The Best Health and Fitness Articles of the Week #130 – Overcoming Running Boredom, Supplements to Restore Insulin Sensitivity, and Recovery Tips Supported by Scientific Research

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Expert Tips on How to Beat Running Boredom

I rarely run because it’s just too boring for me. The two tips I like most in this article are listening to podcasts while running, which I love to do on bike rides, and doing a destination run and having someone pick you up. Something that really helped me was to buy the Zombie Run app for the iPhone, which turns running into a fun game of trying to outrun zombies.



How to Prevent Kidney Stones Naturally

The author’s research shows that kidney stones can be prevented by drinking lemon water, getting appropriate amounts of vitamins A, D & K2, supplementing with magnesium, moderating salt intake, stopping carb restriction, and reducing fructose. Easy! I’ve never had kidney stones, but I’ve known people who have and they all tell me that it’s the most painful thing they’ve ever experienced. I knew a kid in high school who already had kidney stones three times before 10th grade. I bet he wishes he could have read this post.



Powerbuilding: You Donโ€™t Grow In The Gym

This article was written by Stan Efferding, a professional powerlifter and bodybuilder. This quote pretty much sums it up. “Lift heavy weights three times a week for an hour. Eat lots of food and sleep as much as you can.” He goes into more detail, but he keeps it simple. Eat a lot of protein and complex carbs, sleep as much as you can and workout 3 days per week w/ heavy weight – bench and dips (push), T-bar rows and chins (pull) and squats for legs. That’s it.



Lemon Juice, Resistant Starch, Coffee, Blueberries, Chili, Ginseng, Ginger, Mate, Gymnema Sylvestre, Bitter Melon. Supplements to Improve & Restore Insulin Sensitivity #4

I just stumbled onto this excellent installment of a series of articles discussing supplements to improve insulin sensitivity. Tons of useful, and heavily researched info here. I can’t wait to see the last article in this series, featuring a finalized list of recommended supplements.



Cutting CrossFit a Break

Tony Gentilcore has written many times about his dislike for Crossfit, but this time he set out to discuss some of the things he believes Crossfit does right.



Leg Drive for Bench Press

I don’t think I have a problem with leg drive myself, but after watching this video, I want to try to keep it at the front of my mind the next time I’m doing bench press, just to make sure I’m doing everything right.



Form Analysis Episode 1

In this post, Bret Contreras reviews reader-submitted videos and provides form advice. He goes over the single leg romanian deadlift, deficit reverse lunges, hip thrusts, single leg hip thrusts and the sumo deadlift.



Bench Press More Weight with This Simple Warm-up

There are a lot of warm-up advice articles online, but they usually try to be all-encompassing instead of focusing on how they can benefit specific movements and exercises. This one is designed only for bench press, which I think makes it very useful.



October Research Roundup: The Recovery Edition

Researchers found that using contrast baths and cold-water immersion are good for reducing muscle soreness and decreasing creatine kinase levels, but that contrast baths are most effective. Their contrast baths consisted of immersing the body up to the top of the pelvis in one container at 8-10 degrees celsius (45-50 fahrenheit) for 1 min. then jumping into a second container at 40-42 degrees celsius (104-107 fahrenheit). The other study reviewed here shows that compression garments and/or humidification therapy both help improve short-term recovery between bouts of exercise.



Study on 90-year-olds reveals the benefits of strength training

This study shows that it’s never too late to start working out and no matter the age, there will always be benefits.

The Best Health and Fitness Articles of the Week #129 – Vegan Sofritas at Chipotle, Should You Do Speed and Agility Drills, and Phone Apps To Improve Your Mind

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Chipotle’s New Braised Tofu Sofritas

Chipotle just announced a new ingredient to their menu and it’s vegan! We went and tried it today and it was delicious! The girl at the counter was telling us that she loves meat but that she can’t stop eating the sofritas because it’s so good. And what makes it even better is that Chipotle recently removed bacon from their pinto beans, so those are vegan now too! When they can get rid of all of their GMO ingredients, I love that place.


How to tie a tie in 10 seconds – YouTube

This isn’t health or fitness related but it was such a cool tip that I had to share it. And hey, a part of feeling good is looking good, so you should make sure that your tie is in order. There, now it’s kinda health related right? ๐Ÿ˜‰


Are Speed and Agility Drills Necessary to Get Faster?

