what do you think will happen to these organs when you are constantly put under stress from work, family and the countless amount of life “intricacies” that tend to befall us all? Not including the physiological damage that a diet high in processed, sugary or fatty foods can do to our bodies. The work overload will cause inflammation, the source of all chronic illnesses, which can take up to 10 years before your body starts showing signs of diseases. Which now means we have 10+ years of horrible life habits to reverse. This is one of the reasons why your health deteriorates as you age. That’s why you see people who are in their 30s, but can have the biological age of someone in their 50s. They might look old and withered as compared to their actual age and you might consistently hear them complain about how “broken” and how many ailments they have at any given time. We all have these people in our life. I’ll be honest, I’ve been that person. Where I feel like I am falling apart as I’m struggling to get out of bed and I’m constantly grunting as my body aches through every movement of my day. There were many things I had to fix to get myself back to feeling not only 100%, but CAPABLE again. These include getting adequate sleep, hydrating, and focusing on really dialing in my nutrition (both macro and micro). I wouldn’t say things were absolutely horrible before (besides sleep, that was actually horrible. Working far too much) but I could surely stand to do things more efficiently and optimally. Especially considering sleeping and eating are the number one ways to recover. Hydration was also not emphasized for myself (even though as an athlete I always made sure I kept this consistent). The long work days made it easy to push the small details aside. But success is FOUND IN THE DETAILS. Through these small daily tasks is where we find success in all walks of life. Health, fitness, career, business, relationships with others, etc. The small daily things are what keep us from straying off path.

       Now back to our biological age. Let’s switch our measure of health by way of this biological age, because after all, it directly dictates our risks of having or contracting chronic illnesses. Although our average lifespan has increased by about 25 years over the past century, we spend most of our lives at risk for, or battling, chronic illnesses. The research shows that the average American spends about 90% of their medical expenses in their last few years of life. Imagine neglecting your health for so long that the focus of life as you enter your 60s, 70s, and 80s becomes driving an “investment” in keeping yourself alive. However, here is some good news for all of us: the way we live (our lifestyles, stress responses, environments and diets) can shorten the time between the onset of illness and the time of death by increasing the time before the illness occurs. In other words, our lifestyle behaviors can help us stay young longer! As for myself, I would rather make the choice to invest in feeling alive while I’m young! As mentioned in previous discussions - avoiding inflammatory foods like dairy, processed foods, and refined sugars while learning to manage stress, exercising regularly, maintaining healthy relationships, keeping a healthy diet and healthy sleeping patterns can get people off of medication and disease-free for a very long time. 

      Now you may ask, “don't our genetics play an important part in our diseases?” They surely do and you can’t fight your DNA, but DNA doesn’t determine everything. It all comes down to your “genetic expression.” Our genes translate the way we choose to respond to our environment and how we choose to fuel the body and mind. Remember; this includes the food we eat, what we drink, how much sleep we get in daily, any extra supplements/drugs we use, the stressors in our life from relationships, work, etc. All these things are translated by “cellular instructions”. These instructions control our disease patterns and determine whether or not we will contract a given disease or express a given genetic marker that we have a gene mutation for. Take the BRCA mutation as an example. This mutation includes two types of mutations, being BRCA1 and BRCA2, and testing positive for this mutation as a female means you have an increased risk of contracting breast or ovarian cancer. For males testing positive this signifies having an increased risk of contracting prostate, pancreatic, or breast cancer as well. Before 1940, the chances of women being diagnosed with breast cancer while having the BRCA mutation was 24% . By 2013, the numbers increased to greater than 85%. So you may ask what changed? What actually caused this dramatic increase in the rates of our gene mutation? Was it our DNA? Of course not, our genes can’t change. It was the environment that changed which caused cortisol (stress hormone) levels to increase . The food we find as the mainstay in the current American diet contains more chemicals, hormones, and antibiotics due to the high amount of processed and refined foods we choose. And the increase in productivity through a longer workday and longer work week only add to consistent levels of cortisol compounding over time. The price we pay for valuing an overworking mentality here in the US. These two can form a trickle down effect into everything else. Fuel the body with crap and you’ll feel like crap which leads to lack of motivation to exercise after a long day of work and then crummy sleep because of the hormonal imbalance we’ve now created. Not to mention most people don’t care to prepare or cook their own meals which leads to creating habits such as succumbing to the “convenience” of fast food or a meal prep company. I emphasize “convenience” due to the fact that you don’t actually save time by going to restaurants or picking up something quick on the way home. The time spent commuting and waiting for the food is much longer than going to the grocery store once a week and buying what’s needed. This includes shopping on the perimeter of the grocery store and not down the aisles. The perimeter of the store includes lean meats, dairy, eggs, fruits, and veggies. The only reason to go down the aisles is for rice, beans, and whole grain and whole wheat pastas and breads. However, if you’re sensitive to gluten then you can exclude that. 

