Saturday, April 18, 2009

Random Rants part I

The “random thoughts” idea came to me from 2 of the industry’s top people, Eric Cressey and Tony Gentilcore. Needless to say, I stole errrrrr... was inspired by the concept. You’ll note that I replaced the word “thoughts” with rants to make it look like I wasn’t actually biting from them. Pretty clever, huh?

My random rants will range in topics from health, training and nutrition to, well… random stuff; from film to culture to anything else that comes to mind. I hope to make this a weekly instalment. Here goes the inaugural episode.

1. While nutrition is a vastly complicated and intricate science, the practicing of it shouldn’t be. Don’t ask me about intermittent fasting, calorie zig-zagging, ketosis or re-feeds if you only eat veggies as pizza toppings.

2. Recently completed Eric Cressey’s 16 week “Maximum Strength” program. First off, it was refreshing to follow someone else’s program after years of designing my own programs and a couple of years worth of hap-hazard gym sessions. Let me tell you this is by far the most effective program I’ve come across. Here are the results;
- Max box squat before: 255. After 315 (+60lbs)
- Max deadlift before: 275. After 315 (+40lbs)
- Max bench press before: 205. After, 235 (+30)
- Gained 8lbs of muscle (not bad for a “hardgainer”)
This too after a 2 week layoff from getting sick. Overall, it’s a kick-bottom program – highly recommend it. You can order the book here.

3. Pertaining to the above, after kicking and screaming, I finally integrated front squats into my training arsenal. They are uncomfortable at first, but they are worth it once you “man up” and get used to them. They promote better spinal alignment and better core activation amongst other benefits.

4. Another training revelation for me? Barefoot squats and deadlifts. Aside from not having to go down as far (for deadlifting), doing your closed chain leg work barefooted helps activate the smaller accessory muscles in the foot/ankle, helps with balance and the ability to spread the toes. Plus, it looks badass.

5. Keep “Toto”, “Dead or Alive” and “Soft Cell” in the 80’s where they belong. These remakes of old songs make me want to vomit in my mouth. Oh, and please… it’s called “stealing”, not “sampling”. Note to self: Re-charge Ipod.

6. I love an underdog story. And while I would rather watch an “all Rosie O’Donell, all the time” channel than watch unscripted TV, I was alerted to this youtube clip (thank you, Tony Robins via Twitter). Witness an unassuming, nervous chap who evidently lacks self-esteem on “Britain’s Got Talent”. His performance is nothing short of magnificent.

7. Just watched the Boston Bruins take a 5-1 lead on my Habs. I want to down a bottle of pills right about now.

8. Celebrity weight loss/weight gain update: I can’t believe I’m going to bite on these stories but here goes. Jessica Simpson; I really don’t care that she put on a few pounds. What I am concerned about, is how she broke into my mothers house and stole her jeans from 1986.

9. Scarlett Johansson’s weight loss. She dropped 14 pounds off of her voluptuous frame. That’s like 7 pounds per… nevermind – what’s more important is that she was rumoured to be taking advice from skeletor errrrrr Madonna and her nitwit bestie Gwyneth Paltrow’s braindead trainer Tracy Anderson. Massive fail to Scarlett if that is true. Why not go with your hubby’s trainer instead?

10. In this corner: Fat Loss Troubleshooter Leigh Peele, in the other corner, “The Biggest Loser” trainer Jillian Michaels. In a fight, Jillian looks like she may be able to crush Leigh like a grape, but in the intellect and pure knowledge department, Leigh wins hands down. Read Leigh’s brutally honest review of JM’s book “Master your Metabolism”. Lucky for Jillian, Leigh was only critiquing her dietary ramblings and not her kettlebell and lunge form!

Until next time!

Saturday, April 11, 2009


Happy Easter Everyone!

No better time to discuss one of nature's best foods - eggs. I realize the kind of eggs we think about this weekend are of the chocolate and suspect-looking white and yellow sugary insides variety, but let's talk real eggs. I'll make this short and sweet.

- In terms of protein quality, nutrient profile, caloric value and cost, you would be hard-pressed to find a better quality food than eggs.

- Eggs have about 6g of protein (yolk in), 77calories, and an almost full range of vitamins and minerals.

- Eggs (both white and yolk) contain antibacterial, anti-microbial and anti-cancer properties.