I haven’t really thought much about training with my daughter, but it is pretty early still, considering that she isn’t even born yet. ๐Ÿ˜‰ I don’t even know if she will be interested in sports although I do hope to instill some sort of interest in fitness in her life.


Homemade Krispy Kreme Doughnuts – the healthy version!

I wouldn’t say these are a healthy version of Krispy Kreme donuts, but they are definitely health-“ier.” They are nice and soft too. I’ve made several vegan donuts in the past and I’ve never really been too pleased with the consistency. These are great. I made a simple powdered sugar and water frosting for half and this easy chocolate frosting for the other half. I reduced the amount of sugar in both. Next time I want to try this 2-ingredient chocolate fudge frosting.


My Vegan Body Transformation – YouTube

I’m a member of a vegan health and fitness group on Facebook and Thomas Tadlock recently made a post about his “amazing” vegan body transformation. From what I understand, he want from fit to fat and back to fit again. I’ve done this too and it’s a lot easier to get fit again after already having been fit before, so I don’t think his example is very realistic, but it’s still inspirational to see someone do it entirely on a vegan diet.


Phone Apps For Sleep, Meditation and Relaxation

I haven’t listed to the podcast that accompanies this post yet, but the list of resources on this page are good enough to link to. Omvana looks like a really cool app for the iPhone. They call themselves the “Spotify” of meditation.


Girls Don’t Poop – PooPourri.com – YouTube

This is a really funny commercial for a product that sounds fake, but is actually real. You spray the water before pooping and it creates a film on top that traps the stink beneath it when the poops goes through. Awesome idea!

The Best Health and Fitness Articles of the Week #128 – Healing as a Lifestyle, Eating on $1.50 a Day, and Chipotle’s New Animated Video About Factory Farming

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Our Health Journey: Healing as a Lifestyle

This post talks about detoxifying with bentonite clay, the practice of oil pulling, using a neti pot, doing coffee enemas, skin brushing, natural hair cleaning methods and other fun non-conventional ideas. She does this every. single. morning. 90 minutes a day. Wow. That’s dedication to health.



The Man Who Thinks He Never Has to Eat Again Is Probably Going to Be a Billionaire Soon

I’m amazed that people are so up in arms and scared of Soylent. I’m absolutely fascinated with this project and I really want it to succeed. Are people afraid that if Soylent succeeds that they will have to drink Soylent for the rest of their lives instead of eating? Because that’s not certainly not gonna happen. Sometimes people are just too afraid of “different.” This stuff isn’t on the market yet. It’s being tested. If it’s ever ready for public consumption, it’ll have a lot of research behind it. Stop worrying.



My $1.50 a Day Challenge: Eating a Plant-Based Diet on an Austere Budget

I try to eat like this most of the time. I buy for two (three technically ;)) and I’m lucky to get out of the store without spending less than $75 a week, but I think that’s pretty good. If you stick to basic foods instead of buying processed crap, eating cheap is much easier.



Improve Your Posture With The LUMOback Posture Sensor

Ooh! Ooh! A new product for my Christmas wish list. This device goes around your waist and tracks your body-position throughout the day. If you slouch, the sensor will send a message to your phone to vibrate so that you can fix the problem right away. It’s $150, so I probably won’t get one, but still cool.



The Scarecrow – Animated Video From Chipotle Showing Horrors of Factory Farming

Most of Chipotle’s ingredients are GMO, but I guess their foods are more “natural” than most other businesses. Despite that, this animated video is beautiful and has a wonderful message.

The Best Health and Fitness Articles of the Week #127 – Slacklining, The Health Benefits of Video Games and Why You Need to Breath Through Your Nose

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How to Slackline

One of my coworkers just told me about slacklining a couple weeks ago and I thought that it seemed sorta interesting, but ultimately pointless for myself. But after reading this article and realizing how balance is important for so many different things, now I want a slackline!



Scientists Use Videogames to Improve Older Brains

I attribute a lot of my eye-hand coordination and reading abilities to playing video games. I can’t say for a fact that video games benefited me, but I strongly believe they have. It looks like there are some other great benefits to video games as well – serious benefits.