      Now don’t tell me you’re surprised. You mean to tell me if I eat less lean meats, don’t consume healthy fats, avoid clean carbs, lack variety in fruits and vegetables, don’t hydrate, sleep on average 25-45% less than what’s actually needed, and don’t move the body enough and allow it to atrophy and breakdown that I drastically increase the chances of contracting illnesses, diseases, and allow my genetics to work against me??? Wake up and take full accountability of your life! The choices you make for every aspect of your health are entirely on you. Not on your friends, family, or the genetic hand you’ve been dealt. All of these poor decisions can cause our genes to express an intended illness. And you see an example of this with the increase in breast cancer rates from 1940 to 2013. 24% to 85% is too significant of an increase. Especially considering we are to consider our medical system in the US to be advancing substantially even now and most (if not all) would consider it a drastic improvement from any point in the 1900’s. Yet we choose to ignore the science and affect food and environment have on our health. It does ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING for us. As Dr. Mark Hyman, a Functional Medicine doctor and New York Times best-selling author, always says, your DNA acts as a loaded gun, but your environment pulls the trigger.

      How liberating is it to know that your diseases are not hardwired to you? You have time to deactivate your illnesses by changing the “cellular instructions” that your genes follow and it all depends on how you choose to live your life. You don’t have to succumb to the same disease that your father or mother suffered from if you start making consistent improvements today. Keeping your mental and physical health well-balanced can help you maintain your organ reserve, be medication-free and increase your quality of life astronomically. But it all starts with YOU. And we subscribe to the notion of “extreme ownership” here at Primitive Movement. Own up to where you’re at and what needs to be done to fix your health and improve it to be your best quality self LONG TERM. This is a numbers game, so choose to win each and every day through those small daily tasks. Sleep earlier, stay off your handheld device, read a book and keep the mind fresh and wet with knowledge, make a quick 20 min grocery run one day a week instead of multiple 10, 15, 20 min plus trips to the fast food joint nearest you. Don’t forget to hydrate incessantly throughout your day, and keep your community strong with healthy and sound individuals. I promise you this will change your health dramatically in decreasing stress in volumes.

      As always I loved our time together and I hope you got much out of this to help guide you on this path of health and wellness. Stay tuned for next week as we dive into movement a bit more, specifically in how we are seeing changes with our perception of biomechanical efficiency and how it’s translated. 

      Blessings, Coach Adan Martinez

      BIOMECHANICS: Why All Simple Things Work Best!

      I hope your week is going splendidly! And I know that you’ve been looking forward to taking a nice juicy bite out of our topic for the week!


      I wanted to take the time today to explain programming a bit. Specifically in the realm of YOUR training program. Many trainers and coaches will explain that programming is complicated (and it is), but not in the sense that I want to address today. They will sell complicated movements and exercises at an expense to prove their worth, but these things won’t actually achieve any desired results as there is too much variety and not enough focus on any one thing. There is no adaptation being completed from the stress being applied; meaning muscle tissue and strength cannot be increased. I’m sure many of you have heard of the Principle Of Variability, correct? If it’s means are to keep variety in the training protocol to improve muscle tissue size and strength through continued various applied stresses how does my last statement make sense?? In this case it can be complicated, so let me explain. You see what I speak of in the first example is what we call the IG (instagram - but this also includes anything on social media or the “YouTube’s”) training guide. This is named as such because many “fitspiration” people on social media tend to post exercises and workouts they themselves may not even do simply to gain more views on their page to promote their own or their sponsors products. It’s essentially another platform to sell products. What you must be aware of above all is that many trainers and coaches also get sucked into the craze of it all and incorporate these examples into the routines they give their own clients and athletes. Which in turn creates an endless cycle of ongoing movements where no adaptations are being made. There is simply too much variability going on in the training regiment which inhibits us from achieving and maximizing the results we are looking for.