- Egg yolks contain health-enhancing substances such as; lutein and zeaxanthin (great for the eyes) and choline (for brain and memory).

Yolk - in or out? The question of cholesterol

Evidence is very conclusive now that under the majority of circumstances, cholesterol from eggs will not raise blood cholesterol. The link is quite weak between egg and cholesterol consumption and cholesterol levels. The link between cholesterol and heart disease is also suspect.

Bottom line: If you are having only 1-2 eggs at a time, leave the yolks in. This is more than sufficient to impart its nutritional benefit. If you eat 4 or more eggs at a time and your goal is health and fat loss, leave out some of the yolks as they add unnecessary calories.

Enjoy your eggs - whether they are poached, scrambled, fried or omeletes!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Core Concepts Fat Burning Bootcamp

The Core Concepts Fat Burning Bootcamp has arrived!
Guaranteed Results - or your money back!

When: April 27th for 6 weeks
What Time: 6:30-7:30 am, Monday, Wednesday and Friday
Where: Quilchena Park - 4500 Block of Magnolia at 33rd ave (near Arbutus).
Who's running it? Certified Personal Trainers Mike Howard and Debbie McPherson.
Who's it for? Anyone of any fitness level who is looking to shed excess fat.
How much? $150. That's a steal!

What's so great about your bootcamp? There's like a million of them in Vancouver.

1. Quality instruction from 2 highly qualified trainers
2. You are getting the most comprehensive, cutting edge and functional workouts that are guaranteed to make you leaner, stronger, more mobile and more confident.
3. You will receive nutritional guidance and education from each session and have access to the instructors via email if you have questions.
4. You will be in a supportive, encouraging environment that will challenge you and give you the tools you will need for lifetime success.
5. *The results are guarnateed, or your money back! You can't go wrong there!
I'm sold! How do I register? Email Mike at this address ( You can pay by cheque or paypal.
If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to call or email.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Some (funny) perspective

I'm sort of a "tweener"when it comes to the technology generation. I'm in my 30's and slowly adopting and embracing the wonders of nanotech and thus raising my bar of expectation in the world of "instant". I'm young enough to have been on the front lines of the advent of cyberspace but old enough to have owned rotary phones and remote control-less TV's. This video is a funny take on how we take little things for granted. The take home message...

Stop whining! You probably have a lot to be thankful for.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

100 Billion Wasted Dollars?

This document courtesy of Julie Harabedian of FSB associates. To see my review of the book, The Great American Heart Hoax, click here.

100 Billion Dollars We Don't Need to Spend on Healthcare

By Michael Ozner, M.D., Author of The Great American Heart Hoax: Lifesaving Advice Your Doctor Should Tell You About Heart Disease Prevention (But Probably Never Will)

Cardiovascular care in America is spiraling out of control. We are now spending more than one hundred billion dollars a year for treatment and management of cardiovascular catastrophes (heart attack, stroke and diseases of the vascular system). This extraordinary amount of money is spent on victims of a disease that is largely preventable. The problems of cardiovascular care in America are draining our healthcare dollars and contributing to our financial collapse. In addition, I point out key areas of wasteful spending on expensive and risky diagnostic studies as well as procedures that are of no benefit to the millions of Americans who fall prey to the cardiovascular intervention industry. What may surprise you is what you believed to be the ultimate of cardiac care in this country is often unnecessary and dangerous. Examples of inappropriate cardiovascular care are summarized below:

Coronary angioplasty and stent insertion: While coronary angioplasty (the opening up of a blocked artery with a catheter device) and stent placement can be indicated and potentially lifesaving in acute coronary syndromes such as heart attacks, utilizing this technology in stable patients who have coronary blockages is inappropriate and has never been shown to reduce the risk of future heart attack or prolong life as compared to more conservative therapy (lifestyle changes and medications as indicated). Indeed balloon angioplasty and stent placement can often lead to an increase in cardiovascular morbidity and mortality compared to an intensive prevention approach. Despite this well-researched fact the cardiovascular intervention industry continues like a freight-train out of control. This year over one million stents will be inserted in patients across America and many of these procedures are clearly not indicated.

Heart bypass surgery (also called coronary artery bypass graft surgery): like catheter-based intervention, heart bypass surgery is clearly indicated in select unstable patients, however bypass surgery is over-utilized in the majority of patients with obstructive coronary artery disease. Major clinical trials have failed to show a benefit in clinical outcome in the vast majority of stable patients treated with bypass surgery.