Fermentation 101 with Jill Ciciarelli

This is a good intro to fermented foods. The only fermentation that I do regularly is to make kombucha and occasionally beer, but I’d really like to get into making pickles and sauerkraut. I might have to pick up this book. It’s only $10 on Kindle!



East Meets West Veg: Vegan Grocery Shopping 101 at Costco

Who knew that Costco had so many vegan products? Well I did, actually, because I shop there regularly. Well, I did shop there regularly, until I let my membership expire in March of this year. I love the deals at Costco, but I absolutely hate shopping there because of the crowds, which is why I haven’t gone back in such a long time. Now that we have a baby on the way though, we plan to renew our membership soon. I’ll have to keep my eye out for some of these cool vegan products.



Breathe Through Your Nose

I had no idea that nasal breathing was so important. Well I had some idea because I always hear the advice that you should breathe through your nose while running. This comes at an interesting time for me too because for the last couple of weeks I’ve been having allergy issues that are causing labored breathing and I’ve noticed that breathing through my mouth makes it much worse. Now it makes sense why. There are also some neat tricks in this post on unplugging a stuffed nose.

The Best Health and Fitness Articles of the Week #126 – Homemade Flax Hair Gel, Most Popular Strength Coaches and Dr. Bronner’s Soap Tips

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Do It Yourself: Homemade Natural Hair Gel with Flaxseeds – YouTube

I’ve always either just grown my hair out really long, or I shave it off completely bald. I haven’t had a real hairstyle for a very long time. I just got a haircut for the first time in probably 5 or more years and one of the biggest reasons is because I really, really hate having gross toxic products in my hair. I’ve hated hair styling products ever since I was a kid. Well, I’m getting married this weekend and my soon-to-be-wife wanted me to get a haircut, so I did. Before heading to the grocery store to pick some hair gel, I wanted to see if there were any natural hair gels on the market. I did a search for “natural hair gel” on Google and the first result was this awesome recipe using only flax seeds and water. I boiled 1/8 cup flax seeds with 1 cup water for about 6 minutes and then squeezed it through a paint strainer bag. So far I really like it. I hope it lasts through my wedding! Update: It got windy during my wedding and the flax gel didn’t last, but I still like it.



Best Nootropic Stack

I’m a huge fan of nootropics. I already take a stack of piracetam, choline, aniracetam and coconut oil when I’m at work. This article also mentions L-Theanine and Phenibut to act sort of like a beta blocker to cause calmness and reduce overactive brain activity, which can also be used with caffeine to wake you up, but without the negative side effects. That’s pretty freaking awesome! So this author recommends taking L-theanine at a ratio of 0.5 to 1 of the amount of caffeine taken, so if you consume 100mg of caffeine you want to take 50mg or more of L-theanine. The other nootropic mentioned here, phenibut, supposedly resets caffeine tolerance and can give you the best sleep of your life. He suggests taking it only twice per week (he does Sun. and Wed.) at two 300mg doses – one 3 hours before, the second as he’s going to bed. I don’t know about phenibut. If it feels like alcohol and can cause a hangover, I’m not sure I want it in my body. This forum thread about trying to get off phenibut is pretty scary too.



FDA allows natural blue from spirulina as food coloring

Food dyes are in everything and some of the most common dyes are quite toxic. It’s great that companies can start using spirulina as a food coloring. I never realized that it could be used as a food dye. I’m surprised it has taken this long to get approval.



Most Popular Strength Coaches & Thank You to All My Readers

This is kind of a weird thing for a strength and conditioning coach to spend their time on, but it’s clear that Bret Contreras is an excellent S&C coach and tech geek. There are some new names in his list of top ten coaches that are unfamiliar to me, so I’ll begin following them ASAP!



Dilutions Cheat Sheet for Dr. Bronnerโ€™s Castile Soap

I’ve been wanting to move away from some of the toxic cosmetic products I use, while also trying to keep things simple, so I’ve been thinking about switching to Dr. Bronner’s soap products to do just about everything – wash my hair and body, brush my teeth, do the dishes, do the laundry and so on. This cheat sheet should come in handy, although it looks like it’s more trial and error and just using a couple dabs here and there or more if you need it.