          Let me lay this out nice and simple. Now bare with me as I do like using vehicles as references, but they are one of the most universal ways of understanding things as we all have some degree of vehicle experience. Let’s turn back time to when you first learned how to drive. It more than likely took you a few tries to be able to learn to gauge the pedals right so you weren’t giving it too much gas or too little gas. Too much brake or not enough (EEEKK!). Even having to adjust how much to turn the wheel for basic left and right turns, not to mention u-turns. It was all scary and new stuff at first. And when we finally got onto the main road with countless other drivers?? It was a sight for our parents or older siblings to see and laugh at without a doubt. There are many variables to consider within and about the vehicle when learning how to drive. Not to mention highway driving, learning all your road signs, and how to properly utilize our mirrors and adjust to being aware of other drivers especially in blind spots. So it was ideal that the vehicle you chose to learn to drive was not just the vehicle you practiced in every day but also used in the “behind the wheel” test as well. But what if this wasn’t the case? What if on day one I gave you a small compact car, day two I switched you over to a full size manual transmission truck that’s lifted on 40 inch tires, day three was a motorcycle, and day four I showed up in a semi truck. Oh and by the way, we haven’t even gotten on the main roads yet, not to mention a highway. And road signs? Don’t worry those will get figured out at some point, right? WRONG!


          There is a pretty large chance that you will fail that test. This is exactly what is happening when too much variability is being added to a training program. No adaptation is taking place. I mean we only changed the vehicle everytime we showed up for a new day of driving school so what’s the big deal? They each possess an engine, all have tires and a steering wheel so you should be successful in that scenario right? Not a chance. The basics have yet to be fully learned and understood before you can begin to make massive changes such as those. The individuals we work with day to day at Primitive  Movement are always surprised to see that we start with the absolute basics. We strip all the weight off of their main compound movements (squat, deadlift, glute bridge, bench, hang cleans, etc.) due to the fact that we want to ensure the movements are being performed efficiently and properly before moving onto big weights and fast movements. Proper biomechanics is key when building not just a big strong athlete, but also the individual who craves quality of life in a longevity sense.


      Your focus when you’re in and out of the gym training and moving must be mindful and commonsensical. Our bodies need a stable foundation. This means building base strength in our center of gravity (core- abs AND glutes working together), strengthening small stabilizer muscles, strengthening connective tissues, building agonist and antagonistic muscle strength (if the pecs, front delts, and biceps are big and strong then so must the lats, middle and lower traps, and rhomboids be. I’m looking at the fellas on this one), and adding corrective work where needed (fixing imbalances in joints and muscles created from overactivity or inactivity - we all have something) to name a few anatomical and movement necessities. Not to mention the physiological adaptations that must take place: efficient glycogen stores must be established, optimal fat burning, utilizing protein efficiently in recovery and building phases, building efficient transport pathways in our blood for nutrients . Many think that as soon as they start training all is well in fairytale land. Jumping right into advanced movements expecting to be fine (or continue to skip on cleaning up their diet; diet is essential for physiological adaptations to set in). But I’ve seen time and time again these same individuals walk into the gym a few weeks later with various nagging injuries from improper movements being done and no time for adaptations to set. They’ll have various joints aching, muscles strained, and have a decreased drive to workout. Also these individuals will not have lost much weight or gained much muscle mass by this time. This is a cycle we NEED to break.


      I am not saying that you must be a professional in knowing exactly how to construct a program. But I’d like you to get an idea as to where to start. Avoid the gimmicks and ask the proper questions to the nearest and dearest fitness professional you know. They are more than likely willing to help if they are passionate about fitness, health, and wellness as we are here at Primitive Movement. Don’t knock the basics, they can take you a long way before making drastic changes. I’ve had countless people achieve amazing results on the most basic of program setups. The movements seemed monotonous with minor tweaks made at appropriate times in the program to keep a high rate of efficiency. But these individuals continued to see great strength and/or size gains (or weight loss gains) week after week. They were just sold this idea that they should be doing something extravagant  to see the results they were ALREADY seeing. If you are following a well prescribed program by a trainer or coach (or even your own) then you should see the focus of the program is to bleed the program of results before moving onto a drastic change in the model. This also ensures you are allowing all those physiological adaptations I mentioned earlier to occur. In other words, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”


      With that being said I’d like to end today with something I learned from countless great coaches, professors, trainers, doctors, and other professionals in our field; KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid). This is a universal saying used for many things but in the kinesthetic and health & wellness profession it’s tossed around by the greats who came before us. Listen and rely on the info you receive from the body. It’ll reward you for it.