CT-Scans: While CT scans are often necessary in unstable patients in the emergency room as a diagnostic modality, the proliferation of this technology to screen Americans for coronary artery disease is inappropriate and leads to a depletion of our valuable health care dollars. There is no evidence that subjecting yourself to a CT scan will lower your risk of having a heart attack or prolong your life. Most disturbing is the fact that these procedures subject unsuspecting men and women to excessive radiation exposure which stays with them for a lifetime and increases their risk of cancer. At the end of the day ask yourself the following question: do I need to pay a large sum of money and be bombarded with a significant dose of radiation just to be told to do what I should be doing anyway? Follow a healthy-lifestyle with optimal nutrition, regular exercise, stress management and smoking cessation.

Stress-nuclear studies: As with CT scans, stress nuclear studies are expensive and lead to significant amounts of radiation exposure via intravenous radioisotopes. These tests should be avoided in the stable population. If a stress test is recommended with imaging why not choose a stress-echo study which is less expensive than a stress-nuclear study and utilizes harmless sound waves to provide similar information?

Cardiac catheterization: Another expensive diagnostic tool that carries a multitude of significant risks. These risks are justified in unstable patients however this procedure should not be performed indiscriminately on stable individuals.

At this critical juncture, we have to decide what is best for the health and wealth of the citizens of this country. Will it be business as usual with indiscriminate utilization of diagnostic and interventional procedures that cost billions and don’t improve the overall health of Americans or do we want a health care system that is affordable and delivers preventive care that gives us the biggest bang for our buck? I think the answer is clear. The Great American Heart Hoax chronicles all that is wrong with our current health care system for cardiovascular treatment and it also delivers a concise, practical and clinically proven 10- step approach that can lead us to the promise land of affordable health care, fewer heart attacks and strokes and freedom from a misguided cardiovascular intervention industry that is sabotaging our financial and medical well-being.

Copyright © 2009 Michael Ozner, M.D., author of The Great American Heart Hoax: Lifesaving Advice Your Doctor Should Tell You About Heart Disease Prevention (But Probably Never Will)Author BioMichael Ozner, MD, FACC, FAHA, author of The Great American Heart Hoax: Lifesaving Advice Your Doctor Should Tell You About Heart Disease Prevention (But Probably Never Will), is one of America's leading advocates for heart disease prevention. Dr. Ozner is a board-certified cardiologist, a Fellow of the American College of Cardiology and of the American Heart Association, medical director of Wellness & Prevention at Baptist Health South Florida and a well-known regional and national speaker in the field of preventive cardiology. He is the medical director of the Cardiovascular Prevention Institute of South Florida and symposium director for "Cardiovascular Disease Prevention," an annual international meeting highlighting advances in preventive cardiology. He was the recipient of the 2008 American Heart Association Humanitarian Award. Dr. Ozner is also the author of the BenBella Books title The Miami Mediterranean Diet.
Julie Harabedian
Main line (908) 204-9340
FSB Associates180 Mount Airy Road, Suite 205Basking Ridge, NJ 07920

Saturday, February 28, 2009

FLzine: It will change everything.

Leigh Peele's brainchild is about to be released to the world. This site will be the premier destination for cutting edge, opinionated and truthful information on health, fat loss, lifestyle and anything relevent. I am very fortunate that I will have an opportunity to be a part of it!

See the trailer here.

Friday, February 13, 2009

The Wisdom of John Berardi

One of the few people whose work I have followed closely over the past 5-6 years is Dr. John Berardi. JB is a rarity in the industry, with an alphabet soup's worth of credentials and an uncanny ability to bring complex topics to both the experts as well as the uninitiated.

JB was in town was in town and I had a chance to attend a lecture of his on Weight Loss and de-stressing. I plan on a more comprehensive summary of the talk but for now, here are 3 things stood out;

1. Dose response: We are figuring out just how much exercise is optimal for most people to attain good health - about 5 hours per week. JB makes a very salient point here: Would you take your medication only once evey couple of days when you are supposed to take it twice per day? Exercise is the same.

2. Don't use your knife and fork to dig your own grave: Enough said...

3. Our North American culture has a skewed view on what it means to "relax". We think that unwinding is a annual vacation after spending 50 weeks of the year overworked and over-stressed. Take time daily to unwind.

More to come on this topic.