      As always, have a great rest of the day and I look forward to our discussion next week! And stay up to date as we will be adding to this topic as well as nutrition, injury prevention, quality of movement, and many others going forward.


      Blessings, Coach Adan

      DIET: Changing The Name Of the Game??

      Now I know I am an anomaly in that I absolutely LOVE to research everything that deals with movement of the body and current research in the field (I always say I think that health and wellness is on an upward trend in research because we are seeing more and more collegiate and semi-pro athletes drive into fitness careers post retirement from competition - which is great because they ask the right questions!). This includes looking at how environment, diet, biochemistry, and other factors affect the body. If you’ve been training with me for a while now then you will know that for the last 5+ years I have been diligently shifting through research about diet. And to my early frustrations and now acceptance I have found only ONE absolute. And that is THERE ARE NO ABSOLUTES. The truly humbling truth about the body, my body and your body in question here, is that we know only one thing. And that is how the same movement, exercise, food, amount of rest, or anything else we can fathom will affect you and I in vastly different ways. Let’s start at the beginning, and then we’ll get into documentaries (Game Changers; as seen on Netflix and Fed Up) and articles and books to continue the discussion. We know that our country is run by corporations and big business. This means corporate lobbying is a very real and unfortunate thing in our economy. These lobbyists from major companies “incentivise” members of our Congress to earmark bills with legislation benefiting their prerogative. Companies like Coca-Cola and Kellogs get a bump in their sales albeit from incorporating their items in schools or adjusting dietary guidelines across the nation to form new standards for their benefit. 

      It’s a tough pill to swallow, but an absolute truth. I remember being a student in high school and having fried chicken patty’s, wienerschnitzel hot dogs, and pizza as some of the recurring menu items. Pizza was something we all looked forward to every Friday. And from what I have seen these things have only gotten worse. I’ve been to various college campuses, as of lately UCI campus for seminars, and got a full experience of their food court. Panda Express and Wendy’s are some of the many options and it’s the same sad story at many campuses around the country. I’ve seen campuses with various vending machines chock-full of candy, sugar filled snacks and beverages, processed junk, and the list goes on and on. Not to mention an exquisite cafeteria experience including all the burgers, fries, and high sugar options. Please see the sarcasm I am attempting to convey here.

      Now I don’t want you to get the wrong impression here, I’m not attempting to sell you anything. And I hope speaking on those facts doesn’t trigger any hunger cues, and if it does it only goes to show how deeply psychological this all is.  However, I am trying to show the power of these large corporations. Nestle alone is worth over $240 Billion dollars. And they have a laundry list of food items we should be staying away from such as chocolates, high sugar beverages, ice cream, cookies, and so on. Other corporations such as Coca-Cola and Pepsi-Co are no different. To keep it simple our government has been letting corporate lobbyists do as they please for several decades so long as it brings a check in the hand of our politicians and a medical bill into ours. There's evidence to prove Food Corp lobbying began as early as the late 1970s. At this time Senator George McGovern created a report in which he wanted to establish dietary guidelines in the US to battle obesity. These were the very first dietary guidelines for Americans. At this point they had already established the fact that our diet (as a nation) had become too rich in fatty meats, saturated fats, cholesterol, and high sugar foods. However, the egg, sugar, dairy, and beef associations foresaw plummeting product sales and drew together to reject the guidelines and demanded a rewrite. Within the rewrite we saw the change from favoring fatty foods to high sugar foods. Which did nothing to fix our diet. Only made the switch from one area where we were already failing in keeping ourselves fueled appropriately to another area where we can fail; by driving massive amounts of sugar into our bodies. Suffice it to say the McGovern Report (as it was named) failed to meet its goal. Which was to educate us on what proper nutrition is.

      It’s only been until the last decade or so that we’ve now learned to accept what is actually healthy. And that is high quality meats and proteins, clean carbs, healthy fats, and a healthy and large variety of vegetables and fruits. The mediterranean diet is the most balanced and recommended in this regard. However, what do we know about how to choose the right foods? Well that is simple and challenging. It’s one of those things that’s so simple it’s hard to believe. And there is still enough speculation and confusion around to keep individuals weary of where to place their trust in food and nutrition as a whole. When it comes to picking meat; grass fed red meat and farm raised chicken are the best. You see, corn fed beef has higher amounts of omega 6 fatty acids which causes inflammation in the body. Omega 3 (found in grass fed animals; bison, cows, elk, etc.) decreases inflammation in the body. So more grass fed, non GMO (genetically modified organisms), and no hormone meat is best to add to the diet. The same is shown with how we grow crops. We need to be sure that the fruits and veggies we are consuming contain as few pesticides and GMOs as possible. Now here’s the kicker, these are all the best options for people. But this DOES NOT mean these are the BEST OPTIONS FOR YOU. What we have to pay closer attention to now that we know what the body prefers is how your body reacts to these things. We can have all the right ingredients but the body can still be lacking in results and have high amounts of inflammation. This is because some people do best on high protein and especially meat based diets, some do great on higher vegetable and fruit diets, and some do better on something like a Keto diet or a Paleo Diet. What I advise before attempting to discover THAT portion for ourselves is for you to cut all the processed junk, high and added sugar foods and beverages, unnecessary snacks, and all the other crap out of the diet. Once you’ve done that we have our baseline. From here we see which foods on the raw and natural list make you feel best and which are inflammatory causing. 

      The next approach we are currently driving into with all of our members and clients is taking a Functional Medicine approach in how we treat the body. Now with diet what this means is we are using food as the primary source to fuel the body to fight infection, disease, bacteria, injury, and ultimately heal from ANYTHING! Why are we taking this approach you might ask. The research has shown a number of life changing effects of improving one’s diet for the better (which we will dive into later in our discussions). The benefits simply outweigh the small risks that this change may bring. These risks include trying out a new diet without knowing that you have a food sensitivity, which can leave your body inflamed for weeks. For example, an individual who is sensitive to gluten will have symptoms like bloating, constipation and fatigue. If these symptoms subside after you remove gluten from your diet, then you have identified your food sensitivity. Now you can rule out gluten and adjust the diet accordingly. However, the insane benefits we’ve seen include curing cancer, improving or even getting rid of things such as MS and Parkinson’s, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, and IBS just to name a few. This is the fuel of the body we are talking about here! So it makes sense that compounded effects are compounded effects at the end of the day (you’ll hear me come back to this frequently so be mindful of that phrase). To keep it straight forward if you are feeding yourself crap for 5, 10, 15 + years expect to feel like crap long term. And this doesn’t mean things go away once you make a switch; no matter how much of a 180 you take. As a matter of fact research has shown that once we see things under a microscope to diagnose your heart disease, type 2 diabetes, or Crohn’s Disease that we are now dealing with literal years (if not decades) of damages done to our bodies. We are measuring where you are NOW. And in that lies one of the many systemic inefficiencies in our medical system. We treat a diagnosis. Which means we did nothing to PREVENT you from getting to that point. And once you're diagnosed enough is not done to switch that individual's diet or provide knowledge on why the medication they’ve been prescribed is not the right way AT ALL to fix the issue. You are still eating like crap and not moving enough. Meaning constant inflammation and damage is still being done. 

      So let’s understand that when we think about food it is not a primary source of pleasure, even though it CAN be and SHOULD be when we look at the long term. Now what do we mean by that statement exactly? Long term? Does that mean to sacrifice our current way of thinking about diet and food as a whole? PRECISELY! Say I am an individual who wants to lose 50 pounds of fat mass. I am overweight and inactive and I hate my current condition. I feel horrible, I lack confidence, I’m not comfortable in my environment, I cannot move around as easily as I once used to even though I love exploring the greater outdoors. I haven’t even gone on a hike or the beach in so long and I pour sugar filled snacks and fast food down my throat daily. And I hate myself for it immediately after every time. Now in order to see any kind of improvement I will need to sacrifice this lifestyle to accomplish not only being 50 pounds lighter, but also being lean, strong, and confident. That means fixing the diet completely and moving a whole lot more to achieve that goal.This requires me adapting a whole new lifestyle with a growth mindset. Good riddens with the old me I say! This being a hypothetical situation with myself does not take away from the fact that this is a similar story to many people in our Primitive Movement family and many others as well. The work had to be done. One of the toughest things is battling the adjustment of your “taste buds”. You must understand that when you eat fast food and processed food daily your palate adjusts to the tastes of those foods. And the biochemistry of your body is affected in such a way that the hormones being released to transmit hunger and savory cues are built to continue to crave and favor those foods. Regardless of how much it is hurting you long term (short term as well; you ever eat a high fat meal and train? Bet you felt like garbage. I have, and it feels absolutely horrible). 

      So how do we fix that? Through a process I like to call “fix yo shit”. I don’t care how much you dislike the taste of certain vegetables, lean meats, or clean carbs without the extra butter and fat all over them. Adjust your damn palate! I promise you veggies, potatoes, etc. have their own unique taste and it’s wonderful. Give your body the chance to adjust. However, this doesn’t take a day, week, or month. If you’ve been eating horribly for 10+ years (let's be honest many of our parents didn't have the best diet growing up so many of us grew well into our 20’s with horrible habits) then give it a proper amount of time to completely reshape your relationship with food. Six to twelve months at least. There is a lot to unpack there. 

      The next challenge is what do we do with extremes such as plant based diets (vegan diet) and all meat diets (carnivore diet). The research I’ve seen points to both diets not being ideal in the long term. Plant based diets seem to contribute to lower muscle tones and strict meat based diets seem to avoid any actual energy source and a large array of micronutrition that’s needed from fruits and vegetables. Not that people can’t live their lives with those diets; what becomes the question is what is the quality of life of these individuals when on these diets? Especially when attempting to add an active lifestyle to the mix. The people I’ve seen most successful with both diets (I have several peers who’ve done and continue to live with either diet choice) are those who live primarily on one end (either vegan or carnivore) but always routinely add some foods from the other group to keep certain macronutrients, micronutrients, and hormone levels balanced. Books such as “The China Study” (interesting read by the way if you’d like to learn about the biochemistry of a plant based diet) and documentaries such as “Game Changers” bash those who incorporate meat in their diets. But what we have to see is that these are cherry picked studies that are being used, a lot are improperly funded, and lack proper resources to back claims. The reason I know this is there are many research articles debunking the statements made in said books, articles, and documentaries advocating for plant based diets. When I’ve looked into other diets (such as our traditional diet which includes meat as primary proteins, clean carbs, and healthy fats) the research doesn’t bash vegan diet trends and states that meat is an addition to the diet. Now when looking at the carnivore diet it’s been interesting. There aren't enough accounts of people and decades of research to see the long term effects of an all meat based diet. Much of what we know is anecdotal claims and research. However, as stated earlier our goal is to find the most beneficial outcome for each individual. Carnivore diets at the end of the day highly lack large amounts of micronutrients that we tend to receive from plants and fruits. So as mentioned earlier, find the appropriate mix of each while seeing which foods cause inflammation in YOUR body.

      Now when looking at Dr. Mark Hyman’s research (a prolific Functional Medicine doctor) we see that the Mediterranean diet is shown to be the most beneficial and balanced diet out there. Keeping the amount of overall inflammation in the body low through it’s whole foods approach. Lean meat, various nuts, variety of vegetables, whole grains, unsaturated fats, etc. We will most definitely be coming back to the specifics of this diet. Overall I think looking at each side is necessary though. We need to know how to draw information for ourselves and we can’t do that if we are too scared or unwilling to look. 

      Diving into research for health and fitness can be a scary thing, especially when looking at terms and studies we can’t exactly understand. That is why I am more than willing to shine light on all topics. I still have much to learn myself, but I assure you the knowledge I possess is yours as well :).

      I've enjoyed this discussion today! And I hope you draw a lot of useful information from it! Make sure to stay ready and excited for next week's discussion as we are coming back to this topic! Nutrition and all its glory.

      As always love and support from myself and the rest of the Primitive Movement family and be sure to have a great rest of the day! 

      Blessings, Coach Adan